Well, with the final needed commentary of up to five chunky responses per episode (not that I don’t encourage shorter ones else where) and the release of Episode 14: Reunion At The Old House, I’m beginning to finally soothe my wounds. Strangers met in various spots and a trickle of old friendships renewed are showing me the world of thoughtfulness and caring has not entirely come to an end.
I never could believe being an online entertainer would bring so much grief, but it sure has. I see people who are capable in the daily complexities of human life get online and become vegetation when it concerns anything positive. The general hail attitude of “social” networks is really the most depressing thing I’ve witnessed. The facade of showing off enjoyable vacations to people who aren’t allowed to go on one is incredibly detrimental. Moreover it’s gross to see the fading of positive discussion revert to “clicks” and “shares”. What does this leave us? The negative discussion. People won’t stop complaining about the tiniest aspects. And when they complain about entertainment as if it’s out there wielding a sword toward their soul, something that is imbibed by choice, I must wonder if they are aware they have any choice about it.
Still, I came home from my Halloween celebration and realized it was time. My sweetheart didn’t take up too much of the bandwidth in the house and Episode 14 was all ready and waiting to lend itself to ears unknown. Rather quick reaching iTunes too. I had it transferred in almost no time. I was gratefully listening in and fell asleep with it playing. My love affair with Willie Loomis may continue after all. ❤
Of course, the wisdom Wadsworth brings still touches me after all of this time. It’s as if I am Willie Loomis and Wadsworth has made tea for me and explains, “You know you’ve hardly been treated very well and you likely got the idea that such behaviour was both normal and natural.” Wadsworth is right. I even gloried in so many like-clicks once upon a time. That glory was short-lived but I made an acceptance briefly that clicks were just peachy. They never were and they never will be. It’s a way of whittling down the positive to an emptiness so shallow we couldn’t even see what it did to us.
And here I am having become a monster myself. Having a temper about technical aspects, like files not loading right, or a character voice not coming out as well as I would like (Alan Alda’s “Hawkeye” is a major pain!) is one thing. But to be told repeatedly on the aspect of silence and clicks that “this is just the way things are” is anathema to a grieving soul. I feel as if I was shouting the soonest and the loudest and now? Several people have approached me about “social” networks and saying,
“God! This is so stupid!”
“This is empty. I’ve never met any of these people and we never talk to each other.”
“I can’t believe I spent five hours last night clicking a bunch of worthless crap.”
“I don’t touch that thing. If my brother can’t be bothered to call his own sister or our mother on the telephone then I don’t see much love there at all.”
“Yeah, Facebook. It’s a bunch of s****y people saying a bunch of s*****y things.”
“Why the heck am I staring at still shots of Gomez Addams when I could be watching the man?”
“I can’t take it anymore! I have to get off this thing and SEE SOMEONE!”
“I miss doing all the things that I love like reading, writing, visiting people or viewing my favorite shows and movies.”
“When did I decide that being completely alone in my apartment all of the time without really contacting anyone was how life was meant to be lived?”
“What is the point of a social network when all anyone does is click with nothing added?”
“I feel like my brain died for two years.”
Okay, it’s not just me. However I will venture to say I feel the suffering more than most. When you’re looking for insight and laughs from an entertainment product you never could have dreamed you could create while everyone has gone into a hypnotic realm of only speaking up when there is something negative and only clicking or lurking when there is something they enjoy? Well… you have what I have become: A monster, and the kind of monster Barnabas Collins was ashamed to be. His love for his friends and family is so deeply felt he had little choice but to wallow in some sense of evil, then back-pedal when he acclimated to a new set of loved ones. The depth of his character is beyond remarkable.
Dark Shadows fandom is likely the hardest thing to make a relief series for in this time of technological confusion and disconnect with people. If The Addams Family fans encouragement, and The Ghost & Mrs. Muir’s gentler aspect didn’t exist I’m not sure where on earth I could have ended up. Worse than this? Another victim of suicide? Thankfully, enough people spoke up just when I needed them most and spoke up with fury at the negativity they witnessed, both in their lives and about characters they loved. And they all finally said the same thing, “You don’t deserve this, Daryl. You’re a human being with feelings. Not an entertainment machine.” Bless you, yes. And may I add, “Aren’t we all?”
Perhaps this is another reason why the extremists of Dr. Hoffman pushing the issue with her unrequited love for Barnabas Collins became so severe. Unrequited love feels neglect very strongly. What time in our history would it have been stronger than right now? Many of these people are angry at not getting the attention they need, not feeling heard, even some Angelique extremists are in that same boat. Now would be the time to go ape-s**t on strangers from a sense of losing loved ones to their becoming robots everywhere they look. Why not go crazy on a fictional character and those who adore him for himself?
Plus these people have the most to lose because they managed to sway public opinion about who he loves or should love due to the pile up of story after story previously written. Who would have thought so many fans would ever be able to watch Dark Shadows in its entirety again? But now it’s happening. People see 1795 and mourn Barnabas’ losses. Fans re-watch and re-discover who had what feelings for whom. And they ask, “What was I reading all of that time? I’m not seeing and hearing the same people on this screen.” It must be heart-breaking and confusing as Hell.
(The speculation and insinuation about the actors is even more grotesque. I never, ever wished to bother them. They have their own lives just as we all do. And I can’t contemplate the merest desire of stalking the memory of dead people to sway anyone’s opinion beyond taking what they expressed at face value. Tabloid newspapers and magazine columnists have much to answer for in fixating our minds to this excess merely to make money.)
I recall Walter Koenig expressing that Star Trek was the science-fiction of his life because it had so little bearing on who he was as a person. This is one of the reasons I am so expressive with my own life to make sure no one is getting the wrong idea about me. Short attention spans don’t help this much, but that’s likely the reason Providence put this blog-writing into my perspective. It can be read repeatedly until some blasted humanity finally sinks in with someone and for keeps.
I have been given a plethora of gifts and extraordinary talent in a time when it’s not wanted enough to be appreciated well by those who enjoy it. The focus is to only discuss the negative right now, minus a precious few people out there. When that is the focus and that is the constant exposure the result creates a very impolite demon out of someone. Rather than encourage those who have something better to offer, the general online public prefers to insult and badmouth in great detail anything they even remotely dislike online. It hasn’t just made me “insane”, the constant attitude has made many others just as foul themselves. (My mind is still reeling at so many hateful reviews about “The Time Machine” movie that came out in 2002! Sheesh! Did that hurt anyone other than the poor women playing The Morlocks???)
So here we are in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I never knew that title would be so damned fitting! It sure speaks volumes during this dreadful age of online negativity. I’ve had pen pals, on paper, express to me, “Is everyone just socially inept or psychotic?! Dear Heavens! I see name-calling and spiteful words on book reviews or at the people who loved the books!”
But this begs the question: Where are the people who aren’t psychotic nor socially inept?
They exist outside the online world. Some of them only show these tendencies when they “plug-in”. Phone calls and voice chats show me people who are very different from what they type. Extremely different in fact. This was the purpose in making the darn postcards, really. (I still don’t understand why so many people online tried to dissuade me from doing that.) Hence the need for places like… the library… the churches… community centers… Not all of them are the perfect fit for anyone but choice and differences are still available. Some of these people rarely “plug-in”. Actually, some are planning to go from smart-phone to flip-phone so they feel they won’t be getting constant notifications about what people are posting anymore. Quality time for themselves.
In this frightful journey of excessive peaks and valleys I discovered I am sure a whole lot smarter and wiser than I was ever given credit for. I also discovered chat rooms still exist, THANK GOD! A stream of typed discussion, even in abbreviations is un-clickable. Really gets me out of that awful habit sometimes. Some chatters apologize for their typos and I tell them, “No. It’s okay. I can speak typo! I understand what you’re saying. It’s clicks and silent numbers and memes and cartoon stickers I don’t understand. I can’t really speak meme or link. I just can’t comprehend those languages most of the time.”
I also discovered other avenues of social activity are still alive and kicking. Coronet Instructional Films may be cheesy, but “What To Do On A Date” makes a good point to this day, even in simple friendships. Claims one only uses Facebook for pictures can easily be compartmentalized in places like pinterest, instagram, or snapchat. And quieter social networks without pinging notifications are used by many, they’re just quieter is all. They don’t make noises like they are constantly ringing your doorbell.
However, Colonel Mustard in the film Clue does have this to say,
“Now there is still one thing I don’t understand.”
I suppose I’ll have to respond as Professor Plum does: