061_the_new_literacyAll right, enough already!  The sexual tension between these two forms is driving me nuts.  Nobody buys this mutual dislike as anything but a prelude to getting a room and making babies.  Get on with it!

For a long time we had a bunch of privileged intellectuals manufacturing consent by dividing the peanut butter and the celery between LIT and RACY, also known as high and low literature.  The “stuff that matters” from the unwashed laundry of the masses who don’t count because they are the bewildered herd and must be told what to value.

Along comes the E in Ebook and all of a sudden Pbooks are revealed for what they are—form, not the actual consciousness that inspires culture.  The entire social control mechanism that maintains access to distribution to consciousness is laid bare.  People naturally begin to ask questions, particularly those in the bewildered herd who have never known expression before.

That delicious E is the hammer in the Apple ad.  Thor’s hammer, the bolt of the storm that is the Aquarian lightning age, connecting thought.  The contact that is the point of all literature both high and low, author and reader touching each other, both one and apart, oscillating in response.  AUM.

In that moment of explosion, she joins the LIT and the RACY into LITERACY, one of the more stunning discoveries of this medieval age of thinking.  Now paper (earth) can be thought (air) and vice versa.

This is an unavoidable revolution in consciousness occurring right before our eyes.  As this bolt of electricity strikes earth and ignites a firestorm in the forest of paper, a lot of people are going to have to flee for their lives as their comfortable burrows and nests burn to the ground.

Make no mistake; this is a painful thing for a lot of ordinary folks who depend on the old growth forest for their lives.  But understand those who welcome the change as well as those who cringe in the foliage.  Everybody, and I mean EVERY BODY on any side of the fence is in on this.  We all get to participate as the forest burns down around our ears.  Open your heart and listen to the things you haven’t heard.

I emphasize with the struggle; those about to be hurt by the flames could be me, or someone I care about.  I’m excited and terrified both—where do I run?  Where do you run?  Who is already cut off from the lake—wait, is this the dry season?  That cave a safe haven or a future oven filled with smoke?  What is right action?  Shock the monkey!

It is a time for fear.

The copyright-royalty model is outdated and inefficient.  It is primarily a system for putting access to the forms of consciousness into the hands of concentrated centers of impersonal power, justified by projecting an image of the properly compensated and approved artist for their labors.

Don’t delve too far into that model—for every lucky artist you’ll find thousands ripped off, their rights in the vault of some conceptual entity that doesn’t count as a moral agent.  The millions who don’t get to participate at all because only “artists” can do that stuff?  They get to pay to know what they think.

Alternate economic models and mechanisms of access have been out for years.  Novels were the death of real books, just as recordable audiotape was the death of records and libraries would destroy bookstores.  Those with privilege, who stand to lose the most by sharing, always cry bitterly when community insists that people raise their standard of living more humanely.  Specialists are going to have to share their space with more generalists.

Access to data is still affected by class.  The decline of fossil fuels and rare metals leads to a cage match between military contracts and consumer electronic manufacturers.  The iron rule of oligarchy always obtains.  But humans are naturally moral and strive for freedom.  The human condition is nature’s way of making us figure it out.

The Kindle and the iPad are already ancient history.  You think that’s what the kids are using?  I’ll let that one be a surprise.  Developers hate Apple.  Who is going to put Ebooks in the hands of starving villagers with a credit card?

The price for everything is inflated.  People want what they want now and they want to pay what they want to pay.  You going to tell the vast majority of mindless beasts how to think?  Good luck!  Prices will have to fall and the money to be made will shrink.  Subscriptions and proprietary ala Carte tollbooths are yesterday’s memories.  Get used to it, what you think is right doesn’t matter.

How are you going to control the exchange of thoughts?  No, seriously?  Actions can be directed with a truncheon or a lawsuit, but you going to tell people what to do with their thoughts?  Even brutal dictatorships let people think what they want as long as they obey.  Rust always trumps the iron rule in the end.

Nobody can predict the future.  If you think that’s what I’m doing you aren’t paying attention.  Invigorated by the conflagration, the forest will grow back.  The new life is always greater than the old.  The status quo is death; plenty of new species will migrate to fill the void.  That’s the scary thought—who will be the new neighbor?  Won’t you be my neighbor?

The playing field gained a new dimension as well as a new form.  This isn’t squeezing anything out; it’s rather that the old way of doing things is not going to dominate any more.  It will have to content itself with being a smaller fraction of a greater whole.

Yes, this means even the crap gets a say.  Or do you mean “the crap we don’t approve of”?  I say let the crap hounds have their say and show us what they got.  If they can’t ante up they’ll make for some fine fertilizer in the new forest.  Freedom of speech means the right to participate alongside the great names and have your turn to speak—look at any sportscaster program with call-ins.

All of us start at the Level Zero crap hound bottom.  Never forget we all begin in ignorance and grow according to many variables outside our conscious control.  It’s in all our interests to create ecosystems of variable creative exploration.  It’ll do both the wizards and the crap hounds some good.

Physical objects are totems to show allegiance.  Don’t underestimate that.  Also keep in mind that whatever is not nailed down is mine and whatever I can pry loose is not nailed down.  Thoughts want to be free, so let them be so!  Air always escapes a prison.  The point is to hook up people who have an affinity with your thoughts and gratify them with stuff they actually want.

Youth culture is already doing this.  They grow up with everything that ever was at their fingertips, creating their own wants and satisfying their own curiosity.  Literacy is exploding like a thunderbolt.  Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand.

Doomsday fantasies of resentment can eat my shorts.  We’re already there.  The hum of the lightning age moves through an emerging electro-agrarianism that will bring both a shadow we’ve never encountered before and a worldwide literacy the likes of which cannot be conceived of.

Just wait until you see the child Pbook and Ebook make together.

The hybrid is the message of the savior of humanity, believe it!

That’s what my friend h-bomb said. I believe she is correct. It’s time to kick this series to the curb and look for the new life that will feed us.

K and I have been watching the original series and made a horrific discovery. The old series is out of print. What is being sold now is the old series with the special effects and opening music revised. Basically, all the special effects shots have been replaced by modern CGI scenes in an attempt, I suppose, to inject new life in the series. Talk about revisionist history!

Dude, the crappy special effects were part of the charm. This is just stupid. Things like the colorization of black and white film, or the re-release of the Star Wars trilogy aren’t audience-driven explorations.

All the coprorate (like my new spelling?) owners have done is made Star Trek more irrelevant. Face facts suits, this golden goose has been throttled to death, you ain’t getting squat anymore, no matter how you re-imagine this stuff.

Well, okay. A livejournal acquaintance (Tweedle Me Deedles!) once did a post about how simplistic and ridiculous the old Star Trek was and I didn’t want to believe him. He’s right though. This stuff just doesn’t hold up anymore, did it ever? It’s headed right for the dustbin of history as a fad. Hek, I’m wondering if Science Fiction itself isn’t headed the same way these days.

Even the reboot wasn’t anything new or different, just more of the same. When you start adjusting the show to try and maintain the interest, the process has entered a recycling sandpit. Each effort thereafter is going to be worse off than the one before. How many people do you know are talking about Star Trek and how “fresh” it is? For goodness sakes, there’s a reason why ideas die and are reborn in new forms. Get on with it already!

The youth aren’t getting drawn in either, they’ve already got their awesome cool dude stuff to hit up for tasty culture goodness AND they can hit it on the old school front as well. There’s no “drawing in a new generation” anymore. The kids are born with it all now.

The bad moments of behavior in Star Trek just seem to get worse as I get older. The solutions to the problems in consciousness just irk me at times, the course of thinking that are pursued. Of course, as a kid I didn’t notice these things quite so much (it was a different collective consciousness at that time). But now, ugh. The flaws just stand out like sore festering zits.

The evil bureaucracy of Star Trek is there right at the beginning. Something that shouldn’t exist at all if this is a “hopeful vision of the future”. The much-vaunted solving of poverty-disease-crime seems to me not a matter of the system now but a result of warp drive energy (dependent upon rare dilithium crystals, oh the resource wars never end). The citizens of the federation enjoy increased standards of living because of the abundance of energy, not because they have rights.

The settler colonialism expressed in “The Apple” episode, made me laugh out loud. Yes, let’s force our way of thinking on the natives because our way is better. It’s somewhere around this time that references start being made to a Prime Directive. Maybe the Prime Directive was coming into being as a means of justification, not unlike the Just War Theory bogeyman is used to excuse violence.

Watching the evil Kirk from “The Enemy Within” attack yeoman Rand in her quarters, followed by the awful post-assault counseling that McCoy gives (with Kirk present and demanding she explain herself!), made me cringe. This is the kind of care that exists in the future? Pathetic. Hard to watch.

The cheap jokes at Spock’s expense—mostly based upon the science officer’s physical characteristics. I mean, okay it’s close friends busting balls for comedy relief. But it still strikes me as unfunny and a bit too much of showing the reptile brain.

Not that the intention of the series creator doesn’t exert an influence. And it should be remembered that the network suits were interfering daily with attempts at making a moral statement. If you consider the times in which this TV show appeared, to even suggest that the crew have a female black officer or a Russian weapons officer was a ballsy move.

There are times when Star Trek does begin to reveal a vision that transcends it’s mediocre reality in-play. When the crew members pursue more compassionate lines of inquiry (trying to understand the Horta in “Devil In The Dark”, or use the translator in “Metamorphosis”) the narrative holds together more strongly. This is true exploration.

The show is not important because of what it depicts, but what it evokes—an imagination of a better future. The seeds of a future society taking root in the present, which for us is now in the past.

I will always love the original series, as broken and simple-minded as it appears now. However, the time has come to re-examine the show, break it into bits and cast it into the flames. We can do better, and we will do better if we try.

A five decade journey that was worthwhile, but now it’s time to dock and see what we’ve learned. There’s more to life than charting gaseous anomalies.

041_hek_x.jpgXtine, you’ve been showing us that you know who the great actresses are.  You’ve gone up and down the line, and truthfully, I didn’t realize how wise and talented some of these women were.  How much they have earned our respect for the choices they have made.

Reminds me of a film I haven’t seen in a while.  The great and noble feminine soul swallowing up the harsh light of raging societal oppression.

But I think there’s something you aren’t owning up to.  Or maybe it just seems like that because your mantra-like meditation IS the owning up to it.  This becoming, a recitation of the mighty to lend you strength as you work it out.

What I mean is, realize it:  You are right with those women this very moment, in the cantina, talking about the DEAL.  Yeah, some of them are digging up some pretty amazing psychic roots or growing amazing spiritual tomatoes.  That stuff feeds us, it gets into the psychological food chain of the people.

I’m talking about the richness that comes from a mutual, shared creative space where different skill levels can discourse about what is going on.  There isn’t a hierarchy here, but a circular field where everybody’s tending their own plot.  You have every right to speak with them about what it is you are doing.

Heroines are there to show us yes, you can do it too.  The source of genius is in all of us.  We are all called and all are chosen, those who answer that call.  You are not alone Hek-sistah.  You walk the same halls and accessways as these magnificent women, one with all of them.  As you speak with your true voice they are spoken of with respect.

Never underestimate pink.

(I sure would like to be a fly on the wall during those ding dang darn conversations.  Because in that bytch-power cantina, the bar is always open and flowing with great cocktails and delicious snacks.  That’s the battleship bandwidth they’re packing that Xtine mentions, Saturnalia afternoon style.  These women are in the howse, goin’ for what’s theirs, yo.)

038_mccoy.jpgOh boy, Star Drek 11 is almost at the local rip-off theater!  I wasn’t going to see it or make any comments, as my original statement kind of says it all.  But now K wants to see it, so I’m going to have to take sensor readings and generate a readout.

Watching the trailers, I can feel the noisome clutch of propaganda.  Are you a troubled punk (like Kirk)?  A confused young man (like Spock)?  Don’t worry, just join the United Empire Federation of Homo Sapiens Planets, strap on a uniform, and blast all weapons at those funny looking aliens who hate our freedums.  The Empire Federation will give you purpose and hook you up with a bunch of other young volunteers all looking for extreme sports in exotic locales.  Who doesn’t want to fly around the colonies galaxy stopping the evuhl terrorist alien WMD plot of the week?

It’s the dodge and distraction of action to elicit desire.  “See how cool this is?  Don’t cha want it?”

To think that I’ve lived long enough to see Star Trek reduced to a “wider audience” (what a lewd term that is!), least common denominator space battle action story.  And to think that I will be watching it in the modern theater of high-priced no-fun.  What springs to mind is that I am required to undergo a communal ritual of some sort over a cult object whose original significance has been largely forgotten.

Well, hey I got news for those “of the body”.  I already lived it man.  I saw the last voyage of the Starship Enterprise back when it first aired in 1976.  Years later, I copied the script from Starlog and performed the play in front of my 7th and 8th grade peers.  I got to play Spock and have my ears pulled off by the prop crew.  I lived this man!  Started it up, directed it, cast it, ran it at twelve years old.  Been there, done that.

That Star Trek is dead doesn’t bother me now.  As long as I live and have the use of my mind I can always travel back in time and embrace the joy in days of future past.  That the idea has been taken over and made into something to appeal to a younger audience that supposedly doesn’t demand much from its entertainment is okay with me.  The youngins need to be exposed to garbage so they’ll have healthy immune systems.

How would I do better?  I’d start by asking, Dr. Ian Malcolm style, “assuming I could do better, should I?”  No.  I’d never make another Star Trek movie or episode ever again.

Seriously, if all the wonderful hours spent watching and learning about the Star Trek universe hasn’t got you out there living as a better lifeform, then you have not gotten the message.  If the Church of Star Trek just keeps taking your donations you are not going to be saved.  Go out there and make the “better world” of Star Trek now.  Start imagining how we overcome our problems and become worthy of discovery among the stars.

Or sit next to me in a high-priced, sweat-stained theater with the collective.  We can watch the explosions and imagine the future as excitement for the privileged few.

034_intoinfinity.jpgScrambling about in the between-ways of my brain.  Which incidentally resemble the long underground halls of school buildings built in the fifties, with fallout shelters and hidden caches of supplies.  Mostly way-past-their-date cans of beans and crackers.

In the flickering candlelight I see two themes.  The rusting and crumbling structures of a prison-like architecture, or the dark and echoing tiled halls of an underground hideout structure that while faded and dirty, still seems habitable.

That little demon child is still out there. Small, but fast and vicious.  Just being here scares the stuffing out of me.  My instincts are humming at me to get away, get out.  Panic and fear!

Then I come across a piece of paper with a drawing on it of a long, cylindrical spaceship.  On the back, written in magic marker is the phrase “into infinity”.

Whoa, flashback time.  I remember this spaceship from a TV show way back.  But I can’t remember anything about the show itself except a few brief images, and the crew of the ship being drawn into a black hole at the end or something.

So my science officer does the old internets search-a-roo and I find out the full title of the TV movie is The Day After Tomorrow—Into Infinity.  I find out lots after that.  That the captain of the vessel is played by the same actor who played Alan from Space 1999, one of my favorite shows as a kid!  The DVD of the movie is only available to people who join the Gerry Anderson fan club.

Gerry Anderson did a lot of science fiction shows, some of which I watched with the folks when I was a kid.  Shows like UFO and Space 1999.  I had no idea he’d made this movie that I hardly remember now, but which my Bad Ronald obviously hasn’t forgotten.

In the movie, the crew of the ship reaches their appointed destination (YouTube is our friend!) and have to make a decision.  Return to earth with all the data they’ve gathered on Alpha Centauri or continue on into the unknown and risk danger.  They decide to press on, and as a result they get into hot water, while their adventure begins.  The movie was meant to be the pilot for a new science fiction series; it just didn’t reach that goal.

I certainly don’t want to find myself on the other side of a black hole never to return to earth, but I’m thinking there’s a similar choice here.  Go back to the visible hallways of the haunted house in my brain or travel onwards.

It means a lot to me that this small piece of my past is returned to me.  And unlike the protagonists in the movie, I believe I’m equipped with the means to find out what happens afterward.  I see friends of mine making brave steps forward, reaching out into the darkness for a connection with their own lives and the lives of others.

I’m traveling onwards.

Outside, there’s a crazy party of activity going on.  Every conceivable creature is out here.  There are monsters, spirits, really weird beings, strangers, aliens, victims, and mad scientists.  I haven’t the wherewithal to deal with that right this moment.  One thing at a time.

Naturally, I walk through the door and into the unknown.  The doors creak closed behind me.  Trapped like a rat!  My Mirage has been waiting for me to reach this point in our dialogue.  I thought I was dealing with my shadow, and perhaps I am a little.  Now, I’m not so sure.  He’s the dark king of the underworld waiting for me to arrive, and it’s turning me for a loop how this has turned out.

I’m awake and now the nightmare must end.  The clarion calls of the dawn are calling me so very fudging hard.  The night in the haunted house is over, in the deep me of me.  My Mirage is there before me in this large, empty house with nothing in it but him.  He is ready for this moment, preparing for it for years.

I can hardly believe how empty the place is.  It’s not what I expected at all.  Zippo.  The whole place looks ready to crumble.  He tells me things I can hardly hear because there’s this din in my mind’s ear.  I liked having a Mirage that was scary and cool.  He reassures me and says this is how it happens.  One day you’re done, and you have to let go.

I’m told everything has been accounted for, and transferred to me for the duration (of what?).  Okay, whatever.  So what do I do now?  How do I slay myself?

He says I slew him years ago.  This is only a recording.  His last request is that I draw a picture and reflect fondly on him now and then.  I’ve been afraid of myself, talking to myself all along.  It was all a shadow of the imagination that has passed in the night.  Oh god how I miss him already, a hole in my heart the size of a person who no longer is.

Good Lord, Count Gore De Vol is a prophet.  The end of Captain 20’s ship, the last night party of Creature Feature.  Channel 20 is canceled all over again, and now it’s just me, with no super creature horror filler hour anymore.  I’ve got to be my own horror host from now on; no one will do it for me.

I understand.  I’ve heard those words before from someone else.  “I am not coming back.  It’s up to you now.”

That’s when I notice the pen on the floor.  There’s the door to the basement, courtesy of revelations from my old friend Craig, who helped me interpret a dream once.  All I got to do is pry the boards loose and start digging through the stale poop.

But first, that picture.  Rest in peace, hero.

The opportunity came for an All-Saint’s Day hair-of-the-dog.  Almost went to see Count Gore’s hypnosis show but lost main power midway through the day, and that wasn’t enough to convince K to get out and about.  Instead, she dragged me along on one of her sudden hunches.  K’s instincts are good, so when she gets a trail on something I saddle up.

We head over to a used bookstore.  She’s looking for books on how to weave.  Her hunger for knowledge in the use of her loom is huge.  Me, I’m expecting to find nothing.  My instincts aren’t feeling hot, and I’m not on the trail of anything, so it’s a bust I’m ready for.  Which is okay, because even the missions that are failures have to be lived.  You gotta pay the dues.

Turns out I find a couple of interesting things, all clues to what’s goin’ on.  I think the unconscious washes these onto my shore as components for the next thing I’m supposed to do.  I get the feeling that the Dark Goddess must have dropped these off at the used bookstore for burger money.  A girl’s got to eat, and those late night meetings with the struggling artists in need of a vision can wear out the coffee machine.

  • A near-mint condition copy of the 1983 Dungeons and Dragons module Ravenloft. Six bucks.
  • Two DVDs of Karin (episodes 1-4 and 5-8).  Four bucks each.
  • Two CDs of trance techno – Blank and Jones “DJ Culture” and Global Underground “Afterhours” (3 CDS).  Six bucks and nine bucks respectively.

Thirty bucks for some new brain protein chains?  Not bad!

For those not in the know, the Ravenloft module is considered by many DnD people to be one of the best.  Players adventure in a classic style vampire adventure, with all the expected trappings.  What is memorable about the module is some of the techniques it uses to evoke atmosphere and create a sense of player involvement in what happens.  So even though it follows a lot of the typical dungeon-kill monster-loot cycle of DnD, it has features that make every game different and more player-oriented.

I’d heard about Ravenloft recently on my sensor array, but as it’s an old module I’d have to really search to get a copy.  My researches in roleplaying theory and storytelling techniques require me to look into such sources of experimental gameplay.  And here it is, delivered in my lap for my own examination.  However, I also believe the subject matter also relates to my ongoing relationship with my Mirage.  The players are trapped in a nightmare world at the behest of an evil vampire, and they must explore the world to find the answers.  Each step leads them closer to the dark castle of the vampire where all shall be revealed!

No, not relevant to me and K’s situation at all.

I’d already watched the first ten episodes of Karin on YouTube, and loved them.  And here they are for me to watch in the comfort of my own home.  I have to say they hold up well to a repeat viewing.  I’m noticing a lot of things I missed before (always a good sign for craftwork), and I’m enjoying the study of the techniques of storytelling revelation and exploration in the show.

The theme of monsters being victimized by us, as people, is one I’ve been meditating on for a long while.  I also am drawn to the idea of Goddess-on-earth trying to find what the heavens need to survive and continue.  With a normal human dude as her sidekick instead of magical mentor with lotsa knowledge.  It’s always got to be about us.  I’m not so sure that’s a good thing anymore.  Outside, out there, things are looking to us to make things happen.  I’m drawn to the idea that we are the divine being(s’) adventure and that the work to be done involves both poles of the world.

The Dark Goddess wants me to know about this stuff.

When it comes to techno tracks, very often it’s about finding 1-3 singles that can carry you through to another state of waking vision.  My life support always needs new course calibrations to stay on course with the living spirit.  I’d heard Blank and Jones’ track “Nightfly” on Logic Trance 4 and loved it, so I figured I’d give them a try.  The Global Underground has always been a mixed bag for me, but I spotted Killing Joke’s “Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Dub Mix)” on the 3 CD set.  I really liked that song on one of my ambient collections (the name eludes me and I don’t feel like digging it up), so maybe this set will be in the same vein.

I find that when I’m ready for new states of mind, or to examine old ones from a fresh perspective, the music comes to me.  I just find it.  It might be that the music will go along with something else I’m supposed to work on.  I’ve found that the music that most closely approximates my center tends to be ambient (leaning towards dark) with trance techno in the mix.  It’s the only formula that is complex and subjective enough to bring it out.

I don’t know, maybe UFO Girl passed them along.

Already the New Year is here, and the work is afoot!  As Pluto enters Capricorn its time to hold onto your butts.  Thanks, weird beings.

My current manga and anime interests have brought me in touch with a show that stirred up the vampire issue for me again.  I’m talking about Karin, also known as Chibi Vampire.

In the show, Karin is a half-vampire in a family of vampires who live in Japan.  She has an older brother, a younger sister named Anju, and a set of parents who are all vampires themselves.  Karin goes to school and has a part time job, just like any teenager.

In the Karin world, vampires drink from specific people who have certain traits.  For example, Karin’s brother drinks from stressed out people, her father drinks from prideful people, and her mother from liars.  When vampires drink from people, they perform a service to humanity by sucking out the “bad qualities” of people, therefore making them “better people”.

Things like crosses, running water, and garlic don’t affect vampires – that’s all just human legend.  Sunlight is bad for “true vampires” – but they can go out as long as they use an umbrella or something.  I haven’t figured out what the distinction is between Karin and her family exactly – she’s some kind of “mutant” and a source of “shame” for the family.

The big thing that makes Karin different is that she is a “blood producer” vampire.  Instead of needing to suck blood, she makes blood.  So when she bites a victim, she injects her blood into the person.  Since she is drawn to “unhappy” people, she injects blood into them and makes them happy!

She meets a classmate, a normal boy, who causes her to make blood until she explodes in dramatic nosebleeds.  He encourages her to try to make him happy so he won’t cause her to make so much blood and be unable to blend in with a normal life.

So, in a sense, we’ve come full circle in terms of vampire lore.  From disgusting evil bloodsucker to natural function for the greater good creature who must remain unrecognized while doing good deeds.  How’s that for a turnaround?

I like it.

Earlier I was ranting on about how vampires must not lose their edge, that to be meaningful they have to have some connection to their dark past.  I still hold to that position.  But I think a show like Karin (Chibi Vampire) shows us a new way to look at the vampire.

To understand the darkness we must take some of it within ourselves.  Good can only remain good with the creation and fighting of evil.  I’m trying to look at the larger picture and see evil as a natural function of a healthy, operating system of life.  I like how the boy in Karin must come in contact with “evil” and remain grounded in the real world.  And I also like how the protagonist is an “evil” character trying to be normal.

The show focuses on the female character and her quest to resolve her troubles.  But I also like how the unspoken focus is on the guy in a certain sense.  You can identify with him because he is a normal guy in a weird situation, and the action is not about you, but how you can make your own issues part of the greater picture to be resolved.

In other words, rather than the “girl” being the catalyst and the mystery to be solved, it’s the guy in the position.  Karin is the protagonist, and what she does changes the stakes.  You can get involved in the fantasy of her self-discovery or you can follow along the secondary, implied path of the guy’s development as Karin forces him to confront himself.  I’m totally down with that, on both levels.

The show is fundamentally a comedy, played for the laughs of the embarrassment of characters in situation (every episode is titled “the embarrassment of…”).  The shadow of any comedy is the reality of absurdity, and the fact is that Karin is a “dark” character going through rough times (aren’t we all).  The light world of daylight illusion is a minefield to be negotiated.

The vampire is a version of ourselves.  As we understand the vampire more, our own image of our light selves becomes a little more dark.  And the dark vampire acquires a little more light.  His/her details show up more under scrutiny and we can acquire if not understanding, than a stalemate where exchanges can be made.  A treaty, if you like.

The manga Vampire Knight explores this a little.  The idea of an interchange between light and dark.  Jung talks about how the two sides of any conflict can only build a bridge between their differences by being themselves.  The vampire must be what they are, just as people must be what they are.  But what are they, either of them?  In the light, in the darkness, what is revealed about either?

If the vampires are getting “gooder” or more understandable, what are people becoming?

gvd_master.jpgBack in the late seventies, when my folks and I arrived in the Northern Virginia-DC area, I started watching a lot of WDCA Channel 20. There was this oddball character named “Captain 20”, who presided over the afternoon-to-evening cartoons and shows of the day.

He was a vulcan kind of character in a starship uniform who did contests, displayed viewer artwork, and did various announcements in between shows. I thought he was the coolest, most offbeat character I’d seen hosting television shows yet. I could hardly imagine a neater thing than a local channel with it’s own futuristic character binding your show-watching experience together with imagination.

I got to see the King Kong cartoon, Marine Boy, Ultraman, Starblazers, weird B movies and a whole host of other shows you’d never see on television today. If the guy had been nothing more than a face for the magical, hope filled studies I performed as a young creature, he would have been a worthy soul I would fight to make a place for in my vision of the Valhalla-afterlife warm up.

My folks started watching a late night horror show on Saturday nights called Creature Feature. I joined in, because the show was playing movies that had the sort of dreams I wanted to experience. Okay, so Attack of the Mushroom People was a horrible movie, but hidden within the crumminess of such movies are realms of experience accessible only through the small budget seriousness that fails.

The sacrifice of the artist creates a void inside of which the sacrament of horror is transformed into miracles.

Back in the day, before the rulers of corporate television got the insane idea that they could make more money by having a monopoly on bad programming, local channels could get pretty inventive and interesting.

For Creature Feature, Captain 20 put on a cape and scary makeup to play Count Gore de Vol, the host of the show. In between the commercials and the movie segments he would crack bad jokes, read letters from fans and respond, talk back to the cameramen telling him to get a life, and have guest stars like Penthouse Playmates or local fans.

One such guest star I saw on the tube was a person I didn’t know at the time, but would later in life. By day she is honeysuckle, but by night she’s the Incorrigible Witch. We met each other at our mutual employer, and in a twist of fate that can only be called Twilight Zone meets Funky Town, discovered we both loved the Count.

As I stared at her photo album of her visit to the Count, I discovered I’d seen her on TV. I mean, it’s one of the more vivid memories I have of those days – her getting into the Count’s Coffin to gag jokes from the studio staff while her friend looks on in shock. Life is weird.

We both look up Count Gore, and find out he has a website. Then we find out he’d moved back to Northern Virginia! She manages to get a “date” with him and catch up on old times, since she finds out they live in the same area. This is freaking me out. I got to hand it to the Incorrigible Witch, she’s got some real brass and isn’t afraid to get into the thick of strange adventures!

The Count, as his daytime alter-ego, drops by our office and gives me a genuine autographed picture. Can you dig it? We both miss him, because he’s a ramblin’ man who strikes like a fiend in the night, but the fact that he stopped by means a whole lot to me. If as a kid, I’d known that one day I’d meet that girl on TV, and get an autographed photo from the Count, it would have made me levitate for days. Not that my folks would have minded.

All of us have the potential to be horror hosts of our own monster theater. Some of us, like the Count, are naturals who show us the way to our own individual formula for happiness. Exposure to such rare minerals at an early age leads to a healthy, productive life of beneficial insanity!

This development has my Mirage’s fungus prints all over it. Horror and scary stuff really isn’t my thing, but in the spirit of Halloween and Celtic New Year I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense. I can only guess what my Mirage is cooking up, with his strange ways of doing things. Yikes, Scoob!

In the meantime, I raise a glass of cold draft cider and toast to your good health, Count! Such as it is, being undead or something. There is no other horror host like you in my pond of memories. Wolfman Jack and Ghoulardi get props from me for the ground they broke in my psyche. But it’s your weird, wonderful imagination that stands the test of time in my dark soul!

I’m driving to the parental unit’s batcave with K, and while we are waiting at the stoplight, we hear bagpipes.  I search in vain for the source.  It’s coming from the woods, and it sounds like some kind of battle march.  Well crumbs that about sums up the times, doesn’t it?

All the transmissions coming in seem to carry a certain amount of radiation identified as belonging to the economic Three Mile Island that never was.  I keep hearing denials along the lines of “this is not the great depression.”  Well, no duh buddy!  That ship has sailed.  I don’t think it’s the “Very Great Depression” either, as some econ blogs have been naming it either.

What if it’s The Depression?  As in, the one big monster that overshadows all other “adjustments” in the rich soaking the poor?  As some may know, anything preceded by “The” in its title, at least in the faerie lands, is way more powerful than any other combination of names.  This ain’t “Big Dude Depression” or “That Depression thingee”, this is THE thing.  The one that all others will be measured by.  Hope you’re ready for the barter system.

Started thinking about a movie I saw a few times as a kid, back in 1974.  Rumplestiltskin.  The dwarf that spins hair into gold for a girl who has been jacked by her father’s unrealistic image of her.  The impossible task.  I think no matter what the rich people do, the train wreck is happening.  This country’s AAA rating is toast.  We’ll never guess that name in time to send the dwarf into the center of the earth in fire.

So I watch an In Search Of… episode on YouTube.  The one about the Loch Ness Monster.  Great stuff.  Delving into the deep like a deep-sea diver for the one shot that will give us some information about the unknown.  That’s where I’m at.  But all I get from that are blurry motion pictures and straight up shots of bubbling mystery that could be anything.  I still believe there’s something going on there.

Despite the attempt to destroy the public’s attempt to be relevant, I come across a public access channel on my folk’s cable channels.  Heck, if there were more channels like this, I’d actually subscribe.  But the one channel can’t handle the weight of 99% need, and some of the programs don’t do it for me.  I understand.  Trying to break through is tough.

Amazing stuff is going on in the underground.  All you have to do is remain open.  Seek, and you shall not find.  Sit down, and wait patiently – the mystery shall give you clues.

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