" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

September 4, 2016

Molly: Music, Memories and Memes

If you are an Australian 40 years, or older, then like me the TV show Countdown probably had a massive influence on your life, whether you watched the show regularly, or not.
A screen shot from 'Molly'

I didn't see the 'Molly' mini-series when it first aired on TV, in fact I wasn't even interested in watching it, thinking it was going to be some mediocre TV show.
I only hired it out on DVD (and later bought my own copy) after buying a CD of the soundtrack at my local post office.
A screen shot from 'Molly'
The way this show was put together was very powerful indeed, mixing together Ian "Molly" Meldrum's memories, dreams and reflections as he struggles to come out of a near fatal coma.

Ironically, like Molly's team, he is like a saint to the Australian public
But they aren't just Molly's memories this show is serving up to us, they are fragments of our own memories of the modern Australia that was founded on the influence that show, and the songs that show brought into the Australian pop culture, and are still part of today.
A title considered before 'Countdown' won out

The ripple effect that this show had on most Australians now living is more mind boggling than Molly's memories in this mini-series.

Screen shots from 'Molly' where a real clip was used
I really like how the makers of this show made use of the memes that swept through the Australian and world pop cultural scene of the last 50 years, whether intentionally done that way, or not.
Obviously clips of news events and flashbacks to big names in the Pop world as they were just starting out in their music careers are nostalgic to most viewers, but so to was the way Molly's story was told, for example when Molly is lost in his memories and he flashes back to his boyhood self singing 'Daisy'.
Kubrick fans like myself would see this scene of Molly singing 'Daisy' not just as a flashback to a childhood memory, but also as maybe a wink to the scene in Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' where Dave Bowman is dismantling the computer's memory with the HAL 2000 battling to retain it's memory while singing 'Daisy'.
Australia's (Oz) sporting colours are green and gold

And the pink light VALIS like Xanadu scene could also be a wink to 
 P K Dick's grasp on reality that he often documented in his semi-autobiographical stories that were widely read in the last half of the last century and still are today.
Especially since P K Dick's novel VALIS was influenced when Dick saw Molly's good friend David Bowie star in the movie 
'The Man Who Fell to Earth' at a local cinema.
David Bowie as 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'
Oh, what a wicked (as in Harry Potter?-) world we weave with pop culture.
But maybe I'm just showing how my own pop cultural memories mashed-up in my mind as I watched this show?-)
But, with one of the biggest grossing Australian movies of all time 'Red Dog' starting off with Stevie Wright's song 'Evie', just like the 'Molly' TV show does, that is powerful stuff when it comes to linking up the Australian movie and TV show watching public's nostalgic memories.
That is real genius to compound nostalgic memories not just of hearing Stevie (who recently passed away) singing a song often heard on the radio since it's release, but also the 'Countdown' era and the recent 'Red Dog' memories of maybe watching this much loved Aussie family film and all the flashback's to the 70's that movie took us back to with it's soundtrack of much loved songs the same generation grew up to in Australia.
A teenage me in my first car in my parent's backyard
And on a personal note the model and colour of car the actor playing Molly is driving in the opening scene was almost the same car I owned as my first car.

And on my last road-trip to Tasmania not only was I playing the soundtrack to the 'Molly' TV show on my iPod constantly, but I also managed to stumble across a concert in the hotel I was staying in starring singers that were key players in the 'Countdown' musical line-up as I was growing up.
Daryl Braithwaite on stage at Wrest Point Casino, June 18th, 2016
The APIA Tour: Rules Are Made to Be Broken...or, What Would Jesus Do?-)  
I had never intended seeing this show on my trip and didn't even know it was on until two days before I saw it. 
My concert ticket from my road-trip. Seat F8? Fate?-)
also touches on some quite esoteric themes for those like me who are interested in that kind of thing.

The crow from 'Shirl's Neighbourhood' on 'Molly'

An actor playing Shirl from 'Shirl's Neighbourhood' on 'Molly'
And on another spooky synchromystical
'2001: A Space Odyssey' note Graeme 'Shirly' Strachan would die on Mt.Archer (Bowman?) in Queensland in 2001 when his helicopter crashed into it.
Shirly was the lead singer of Australian rock band 'Skyhooks' and I remember hearing about his death on the evening news, ironically enough.
Talk about life imitating art.
8:15, that's the time that it's always been?

Merry Christmas/War is over?

I was born in 1964, so I don't remember that year much:-)

But John had a big influence on my life growing up, too
This show was powerful film-making on many levels when it comes to the memories and influences of Australians who grew up in the 'Countdown' era. 

I'm sure the makers of this TV show don't even realise what a masterpiece they have made, not just on a "walk down memory lane" level, but on a synchromystic level, as well. 
I wanted to write about Samuel Johnson who plays Molly in the show, but that would have made this post way bigger, so I'll do a separate post about him later and link it here.
So, if you are an Aussie around my age, do yourself a favour and watch this show, as it is some of the best Australian TV show making I have ever watched.
It will touch your soul on many levels if you are a typical Aussie who grew up when 'Countdown' ruled the airwaves, because it is a large part of your past and present already. 
I think what TV shows like 'Molly' show us is how powerful and meaningful memories are, not just individual memories like that of Molly Meldrum's, but collective memories in the pop cultural world of a nation and planet.
Carl Jung was right about the "collective unconscious" and how it influences our day to day world and thoughts, I think.

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