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The Imitation Game [2014)

When I started this site, I focused a considerable bit on “spy spoofs” (which I cheekily filed under “espionage”).

But now we return to espionage in a more serious tenor.

Cryptography, to be exact.

Keep in mind, signals must first be intercepted before they can be decrypted.


Cipher, rather than code.

[or something like that]

And this story of Alan Turing hits all the right settings of the heart.

Indeed, the seeming Asperger’s case Turing makes a particularly prescient observation in this film.

Namely, that deciphering secret messages is very much like linguistic deconstruction.

Or even like its predecessor, structural linguistics.

Finnegans Wake, by my reading, is largely a sensual text of transgression written in a sort of code language which can only be decoded by a sort of Freudian mechanism inherent in minds similarly repressed by circumstances such as censorship.

There were things which James Joyce could not just come right out and say.

Else he would have ended up like Oscar Wilde (or Alan Turing himself) [though Joyce was pretty evidently heterosexual in excelsis].

And so The Imitation Game is a very fine film indeed about Bletchley Park (and, by extension, its successor the GCHQ).

It makes one reconsider that great piece of British classical music the “Enigma Variations” by Elgar.

Perhaps it was Edward’s premonition.

That a homosexual savant would save many lives through dogged determination to solve what was arguably the ultimate puzzle of its time.

Enigma.  James Bond fans will know it as the Lektor Decoder (a sort of substitution…a cipher…le chiffre…a metonym if not a MacGuffin).

“the article appears to be genuine” [stop]

“go ahead with purchase” [stop]

Smooth jazz on the weather channel…heil Hitler.

It’s true.

In Nazi Germany one was to begin and end even every phone call with “Heil Hitler!”.

Stupidity has its drawbacks.

Donald Trump has been skewered roundly by nearly every globalist publication on the planet, but there is power in the words, “You’re fired.”

Turing very soon realized that breaking the Enigma code was not a job for linguists.

It was purely mathematics, applied with imagination.

One of the most crucial actors in this film, Alex Lawther, plays what might be referred to as Boy With Apple.

There is something befitting of the “agony columns” mentioned by Simon Singh in his tome The Code Book about Turing’s backstory.

In the grown-up Alan Turing, we see the affection that man can have for machine…much like a struggling record producer naming his tape machine.

In the rotors there is music…and plenty of calibration to be done.

But the machine must be allowed to work.

And we must help the machine along by giving it hints on those entities which are “safe to ignore” (a sort of semiotics of limiting the fried pursuit of completism).

Love, as it turns out, sinks the Nazis.

Because even among the rank-and-file (or, perhaps, especially among them) there was a humanity which was not snuffed out.

It’s not because Hitler was a vegetarian who loved his dog.

The machine becomes predictive.

Because we tread the same path daily.

In some way.

In most ways.

Few of us are psychogeographical drifters–few bebop our infinitely-unique situations.

And even Coltrane has some signature licks.

Some runs.

Mystical fingerings.  Scriabin arpeggiated.

Then come statistics.

And megadeath notebooks seem less cynical.

Its the same discipline which made W. Edwards Deming a saint in Japan as he resurrected their economy.

The blowback was the quality revolution.

The next in that manga pantheon perhaps Carlos Ghosn.

Yes, we Trump voters are morons.  No doubt.

You must hide the victories among losses.

Where the chess player comes in.

Hugh Alexander.


“You could be my enemy/I guess there’s still time”

Or is it NME?

“I’ve got a pi-an-o/I can’t find the C”

Or is it sea?

I salute thee, old ocean.  A quote by Lautreamont.

Or is it Ducasse?

Perhaps it’s why Ezra Pound was institutionalized.

On the grounds of the future Department of Homeland Security?

St. Elizabeths.  Washington, D.C.

When he spilled the beans about the Federal Reserve “System” to Eustace Mullins.


Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley share a truly touching moment of love.

A passion of minds.

Platonic.  Immortal.

But the breaking is IX.  “Nimrod”…

That austere moment of British greatness.

One of only a handful of UK classical strains which really matter.

Sinopoli does it nicely.  With the Philharmonia.

Only a moron like me would vote for Trump.

To suffer for one’s art.

To turn off the lights and watch the machine come to life.

A miracle of whirligigs and glowing vacuum tubes.

Director Morten Tyldum expresses this ineffable humming solitude in the seventh art.


This dedication.


And this love.

Which leads both telegraph operator and polymath to tap out the letters of their beloved.




3 responses to “The Imitation Game [2014)

  1. migarium

    No doubt Alan Turing was a genius human being! But this movie and its effect… I want to mention from a different angle. First of all, Turing got his success by gathering his philosophical thoughts and his math genius. There was not enough refering into the movie about his features. And his article “extraordinary machine” and the other articles were very important. But it was only seen in a picnic’s dialog scene(If I am not wrong it was a picnic scene).

    And the other side, this inference is really annoying me, and I am sure if Turing would have lived enough and seen this inference he had rejected with his scientific mind. Here this inference what I mention.

    It is said that “with the cracking of Germany’s Enigma code shortening the war by two to four years and saving an estimated 14 million to 21 million lives”, and they add to this inference “historians claim” (what kind of historians are they, and why they don’t add these historians names on this sentence?).

    First of all the ones who broke the Enigma code at first were Polish scientists in 1930. They are Polish mathematicians and their names Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zgalski and Jerzy Rozicki and their stuff scientists. But in the end of 1939 they had to escape with Nazi’s invasion of Poland. Many Polish cryptologists fled to France or England. British learned many things from them.

    And British devoloped the BTM (British Tabulating Machines) and started to use in 1940(interesting isn’t it, in a 6 months they had been success with cracking code after the Polish scientists came to them!). But the important part of cracking code starts with 1943 and breaking the codes of U-Boats of Nazi Germany. And they mention of this part. But when we looking at the WWII history, the naval forces of Nazi Germany was very lack situation on Atlantic at those years. Hitler had opened 3 fronts at 3 different sides; west, east and Africa. And especially becuase of the east front, so Soviet Union have forced Hitler’s army too much.

    So only cracking the code of Enigma in those years wouldn’t save 14-21 million life by oneself!

    Actually there are too much things to write about this situation but I don’t want to enter in too much details right now.

    And, shortly my Earthling friend, my opinion is “yes, Turing was genius, but this movie seems like a propaganda tool for me. I am thinking that west made this movie especially for kind of “yes, we won the war and especially Russians didn’t do anything”.

    You also know, EU countries didn’t invite to Russia the ceromonies and the remembering Holocost victims day of WWII end at May. They are trying to create a perception “Soviet Union didn’t get success against Nazi; we did.”

    And this propaganda brings its result. According to a survey which made in UK, France and Germany in 2015 May, only 13% of the people of these countries that Soviet army was a key role at WWII. So, 87% of the people of these countries don’t know or don’t want to know that Soviet Union army are the key which saved the Europe from Nazi’s hands.

    I want to repeat again, Turing was genius, but this movie has been another propaganda which works for sub-consciousness of people minds. And I am sure Turing would have rejected this too!

    • You are very correct about Marian Rajewski and I was wondering that myself. As with all British movies, the British must be the big heroes. But thank you for pointing it out…because I did not think of it in that angle! –Paul

  2. Love this: “Donald Trump has been skewered roundly by nearly every globalist publication on the planet, but there is power in the words, ‘You’re fired.'”

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