Hollywood in Memoriam
The URL for this website was found as a result of an image on a USB drive at the February 25, 2007 show in Manchester, UK. The image is titled invitation and shows a destroyed Hollywood sign above the words "In Memoriam."
The site was found during the telecast of the 79th Annual Academy Awards, colloquially called the Oscars. Rumor has it the site was hinted at one hour before its discovery through a comment Trent Reznor made in The Spiral chat room:
Someone should blow up the Oscars.
Provides background to the "dirty bomb" incident of -13BA (see Year Zero Timeline). It started with a dirty bomb detonating at the 81st Annual Academy Awards. Shortly after more devices were detonated throughout the Los Angeles area.
Also lists names and photos of people who either went missing or died as a result of the attack. The main page is titled "Hollywood in Memoriam," while the secondary page is titled "Hollywood in Memorial."
There are also some interesting facts about the text under the photos. For example, the Carlos Sanchez note is supposedly written in Spanish, but most probably it is a rough, automatic translation using some software such as Babel Fish. Also, the Phil note has been censored, since the name of the drug he was hooked on has been removed, or perhaps its author omitted it unawares: "He said he never regretted it, but he started using [miss.] near the end of his tour".
"The Stand" Reference
- "My mom’s legs swelled up and her teeth started falling out. She got lymphoma and she broke all the mirrors in the house so she wouldn’t see herself. She was so scared of dying, right to the end she was terrified. Every year I have to go for tests. Each year, the week between when I do all the tests and when I get the results I re-read The Stand (I don’t know why, I just always do) and I worry."
Stephen King's novel "The Stand" has some relative ideas to this world of Year Zero. Here is the plot summary:
There is an error in the development of a biological weapon at a U.S. governmental base. The compound undergoes emergency shutdown, but an employee manages to escape in an attempt to save him and his family. They end up dead, but not before coming into contact with other humans. This spreads a superflu influenza virus known formally as "Project Blue" and colloquially as "Captain Trips." 99.4% of people are susceptible to Captain Trips, and the disease has a mortality rate of 100%. The first part of the book describes the total breakdown and destruction of society through widespread violence, the failure of martial law to contain the outbreak, and eventually the death of just about everyone.
The second part of the book describes the journeys taken by the few remaining survivors to cope and rebuild society. A bunch of them in the Eastern States are drawn together by their shared dreams of a 108 year old black woman, Abagail Freemantle (known as Mother Abagail) from Hemingford Home, Nebraska, whom they see as a refuge and spiritual leader. They begin an attempt to re-establish a democratic society in the city of Boulder, Colorado. Boulder is found to be the only city in America that is largely clear of plague victims, the city having emptied out due to a rumor spread during the plague that the disease started in the Boulder air testing center.
Meanwhile, another group of survivors are drawn to Las Vegas, Nevada by Randall Flagg, a recurring villian in King's stories, who has supernatural powers. Flagg's rule is tyrannical and brutal, with crucifixion and other torments as punishment for those who are disloyal. His group is able to quickly rebuild the city and amass weapons.
The stage is now set for the final confrontation as the two camps become aware of one another, and each recognizes the other as a threat to its survival, leading to the 'stand' of good against evil. Randall Flagg is about to kill some protagonists in Las Vegas when The Hand of God in the sky turns on him to detonate a nuclear warhead, killing his entire setup.
The novel ends on a somewhat grim note as two of the surviving protagonists question whether the human race can learn from its mistakes. The answer, given in the last line of the novel proper, is ambiguous: "I don't know."
To read more about this novel, see the Wikipedia article.
The "archive" link at the bottom of the main page leads to a page full of photos memorializing those supposed to be lost in the incident.
In yet another case of the importance of what appears to be random background text, there's a reference to Walt Whitman's Caution. More information can be found at Year Zero Research/Proven Leads.
The number sequence 24.17.1 is found hidden on the "Hollywood in Memorial" page.
A closer look at the image on the front page reveals that the winner for Best Picture at the Oscars is called "Silence." This is an actual film in pre-production as of February 2007 with Martin Scorsese directing. It's based on a book by Shusaku Endo and is about two seventeenth-century Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to check on missionary work but find that Japanese Christians are being tortured and brutalized by their own government.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0490215/ - Information about the film Silence
http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/02/26/year-zero-project-update-reznor-pisses-on-scorseses-parade/ - Rolling Stone article