Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Legacy of Frankenstein

The image of Frankenstein's monster; what it is that I find so fascinating about the creature that Boris Karloff became some 80 years ago?

I maybe read the Shelley classic while in grade school; I at least knew the storyline to some extent as far back as I can remember.  I recall going to the local used bookstore on Saturdays, searching out another Shelley book with a different cover on it, and buying it with the little, precious cash I had.  I never read the books I purchased, I only bought the book for the cover art.  As time went on, the collection grew so large that my mother made me sell the majority of the books at a rummage sale.  Of course I kept my favorite few.

I think I first saw the 1931 film while I was in middle school.  If I remember correctly, the original film ran on AMC late at night.  I remember scouring the weekly family tv guide for the film and when seeing the date of broadcast, breaking out a VHS to tape the show, setting up the high tech VHS timed recorder, and crossing my fingers that the tape would not run out prior to the end of the film.  Having watched it recently on DVD, the film still has some classic moments; a bit silly at times, but at the heart of the matter, the film always has Karloff looming on screen, always appearing as something ethereal and disturbing; appearing as something that quite didn't fit the screen...something that didn't quite belong to that specific time.

Perhaps that is the attraction to me.  The Karloff monster was a creature born out of time and and out of place; a creature not meant to exist and to only be dragged into reality at the hands of an egotistical maker.  Shunned and persecuted throughout the original book and countless films, the creature has and continues to bear the burden of an unwanted and unwelcome existence.  When Whalen and company designed the famous image years ago, I can't help but think that perhaps they too had tapped into something that all of us feel at some level.  I've begun to read the works of Carl Jung of late.  I don't doubt to think that the imagery of the monster will show up at some point during the reading of his works.

Today, years after my elementary school days, the Karloff incarnation of the monster continues to fascinate me.  I still keep an eye on old film posters for sale on Ebay and on the Web and watch the films when on tv.  I purchased a bust of the Karloff creature after college; today, the lifelike busts sits in my office at my workplace.  As if on queue, the bust both repulses and attracts all who see it on my desk for the first time.  The image, if somehow possible, relates to each and everyone of us at some type of archetypal level; the archetype is either appreciated or despised.  Rarely does a middle, gray type reaction exist to it.  Easily one of the greatest artistic creations of the 20th century, the Frankenstein image of Karloff will be with all of us for the rest of our time.  And I, for one, will forever be a fan. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Randomness of the Black Lodge

Any one who has seen the television show Twin Peaks likely remembers the show very well; my brother and I became fanatics of the show and the focused, odd vision of David Lynch constrained by the parameters of a network television show.  There were of course the owls, the log lady, Special Agent Dale Cooper, and the never resolved cliff hanger highlighting an entrance to hell; the Black Lodge.

I didn't put much thought into the idea of the Black Lodge until recently. After all, as far as I could tell, the Black Lodge was just another fantastic Lynch idea put to film.  A surrealist acid vision where my favorite television hero of all time would forever be trapped.  A brilliant, but fictitious construct that likely continues to inspire countless future filmakers and writers.  How could it be anything more than that?

Yesterday I read about the The Black Lodge in a book by Allen Greenfield.  The Black Lodge apparently is not the result of an artist's imagination, but rather an object in the history of the occult. The Black Lodge, Greenfield surmises, is a "source" of an intelligent energy that exists to inhibit and hold human evolution down against a back drop of stagnant personal growth and destructive materialism.  Likewise, in direct contrast to these dark energies, a white energy type group exists to promote and energize humanity to different epochs of human development.  As Greenfield points out, should anyone come near to or in contact with the ubermensch or oneness of the universe through actualization and transcendence, The Black Lodge descends upon that person, manifesting as a man in black, the Men In Black, black magic practitioners, and temptation.  The Black Lodge attempts to confuse and distract those with insight into the "true reality of things" by intervening in that observer's life.  Opposite energies present themselves in order to distract one away from other positive, divergent energies;  that, at least, is my take on this particular chapter of Greenfield's book "The Secret Cipher of the UFOnauts".

I recently commented on how I feel that there are multiple worlds around us all at all times of lives.  I do believe that there exists objects that manifest from an energy source outside of our field of vision.  Is this energy intelligent or random?  I have no idea, but I do tend to think that the energy invades our life on a random basis and from a random origin.  Different energies probably do collide around us frequently. Whether this collision were to create a demonic, a fairy, or an alien abduction is dependent solely upon the observer and the observer's sociological/psychological perspective.  I find it too simplistic to argue that energies permeate from a "Black Lodge" and a "White Lodge.

The idea of two eternal, warring metaphysical factions warring over the human soul through the likes of Aleister Crowley, Edward Dee, Albert K Bender and others is a very romantic notion, no doubt.  Yet I would argue that randomness holds supreme reign over the universe, our perceptions of reality, and ultimately, the thing that has become you and I. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Undefined UFOlogy

Over the past three years, I have to admit, I have become addicted to the field of UFOlogy.  I have never witnessed a "strange light" in the sky or experienced a chance alien encounter, but the subject, I find, is most interesting.

I recall years ago in elementary school checking out books at the school library regarding Yeti, Atlantis, ghosts, and of course, UFOs.  I seem to recall quite a few Brad Steiger books that I always seemed to have around my parent's house.  Slowly the interest blended into the X-Files, then a bit into school with parapsychology, and then it was lost while in my later college years and during the first few years of my professional career.  More or less, I thought, "I've grown up".  How wrong I was.

I remember not putting much stock into the "weird events" when I was young; aliens were ET and that was that.  A few years ago I randomly chanced upon a few podcasts and was introduced to things like the Skinwalker Ranch, the Mothman of West Virginia, and my local favorite, the Beast of Bray Road.  The witness accounts were so much more vibrant and profound than the books I had read on Roswell, UFO crashes, and government coverups.  Suddenly, books like Keel's Operation Trojan House, Vallee's Magonia, even Redfern's Final Events made much more sense.  In the grand scheme of things, who doesn't like the idea of an eccentric NASA rocket scientist opening a portal to another land filled with occult energized UFOs?  The ideas presented by these authors resonated to me; why do UFOs have to be extraterrestrial in nature?  Why can't UFOS be be terrestrial in nature?  Why do I even care?

My interest has only grown over the past few years.  As far as I can tell, the enigma is no further resolved than it was in the middle ages with fairies, with the airships of the 1890's, or even with current technological sightings continuously reported around the world.  Personally, I believe the answer lies somewhere in the works of Vallee and Keel; I plan to purchase books in the near future by other "ultraterrestrial" theorists such as Constable and Layne.   Unlike so many others, I don't foresee my ability to witness these events in the   coming future.  As Dr. Barry Taff once theorized in his book, paranormal events like these are often played out to the observer much like a record needle creates sounds from a record grove.  I don't quite know what that means, but on an intuitive level, that statement makes quite a bit sense. I don't believe I have that needle; yet in the end, needle or not, the phenomenon most certainly and without a doubt, exits.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ernst, Max

Four, five years ago I became an obsessive compulsive in collecting art; I scoured sites like and ebay for commercial prints of the favorite standbys.  Prints by Goya, Van Gogh, Duchamp, even Monet became mainstays in my apartment.  I had always felt I could be an artist at a very minimal level (but didn't think to pursue it in school or in my personal time), and to see the masters and feel their works on a daily basis made my efficiency feel cultured, at the very least.

Then came along Max Ernst.  I don't recall exactly how I found this surrealist/dada artist, but once I found a print of his work, it became an another obsession.  The more I researched his works, the more I realized I could actually purchase his art through auction houses and get limited prints with his personal, pencil engrained signature.  No longer were commercially replicated works limited to me and my living space; I now could hang living, breathing documents that recorded an artist's moment in time.  I became fascinated, and in typical due course, proceeded to watch dvds, purchase limited prints, and read books regarding Loplop and his life.

Above was the second Max Ernst print I ever purchased; I've always felt it to be a mixture between a Lovecraftian world of Cthulhu and a sort of disc shaped, unnameable object in the sky.  Again, I felt that the print demonstrated something that is both buzzing around us all and at the same time not quite accurate or material enough to pinpoint.

A fantastic blog regarding Loplop and his imagery can be found here :  In retrospect, the author's findings make a lot of sense and tie into the sense I've felt about Ernst since I first began purchasing his works.  In retrospect, I wish I had been attuned to the situation to have made a similar argument in this blog.

Reviewing Ernst's work over the years, I had never paid much attention to the imagery of his works, outside of the fact I enjoyed it all.  Ernst died in 1976, and alas, I was born in 1976.  In the grand scheme of things, I would like to think there was some sort of connection between these two facts.  I sincerely doubt that is the case.  But to this day, Max Ernst and his works, to me, feel like a connection to this world and others.  A connection to something that exists and feels natural to us at all times, yet simultaneously repulses us and begs us to look away.  I refuse to look away, and hope that you too will likewise. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

An initial post

An idea finally hit me last night; why not start a blog?  The experience felt like the beginning to a new creative life; a new place to record daily images and to permit the attempt to make sense of the images through the ideas I've been exposed to over my 36 years of life.  How much more exciting can it get than that?

Today's inaugural post includes an image that was on my wall this morning.  The image was stark; light passing through blinds and seeping onto the bedroom wall.  A wave length of light that was filtered into an image that seemed ordinary at first, but on second glance, appeared completely out of place.

John Keel, a famous ufologist from the early days of the UFO waves, wrote that energies exist outside of our visible wavelength and pass in and out of our field of visions at various points of time.  The idea spoke to an occult vision of UFOs and to other things paranormal that appear to be temporarily out of place to us, yet at the same, are familiar to us all at a very basic human conceptual level.

Do I think the image on the wall was paranormal?  Of course not. However, the otherworldly image did suggest that something so out of place was caused by something very much in place.  Why shouldn't the opposite exist?