For a bit of a change of pace today, I thought I’d call your attention to a strange new comedy series airing on IFC and available for streaming online called The Mirror. The six-part series is composed of a five-minute video “lessons” created by a cult calling themselves “The Children of the Mirror.” The videos begin as a parody of Christian televangelist programming but degenerate quickly into a bizarre world of paranoia and fear. Personally, I was a little cold toward the show and didn’t quite get on its wavelength, but the reason I mention the series is because of its Lovecraftian references
In the first episode (labeled Lesson 5), the cultists use bones to make strange art projects, which we learn much later are designed to ward against the terrible alien powers that exist in dimensions beyond our own and stand ready to destroy the Earth.
But the most direct reference occurs in the third episode, Lesson 13: Cleanliness, in which the chief cultist explains that the corners are the gateway through which cosmic terror can enter your life, which is why you must never allow the corners to escape your field of vision. He calls these “Tindalos doorways,” and I think you’ll recognize this as a reference to Fritz Belknap Long’s 1929 Lovecraftian short story “The Hounds of Tindalos,” in which the titular Hounds enter in just such a way:
“By simply straining I can see farther and farther back. Now I am going back through strange curves and angles. Angles and curves multiply about me. I perceive great segments of time through curves. There is curved time, and angular time. The beings that exist in angular time cannot enter curved time. […]
The interesting thing about the Hounds of Tindalos is how they escaped fiction and bled into fringe history and the occult. As I discussed back in 2014, Maurice Doreal essentially plagiarized Long in producing the fake documents known as the Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean, a set of supposedly antediluvian texts written by Thoth (i.e. Hermes Trismegistus), which a number of fringe historians have accepted as genuine records from Atlantis. Compare this passage from Doreal:
List ye, O man,
Anyway, it was a surprising and rather pleasant discovery to find the Hounds of Tindalos in a weird comedy.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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