Sunday, January 9, 2022

An initiation with Betty Boop

 At the end of every year, Jesse Walker does postings on his blog on the best 10 movies of 10  years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, etc. They are always fun to browse.

For 1931, Jesse listed "Bimbo's Initiation" as the year's best movie, with the comment, "Betty Boop: Final Secret of the Illuminati."

So naturally, I watched it (above, just under six and a half minutes) and I was surprised to see this short film, released about a year before Robert Anton Wilson was born, depict many of the themes in his works about secret societies, initiation and individual initiative. Some of the scenes are reminiscent of incidents in RAWs works, such as the upside down room Sigismundo finds himself in The Widow's Son. And see how the plot matches this RAW quote: 'The ultimate weapon has always existed. Every man, every woman, and every child owns it. It's the ability to say No and take the consequences." And Bimbo undergoes an underground journey, which as RAW wrote in Ishtar Rising is one of the recurring themes of his books. 

Check out the cartoon and see what you think! And I wish I knew if RAW ever saw it. 


2 comments:

Prop Anon said...

Whaaaat?!?!?!
What a great cartoon!
I've seen the footage remixed in other videos over the years but never the source before.
S/O Jesse Walker for diggin it up from the digital crates

Eric Wagner said...

In ninth grade I went to a comic book convention and saw "The Prisoner" and Betty Boop" for the first time. One of the Betty Boop cartoons included Cab Calloway singing "Minnie the Moocher". I remember how thrilled I felt when Cab sang that song in "The Blues Brothers". He looked sort of familiar throughout the film, but I didn't recognize him until he changed costumes and started to dance and sing.