Dark Shadows Revisited – Building a Mystery

It was during the peak of the Vietnam War that a Soap Operative evolved from an ordinary into a cult classic.  I was only 10 years old and I crushed over the all girls but my favorite was the innocent Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) who is still alive.

The girl is to the left is the fictional Sarah Collins,   the cherubic and sad victim of witchcraft in the series who is only about a year or two younger than myself.    She is 57.    On the right of course was the star-crossed maiden who was the focus of Barnabas Collins.   There was a bit of controversy over her,  that she played a dumb girl with no sense but Victoria was the innocence that seems out of vogue these days.

As an aside,  she was married to a famous man herself who was very rich and was suspected of murdering a past wife before Alexandra.  If I  am not mistaken he was a billionaire in the 70s.   But she was the glue along with Maggie Evans/Josette.     Barnabas tried to kill the evil witch Angelic,  but she put a curse on him and he turned to a vampire.

Angelic really screwed up his life and Barnabas was star-crossed  by the young beauties.

  

Who can blame him really?   The actors were recycled through the winding plots when the term ‘narrative’  hardly existed and purity of heart when in vogue.   Sadly the star whose real name is Jonathan Frid passed away in April 2012.    With his passing I felt loss,  both as Barnabas the vampire and the actor.    The cast members (those remaining) still collect royalties from fan clubs and appearances.

Shot originally in black and white,   which gave the macabre effect of something ancient and mysterious and even the cemetery seemed surreal.   The episodes had quite a few mistakes and fortunately they were not edited out.   I have the entire series on DVD which not ironically is in a coffin.    The feel,  the actual aura gives the viewer a sense of life and the death which are underscored as cast members die.

We are left to ruminate over the scenes and haunting music and the narration of Vicky.   Her voice portrayed a laconic yet powerful burst of other worldness.   It’s like dying yourself,   a tragic person trying to find love in the most strange and awkward.    It seems as Barnabas was coming of age despite his age and happiness just out of reach and you felt sorry for his pain and bad luck.

This was called the ‘Old House’ were some of the series darkest secrets,  with coffins and caveats and expiring young ladies and tragic children with melancholy natures and secrets too terrible for children so young.   Giving the idea of paradox and wistful associations.

DarkShadowsTitle

This old house was a treasure trove of restless ghosts and troubled children while the young adult girls were the food of these particular gods.  As a virtual child myself when computers were like the size of  the WOPR on War games. (the movie).

The then young Vicky is around 67 and yet my affections have not changed and I am no stalker but I know I am not alone in that or the debates which naturally happen with cult followers,  Much like the survivors of Auschwitz,  the leading men and ladies enter for real into a place of dreams and conclusions.

Poor Vicky,  the girl who appeared on a teen magazine was actually younger the Elizabeth Stoddard who was supposed to be around 16-17.   So,  I guess my  be my way back to a time when I could be lost in nostalgia and pine for that kind of happiness that youth and dreams  confer.

As she was about to be hanged she disappeared.   She was kind of like a Jack in the Box with regards to séances and one has to wonder about the psycho-sexual component of the virgin’s predicament.     I think she was getting a bit anxious about being a seemingly helpless waif and wanted to move on.   These days she remembers this all a bit more fondly as I am sure the teen boys in the 60s and early 70s would and will appreciate.

So as we march to the Stairway to our own heavens,   we glide past signs and seasons to an inevitable end and if the journey is replicated by long dusky hallways and a row of doors on either side,  I will take what is behind door #2.  No reason but a spontaneous relish for the sublime and poetically sad riffs like a waning tide.   To a place where,  we are just long forgotten shadows and a dream to the newer batch of melancholy souls.

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Tic Tac Dough – They’re tryin to Build a Prison

 

I went a System of a Down Concert a few years ago.    Their music is right in many ways and on many issues.    For example,  they had a song called,  The Prison Song!   Not only was the music and program awesome,  but the song became personal.

At the end of the event as people were exiting a few decided to climb over railings and beat the crowd out of the Sun Dome.   But one of the police/guards,  whatever they call them decided to say get down or they would be arrested!   These young people need not to be threatened but they were!

Being a renown smart-ass  I  shouted,  “They’re trying to build a prison!!!”.    Hails of laughter swept through the crowd as a response to the scene and to the police’s actions against the students.

 

 

I was watching the News and saw the many dirty conditions in Africa and the threat that poverty has become generational in so many places.     Africa, who lives there and do they have faces?  The easy answer is,  YES!

Now what happens to Gwyneth Paltrow when there is another crash in the stock market?  Like one day she will  be that actress who did not garner many fans and her natural beauty fades?   There is so much hunger and poverty in the world and yet she looks down on others?

Too many people in Hollywood find their best gucci shoes and sunglasses to mask the ugliness in their hearts.  Sad too,  because many people look up to that wandering cesspool of self-righteousness robots until they too become frail and then want to have someone to care. I would but then again only because she is in need.

Are we better than these,  Gwyneth?     Could you tell her that her children do matter?  Do they need to make 100,000 dollars per year and will cry over the graves of the starving,  sick and homeless victim of circumstances?

Go to work as a volunteer as a support group facilitator.    That nation also suffers this damnable Ebola breakout.    And the headline below:

Ebola cases appear in DR Congo; doctor given promising drug dies in Liberia

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/25/world/africa/ebola-outbreak/

 

And these people tell us how it is?    And sports are no better!

And just so true.   I have a seizure disorder and I know how it feels to be a soup line,  sleeping in my car with a cat.    I know of two more veterans,  one who has terminal cancer and the other a 78 year old who car is full of “Stuff” and he goes to places where he can to get out of heat or cold,  such as the case may be.    I have an  entrepreneurial idea that I plan to share to those woe begotten cardboard box souls.

Cops showed him,   didn’t they?

Warring with virtual corpses in a mad dash to nowhere and regardless of petty crimes,  we acquiesce and even endorse their actions against the unfortunate.   There are people who have Asphasia,   tri-geminal neuralgia (tic douloulreux ).   Many are bi-polar,   poorly educated and not too cogent.   Cops know not enough to attend them properly but rather do what you see above.

Bill Maher: “This country is becoming a police state, it is very troubling to me”

 

 

Mississippi Moon/Feels Right

Our muses can be a backdrop to tragedy or romance or maybe both.   Like a land lost or perhaps never appreciated.    The neglected places evoke memories of a secret nightmare in a three-dimensionable world  both exclusive and shared with one or more.

The silhouettes like palm fronds on a channel quiet measuring the years by colors by the seasons and washing away wistful prayers, odes to antiquity.

Some prefer the lights, the confusion and the din but I want to live life not as part of an ant farm in some condemned city of rats and dirty hazes.

Ole Miss are making a comeback to relevance

 

 

It’s Nature’s Way (of telling you, somethings wrong)

Look I have nothing wrong with fixing the Earth as far as we are able,  but let’s make sure that other huge polluters,  do their part.     And that’s not to say that we wait to do ours,  but let us cll out those who could care less.

They are where we were and where we never want to go again.   And we do have a lot of work to do in our own back yard.   Disregard for our planet is a callous end game with no winners.   I remember an episode of ‘Twilight Zone’.   The people saw temperatures rising exponentially and when the man character awakens from his dream (delirium caused by a high fever)  the opposite is happening,  the world slipping into an Ice Age.

The episode was ‘The Midnight Sun’ and we have people being alarmed at either prospect and like an attack from Aliens we cannot find the aliens we were scared of.   Like Orson Welles and attack of the Martians and the suggestion by some that they are here and we cannot see them.   It is all about action/reaction or the chicken and the egg or in this sense.  a Microwave or a frozen Pot Pie.

There always seems to be some nefarious Monster of our own imagination seeking to neutralize what we may have.    Enter ‘the politican’!   With their gavel and 90 minute lunches,  they tell people what color their house can be or the the easement on a person’s property.

But still this is all just a backdrop to the finality of being stuck in Amber.    With many there is little chance of seeing the Grand Canyon.   Gourmet fare is a trip to the Double Arches where Happy Meals and disposable income, fight that never ending battle and where obesity inevitably rounds out a person’s waistline.

But we have a global crisis potentially waiting in the wings.    This plague is a two-sided sword where isolation and death is like a weather warning for tornadoes.    The solemn processions spares no one and promises of behaving to God resoundingly beg for redemption.    For the survivors,  a pin prick of consciousness becomes a lulling nightmare and the cracks and refuse along the street remain the same.

Even the rats poke their heads out and see if the coast is clear wishing the cats and other exterminators are elsewhere busy.

By Saliou Samb and Alphonso Toweh

CONAKRY/MONROVIA (Reuters) – Bushmeat – from bats to antelopes, squirrels, porcupines and monkeys – has long held pride of place on family menus in West and Central Africa, whether stewed, smoked or roasted.

A visit to a traditional market in the region assails the senses with a huge variety of forest game – mammal, bird and reptile carcasses smoked and partitioned and the smell of singed animal hair filling the air.

But an outbreak of the deadly Ebola fever in Guinea has rekindled concerns about the health risks of age-old African hunting and eating traditions that bring humans into close contact with wild forest animals.

The World Health Organisation says about 86 suspected cases of Ebola have been reported, with 62 deaths so far. Guinean authorities put the death toll at 63. [ID:nL5N0MN50D]

Experts who have studied the Ebola virus from its discovery in 1976 in Democratic Republic of Congo, then Zaire, say its suspected origin – what they call the reservoir host – is forest bats. Links have also been made to the carcasses of fr

freshly slaughtered animals consumed as bushmeat.

Bats – often served in a spicy stew called “kedjenou” – have long been a favourite in Guinea’s southeastern Forest Zone, the epicentre of the current outbreak. But sales of these and other bushmeat delicacies have now been banned by Guinean authorities fighting the Ebola outbreak.

“We visited the markets in the region and there was no more bat meat on sale,” Colonel Remy Lamah, Minister of Health, said from the area hit by the outbreak, which borders Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Liberia and Sierra Leone, which have reported suspected Ebola deaths, announced similar bans on the sale of bushmeat, spreading alarm and dismay among consumers and the many who make a living from the trade.

A woman stands by a table table selling smoked bush meat at a specialist market in the Yopougon area..

“PEOPLE WON’T BUY OUR MEAT”

“Our people here eat monkey and bat … we have warned them about eating bushmeat,” said Tolbert G. Nyenswah, a health official in Liberia. “We have warned them about coming into contact with fresh meat. We have also warned them about eating dead animals when they don’t know what killed them.”

In Ivory Coast’s commercial hub Abidjan, signs at the Yopougon bushmeat market still offer rats, porcupine, agouti, squirrels, pangolin and bats “stewed or braised”.

“We’ve heard the announcement and we’re worried because people won’t buy our meat now,” said vendor Sophie Ouattara.

But specialists believe bushmeat bans will be ineffective, not just because of the scale of the traditional trade providing a valuable protein source to millions, but also because the link with Ebola is seen limited to very specific circumstances.

“You will not stop it … I just think it’s futile,” said Bob Swanepoel, a virologist at the University of Pretoria’s Zoonoses Research Unit, who has studied most of Africa’s major outbreaks of Ebola and other similar haemorrhagic fevers like Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo fever.

Swanepoel stressed that according to scientific evidence, the main risk of human infection by Ebola or Marburg is not thought to be from all bushmeat, only from infected animals and only from fresh carcasses.

“If you handle wet meat, there’s a much bigger chance,” he said, saying a 1996 outbreak in Gabon was believed to have been caused by local people eating the still fresh body of a dead chimpanzee they had come across in the forest.

Large primates, like chimpanzees and gorillas, also die from Ebola, Swanepoel said. They are also often killed by bushmeat hunters despite campaigns by international conservation groups battling to ensure their survival.

Swanepoel said cooking and smoking the meat was likely to reduced the chances of infection, but there was still a risk.

Besides local consumption, tonnes of African bushmeat finds its way each year to ethnic restaurants in Paris, Brussels and New York, where members of the African diaspora prize the dishes as a nostalgic treat from home.

In 2009, a Liberian woman caught smuggling baboon, green monkey and warthog meat into New York’s John F. Kennedy airport was sentenced to three years of probation. Prosecutors cited the risk of disease and the need for wildlife conservation.

BEWARE THE BATS

Despite the fears over bushmeat, Swanepoel says study of Ebola and Marburg outbreaks since 1976 indicate it is close contact with bats in particular that seems to be behind the transmission to humans of the deadly virus that causes vomiting, diarrhoea and both internal and external bleeding.

“Ebola is likely harboured by bats living in the forest,” Swanepoel said, citing suspected Ebola and Marburg infections in Congo, Uganda and Sudan traced to the presence of bats in caves, mines and factories frequented by humans.

This could also explain the dispersion of the outbreaks – Guinea, in the heart of West Africa, is thousands of kilometres away from the site of past outbreaks in Central and East Africa. Swathes of forest cover large parts of West Africa.

“These bats migrate vast distances,” Swanepoel said, adding they could also infect other animals eaten by humans, such as antelopes. Bats are also hunted and consumed by some large animals such as baboons.

Swanepoel said three or four bat species were “under suspicion” for transmitting Ebola and scientists were still trying to pin down the specific reservoir host.

On his desk in Pretoria he keeps a model made of black beads of the Hammerhead Bat, Latin name Hypsignathus Monstrosus, to remind him of a likely carrier of one of the world’s most lethal and feared diseases. “It’s monstrously ugly,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Alain Amontchi in Abidjan and Pascal Fletcher in Johannesburg; Writing by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Courtesy of Reuters…………

 

Oh and this is NOT the effects of Global Warming but what in the Philippines are dealing with and this kind of futility seems never-ending!   Trouble will find us in this world and I do not have to tell you that.

Typhoon Matmo nears northern Philippines

Authorities say the Philippines is again bracing for wild weather, only days after the country was hit by Typhoon Rammasun.

Are the Philippines a haven for terrorism?

The U.S. State Department has considered the southern Philippines a “terrorist safe haven” since the classification was created in 2006. According to the State Department’s 2008report, the Philippine government has little control in the Sulu archipelago and the island of Mindanao. The government has also had trouble combating resentment among the local Muslim minority regarding policies of the central government. As a result, the Philippines is home to a number of militant groups, including the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Communist Party of the Philippines/New Peoples Army, Jemaah Islamiyah, the Alex Boncayao Brigade, the Pentagon Gang, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). These groups have conducted over one-hundred attacks within the Philippines since 2004, the largest of which was a ferry bombing that killed 130 people. The Philippine government has taken significant steps to combat terrorism, but terrorists continue to use the country as a base to organize, raise funds, train, and operate.

But lastly we need to see why the Philippines has something to offer with spectacular venues and breathtaking vistas.    Filipino will go on as that really is the way to handle adversity.   Make a friend today with someone else in the world.

Mediating Reality and Politics.

One of the more frustrating aspects of dealing with people is that they read a book on let’s say, ‘Physics’.   They read just enough to have an opinion and then can’t be bothered.   In essence, that becomes their politics.   They fancy their notions but do not engage with them.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

Science itself is still in it’s veritable infancy.  The things we will know later will dwarf us in the here and now.   And the climate change debate will crystalize.    Not an answer driven by political correctness but we will have done ‘real due-diligence’.   Not throwing talking points as real science.

People want everything gift-wrapped into tight little packages that are easy to explain but when you get beneath the dogma, there is nothing but that dogma.   Logically then or rather illogically they go back to their default position as with the topic of ‘Climate Change’.    They refer back to the experts,  whatever that might be.   Many of these same people then refer to the religious as deferring to fairy tales.

Stephen Hawking has the Higgs-Boson to fall back on and considering the fact that he has beaten the odds,  doesn’t see the irony.  As if the fact that my friend died after a year after he was diagnosed.   He too,  had ALS.    The difference being that he was a professing Christian while the former must imagine some last minute intervention or like many unbelievers that his mass will not destroyed.  I  guess.

If I left the world being the most dissipated man of all time,  and did not feel the slightest compunction at being a  jerk,  then maybe I too could go on without asking the biggest question…..why?  Why in my honest evaluation of myself,  I could not even hint at being some kind of saint or above it all.

So maybe we fancy ourselves to be many things.   Perhaps an Opera Star, a Poet or maybe we were born to be a leaf.  One that has fallen during Autumn who is slated for a burn barrel of the compost pile.   We are even less than the worst of miscreants,  who we should assume ourselves to be.   This is not self-flagellation but simple perspective.   The nascent rise of real science can upset a lot of realities.   But is that Immutable Perfect Being really interested in “our take”?    And would it necessarily disprove anything of the nature of God?

This diagram shows changes in the rate of expansion since the Big Bang. The shallower the curve, the faster the expansion rate. There's a notable change in the curve around 7.5 billion years ago, when astronomers think a mysterious, dark force caused objects to fly apart at a faster rate. NASA/STSci/Ann Feild

At that point,  were we even cognizant of our plight relative to people,  what then?

 

Life is more than elaborate set of rules but the worst part of that is maybe no one really cares who good you think you are,  much less than a sentient being of unimaginable power.  The fact that such a being would ever even care is worthy of our consideration.

Ultimately God makes his choice and is the only choice ever truly made by anyone or anything.  God is not like us,  he would be in all ways better and once we get that if we were a plot of clay,  he could dash that hardened clay against the wall and it would be fair.


That we are sentient, ought to reveal something very important about us and even more about God.   In the final analysis God is so fair,  that he would consider all of our arguments and is the perfect parent because unlike us,  he is truly impartial.  Those conferred with greater gifts now,  are not among the elite in heaven, but those with a humble heart,  who imagines humbly to be so unworthy of him.

Conversely we are antithesis of modesty and our self-aggrandizement is really evident we get so mired into those shows like ‘American Idol’ and that is just one program that intimates that someone is going to find us and see how wonderful we are.    Afterall everyone has some measure of greatness.   Really?  How about those who just CANNOT sing or act or paint a picture?

There has to be a special for them!   And why again?  This kind of mentality is part of the infantilism of the world today.  A 20 year old woman (many called her a girl) remonstrated that her life was miserable because her parents embarrassed her when she was 10.   The crime?   Her parents made her a Halloween costume and that poor girl was traumatized.  Yeah I bet a lot of people would love to trade places.

That person who you and I shrugged off.   That person we may have done charity for with an air of insolent disregard,  perhaps imagining that we are better and he or she is there by choice.   But as I see it, we can be that little boy or girl,  combing through sewage and refuse hoping to eat that.   Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs at play here my friends.

 

Not dogmas,  not same-sex marriage or even that man/woman arrangement.   Today we confer some kind of special birthright based on sexual proclivity,  racial orientation or our beliefs in some obscure frog or farflung religion.

 

It is one thing to rebel against injustice because there is some intrinsic value in that.   However,  a lot of this is just rhetoric.

Pay a dime to a cause and sleep well at night.   Is that going to be our legacy?  Do we ‘really’  lose sleep over all this terrible stuff in the world?

 

We more than most rich people get it.   We are more likely to suffer more substantially than billionaires and because of that we can more relate to the hurting.  But our answer basically mirrors the tax write-offs of the uber rich.   So maybe we are not so swell afterall.

The good message and point here is that someone does care but to know him we have to set aside all presumption.   We have to look at ourselves being the one hurting and really understand our own inherent leanings towards wrong.   I am NOT exempting myself from this either.   We all must do apart from hyperbole and most of all,  do it not for accolades or some measure of self-satisfaction.   Let the words silently minister to the hurting.

 

 

There is one thing that I want to do today and that is to ask those who hear to respond.   You will know question to that answer and you will find harmony and perfection.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bear and the Pond.

Cicero
On a quiet pond somewhere in the rolling hills of Oregon was a pond were three of a certain Bear Clan, father, mother and a small Bear in Diapers. Underneath the shade tree of her choice she attended to the little bear with affectionate concern. While the father Bear in his Man-Cave on top of a nearby mountain. Keeping watch.

The order here is depicted, of a certain setting, Father doing fatherly things, while Mom and the little Cub were fast about doing what they do. Preening and
playing in their quaint little place. There is Love here.

In God we Trust

Later on as the dew began to disappear and the Bees begun to gather, the infant Bear began to wander and is the case with Bears, they are inquisitive. The same with the smaller Bear, who happened to know a Frog on a lily pad. Dressed in green, naturally, on the Frog’s croak, gave it away.

Once the baby beast had spotted it’s quarry, it swam with purpose coming very close to the scene where the Frog looked quizzically as this furry marauder, anticipating something a bit unpleasant. Indeed the tiny hunter lifted it’s paw and both Frog and Pad became immersed and was gone.

But the little Bear had another idea. Why not climb upon a lily pad herself and make like a frog. But this plan with a bit flawed, might one say. With a whoosh and a ripple the Bear fell below the surface. However she was persistent and tried many times.

The problem is that the little Bear soon tired and then with no strength left, she like the Frog and the Pad slipped before the surface. The mother had been watching concernedly and roared and made it’s way to where the baby was.

The father bear dropped his remote and came rushing down the mountainside and into the water and saved the water-soaked Cub to their little spot beneath the large Willow Tree. There as a family they reposed. A lesson to all of them and the end of this story.

Floods

However in this story, the Bear never sleeps nor watches games of hieroglyphics on the wall. In common terms, “He’s got this”. The mother and baby are safe now as the distraught mother beseeched the Man on the Hill.

He is Risen

The Knocking and our missteps.

Falling Short

When want people to see us, we want them to see us, at our best.    But who is really ‘good’? And problems?  Everyone has those too.  Our goodness is relative anyway and goodness does not assure us of a totally happy existence.  And besides,  what do we really  know about each other?

Have you heard about the person who ALWAYS speaks his or her mind?   Usually they have very few friends and acquaintances who trust them.    And why do we tell people secrets,  as if we already knew they wouldn’t keep them?   Do we really enjoy the excitement of drama that is against us?

And how many times have we presumed to know what would be just a hypothetical?  That we would do such and such and say it always ‘them’?   The truth is,  we are all deceptive to one degree or another and this includes an inherent total depravity.   None of us wants to hear of our own weaknesses and dare I say it,  potential for evil?

Let’s face it,  we do at one point or another covet,  whether it is a person, a place or a thing.  That idyllic little something that would bring clarity and fulfillment and we would also do anything to get it?   I am no better and probably worse.   Though it is probably something that no one knows about.   Maybe some kinky sexual fantasy or an sudden impulse to break something.

It is also hard to accept that God may not want us.   He may simply pass us by and our relative goodness and our accumulated wealth would be for naught.  I believe at the very least we can have some perspective about us and others,  not assuming that our ‘goodness’ was not something intrinsic in us and that make our forever more agreeable.

The only intrinsic beauty is God.  A God who knows himself,  yet at the same time loves us.  He loves who he loves and who he doesn’t for whatever reasons is the way it is.  I am not being cavalier or judging your relative goodness or badness,  except to say,  we should practice good with God’s grace.

My cousin died at 22.  He was a very good man and it seems a shame.  But my opinion could never save him, due to an intrinsic flaw in all of us.   Look at story of the kids on an island.   At first life was harmonious but then human nature began to shape as it really is.   All I can say is be good and be humble and contrite.    And I am not saying be sad and that you cannot be happy most of the time,  but take it from me,  I am okay yet just as corrupt as anyone else, give or take.

Mark Twain