For Newbies, Pen Pals and Old Hats

Hi, everyone!

I’m still here. I’m rusty at creating a radio drama episode but, like with any form of creative expression, the knack should return with practice.

I maintained Facebook abstinence for the full two-week stretch from the new pen pals and people I’m mailing CDs to. I love it! This is what I wanted and it’s the world that I know. My postman is also very happy with me. He says, “You tell them that I’m happy with what you’re doing and I look forward to getting a hug from you when I see you. You tell them that.”

There. Told. 🙂

The repeating cold/flu is still floating around. Clover and I got Version 2.0, Jonah didn’t, and my sweetheart is now on Version 3.0. I received tons of wonderful goodies for my birthday but I have to wait to have him to myself again.

So for my pen pals now getting the CDs of The Pit? Bless your hearts that you didn’t let the dead-weight of social media keep you from what you loved. And it’s fascinating to find out what you’ve been up to in the years we didn’t know each other as I struggled in the vicious Red Queen’s Race of anti-social networks. You also know it takes time to build something, so my own accomplishments might seem fantastic but not impossible to you.

And with my downgrading back to human? Other humans are doing it too. I hear from people more by email and private messages away from the social networks. Sadly some of these folks are still playing the “avoid-the-podcast-topic-game”, but not everyone. Some finally realized playing that game is dysfunctional and annoys me enough to get cranky on the podcasts! Good! I’d rather have fun on those shows, not feel the need to display rank bitterness. (Spraying metaphoric Lysol on my woes ends up making them worse. It messes up the voice-acting for the radio-drama too, just from the stress.)

In any case I’m very pleased to be spending my time getting rid of my horde of stationery. Like most forms of collecting things, too much comes when life is empty or there is a void one feels the need to fill. Now I’m releasing all the fun goodies I saved, and as I send them along? I keep finding new areas in which I’ve hoarded more! But it makes way for further space as I go. This is a good thing.

The pen pals who are interested are eager for more but in the manner they know better: The human paced postal system. However there are some trying to get links to work in a somewhat desperate sense. I always know when they do get the links to work because I tend to never hear from them again. I see the statistical growth, but the silence is a recurring problem and one I doubt I’ll ever really get used to.

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Is a Jonathan Frid character hanging out with a Tim Curry character just too sexy? Maybe!

With the lack of information I used to have, but now am being provided with, I’m discovering an important point we all forgot about. The poor and suffering are the most appreciative of good entertainment. They were often the people I was seeking, too. Still am. It’s the especially wealthy and comfortable that have been the worst problem. They’re watching a soap-opera because, for the most part, they have few troubles, desire drama and don’t empathise much with people outside of themselves. They can download the podcast easily and get angry at me for struggling and suffering. They’re greedy and want the silver-spoon version of The Pit. Catering to people like that is detrimental. Rewarding rudeness is nothing short of despicable.

Not all rich people are this way, though. There have been many well-to-do types of privilege. I am currently thinking of a fictional one though, and one fictional character many proclaim as empty-headed and bubbly:

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Josette du Pres

She is a rare wealthy character on Dark Shadows who cares about classes below hers. Her concern and desire for comradeship with Angelique is unusual for someone of her own designation in 1795. We see something quite similar with that of Barnabas Collins and Ben Stokes, too. And when we think about Barnabas and Josette both being as such? That is certainly a match made in Heaven. ❤

Barnabas and Josette

We require wealthy people that empathise with those who suffer to make the difference, as we also need the suffering to appreciate each other. To me that’s what our stories show us.

Social media turned that story-telling, which changed our lives for the better, into mindless nostalgia of photos to thumb-up. It preys on the obsessive-compulsive-disorder which resounds in us to click happy-buttons and lose the heart of who we are. The happy-buttons, rewards of hearts and stars, regress us into kindergarteners. Kindergartners are easy to manipulate.

I didn’t know this was happening for so long because I had barely touched the social media. I was very involved in vision-therapy, librivox audio books, and creating The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows while watching and taking notes of all the shows that blend into it. I knew something of the smartphone phenomenon but we all joked about that long ago. The Blackberry phone came out with its whistles and bells and what did we call it?

The Crackberry.

A lady at church told me it was once a faux-pas to like-click posts on Facebook. She also recalls a friend asking her, “What’s with all these bumper stickers? I’m seeing them everywhere. All these images with quotations. What a waste!”

As it turns out there are others like me who didn’t see this happening either. We still used the internet to educate ourselves and keep in touch with loved ones. We had to hear less and less from those loved ones to begin recognizing we’d suddenly been left in the lurch. That led to many walks of life without similar interests reaching out to at least support each other in that one obvious fact. We were alone, very alone. A guy on a Gothic forum told me, “Some of the most artistic and rebellious people I have ever known have been siphoned by this conformity.” No kidding! I’ve seen it too.

In any event, those of similar interests are finding each other again, however slowly and I am very grateful. Several pen pals don’t fear discussing The Pit episodes. They enjoy it. They didn’t know it even existed. Now they look forward to more and express:

“Please keep up with this – you will be glad you followed your muse when she called you. But please don’t burn out on it—it would change the tone. You have such a happy enjoyable tone of joy with it. Yeah, that’s it—it’s JOYFUL! Ride this mule, baby!”

Now that’s more like it! And it’s what I like to do for others.

So for all the newbies:

I bid you welcome to The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows!

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And for the old-hats? I welcomed you a long time ago, and I still do. But we must keep something in mind. We have flaws. That is human. You’ve felt guilty and uncertain because you fed into the bystander-effect, got caught up in only paying attention to the drama, lost the ability to talk about what you enjoyed. Is this all your fault? I don’t think so. But you still feel guilty and uncertain about me and the fact you played the “avoid-the-podcast-topic-game”. You really should stop playing that game. It’s not a fun game and no one wins it. (I prefer Kill Doctor Lucky and Tabloid Teasers, myself.)

But… what if you admitted to your flaws? What if you felt sorry and explained? In what light would you be seen if you owned up to a mistake or even several? Who would you be very akin to if you exhibited some remorse or apologetic forms of expression?

That would show you to be similar to one of our most beloved characters in the world:

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Barnabas Collins. ❤

Why Create The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, Or Any Story?

There is a lot of behaviour I’ve enacted in this project that I am not proud of.

Why did this happen?

I expected for human beings to behave as naturally as I discovered them to be as I progressed through this life. When someone makes them laugh they show it, when someone entertains them they applaud, when someone touches their inner depths they discuss it.

It’s taken over three years to get a mere handful of people to do this for my work.

Why?

Several reasons, perhaps. One being device technology, of course. It presented us with lazier ways of perusing a massive source of information so that the internet no longer was a 2-way street, nor a zone of communication with several people interacting as we had in the days of textual forums. It is now presented to us in more robotic maneuvers and more of a one way street where people tapping into the online world are not expected to respond with anything more than a like-click or a thumbs down if even that.

I have done so much hard work to get my biggest achievement to youtube. Really, why wouldn’t I become extremely angry and post rants when all I got were thumbs down over there? If you were me wouldn’t it piss you off too? One of my best helpers has let me recognize that if the same malarkey I’ve received from doing what I do and to not require commentary for it would never be handled well by anyone doing it unless they didn’t care. Someone doing what I do would be a caring person. Caring is something that this new world has diminished in vast amounts this century.

My husband told me, “I understand when someone says ‘That’s just the way the internet is, or how things are.’ When you show surprise to that, but to back it up with, ‘That’s just the way things are because that’s how they SHOULD be,’ that’s when it all breaks down into idiocy.” And I agree with him. This creation was not invented to be a one-way street, but we’ve been so programmed that it should be. We like the fact we’ve been hoodwinked toward laziness of faculties and disassociation with each other in using it. In fact, we cradle this laziness and obliviousness to our very souls. As History has shown, humans in masses are very easy to program into complacency.

But what of the symbols in that complacency?

One thing that’s really driving me insane are Jesus memes.

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The teachings of Christ have been degraded into share files. “Yes! This is what I believe! I’ll LIKE-click it. I’ll SHARE-FILE it. But I won’t do it. I won’t behave that way. I won’t help my neighbour. I will not be The Good Samaritan. Forget the teachings themselves, but I’ll post them and believe in them. Action makes no difference.”

But what of the people who’ve helped me the most? Yes, they are believers in these teachings as well as The Gospel (Good News). They BEHAVE like Christians. A blogger reached out immediately and devotedly to my cause. A reader responded as she would to any material she was enjoying. Another saw my pain and spoke up. A writer showed her merit in talent and worth as well as craftsmanship in the arts. Two others I wrote to asking for help showed their worth in what they could do. If they couldn’t do much in the commentary department they certainly could in empathizing with my troubles.

But what of all the silent downloaders, listeners, readers?

Some of them are robotic like-clickers and they show-off their religious beliefs with almost anything but the virtues of which it is based on. Those virtues are kindness, communication, consideration for someone hurting. These are things many of the silent refuse to embody. I’m not sure why. Perhaps they’re simply church-goers rather than enablers of a better society.

In many regards they behave as if the world of Dark Shadows is more important to them than The Bible. They’re more involved in their own egos of which romantic pairing makes the most sense to them than listening to what the characters might want for themselves. This would definitely stretch out to not listening to real people. Real people, like fictional characters, have wants and desires, things that move them, sorrows that hurt them, trials and joys. Watching people suffer like a bystander and only filming the hurt or sharing the file is not something I see as Biblical practice, or practice of any faith except perhaps that of…

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Anton LaVey…

It is the manual of utter self-indulgence, that which cares for no one but the self, the ego and its higher purpose to feed the lusts of the body. If one cannot release themselves of guilt? Revel in it. Ah, yes. I see this behaviour all around me. Perhaps “The Black Pope” is wise to reveal such atrocities in the human psyche to us. If you can’t beat ‘em? Join ‘em! And that’s been my experience at times in this project The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Perhaps “The Pit of Ultimate Darkness” truly is as dark as Sir Simon Milligan announces in his comedic manner. It’s certainly shown its listeners to be.

Some, I will admit, are likely ones with disabilities, or low-functioning communication skills, be it from lack of funds or lack of practice. But there are several I know for certain are able bodied and can easily type out communication. Why they resist expressing their enjoyment when I’ve repeatedly explained that is the need I have in being their entertainer?

Perhaps, as Brian Wilson sings, “God Only Knows”.

My main purpose has been in helping others. When they want a different romantic pairing I’m more than happy to direct them to someone else’s work. When they want more of mine? Well what were all of those workshops for? I deduced perhaps some of my listeners had debilitating problems so we provided what we could to help others out so they could help me. Working constructively together.

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multi matrix more

When silence is all a person gets one has to expect a wide array of utter confusion from the almost total lack of information. Not only do I not know what was enjoyed I don’t even know why people can’t simply TELL me why they can’t talk to me either. How was I not going to go insane from that much confusion? How? Turning to more intoxicants, liquor being one of them, in loneliness and confusion? Yes. In uncovering fandom politics and bizarre control tactics over a majority of romantic pairings in the fanwork? Of course! That’s going to drive someone mad. This is a television show, not re-writing the Talmud.

Keeping kinder hearts silent? What was the grand gesture in that? How was persistently giving Dr. Julia Hoffman her crush over and over again going to help anyone? It certainly never helped her. She’s a fictional character, a strong woman made weak by isolating our own desires in her, or those of Angelique. Forcing the issue and telling-off a major icon for which Dark Shadows would have been canceled if he hadn’t been introduced; Why was invalidating his hurts and longings good for any of us, or him or Julia?

We resist who Barnabas Collins loves for some sinister reason. We resist standing up for what we believe in beyond posting memes about it or like-clicking it for another sinister purpose. We’d rather listen to ourselves than someone else for some diabolical scheme. I’m not sure what it is. Shame? Programming? Shyness? Obliviousness? All of the above?

The standards of storytelling imply that it’s all about conflict. I’ve found that it isn’t. It’s about reaching a moral precept or several ethical values. In Episode 2 of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows Wadworth explains to Barnabas something similar in himself about Willie Loomis.


WADWORTH: I understand that he may not have been the most superior underling in the course of matters, but have you considered that he was already rather abused to begin with?

BARNABAS: … a… a bit.

WADSWORTH: See anything similar in yourself there, sir?

BARNABAS: (regretfully) Oh… yes. I’m afraid I do.

WADSWORTH: Yes. So rather than concern yourself with him writing memoirs to betray you, don’t you think you might have put some credit in his way?


And in Episode 14 (still in production) what does Wadsworth express to Mr. Loomis about Barnabas Collins?


WADSWORTH: Well, if you ever wondered why he became so tragic, it might have been for the same reason that you did.


Is this ringing any bells with anyone? Is storytelling solely about conflict or something deeper? Is History all about war and suffering and politicians? On all counts, no. It’s about moral precepts, teaching us something. But what are our moral precepts of the day?

“That movie sucked so hard it could have whitened my carpet!”

Yep, a funny way of bashing something, or just outright bashing it entirely. This is the trap we are in right now. Dissing, bad-mouthing, deciding that our anal-retentive persnickety attitude passes for developed aesthetic taste. If we have something good to say it better be as rotten as we can make it.

But still we claim to be spiritual, trustworthy and downright good people. We hate bullies. We despise rudeness all the while being rude.

I have never been ruder in my entire life than since I came to know so many fans of Dark Shadows.

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Was that because of the television program? No.

I was much nicer when I was watching it on my own and working on The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. I became rude when I got the silence, when I saw the bickering, when I saw the abuse-hungry control freaks. I watched the arguments and inaccurate statements of fans. I watched a woman be the worst thing she could ever be as she lashed out on people who enjoyed the 2012 film. Marina Sirtis commented that people were not accepting in the beginning of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. I’ve been dying to tell her, “You think you had it bad? Check this shit out!”

What good is a fandom if the loud arrogant types silence the better behaved enjoyers of it?

What good are the teachings of spirituality if the followers don’t act on what was taught?

What good is The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows if no one is learning from the series but just downloading it like greedy schmucks?

What good is the internet, invented for communication, when we don’t use it to talk to each other?

What good are any of the stories we’re fed in books, movies, or television shows if we don’t learn from the examples they show?

They all basically say the exact same thing, “Do in life what you would regret not having done when you are facing death.”

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That’s my question. If Daryl Wor gets hit by a car tomorrow, what will you regret not having told her?