Before I get started I just want to address that there are a lot of podcast updates and plenty of entries on this web-log you might be interested in. If you want to search for specific items you can use the search engine here on the upper-left, just below the logo for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and above where it says, “Links To Episodes & Chapters”. Just type in the box what topics interest you.
I am explaining this because, as I’ve analyzed the devastation of social media on the human psyche, I am noticing that a major problem with us is we aren’t using our voluntary ability to seek out what we are looking for on our own. We’ve been programmed by social media algorithms as well as those algorithms which alter what you get first in a basic online search engine. Like spandex, this blend of programming tries to make your journey online “form-fitting” to your preferences. Unfortunately that means you will have less choice in the long-run and may have found yourself being led about by the nose until you feel your freedom-of-choice is seriously lacking. (Has anyone out there forgotten how to clean their room? Me too.)
Still, search engines are the best way to get started and remember that you are in charge of making your own choices. Many suffered and fought for the right to vote and freedom of choice. Don’t get too complacent with that right or it will be taken away, believe you me. You’ll either find yourself beholden to what’s thrown at you or you’ll have no sense of direction due to being oblivious to this format. A lot of algorithms promoting a person’s perceived interests very much weakens our ability to voluntarily look for and choose what we want to do or discover.
I’ve studied the social media phenomenon and psychologists report all this will eventually self-correct. My concern is we all are feeling embarrassed having gotten addicted to it. People often don’t like to admit to “being had”. However, we are all in this silent-crisis together so I’m happy to chuckle at myself and downgrade back to “being human”.
Thankfully my previous mental and emotional dilemmas were relieved by what some call “fluff” or “slice of life” storytelling.🙂 There is some contradiction of what that means in literature as compared to theatrical works. In theatrical parlance, the term “slice of life” refers to a naturalistic representation of real life, sometimes used as an adjective, as in “a play with ‘slice of life’ dialogue”. I prefer looking at it that way even though much of what I’ve taken comes from the literature format. For those who have a high level of stress throughout most of their life these tales, books and films promote a sense of how one may live from season to season in good health. Tragedies will come, but they are rarely earth-shattering. Hence, I may remark, if one needs excessive tension or stories containing massive amounts of abuse, “They must have a very comfortable life to require that much drama and excitement.” (With Dark Shadows I would fast-forward through certain lagging scenes with the words, “The suspense is boring me.”)
If one has listened to my librivox material it will be noticed my preferred reading material is “slice of life” or “fluff”. I have also repeatedly read almost every fictional work by L.M. Montgomery, then I found the Fairacre series by Miss Read. The protagonist is an excellent example of a lady who is proud and satisfied with being a spinster regardless of how many nosy neighbours feel she should be otherwise. (Yes, I figuratively shout from rooftops about being a happily married woman thanks to Barnabas Collins and Maggie “Josette” Evans, but I maintain those without any romantic-paring inclinations may feel absolutely free to be themselves too!) With my readings of Vladimir Nabokov I find the same steady but intricate components that one would have in this genre even if some of it is intense or dark, but with all of these authors the depth of vocabulary is especially stimulating for description and comprehension.
I was about to enter the worlds of Beverley Nicols and D.E. Stevenson but I fell into The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and here we are. Still, I mention these authors and creations for the sake that my own previous anxieties and struggles were lifted by what I learned imbibing them. Having lived in a form of hyperspace for so long I now have to downgrade to a human pace again and re-learn how to function in it. I deduce many other people could benefit from doing the same.
Much in the way of “stuff” needs to be sorted and thrown away, and a great deal already has been. I got a good start when Melissa entered my life. (Thank you!) More telephone calls or voice calls help this. Technical troubles still loom but finding ways to take care of them will be at a human pace, plenty of time to reflect on the everyday while one is standing in line or sitting in waiting rooms for tech support. If I’m bored there I can read some Victorian non-fiction to pass the time. (I still plan to get to Dark Shadows 1897, right?)
Correspondence? OH, YES! A precious few people still write letters and email. I like to watch the shows and take notes on them while I respond to those letters. In fact you might enjoy my reflections of what’s happening on Bewitched, Dark Shadows, The Munsters or The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and have some of your own to send in return. Good fun. (The Addams Family is heavy note-taking, I’m afraid. That clan has way too many details I need to analyze.)
Exercise? Yes. In fact I keep telling myself I can listen to Pit episodes in order to build new ones while doing said exercise. Fitness routines need space and I’m still working on creating more space. Boy, I miss my fitness routines! Nutrition needs to be seen to; Getting back to a better diet, more leafy greens and fewer carbohydrates especially.
For The Pit? Well, that’s what this web-log is supposed to be about rather than me grousing at you all of the time. Endora and Captain Gregg will be an interesting dilemma but I have my ideas. It will be better when I reach that part and they let me know what they would say after studying them again. Sam Evans is still around so his reactions to all that’s going on are wonderful. Willie Loomis is calming down some, but we know how his sense of panic and explosive responses can maintain while our trusty butler, Wadsworth, provides the guidance he and others need. I’m sure Willie’s bonding time with Sarah continues as well as Sarah’s playtime with David.
Barnabas is sittin’ pretty with the odd return of Josette as Maggie Evans. They aren’t married yet in The Pit but that doesn’t mean they’re going to keep their hands off of each other. Plus Barnabas is ever the affectionate soul to friends, family and his lover alike. I used to tease him more but getting into his persona expresses the richness in romance and tenderness for that one-true-love and in doing so opens one’s heart to the complexity of love and our need to attain that which is thought to be unattainable.
With Maggie Evans there is a duality to work through. How much is her journey? How much is her as Josette once more? The core of a person has variables. Memories unlocked provide her with answers she was striving to find, and as she remembers each detail slowly she has to decide what of her lover’s future she is allowed to reveal and what to keep secret from Barnabas so he can prove himself enough to ensure her trust again as a partner in wedlock someday. Still, she knows, there are plenty of bases that can be covered before one reaches home plate. ;)
Victoria Winters is coming into an understanding of her own powers as well as the past she couldn’t find and how it links with Collinwood. Morticia and Grandmama know Victoria has those answers within herself and wish to offer a way for Victoria to uncover them. Meanwhile I believe Peter Bradford is learning about Gomez Addams’ fixation with toy trains. I’m sure both guests are getting used to the hearty meals on Cemetery Lane. (Actual hearts likely included, of course.)
Lily Munster (passport alias Lily Drake) is looking more like Yvonne DeCarlo as Cousin Elizabeth Stoddard smiles with approval, but still there is all that pesky luggage to store and seasickness cures to consider before the wonders of their Atlantic voyage allows them more to unveil on their journey.
One thing I’m feeling strange about is where Roger Collins will be put in all of this. I really love that area of Dark Shadows in which Elizabeth and Barnabas are holding down the fort. How this will turn out with Elizabeth gone and Roger remaining is anyone’s guess! (Wait… I’m getting ideas… uh-oh…)
Tony Peterson and Carolyn Stoddard? I’m all for more of them. There is another date coming, another sunrise, another chance to go for walks, make out, and complain about paperwork and law-crap. Very possibly more Schooner Bay and Carolyn Muir in the works. Maybe Martha, too! That would be hip. (Please don’t ask for Claymore. He scares me. Ha ha.)
Dr. Hoffman and Professor Stokes? I need to watch more Dark Shadows because I know they have a chemistry I can tap into, plus they’ve worked well as a team. But Julia is likely feeling overwhelmed with her new suitor and Eliot has to pace himself before he woos her without feeling a little awkward, of course.
I have to find a way to bring Amy and Chris Jennings into the picture. Amy will be fascinating as I have to get to know her again and discover if there is any need for her to be aware of Sarah Collins ghost, or would Sarah want to shy away? It’s a good question. As for Chris, I believe our Mr. Wells will be pleased as punch he has a guest at The Inn who wants to be secluded for his own noisy activity! After Nicholas Blair in room # 13? I have a feeling Mr. Wells shan’t be arsed to investigate Chris Jennings room! He was warned and has had enough stress dealing with whatever demonic noises come out of Blair’s quarters.
Bill Malloy… how does he enter the picture, how does his ghost feel about Elizabeth Stoddard out in the open? How far has he come and how much farther will he go now that his hometown residents are regaining good sense, easy-going humour, and more acceptances of their spooks which would include himself?
Angelique Bouchard is a tough case. Somewhere in the Dark Shadows series she is missing until her return in 1897. In The Pit I see her returning with an encounter of Endora and Samantha somehow in tow, whether they decide to confront her in 1897 or more modern day. Diablos is a presence neither Endora, Samantha or even Serena nor Uncle Arthur have any use for. What they might think of Nicholas Blair is another story.
Sir Simon Milligan and Manservant Hecubus continue to vie for Angelique’s affections, but in the meantime the two of them are likely getting “Girl-Drink Drunk”.
As for Daryl Wor, I will try to take my own advice. Live day to day, chat with friends verbally, go out into the fresh air and accomplish routine tasks, throw out unneeded items to thrift stores, recycling or garbage piles. Eat well, write letters, mind the nutrients, create more episodes via the original shows and the guidance of their characters in this new journey we’re on. There is nothing I can do about the lost friendships but to mourn them in confusion and keep going. The social landscape has changed irrevocably. Presume those people will never come back. (It’s hard for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.)
Remove oneself from the hyperspace of social media.
Downgrade to “being human” again.