Why “House of Dark Shadows” is a party movie, with much love and apologies all around.
Spoilers for Pit episodes (20) Twenty and (21) Twenty-One. It’s going to take a lot of effort for Chris Jennings to understand he’s in a relief-series now and not a soap-opera. Also a little consideration for how to word things with Bewitched characters.
How I came to learn about The Center for Humane Technology (humanetech.com) and how very important I consider their work, with incredible validation about my own social media experience, as well as the experiences from other pen pals. Theories on the discussion-avoidance problem.
I also talk about a self-taught trick I learned of *how* to pay better attention, there is a fun story about why I learned it. I hope it helps anyone who wants to improve their focusing skills. After that I share a treat of a memorable tool I grew up with from the 1980’s.
Discourse about grassroots help, and then: A heartfelt affirmation towards all those who love or enjoy “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows”.
I’ve just responded to one of the best letters I’ve received in years. I hope my new friend doesn’t mind if I discuss that here on WP. I was sure she was going to indulge in my own work better by watching the 2012 “Dark Shadows” film to get familiar with those characters. However, the contents of her letter showed that instead she viewed “House of Dark Shadows” from 1970! Oh, dear! It didn’t go down well, for which I am incredibly grateful!
Does this sound confusing to anyone? If so it’s because the strong memories of life in the 20th Century might be gone for you. They are not for us.
My friend loves movies of all sorts, but is also an admitted film-snob in certain regards: fun regards! Regards in which I delight hearing about. This is a world Joel Hodgson of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” found a way to share with many of us who understood, in a story-format that entailed coercion rather than choosing to view B-grade movies. (Mad scientists were making them watch the movies. They were not viewed on The Satellite of Love by choice, so it was less cruel to heckle openly in such a setting.)
With my new friend, her reaction to “House of Dark Shadows” was, well, to endure it. Hee hee hee! I feel blessed to read the words of her gazing into this world that makes more sense to myself as a viewer of the television show “Dark Shadows”. Also it was apologetic as if I prize this movie as one of the finest, which to me it is not. I love it, but I love it for other reasons.
Still, I wanted to express myself as being incredibly happy with this turn of events. Our exchange on this topic is stepping back into a world many of us knew before 2013. Movies exist to entertain us, whether they be our favourites or not. It’s for some of us to share in the delight or the “oh dear” together. They didn’t range into the ghastly realms of hate-speak or sacrilege to enjoy. They were our bonus stories to choose somewhere in our day when we were not working. Leisure in moving pictures and sound. How we took to them depending on who we were, our personalities, not the amount of “likes” we would garner for saying something outlandish or extreme.
I love this world. I grew up in this world in which things could be exciting or pleasurable in fiction. Analyzing the special effects was just a little something we did when the story seemed to go on a long time without dialogue. Sometimes we’d be argued with about our favourites but it didn’t get too heated most of the time. If someone wanted to get long-winded about why they disliked a film and we didn’t care, we’d open a book and wait for them to get it out of their system.
In the 1980’s Frank Oz once admitted, “When I get out of the theater I look around and ask, ‘Ok, what’s for dinner?’ I’m just like anybody else…” and then went on to describe a film he helped to create that really touched him and why. But that it was his experience, really, in the creation, so it would make sense he would want to discuss how important it was to him. He didn’t expect it to be of vital importance to every other last movie goer in the world.
When listeners hear my gratitude to pen friends in my podcasts it is no joke. I truly am grateful. Whatever we’ve paid so much money to become entangled with online is a far cry from what I would choose for myself. I’m happy to be less known, less hated, less put-upon, and spend my time with people of like-mind and interests.
Some new friends in this decade have asked me, “Are you famous?” and I’ve answered, “Maybe a bit…” But to another new friend I made in the last half decade, I expressed, “I might be more infamous…” and she smiled, “I think I like that more.”
As the ghost of Sarah Collins tells Maggie in The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, “Oh, it should turn out all right if you keep your wits about you.”
I feel … as though … said “wits” have been found. ❤
Remember a while back this month where I got a pen friend’s question of:
“What do people run away from if they ‘sleuth’ you? Just judgey people?”
I wasn’t sure what to tell her, but I came up with my response today:
You asked about the “sleuthing”. I’d say you’re accurate in the judgey people thought. It’s very “make stuff up” while skimming and misreading. These people see online stuff as gospel without actually fully digesting the information. They don’t ask a source and rely on third-party gossip that also is likely not articulate.
On the odd occurrence of “wising up” they are likely then too embarrassed to admit it. So I’ll have a rant somewhere some third party will repeatedly view and just focus on that as the “true” person.
But it makes me want to tell them, “Gee! I’m sorry. I didn’t know that having deep concern over the clear damage this technology is doing to people’s brains was somehow offensive.”
Hence my utter and absolute joy at being with pen pals again! ❤
There is also some fandom politics trouble with fans gas-lighting each other for at least twenty years that a non-canon romance was canon. Boy! That got bad. They even inflicted it on the kids. I’ve discovered group-think is extremely damaging.
You ever wonder whatever happened to appreciating certain things for being cheesy or corny? I do. Feels like the whole world is a big soap-opera these days.
Anyway, I’m glad you don’t do the hopped-up scandal-sleuthing. It’s about the worst habit I can think of. Really bad for the mind and soul. The people doing it are really messed-up by the social networks that make their platforms highly addictive and don’t play fair. (Google gets approval from me for dumping their version this month. 🙂 ) [I expressed interest in platforms without like-buttons.] “Like” buttons are highly addictive. They cause dopamine highs.
Then I let her know some of the greatest listeners I have ended up not knowing much, if any, Dark Shadows, minus maybe the film. It’s because they aren’t swayed by any group-think or fandom politics. It’s true. Also that the characters they do know along the way makes it more inclusive. ^_^
That’s been the best thing really. A slow dawning to each chatty listener of,
“Ohhh, wait. I know THIS character! Oh my gosh!”
Often in “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows”, you’ll recognize someone slowly. This is kind of funny, actually, because it’s similar to what happened when they were pulling Frankenstein monster moves from the original Frankenstein story as my husband and I watched Dark Shadows. We’d see Adam doing certain things and we’d shake our heads, “Aw, crap! Here we go!”
Or even 1897. Cackling woman upstairs? Oh, it’s Jenny Collins? I could’a swore that was Mr. Rochester’s koo-koo wife from “Jane Eyre”! Oh, wait… it basically IS. Hee hee hee hee…
But yeah, the whole people getting messed-up is pretty sad. A few old friends are back and they tend to be the ones who noticed for years, ”Sheez! People get crazy on that social media. They aren’t like that in person. Not even at the bar!”
Well, what can we expect? Criticizing gets trendy, there are like-buttons giving dopamine highs (rewards) for foul language and name-calling, or saying cruel things. What’ll it lead to? A lot of training to be an outright maniac, jack-ass, and rude mo-fo.
And we’re raising the kids on this, eh?
I used to truly believe growing up in the 1980’s was awful.
Nothing like a light selection of Doctor Who on a rainy day. It’s funny because “horror” is in the title and I feel like I’m watching a fluffy set of episodes. There is a character, Reuben, that my sweetheart pointed out, “That guy reminds me of Badger,” meaning from The Wind In The Willows. I then realized the time period was Edwardian and not Victorian, which would fit with that aspect. The other thing I love about this story is the models: so cute! The tragedy of the boat hitting the rocks appears so toy-like to be adorable. As was the look of the meteor/rocket coming down that appeared to be a glowing purple cricket bat.
The setting of a lighthouse is rather romantic especially upon being aware that the real life of a lighthouse is incredibly strenuous. It’s similar to enjoying winter weather for the sake you have shelter.
Frankly I find the concern toward the legend of a sea creature more alluring than yet another Whovian space villain out to show their superiority. Seriously, The Leviathans on Dark Shadows are pretty much like a Whovian space-villain. There is no purpose other than some kind of bizarre dominance thing, which is likely why The Leviathans portion of Dark Shadows set their ratings to plummeting. Anyone who might have noticed the similarity at the time probably protested, “Egad! This is like a Doctor Who story, but it’s endless! There is no horizon in sight! If I wanted to watch Doctor Who I’d be watching Doctor Who!” And then they got up and turned it off like my husband did in attempting to watch later episodes of “Enterprise”.
Another fun element of this particular Doctor Who story is the focus on electricity versus old means to run and light things. The younger set is all for electricity and the older set is all for the tried and true methods they grew up with. This one is also great for Leela’s assessment of things. She learns new lessons from The Doctor and also gets snappish with the gentry bitching and complaining all the time, or going into hysterics. The slimy guy trying to bribe people with his last fifty pounds is pretty annoying! Vince is rather swell, he’s one of the keepers. The villain itself appears to be like a green hard sour or apple candy with a vague lacing of white cotton candy trailing it.
The Doctor, himself, seems to be pretty demanding, more to the gentry, of course. They appear to need it since they are at a loss to occupy themselves very well. Then the lady begins to weep over the coming of what her Astrologer informed her of, and Leela refers to that as, “Your shaman.” That’s a fun bit.
I’m almost disappointed I know what the heck is going on now. When we first watched this I was just so cosy with the setting and the way people spoke, my sweetheart had to update me on certain occurrences while I was putting together my embroidery stitch-work. Now that I consider the candy resembling villain, it is rather pointless, just going around offing humans for no particular reason. But it makes sense to the general feeling of this show, I guess. I suppose that would be the lesson in my own experience. Social media addicts often turn into villains on Doctor Who. Living life no longer matters, just the need to outdo all the other villains. In this case I particularly like sharing initials with the show itself.
And again, I am much calmer getting back to work, staying away from the social network saloon. I have to remind myself I have managed myself out of the madness on a fair level, which means I have a quality of life much different than millions of other people right now. The dependency issue requires carefully attended avoidance. That’s why going back to the television watching helps, especially now that I’m just leaving on some of the extra documentaries added to this DVD of Doctor Who. It’s basic linear, not a scattering of distractions out of place and sequence.
The stats are pretty humourous lately. Plenty of oddly familiar spots, as if people are checking to see if there is any more goodies with a vague sense of awareness that they are doing so… I believe if that sense of awareness increases there ought to be some digestion of the horrors bystanders can achieve.
Will there be any realization that, as much as we like to switch gears to the winning side, that choosing to defile the hazards of social media means to accept personal flaws? That seems to be the particular hardship most are struggling with. After rooting and defending it and having that on record, it’s difficult to feel trustworthy, upstanding and reliable to demean it while having so many years of stalwartly defending it in our wake.
Plenty of folks are still hooked, though! Some just a little, some totally dependent. It’s hardly that fun additive anymore in which you find an old buddy or cousin and exchange phone numbers that you actually use to talk to them. If that still happens at all I sure don’t hear about it.
And this is why when I write my letters I show my gratitude so often. Each and every one of them helped to pull me out of that addiction, an addiction that still lingers, but much less so. They showed me there was still a wonderful world of people that had no urging to request I join them on the “social” network. They have hobbies, crafts, favourite music, pets. They detail their times going out that they enjoy or the odd travels that have some misadventure here and there. Real life. Personal awareness. Admittedly a few pen friends went away from that hand-in-the-cookie-jar embarrassment after grabbing all my online goodies and never saying so…
But enough remained with good manners and little to no embarrassment to checking out a bit in the cookie-jar or sweets-tin I have out here in cyberspace. They could say so, some a bit sheepishly, but what’s wrong with sheepishness when one is aware of it?
To these pen friends, they show me the epilogue of “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells. In all this mess of hunter and prey in life, even among humans upon each other, there is still something else:
“And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers—shrivelled now, and brown and flat and brittle—to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of man.”
Enthusiastic history and future of this show. Why the Q & A works so well. Thanks to pen pals and encouragement to folks who want to get in touch. How the like-button is very harmful. Advice as to how to get your own tandem and skills to return.
Variables in the growth of The Pit series, including how Helena Clara Bouchet and I became friends.
Silly gossip versus good gossip. How old and new episodes are built. Reaching 21 due to what’s happening in 20, a scene with Maggie Evans and Carolyn Stoddard. Working with memory and reincarnation.
How small things can cause major problems such as The Northeast Blackout of 1965.
Finding the right people, much appreciation and fun stories.
A little discussion about the novel in terms of embracing the darkness.
If you listen to old vinyl records this probably won’t bother you. I cleaned it up the best that I could, so this is a good example of my technical problems! Basic updates with how I’m looking at the social media concerns versus the human requirements included.
Touching on +The Reluctant Vampire+ component with Barnabas and going further with that topic. More discussion of what’s coming up in Pit Episode 19 “Happy Hour In Hell” as well as how it correlates with the original series, so there are some parallels between the original DS and The Pit to keep in mind. Plenty of keeping up with the other shows, including The Kids In The Hall, and Bewitched. Delving into Angelique’s troubles and how they work.
Relating where Endora is going with her understanding of Angelique. Bringing in The Jennings, Bill Malloy and Elizabeth Stoddard, more Carolyn and Carolyn (Stoddard and Muir). Mixing up components between The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with Dark Shadows between various characters as well as Captain Gregg and Sarah for episode 20 in The Pit. Plenty of jumping through hoops between characters. (Y’all know how fast my brain works by this time, right?)
The toxicity of discussion via social media versus the correspondence skills with pen friends and how many people, who were also looking for pen pals, were suffering from what has been happening this decade. How so much ties in with The Beatnik movement against “planned obsolescence” along with the mid 20th century changes happening after World War II. Canon pairings and non-canon pairings preferences in fanwork including a new discovery for Jo March in “Little Women” from an old friend.