Archive for the ‘Mythology’ category

“Real Vampires” on MonsterQuest…

November 6, 2020

 
We can’t all be vampires, much less Dracula…some of us are just children of the night, and I can live with that.  It’s not that I dislike vampires, it’s just that I’m much more of a werewolf guy! Besides, we children of the night have a hell of a band, being know for our music.  Alright, now we’re just a garage band, but watch for our breakout album…

…that being said, MonsterQuest recently aired a new episode titled, Real Vampires.  Now vampiric legends exist in 95% of human cultures, with the oldest originating thousands of years ago in China and India.  Kali the Hindu goddess was one such example.  A word of warning that some gruesome things covered in the episode follow…

Flashing forward to more modern times, we have the case of “JB,” who was buried in the 1800’s in Willington, Connecticut.   His remains were accidentally discovered in 1990, and his body exhumed due to its unusual condition, which included the remains being mutilated, with the corpse decapitated, the ribs broken, and the thighbones disarticulated and placed into an “X” formation on the chest…some people thought that they were destroying a vampire here.  Modern forensic investigations found that the poor soul had suffered tuberculosis, revealed in the thickening of his rib bones.  Terminal tuberculin victims cough up blood towards the end of the disease progression, which to the unenlightened may have suggested a blood feeder rather than a disease victim.

New England vampiric beliefs likely came from eastern Europe, where in Hungary in the 16th century, Countess Elizabeth Bathory,  the “Blood Countess,” was obsessed with maintaining her fading youth and lured young girls into her service over a twenty  year period of time, later torturing and killing them and bathing in and drinking their blood; she would be convicted of 80 counts of murder, and is thought to have been one of the most prolific female serial killers in history.  In 1784, the Johnson children were exhumed to presumably break a vampire curse, which often involved removing and burning or destroying internal organs of the deceased.  Years before Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, a woman called Mercy Brown in 1892 was exhumed two months after her death due to suspected vampirism, and had her heart cut out, burned to ashes, and fed to her brother, the gruesome ritual failing to prevent his death from tuberculosis, then called “consumption.”

So what gives with these people?!  Mysterious plagues, superstition, and a lack of scientific understanding can drive people to do strange and horrendous things.  Disease processes and even human decomposition were poorly understood, with such things appearing paranormal to those unfamiliar with them.  Rigor mortis and then the subsequent relaxation of muscular tissue after death can cause corpses to move somewhat, with the gases of decomposition also causing bloating and at times the expulsion of bodily fluid through the mouth that can appear blood-like.  Subsequently, those looking for vampires could appear to find them through changes in the corpses of deceased individuals. – – Get the torches, pitchforks, and stakes ready, we got us an “undead” vamp here!

Even more recently, a “vampire clan” operating in Eustis, Florida in 1996 killed the parents of one of their disciples, their leader drinking small amounts of the blood of the victims.  “Clinical vampirism” has professionally been recognized as a delusion that the blood of others is needed to survive.

After examining this extensive but not exhaustive history, MonsterQuest last examined the phenomenon of psychic vampires, who reportedly feed off the life force of others and are not themselves “the undead.”  A psychic investigator shown on camera during the episode found that a so-called psychic vampire could slightly affect a measured electromagnetic field in an interaction with another person that they were “feeding” off.  I think that many of us know people who can drain the energy out of a room by entering it…

The legend of vampires is embedded in popular culture, and involves power over someone or something else.  Portrayed over the ages as anything from outsiders to dark heroes, vampires symbolize a deep human hunger…

 

 

Dashlane’s “Password Paradise”

March 24, 2020
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In our scary times, perhaps we’ve all been thinking a bit more about Charon lately…you know, the dread boatman who ferries souls across the River Styx to the afterlife in Greco-Roman mythology.  He looks a lot like the grim reaper, clad in a cowled, all black,  shroud-like garment.  Charon would be perfect as a goth or performing in a heavy metal band.  In our Dashlane commercial, the River Styx is a suitably forboding, mist-veiled river where strange birds cry out mournfully, and our nameless “Everyman” passenger is none too happy about being ferried on his final journey…he even attempts to bribe the Boatman with money!  But then, things brighten up, and a radiant light breaks through the darkness in the distance…this looks like an afterlife possibly worth going to, and our voyaging soul smiles in anticipation for the first time!

But wait, there’s a catch for our departed soul…Charon, who as per tradition never speaks but only looks grim and spectral, prompts the man for a password by holding up one of those whiteboards that you can write on with marker.  As the boat’s passenger struggles to recall his password, Charon even thoughtfully gives him prompts via the board, such as “Name of kindergarten teacher,” and “Name of first pet?”  The man fumbles trying to recall his password, even giving the spectral figure the name of a later pet, causing Caron to try to redirect the man through gestures and underlining to the fact that the password response requires the name of his first pet…but alas, all is in vain as the guy has utterly forgotten his password, and no amount of prompts are going to help him, otherworldly or not.  After three tries, Charon dramatically throws his board into the River Styx, for the man has exceeded the number of his allowed prompts.  The man gives off an epic cry of “Nooo!” when realizing the gravity of his plight; yep, it’s password purgatory, baby, and abandon all hope ye who enter here.  Too bad our hapless lost soul didn’t have a password manager such as our advertiser Dashlane would provide.  Eternal damnation is a high price for a bad memory, and many of us know that special Hell.  I can certainly relate…

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The Sparkle Fairy in, “More Towels, More Ribs”

November 12, 2019


I’ve always considered the Sparkle Fairy to be in that rarified class of people (entities?) who are cool yet disquieting at the same time. Progressive insurance’s Flo I would include in this grouping, although she lacks supernatural powers.  I’m not sure that I’d like to encounter the Sparkle Fairy in my supermarket or elsewhere, although she seems mostly harmless.  To give proper credit, however, she wears blue really well, and some people even consider her hawt.  I also appreciate her general vibe and “fish-out-of-water” characteristics.

In a recent commercial, a guy is pigging out on ribs, a messy meal, and wishes for more paper towels to assist in this.–PrestoThe Sparkle Fairy appears, and announces that her product now offers 200 more sheets than a leading competitor’s brand.  “I wish I had 200 more ribs!,” pines the hungry guy.  Obligingly, the Sparkle Fairy makes those ribs appear on his table.  Smitten, the guy proposes marriage on the spot.  “I’m into Giants,” advises the fairy matter-of-factly.  To each their own, I suppose, and who am I to judge?

In my twisted mind, I can envision a paranormal investigation show going in search of the Sparkle Fairy and perhaps baiting a trap with paper towels. When thus captured, the fairy’s anger is unleashed and serious dark enchantments ensue, with many turned into newts. Hilarity ensues…

Daemons of “His Dark Materials”

November 7, 2019



I’m not going to try and explain the strange and wonderful world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials here as it’s vast, complex, and can be quite bewildering.  Rather, I’m just going to latch onto one item of it as suits this blog, namely the notion that we all have an animal spirit representative or daemon, which is kind of an external soul never far from you which is intelligent, talks, interacts with you, and can be seen by others, as well as by other daemons.  Although part of your soul, these daemons also have distinct personalities, opinions, and feelings. They’re not pets, and you don’t want others to pet them…that’s a serious transgression and violation of etiquette that’s simply not done!  Furthermore, the form of your daemon can transform or shift when you’re a child, assuming a permanent form when you reach puberty.  Then the “tiger in your tank” (dated advertising reference) is yours for the duration…

A British fantasy adventure series based on the novels by Pullman and available on HBO, His Dark Materials depicts a Harry Potter-esque kind of world sometimes referred to as a Narnia for atheists.  Set in a past kind of alternative universe, there are airships and other steampunk kinds of touches.  The notion of daemons exists in other cultures and in their literature as well.  In our universe, daemons are said to be invisible and internalized.  Socrates, however, is said to have seen and talked to his…but he always was a wise guy!

 

 

Season’s Greetings!

December 25, 2018


Forget Rudolph…I’m traveling with Odin’s reindeer!

A Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Yule, and Glad Festivus to all of my readers!

~ the Fox sends you Season’s Greetings from Foxsylvania!