Substance and Choice

Howdy folks! (Or should I say, “Greetings, programs!”?)

 

I am currently working on Episode 19 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, “Happy Hour In Hell”. Some of this is slightly altered from what I might have done if I hadn’t found a wonderful audience member who had certain preferences and needs. Hence the desire for feedback of what is enjoyed and what might be creeping someone out. She’s never argued with me about the content of the show, but has mentioned one or two elements making her feel, “not good”. It’s more about her than me and that’s fine. Having good friends in this endeavour sheds light on it and helps greatly.

 

And that leads me to having enough breathing space and a reprieve from the panic to be able to look at the whole of the situation and be concerned for the bystanders. I can’t imagine there is no feeling of personal shock in being swayed to use toxic technology which promised to strengthen our friendships that then managed to derail or obliterate those friendships. And the encouragement to criticize certainly didn’t help!

 

There are any number of reasons we have storytelling in our lives; processing the days events, managing a way to make sense of tragic situations, learning historical data, but a big one I feel we’ve almost entirely lost is the luxury of it. Storytelling was something to do when a hard day of work was finished. Leisure. It was a prize to be earned through patience, something to look forward to. What with all the criticizing happening to so much of it now? One would think we were going from one misery job to another!

 

I’m very aware I have a choice in my entertainment. I learned this distinctly upon going to the theater to see “Alien3” on the first day it was released. I believe I was among many viewers who wanted to walk out of the theater from the beginning when we discovered they’d automatically killed off some of our favourite characters from the previous movie. Years later some of us were very willing to the idea of another instalment in which Ripley awoke from a terrible dream! (I believe a few of us still are.) And so when “Terminator 3” was released I checked the cast, the content, got an idea of the whole purpose in why it was being made and… didn’t see it. I do not feel as if I have missed out whatsoever. (I’ve been curious about the one with Christian Bale, though.)

 

I love the works of L. M. Montgomery, but do I brave a venture in viewing “Anne With An E”? Nope! It contains very little of the original work. If I’m not getting what I enjoy out of an option I disregard the option.

 

This is why I said I didn’t “read” much of the fanfiction for Dark Shadows, I definitely combed it for five years, though. Nothing much like the original show. And definitely not the relief-series I was looking for.

 

Some of the work was good, some was dreadful, but most of it seemed to contain a feeling of hopelessness and somehow wanting to belong in that. I could get that feeling easily from the works of Charles Dickens if I wanted something as such. If I noticed a non-canon pairing like Julia/Barnabas, I regarded it with a “Huh? Hmm… okay, moving on.” I chose for myself.

 

I don’t usually see this kind of decision making in others, I’m afraid. Sure, I came up with a fun title, “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows”, but people sure didn’t see that! They saw, “Dark Shadows” and that was it! It’s as a friend described to me, that with other shows and films you have hungry fans, of course, but with Dark Shadows? It’s like a bunch of starving people scrambling for table scraps. Still, I was hunting down people who wanted the canon-pairings, Barnabas and Josette being the big one because, well, it is the main romance of the whole thing. I sure didn’t expect to find hostile demands to switch romances! Sheesh!

 

A lot of folks didn’t seem to understand they had a choice at all. Anything Dark Shadows was a must have and Lordie! Dissatisfaction with it was another must, apparently.

 

(It’s sure hard to tell who the heck someone is, or could be, when they’re so damn busy attempting to be like “everyone else”.)

 

Still, the kind people I have managed to find definitely know the value of friendship and quite a few have happy relationships and wedded bliss. I wasn’t sure so many were out there because I was so used to conflict going from the screen to people emulating it in their idea it was what they were “supposed” to do via the exposure. I was more sure it was there in 2010 when the internet improved. People sought what they desired and often found it, cheered talented kids on youtube, made incredible singing recordings together from all over the world. The harmony was happening.

 

Then the dissatisfaction seemed to creep in. Was it from miserable people spreading it around? Smartphones making people stupid? Social media going from useful to addictive? All of the above? The main thing I know is we’ve all been soaking in it and likely need, as Roger says in “Parapsychology”, a month of showers to get over it.

 


 

Back in 2013 when I had fifteen scripts (some rough drafts) and was getting the podcast started, one of my co-workers heard my concern over lack of feedback. She told me, “So many people don’t know how to do constructive-criticism,” and emphasised the word constructive. I think that emphasis was all that was needed. Being constructive is what so many people don’t know how to do, really. Being given a world in which thoughtless narcissism and bashing entertainment is encouraged, why would they?

 

I have a new friend who was saying the same thing about “constructive-criticism”, so I told her I consider the entire idea a hoax now. It’s this fun little catchword to make bashing sound intellectual. Forget it. Now I’m looking for fun-chat, no fancy word needed.

 


 

A few young-adults have told me my “Walls of Text” are “intimidating”. Dear God, shall I offer a sedative before introducing one to a library? Walls of text are pretty much what you get upon opening most books. Not only that but I grew up as someone starving for books and the right books that would keep my attention. Electronics and television flooded my upbringing to degrees I would flee to other places just to have peace and quiet.

 

The current use of the word “intimidating” is worrisome to me. My memory of learning the word was revealing weakness. One is timid. I suppose that makes sense when they are very sheltered. By protecting and over protecting our young we’ve managed to make them helpless. Yes. That old Life, playing tricks on us again, eh?

 

And it’s scary; I spent about twenty to thirty years getting harped on and harassed for being “stupid”. Looks like I’m currently spending many years getting harped on and harassed for being “smart”! The only gratifying thing in this is that many of the people who picked on me for being “too stupid” over the years have now sold their values to toxic technology and gone far dimmer. Being smart isn’t as important to them as once upon a time. (I also got picked on for having trendy interests. Ah, yes. Even going against the status-quo meant something to them too, long ago.)

 


 

Anyway, for anyone checking in to the web-log here, the “Alma Matters (August 2018)” podcast is out and doing good, as well as Episode 17 in The Pit, “A Bio-Exorcist Comes To Collinwood”. (You bet that one does splendidly for stats, no doubt about it!) ^_^

 

I got a chance to do a decent entry, “On The Subject of Victoria Winters” in July that should be helpful to readers for her character variation throughout all Dark Shadows productions.

 

Also if Librivox helpers are checking here I am having some technical troubles with editing a chapter, but it’s coming.

 

So far? ALL the character voices are performed for Episode 19, “Happy Hour In Hell”. Milligan and Hecubus are performed together but every other character is performed separately. They aren’t edited at all yet, but the performing is completed.

 

Grassroots Pit helpers are going through Episode 18, “Braving The Waters”. (Sharing with the honours system online was unreliable for discussion, so I managed a grassroots system now prior to releasing an episode.) Maybe I should call them my “Pit Crew”. 🙂

 

And for people feeling bad? Well, The Bystander Effect has been hurting a lot more people than me these days. For the tech-addicted, I’m fairly sure a ton of my old friends who lost touch are feeling much worse. (And I didn’t lose them because of my show, I lost them due to social media addiction. This is a common problem in friendship now.) I’m grateful for the few who returned and for my new companions, very grateful indeed.

 

Another good idea to keep in mind: When you enjoy your entertainment, enjoy it. I know that “little critic” in your mind likes to jump in and give you a frown when you finish the show. See if you can turn him off. He’s often a glitch in your psyche you’ve been trained to appease for the sake of being exploited by that kind of behaviour.

 

Like finding a shell on the beach to admire: Just admire it. Don’t compare it to other shells for being “better” or “worse”. Simply admiring it might make your day that much brighter than it already is. ❤

You’ve Been Playing A Video Game

You’ve been playing a video game and I’m sorry to learn it, but it beats not knowing. Everything coming clear means a great many embarrassments come into being. My worry now is watching tons of people playing pretend to manage with things they are ashamed to admit to doing, or having lost control of themselves and not being able to face it. They pretend. Pretend nothing changed, pretend everything is fine, pretend we are the people we have always been and no one and nothing influenced us to be anything worse.

 

Subscribers make sense to me. You get a sense of someone interested with a subscription. “Followers” sounds extremely shady to me, like a stalker; someone is following you around. Or having “followers” like a religious cult-leader. Yuck-O…

 

Friend can be a pivotal word. One needs to engage for a long time to earn that title and personal behaviour changes the out come as time moves along. Using a button which requests friendship is one of the sickest ventures I can recall ever going along with. This is a video game manoeuvrer. Just as a like-click is or some other method of relaying emotion or feelings with a button press. You’ve taken a video game controller to your loved ones and been amassing points from them and towards them with this method. This is why what is known as social media is so anti-social. Machine elements and scoring was given to you and some of you may have never even played a video game before or you had and decided you weren’t fond of them.

 

Humans generally require more complex attention and interaction. Narratives work for many of us as it shows behaviour that is somewhat natural minus certain outlandish parts that we understand are to make a story more interesting. This is why in most storytelling we have something called, “suspension of disbelief”. Another facet of enjoying fiction that I’m not too sure we’re being taught about these days.

 

Telephone calls work, even conversations by text that are fluid enough, letters work also when the structure is learned. Face to face socializing is the most direct method of communication. Without it we don’t learn very much. There is a saying, “Teaching by example isn’t the best way, it is the only way.”

 

Video games can be very fun and rewarding when what you are involved in is a complete fiction, just as board games can be. The reality is you are playing but the games themselves are a diversion from real life, something to enjoy and you sometimes have competition with fictional characters. Video games are safe when the world is fictional. Or perhaps it’s a flash-card game to improve one’s mathematics, language, or music reading skills. We have a lot of games in vision-therapy based on personal improvement alone.

 

What we have been experiencing with the rise of “social” networking is something that is extremely close to a video game. The tragedy is that it has involved real people with real lives. That’s why it is so unhealthy and had been destroying so many of our relationships. We knew something was “off” but it is addictive and occasionally useful so we keep using it. One thing that is natural about all of this is we humans often do things that are bad for us.

 

I’m grateful pinterest dispensed with their “like” button. I’m hoping other networks will follow that suit but I have my doubts. It is truly horrifying to see so many reasonable humans turn into image sharing robots in order to find out how many “likes” or points they will gain from it in a network group, but that is the big degradation to human personality that has taken place.

 


 

Now the question is: how do we find our way to a more healthy form of living again? Moreover, how do we deal with being taken advantage of and behaving badly? For myself, and other letter-writers, it’s so much easier than for others. I observe my own behaviour and try to apologize when necessary. I make efforts to find alternatives to stop my own madness. That’s why my embarrassment for using a social network after I log out goes down. I have come to realize that my more limited use is nothing near the continual excess of so very many more people than I can comprehend.

 

Actual video games, by computer or otherwise, not associated with any other person or connected to any network, has been a great form of “methadone” against desiring using “social” media. I’ve made that suggestion to pen friends, and even those I would never anticipate wanting to play them have admitted it’s a great idea. Even Klondike with a card deck on the screen. So that is a good first step.

 

Letter-writing for communication, even just by email, has also been helpful. If one has no pen pals, one can journal to themselves. Victoria Winters even wrote letters and mailed them to herself at the foundling home as a child. Talking on the telephone has also been a boon to me, especially the calls with better reception.

 


 

But as for the uncertainty? That might take something I can’t provide. Owning up to mistakes has been at a major low for some time now. Which brings more clarity for why Barnabas-haters became so prevalent. After his villainous tendencies wear off on Dark Shadows, he is often kicking himself for his wrongs and owning up to his mistakes where and when he can. In a world of encouraged narcissism this style of character, one that accounts for his errors, is not one that would be well-loved. I’d say there is no time like the present to start loving him and thinking of how he handles things to help you with owning-up.

 

So that’s one suggestion. There might be a therapy group near you to help “social” network users to go through the steps of recognizing what our mistakes have been. It’s often easier to take big steps if a group is involved, as humans do look for large groups to guide them, which is why a lot of this networking stuff grabbed us: so many others were doing it, and we were looking for our others.

 


 

What I see right now is that pretense, though. It’s a bit chilling but at least I know what it is and why it’s there. What one doesn’t understand is difficult to see, and very often we want a “simpler” explanation for it, so? We make one up! And if we find out we were wrong about it? We simplify that by pretending we never said it. Tough thing to do in this new world where almost everything is being recorded for documentation, isn’t it?

 

And this is likely why I terrify people; I understand this world because I intentionally lived in it with recordings and writing things down. I reflected on my words and the words of others since I was at least six years old. I also had people getting snooty about letters that I wrote when I was in my teens, none of which said anything horrible at all.

 

But that pretense, pretending nothing bad happened, is a rough path, my friends. It’s like trying to delete the obvious because it doesn’t suit your lifestyle. The more you try to do it, the more other things will arise that you have to pretend also don’t exist or didn’t happen. Similar with lying. One lie often leads to another until it’s a cascade and you get caught out.

 

This is why when I said “The Kinks” in my February 2018 Pit Update and discovered the band was really The Who, I went to two locations to put in a typed correction. (This web log and podomatic.) Did anyone catch that? I was quick about it! I suppose I could re-edit the track and release it without “The Kinks” but mistakes are a sad fact of life. And why bother editing more audio with an audience who barely listens or pretends not to be a listener? (Not all of you, of course, but a large number.) I made another mistake last June, I believe about The Addams Family and The Munsters airing dates. G’ah! But again, who really is paying any attention?

 

And yet, that’s how extreme the pretense has gotten. Coming to me to help with an error means you would have to (((gasp))) admit you are a listener of the show. That avoidance started so many years ago and you’re STILL trying to cover it up so… you can’t say anything.

 

You see? When you don’t own up the problem just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until you trap yourself. So all I can advise on that score is asking yourself, “What happened?” Try to remember how it started. Look for ways it might have made sense as to why you pretended something to begin with. Make observations.

 

I’m actually hoping that someone can own up because there are hundreds of others you just might relieve as it probably happened in the same way to them as well. Wouldn’t that be nice? Helping others to feel better? That’s one of the reasons accountability is such a wonderful thing. There was even a character made  out of it called Jiminy Cricket.

 


 

One scarier aspect of all of this is I didn’t realize, since I wasn’t on the “social” networks much, is we all were socializing with a video game system. I was engaged in a lot of activities, but one of the many things I was stuck to in 2013 was, in fact, a video game called Animal Crossing.

 

That particular game only has a monetary point system, really. You get fun stuff from that, but Animal Crossing has a knack for being a fictional world which navigates a great deal like real life. It’s enticing with cute animals for your neighbours who have recognizable patterns of behaviour that don’t repeat with others too often. Sending letters and receiving them with gifts can happen. There is a mailman, Pete, there is a mayor (who is usually asleep), a town hall, fishing, a museum, clothing store, a general store, cafe, bus to a city and back, and with internet access you can experience the Animal Crossing towns of others. I actually spoke with a microphone and speaker to many strangers who were quite nice and fascinating to talk to.

 

The structure of that video game was far more social than social networks have been for years. The passage of time plays an important role as well since there is gardening involved, day and night, seasons, holidays, special events, and extremely convincing conversation to where, although these are cartoon style animals, the chat feels as if one is in a real town with real individuals. Even if you wrote your neighbours an incomprehensible letter they would notice that it was incomprehensible. In comparison it feels far more like real life than social networks do, as if those networks are a less advanced and poorly engineered video game.

 

I was sated for comfort with Animal Crossing during a time so many others were being swayed into using a style of video game which encouraged less use of skills in the art of conversation than my cartoon birds, bears and cats were achieving in a fictional world that had been manufactured for Nintendo.

 

That’s what’s scary. I didn’t question a lack of comments for The Pit in most of 2013 because, not knowing about the traffic graph, I presumed no one had bothered with the textual version yet, or those who did decided it wasn’t their cup of tea. I had no idea people online were losing something that the “neighbours” in my Animal Crossing town had an automatic ability to do with programming which was that sophisticated. Video games were bringing forth fictional characters that could be more human than humans themselves.

 

It’s little wonder what is happening to us now echoes so many speculative and science-fiction stories. When I get a message with a lewd request I think, “What is this? ‘Logan’s Run?”

 

And this is also why some of us were taught those stories in school: to prepare us. I first read “The War of The Worlds” radio script in my 6th grade text book. (I got a cassette copy a year or two later.) Don’t believe everything you hear on the radio, folks! Similar stunts are done with television and now? “Don’t believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” – Douglas Adams.

 

My Mum mentioned social media reminded her of “The Game” episode on Star Trek: The Next Generation. My friend, Melissa, was reminded of “Invasion of The Body Snatchers”. With the fandom politics trying to assimilate fans to a non-canon pairing? I’ve been reminded of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. And of course with the gas-lighting I heard and read on multiple levels, being told so much that obviously is untrue in real life and fiction? “1984” by George Orwell. Right now science-fiction and reality are blending too close for my own comfort!

 

It shows me how much I have come to truly admire Doctor Julia Hoffman. It isn’t likely she was pushed into becoming a doctor due to parental or peer-pressure. Against the expectations of her time period she became a doctor for herself. Another reason I appreciate Helena, Tiffany and Cassie writing on this web log to me about their longing for the Julia/Barnabas pairing, which is a healthy one in words to the effect of, “I enjoy it for me. It’s not for everyone.” This is what choice is all about and the freedom of that choice. Being different. That’s my own personal love for Doctor Hoffman. ❤

 


 

But for owning up to mistakes? I’m not sure what to advise. Perhaps you might go through old records, messages you’ve sent in a format that no one will distract you from them? Take steps into the last five years of what you’ve been saying or doing. Stop worrying about what everyone else is saying and concern yourself with yourself. That’s one thing this idea of constantly being “connected” ruined for us: Me-Time. Who wouldn’t go crazy starving for that?

 


 

Barnabas Collins was once dearly loved and one reason why is because he was sensitive, self-deprecating, loved his family and friends, turned from villain to anti-hero and then became the hero. A most progressive character. So progressive I can’t think of another that tops him. Like other vampires that came after him, he was aware of his curse, dreading the need to be a life that feeds off of other lives.

 

If that sounds familiar it ought to, because that is what we are. You don’t see cats in a state of remorse over a bird they’ve hunted down. It’s humans who have that remorse. We are the vampires feeding off of animals, but in other ways we also feed off of each other.

 

Why make a social network addictive? Money. Why make tasty food that isn’t nutritious for our fellow man? Profit. Why produce and sell movies interlaced with violence and spite? To catch viewers attention and increase the cash flow.

 


 

So if anyone has felt like a vampire enjoying The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and hiding that you do? Barnabas Collins is the perfect role-model I can advise. Perhaps we can learn to love him again and not despise him so much. He does enough despising of himself on the show as it is.

Until next time? Play a video game, don’t let a video game play you. Turn off your smartphone, and log-out of your “social” network. Then find a really good game of solitaire and enjoy yourself. 🙂

 

Pit Update: May 2017 & Retrospective

2017 May Update 1f

Thanking pen pals for helping me to heal, explaining why that is important and discussing how the happy buttons ruined upbeat discourse in people over the years.

Plenty of lively assertions in why beating around the bush about having “no time” to chit-chat is ridiculous, particularly in regards to over-use of social media. Lackadaisical listings of informational resources that have been important in creating the series which might help listeners.

Presentation of where and how The Pit discussion questions are displayed, and why they are important for this fairly cerebral programming.

Starting retrospective from Episode 1: “Parapsychology” and on through Episode 7: “The Blair Warlock Projected”, with whatever nuances I felt were fun to point out at the time of this recording, including a few perspectives via reviews, different TV show and movie introductions per episode, technical aspects and inspirations. When the Barnabas and Maggie couple suddenly mattered so much and how performing the role of Barnabas Collins changed things irrevocably.

Finally, description about this experience for you and I, along with the details of why what’s happened with misinterpretation of myself, this project, and the expectations of what the internet is, has been detrimental to all involved, and how to break free from those ideas. For listeners using social media who disavow having an addiction? Too late: You’ve got one.

archive.org link

podomatic link

podbay link

Downloadable from iTunes, as always...

Episode 17: Intro With Lisa Weyenberg

intro17e

 Pink Floyd and The Bee Gees sing us into a major list of thank yous.

Lisa’s Interview: Her watching Dark Shadows since the age of five and beyond throughout the years. Kathleen Resch’s Concordances for Dark Shadows, and fanzines: “Inside The Old House”, “World of Dark Shadows”, “Wyndcliff Watch”, “The Music Box”, “Shadows of The Night” and how they were obtained.


When the fanwork shifted away from the original Dark Shadows program. Discussion of Lisa’s Dark Shadows fanwork, which is also relief for the characters. Reincarnation for Josette and fans of that romance with Barnabas being tongue-tied. Sharing our creation techniques. Important relevance for Kitty Soames. Reasons why Lisa’s work is not readily available online.


Other fandoms in The Pit and more. Personal reflections on the Harry Potter series, and the peer pressure to enjoy that entertainment as well as others. The fun of Lisa’s visit with us. Going through “Teen Screen” magazines. (Sorry, I keep calling it “Teen Scene”. The magazine is really called “Teen Screen”.)


All the things Lisa and I have in common in both creation and entertainment.


Summary of upcoming Episode 17 in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.


At the tail end of this podcast there is a lecture. It’s not a rant, it is a lecture. It’s not for the haters, it’s for “nice guys” who have actually done far more harm than good. For those of you who either hate me or love me, feel free to turn the podcast off when I say the word “Farewell”.


And for all involved: understand that you have no obligation to listen to this or anything I’ve created. You have freedom of choice, and that is, and what has always been, precisely what the Internet is all about. Period.

archive.org link to Episode 17 Intro

podbay.fm link to Episode 17 Intro

podomatic link to Episode 17 Intro

Working on Lisa’s Interview and Episodes on CD

Hello everyone from various corners from the world! Well, I’m still here. I’m editing Lisa’s interview and that is super cozy and enjoyable, although cutting the superfluous sentence fragments, the “ums”, the “y’knows”, extra “ands, buts, and sos” that we don’t need should have always been the height of my problems. I enjoy the work but unfortunately there is always that dreadful reminder of the garbage labels that have been tossed at me; “writer” and that’s it, “podcaster” and that’s it. My pal Lynn picked up a better term when she heard me use “entertainer” and as a nut-shell sum-up of me that is likely best.

I got in touch with another podcaster I’d asked for help from back in 2013 via email. Leaving the carbon copy of previous emails she remembered who I was,  nodded approvingly at one of the pointers she gave in her podcast that I appreciated, which was doing things you enjoy or believe in with other people, and let me know how busy she presently is with her podcast as well as librivox books she does readings for. Wow! Didn’t know she was on the team, so to speak. Glad to hear it.

I dread returning to Facebook. It’s just so much hopelessness and a sea of confusion. I know there are many out there who use it sparingly and wisely but that’s never been what I’ve seen over all. Then there is Google Plus in which I get notifications of image after image after image being posted to the point I wonder if any of the posters or visitors remember why they even are interested in what those images represent.

One of my pen friends, that I’m still in touch with, got back into Facebook, caved-in, really and wrote this:

“Would love to hear about your 2-week abstinence plan for Facebook. So far it’s been pretty boring. I text anyone who I want to talk to.  ______ has coined the phrase ‘facebook religion’ after a day of discussing how everyone posts these religious sayings but you know [they] aren’t even slightly religious. I sometimes wonder how people have so much time to re-post stuff. Let alone, why they re-post so much. It’s as if they have ceased to have original thoughts. Which is sad because they are highly intelligent people in person.”

No kidding!

Another pen pal I chatted with had some sage things to say in regards to my quandaries, but I will stress he isn’t one for censoring himself. I told him:

“I do not understand the attraction of spending all day posting and sharing memes one doesn’t believe in. Is it like a video game for people who hate video games?”

He replied:

“It’s a c**k hobby. I prefer to actually DO things… Some people aren’t used to bold honesty.  I say it like it is. There just isn’t any other way to be for me. I think the things I watched/listened to the past several years gave me the push to be honest and not two-faced. Plus noticing how p***ified my surrounding people are just makes me want to oust them by doing better things… Better to be proactive and do instead of talk. That’s why a lot of channels/projects START and don’t PICK UP. Because there’s a lot of talk about videos they wanna do and not actually doing it.”

A third pen pal had this to express when I proposed it was the deeper thoughts I have that people can’t handle:

“I think that’s exactly why people are afraid of you, and really tend to pass people who require them to think outside the box, more deeply and have conversations of real substance as crazy. Most people can’t comprehend much anymore than sharing things on Facebook, memes that they agree with but in reality would never live up to. I think there are people who post things that have meaning to them and positive things.  That’s one thing I can understand. But what I find annoying is how girls will put up relationships quotes, and such. It’s like they base that meme of a relationship for what a relationship should be like… or they are trying to send a message to their mate to be more like the quote. (lol) Either way it’s a lack of communication.

I do think they would rather annihilate what you say than face it. It’s much easier and gives them time to save face and go back to their bubble. Requiring them to think is literally like stomping on their dreams and creating a nightmare in their minds that what they are thinking isn’t really true at all, and of course they can’t have that. (Lol)”

Well said and very true.

Pen pals have made the biggest impact for improving my life and the lives of others. I’m happy I returned to engaging in that realm further. So many were pushing more internet and more social media. Now we all have to admit the gains were low and foibles were high for promoting this project in such a fashion. Of course those that encouraged the social media are often the types who can’t stand admitting to errors. How one’s life is to improve without making mistakes is a strange concept to me. Many of the things I learned happened through watching the blunders of others both in real-life and in fiction. Nagging someone just prolongs a problem rather than solving it.

The good news is that with the enthusiasm of pen pals I am in the process of revising older episodes in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows for the CD mailings. Episodes 1 through 5 have more sound effects and added music that was missing. Also the compact disk version of the episodes provides a format that is completely disengaged from the internet and all its impending interruptions. Listeners can focus on the audio drama without having to worry about pinging notifications coming from elsewhere, or getting it to their mp3 player, etc. A couple do confess to listening on boring road trips. Traffic jams become almost non-existent as the adventures of what the characters are doing soaks in. Also the new CD’s have separate tracks per scene which makes it much easier for people to find their place if they left off somewhere.

I’ve also tweaked with some of the voice performances. Maybe somewhere along the way Carolyn Stoddard shan’t sound so much like she is on helium!

So if any of my readers have gotten the CD versions that have massive tracks? I offer an exchange. I can replace your old CD episodes for these better, newer ones and I know just what to do with the old copies. I shan’t divulge that here, though.  😉

Lisa’s interview should be done soon. The talk is wonderful and she has long-term study and Dark Shadows goodies she’s been ordering and collecting for decades. It should be a wondrous earful and infused with plenty of nostalgia for old fans.  Then I have to prepare and perform the additions to a podcast for that.

Episode 17 in The Pit is still before me wanting one more scene for the sake of its current brevity. If listeners have my email address I’d love to workshop something new. I keep thinking we need more Willie… but then again, who doesn’t need more Willie? ❤

As for Facebook, again, I’m not looking forward to returning. If I could remove the damn notifications of those pesky like-clicks it would be better. I actually miss response comments because the programming there is more about wasting time with like-clicks or what someone else “liked” somewhere else that had nothing to do with you. Bleh…

Then one meme falls in your face…. And then another one… And before you know it your perception of what a simple colour is changes, and your mental processes loop into oblivion as you vaguely wonder why the dishes have piled up so high and still aren’t cleaned yet. “Ahhh, another day is shot,” you think, “and I didn’t do diddly-squat.” But something in the human spirit needs a regular dose of going nowhere fast.

So scroll while you can, and use the passing rare real update about that rare real friend as ink-blot tests of your recovering sanity, and may all your social media goals be blissfully pointless.

Pit Update August 2016

update august 2016

 

Just me, no music. Discussion about things, hopefully, getting better, and how to keep that going. The importance of correspondence especially.

Clear reasons why I, and many others, lose their tempers. (Gets a bit loud while this is explained. Not really a rant, more an exclamation of disbelief in contradictory behaviour.) Deep appreciation for the nice people and tools for how to avoid the bummer types, too!

“Spoilers” over scenes one through five, in Episode 16, that are being worked on, as well as the intricate technical aspects that make the idea of critiquing them severely unwanted and unwarranted. (Audio Dramatists? Listen up. You’ll probably enjoy this bit.) Plenty of talk about “Hawkeye” finally being included and what’s happening in scene four with him. I’m not concerned about spoilers when it comes to this radio drama. People can barely remember what they enjoyed in all the other episodes, so why worry? winking

My old internet days, Sailor Moon, chat rooms, etc. Why fans identify with Angelique and some may not even know it.

A reading from me of Osheen’s review for Episode 7 about one year before this podcast, and my hearty enjoyment of that!

Understanding of the idea of “independence” and how much of an illusion that is.

Not included in this podcast is my suggestion here: If you are wealthy and dissatisfied with your life? Please enjoy the film “The Amazing Adventure” with Cary Grant. Thanks. You’re welcome.

podomatic link here

podbay link here

archive dot org link here

Also available on iTunes

Is The Nightmare Over Yet?

Not sure…

However, scroll down this blog for the latest interview with Osheen Nevoy if you want the new podcast. Very good and worth time for Dark Shadows fans.

Right now I’m going over the four performances I’ve done in the last two years for Dr. “Hawkeye” Pierce. Splicing them together has been grueling and continues to be, just to try and get a single scene as close to the best I can get.

Going forward in this scary life, that I have often related to be a “Science-Fiction Nightmare Made Real” as Jonah and others agree with me, the friends have finally come. And, like my adopted children, I love every single one of you and I have no desire to ever give any of you up.

Each one of you managed to approach me or reciprocate my approach to you individually. If I can manage more than the amount of characters I adore who are in this collage, I believe my heart is just as full to encompass my feelings for you.

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You matter.

 Human beings rely on each other. Human babies, in all of their helplessness, undoubtedly prove that.  (It’s one of the many, many, many reasons my husband and I decided, responsibly, never to procreate. We don’t drive. How are we going to take care of our children if we aren’t capable of driving?)

I want to assure all of my new friends that I care about you deeply beyond this project. When I listen to my thank you to Lisa in my latest podcast it drives home the point of exactly why I did all of this: I had no one to share it with. The answer? Go online. Unfortunately, by this time, going online meant becoming a narcissist. HUH? I ADORE these characters and knew with their varied communities they could help each other. I wanted to celebrate the characters, not me.

I worked hard to get all the correct and expensive equipment that I felt most people were also obtaining. Whoops. No, they were downgrading themselves to going online with only a smartphone or an iPad and that was that. I had no idea. So in my Intro To Episode 12 ? I wondered, as Ripley wondered in the film Aliens:

did IQs just drop sharply while I was away ALIENS

Sadly, the answer is… yes. Yes they did. And these people did it of their own volition. They allowed themselves to believe it was “every man for himself” and the internet was just a place to get porn or some other low-level entertainment, or to come to the internet to feel they finally had a say in how upset they were about their own lives by getting familiar with strangers and attacking them.

Is this the kind of thing most of us want to deal with when we fire up our machines and go online? I doubt it.

Long ago I was in a creative home movie. The camera faded out of black and there we all were eating dinner. My uncle turned to the camera and said:

“Oh, hi. You know, it’s nice when the family gets together on Sunday for dinner… and… enjoys their company with each other. And in this country? It’s one of the many rights that we have…”

Good so far, then he turns to my mum and says, “Oh, by the way, mother, will you pass me the gun?”

She nods, passes him the prop-gun, that just happens to be laying on our dinner table, and he says, “Thank you.”

Next my uncle looks down on it and turns to the camera, saying, “But you know? There is another right we enjoy in this country: It’s called THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY! And I don’t know why you’re coming into my home– I don’t even KNOW YOU! It really pisses me off, man!”

Then he pulls the trigger of the prop-gun and shoots the camera.

It was funny at the time, but I think I am finding a whole new meaning in that skit we did when I was less than ten years old. 😉 We got hoodwinked into believing we had to post it all online.

No. We don’t.

That’s why I am letting you know now that what many of you have been doing by emailing each other, calling each other on the telephone and writing paper letters to each other is time much better spent. The block function on a lot of websites is very important. It means you refuse to deal with someone you would rather not hear about for whatever reason. You have preferred ways of spending your time. I have even encouraged people who dislike me and what I am doing to block me. I don’t want to deal with them. If they don’t want to see what I’m doing? Great! I said in the beginning and I still say, “25 people are all I was looking for.”

Community is what I want, what my series is about, and what I feel many of you want. We’re getting close. Don’t let complaining people deter you from your goals. Also: never believe that if you hear about me discussing another beloved friend that you don’t matter. You DO matter. I talk about you with them, too! Why? Because I care about all of you. It’s the natural course of discussion. You don’t sit there worshiping the friend you’re speaking with. You shoot the breeze, and the breeze happens to encompass all the other friends you have; Easy peasy.

Facebook was originally created for college students to: 1) shoot the breeze together and 2) help each other study. I have severe doubts it will ever be remotely close to that kind of human expression ever again. This is why new versions of it don’t work either. However, it’s still usable for little things, all the while the previous forms of communication are still extremely important: letter writing, phone calls, emails, text messages, as long as it’s all personal and personable. The nightmare can be over, it can be, but not for everyone, only to those of us who stick to our guns and make sure we mainly pay attention to what is important to us. I am part of that importance but I recognize I’m not the main importance.

The loss is upon us. I was on the phone with Jonah again last night and he agreed that he’s suffered friendship losses, and that the creative source is what he needs to focus on and our understanding of maintaining that focus is the most important consideration. The new “flood” has come, many have drowned, they may never come back, but we have each other. Perhaps this was all a Providential test to see which of us is, internally, the strongest. I let him know I had this same discussion with a cashier the last time my husband and I went music shopping. The cashier also confessed to major friendship loss via social networks. The cycle is never ending in this discussion.

As for me? I want to keep going. I’ve got the next scene of Episode 16 with Hawkeye to complete, come Hell or High-water. When I get past that I’m hoping all the editing runs for more scenes go much faster and more smoothly than this one has for years.

Dear dad who the hell is Julia Hoffman.gif

I was often so lost in the confusion of why no one was speaking with me until Melissa came along and posted her commentary to the first episode in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows.

Melissas first Pit review.jpg

I reached out and asked Melissa, “How did you do that?”

She said, casually, “There was a comment box. I expressed what I enjoyed, naturally.”

And that’s when I knew I had every right to be completely baffled by the behaviour of discussion-avoidance all of these years. Melissa did the discussion automatically and expressed, “It’s natural.” I always knew it was, it always was to me about entertainment, but I was argued with about that for three years. (Might you have been one of the many people arguing with me about that? I’ve told you to stop feeling guilty about it. Do I have to tell you again?)

Is the Nightmare over yet? Only if we allow ourselves to withdraw from it. Other forms of communication are not only possible, they’ve been with us much longer. Paper letters, email, phone calls. Social networks are secondary. Maybe a lot of great things happened due to them, but when one starts relying on them solely? You’re lost.

I’ve always looked at podcasting the same as broadcasting except with a Tivo function: you can rewind and replay it whenever you like. Once upon a time it was only magnetic strips in cassette cartridges we recorded that allowed that. It’s not that way anymore.

So what is there to choose? Really communicating on a one-to-one basis, or scrolling through a newsfeed and like-clicking your life away?

I know which way I’m choosing. 🙂