TV Psychic Miss Cleo Dies at 53 — Variety

Random Musings

RIP Miss C.

TV psychic and personality Miss Cleo died on Tuesday, as reported by TMZ. She was 53. Miss Cleo, whose real name was Youree Harris, was diagnosed with colon cancer that spread to her liver and lungs, a source told TMZ. She passed in Palm Beach County, Fla., reportedly surrounded by family and friends. Harris first came to fame in……

via TV Psychic Miss Cleo Dies at 53 — Variety

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Strange Questions about “Stranger Things”

Best of 2016, Nostalgia, Television

Now that most of the internet chatter discussing theories and motifs and other such complexities about Netflix’s “Stranger Things” has died down, it’s my time to throw my hat into the ring about the show’s clearly constructed mythology.

While most forays into the alluring cinematic power of “Stranger Things” focus on its obvious homage to the 80’s, there have only been a few true articles on the show’s deliberate narrative vagueness.  This is what I find most interesting and innovative about the series – unlike its counterparts, it doesn’t neatly tie up every plot point into a nice package that the reader is bound to understand. While there are some semblances of closure to the show’s main narratives, there are still boundless, tangential questions that linger. This is what I would like to focus on. I’ve got a few questions, too, and it’s the speculation as to their potential answers that I think  is most fascinating.

The Christmas Lights

For those reading this, I’m trusting you’ve watched the show in its entirety. If you haven’t, then there are major spoilers, obviously. The show’s main focus is on finding Will Byers, the child who goes missing right in Episode 1. Until, and after, his alleged body is found a few episodes in, the boy communicates with his manic mother Joyce (played by a sensationally emotionally crazed Winona Ryder) via the flashing of christmas lights that Joyce has hung all around her home.

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This  ‘communication’ via the blues, reds and whites of the lights is conversational while silent. Even when her son’s alleged body is found, Joyce refuses to believe that her son is dead and so continues to communicate with him with these flashing lights. So, to this I raise my first question. What do the lights mean? Why is it via this strange channel does Will attempt to communicate with his mother from the parallel universe that he is stuck within?

Judging by the meticulous plotting of the entire series, I doubt that the decision of communicating through lights was an arbitrary decision by the shows creators. Yes, the lights and its colors clearly reside within the 80’s era that the show embraces, but I think there’s more to it than that.

The Toy

In some of the show’s particularly moving scenes near the end of the season, we learn how Chief Jim Hopper’s daughter had died of cancer some years ago. Whilst attempting to help Joyce find Will in the ‘Upside Down’ parallel universe in episode 8, Jim finds a toy that his daughter was clutching when she passed away. Not only was this scene extremely emotional, it also upended the tone of episode. Why was this toy in the ‘upside down’? Is this where his daughter now lives? Is his daughter Eleven (El)?

Karen Wheeler

I found Karen Wheeler, Nancy and Mike’s mom, to be a very mysterious character. She’s given more screen time than the other supporting roles, implying that her role carries more weight than it appears to be. She’s shown reaching out, trying to communicate with her children several times throughout the series, her attempts shut down by her children’s lies when they say they’re ‘ok’. We all know they aren’t.

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A Mother’s Knowing Expression

So I ask why is Karen so seemingly prevalent in the show? Is she just a representation of a concerned parent in a small town, or is she somehow more closely entwined with some of the show’s larger narrative constructs, most notably, the mysterious El? For a character who runs a tight household, it seems odd that she didn’t discover a girl living in her basement. Don’t you?

Just a few of my thoughts. Weigh in with your opinions – I’d love to hear them. And if you haven’t seen the show, please do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s pretty awesome.

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There Have Been Stranger Things…

Best of 2016, Television

As I curl up on any flat surface that my home affords me and watch the new Netflix series “Stranger Things”, I am so massively impressed at what I am seeing. I will document my observations and comments at length once I make my way through all 8 episodes, but until then, I leave you with a succinct trailer of the show. It’s everything that an 80’s reared, cartoon watching, ET loving, corduroy wearing, bike-riding kid loves.

When To Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner — TIME

Random Musings

Keeping track of what you’re supposed to eat to stay healthy can already be overwhelming, but it turns out that when you eat what can also be important for keeping your weight in control and for warding off chronic disease. It turns out Mom was right: you should eat breakfast. And if you don’t believe…

via When To Eat Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner — TIME

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Take This Walk: A Review of Creepy “The Road Cain Walks”

Book Reviews

It’s one thing to watch a horror film, and it’s a whole other thing to read one. Written words tend to spark something in the imagination that triggers such imagery that could never be recreated for the screen. This is precisely why I don’t tend to read them all too often (The Honorable Stephen King being the obvious exception). I’m glad, however,  I decided to read Matt Kilby’s “The Road Cain Walks”.

Tensely written, the novel is set in the picturesque, quiet and quaint town of Pine Haven, North Carolina. Seemingly out of nowhere and atypical of town behaviour, a horrendous murder occurs, giving instant infamy to Grady Perlson, convicted murdered and a complicated major character.

Perlson is serving his time at Starks County Prison, a place that certainly matches its namesake in terms of ambience and void of human empathy. Here, alone, Perlson suffers in reliving the awful tragedies of his past. But things around the world are starting to converge with Perlson’s despair. This is where the true horror of the novel comes into play.

The author cleverly denounces the typical horror trope formula wherein there is
a focus on one character, his or her horrific past, and either the continuance of horror or a redemption. Instead, the merging of inexplicable global events being documented by one ambitious psychologist who is trying to find an explanation to tie these apparently random events together. It is Joe Richard, the psychologist, who embarks the walk referenced in the book’s title. It’s both an allusion on the path of evil, and the quest for being understood.