Friday, January 26, 2007

I Ching, you ching

It's Groundhog's Day a week early on The O.C., which I guess is understandable as they hurry (scurry?) to close out the series by the end of next month - and that's not a lot of time to fit a whole year's worth of cultural references. Last night's more memorable ones included a little South Korean shock cinema, and Che's experimentation with I Ching divination.

Leading up to this divination, though, was the wholly appropriate song "Gronlandic Edit" from Of Montreal, who's latest album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? (see review) was just released this week. The album follows frontman Kevin Barnes' mental breakdown, and this song is the point where Barnes tries on different life principals in hopes that something might work:
Art/Philosphy:
The Surrealists were just Nihilists with good imaginations
Religion:
Guess it would be nice to give my heart to a god
But which one which one do I choose?

and finally Science:
We fell back to earth like gravity's bitches
Physics makes us all its bitches
Che, similarly, is literally grabbing at straws here, specifically yarrow sticks, which are one of the methods for divining The I Ching. After one of his tosses and readings, he seems to mutter "the grasshopper lies heavy at night," which I believe is a direct reference to Phillip K. Dick's great novel The Man in the High Castle, which Dick reportedly wrote using The I Ching. In the novel, there's a book called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which is written using, you guessed it, The I Ching, and yarrow sticks are used throughout Dick's story. This novel within a novel describes an alternative reality to what exists in Dick's main storyline, and this alternative reality turns out to be the real one. Che's spirit animal dream of falling in love with an otter also turns out to be a reality - albeit a misinterpreted one, as it turns out to be a groundhog - a hottie dressed up as one, anyway.

The rest of the episode is flooded with great music, probably the best mix they've had in a few seasons. Silversun Pickups, Hot Chip, The Stills... it's almost like a best of 2006 mix. The other unique music moment, though, goes to The Chemical Brothers' classic jam "Leave Home," which was used to back Che and Seth's stealth-y kidnapping of Chuck the Groundhog. "Brother's gonna work it out" indeed... The O.C. appears to be at least going out with a bang musically.

Playlist: The O.C. - Episode 4.12
1. "Gronlandic Edit" - Of Montreal
2. "Lazy Eye" - Silversun Pickups
3. "Leave Home" - The Chemical Brothers
4. "High Lonesome Moan" - David Pajo
5. "And I Was A Boy From School" - Hot Chip
6. "The House We Live In" - The Stills

Previously: The O.C.'s version of Fear Factor (Episode 4.11)

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