Original air date: Monday, March 30, 2015
What is it about a belief in magic, fairy tales, and the supernatural that has been so popular in society for the past several years? Your Pop Conscious pals, Malayna and Stacy, will look at several of the most popular TV shows, movies, books, and more that show our need to suspend our disbelief. How can we utilize the same to help people believe in more than just fiction? Perhaps it is time for a new paradigm for belief. Join us as we discuss and discover!
More awesomeness from David Hayward, at nakedpastor.com
NOTES from before the show:
- From Rev. Margee Grounds, Unity Southwest Region
Could you two shed some light on the vampire programs on TV and “Charmed” and the like. I’m sure they must be a metaphor exploration of the dark side archetypes or “thought people”, as Papa Charlie would say – but since they are kind of like “real life” crime shows or soap operas, I am wondering what you two have to say about what they portray about us 21st century peeps.
To Rev. Margee:
- We have covered those topics a few times — probably most thoroughly at Halloween, and the part 2 which we did on Rev. Ogun’s show (link below). We also talked about witches and angels in another show, but I’m not sure if we’ve covered “Charmed” much. I’ll keep it in mind and figure out how and when to work it in soon!
Thanks! Here are the links if you feel like checking out the shows to see if there’s anything we missed.
Supernatural, Metaphysical, and Spiritual
Spooky Symbolism for a Meaningful Halloween
Halloween Pop Culture
- So here are some theories!
Response to the world situation /outlook – during the Great Depression, Busby Berkeley musicals helped people escape to a world of beauty. In the 50’s with fears of Nuclear War, monster movies helped people work through fears of the unknown. – much like today.
Slate.com article by Katy Waldman – quotes Susan Sontag: in 1965, the definitive essay on Cold War dystopian fantasy: “The Imagination of Disaster.” “We live,” she claimed in that piece, “under continual threat of two equally fearful, but seemingly opposed, destinies: unremitting banality and inconceivable terror.” The job of science fiction was at once to “lift us out of the unbearably humdrum … by an escape into dangerous situations which have last-minute happy endings” and to “normalize what is psychologically unbearable, thereby inuring us to it.”
In other words, a good horror/fantasy/sci-fi flick provides a healthy dose of escapism, but it also keeps one eye fastened on what we wish to escape from. During the Depression, that could have been the exhausting grind of making ends meet. During the 1950s, it was relentless domesticity and something altogether more insidious: the Soviet Menace and the threat of nuclear war.
Kya Aliana Stillson, Ft. Myers Young Adult Fiction Examiner
Because we think we know our world – the thrill of not knowing exactly how these creatures function, and how they are always inventing and exploring new twists and solutions to problems and flaws
Their problems make ours look simple.
The world feels dangerous – what would it be like to not be afraid?
A fascination with our own mortality…what we would accomplish in ten lifetimes.
Forbidden love –
The pressures of doing the right thing, versus the thrill of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons – passion of feeling alive!
Maybe we don’t feel alive, but like robots, or zombies….
We need contrast – sometimes we have to explore the other side to appreciate what we’ve got. – Anne Rice novels help her explore spirituality, religion and belief.
Charmed – was groundbreaking – and award winning!
Eight seasons from October 7, 1998, until May 21, 2006.
Charmed achieved both critical and popular acclaim, with its first episode “Something Wicca This Way Comes” garnering 7.7 million viewers, breaking the record for the highest-rated debut episode for The WB. During its fifth season, the series became the highest-rated Sunday night program in The WB’s history. At 178 episodes, Charmed is the second-longest drama broadcast by The WB and the second-longest running hour-long television series featuring all female leads. The series has also received numerous awards and nominations. In 2010, HuffPost TV and AOL TV ranked Charmed within their joint list of “The Top 20 Magic/Supernatural Shows of All Time”, while in 2013, TV Guide listed the series as one of “The 60 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows of All Time”. Charmed has also become a pop culture reference in television shows and films, and several other witch-themed shows have been compared to the series.
- Ghost Whisperer – love and light
- Fringe – drawn back to origins
- I Dream of Jeannie
- Pushing Daisies
- Vampire Diaries
- True Blood
- Addams Family
Original air date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Episode Description from Rev. Ogun Holder, Host of Rants to Revelations:
All Hallow’s Eve is upon us. It’s only fitting that we have a special Halloween pop culture edition! Our guests are Malayna Dawn and Stacy Macris Ros from Pop Conscious radio. The discussion started Monday when I visited their show. Now it’s time for Part 2 of Halloween Spirit-uality.
How about some Halloween Spirit-uality?
Before we begin examining the monster archetypes, it’s important to realize that they don’t just represent a dark, malevolent side of us, but rather the part of our being that is least familiar to our conscious mind.
They become hostile only when it is ignored or misunderstood–expressing themselves through behavior that often sabotages our wishes or image of ourselves. But they serve us by nudging us toward the light. The important thing is that if you feel some resonance these or any other symbolic roles, you should examine what they represent to YOU.
Let’s think of our inner monsters as our as unexplored power, bringing light to what is in shadow.
- Vampires survive by feeding off the life-force of another. Carolyn Myss describes the vampire archetype this way: “we sometimes form attachments to others because we desire their energy, a desire that manifests through the need to have the ‘other’ take care of our survival. What has been defined as a co-dependent relationship could easily fall under the vampire template. You may find it hard to identify yourself as a vampire, yet it is essential to review this archetype personally. Patterns of behavior such as chronic complaining, overdependence, holding on to a relationship either emotionally or psychically long after it has ended, and chronic power struggles are all indicators of Vampire patterns.”
- A mummy is someone who has died and been wrapped up for preservation. The ones that walk among us in fiction are undead. I can imagine that someone who has been hurt in life would “die inside” and wrap themselves up to heal their wounds, and might feel like the walking dead. But their wrapping would keep them from fully engaging in life. They would be tied to that old way of thinking, preserved within the wrappings. They might need to awaken to the realization that they are still able to walk, and to gradually let the old ideas fall away so they can be fully reanimated.
- A wolf man goes through unwanted change much like a teen struggles to identify with physical changes. But I can also see the werewolf as someone who is part something else, and being part one thing and part another makes you fully neither. Maybe those struggling between two worlds could identify with this archetype. Another way to interpret the werewolf could be for someone who has something inside that is struggling to get out, that they may be keeping in for fear of the havoc it could wreak if let loose. A werewolf would need to find a way to balance his two worlds in a way that brings him (or her) peace.
- A witch is someone who uses magic to defy natural laws. So maybe someone who is always trying to change a situation could be identifying with a witch archetype –if they want to cast a spell to control things, rather than be mortal and human and deal with them. They might need to focus less on an easy way out, or controlling another’s actions, and instead learn to face harsh realities with grace, changing only what they can within themselves.
- A ghost is all spirit without a body. So perhaps someone whose words are insubstantial and transparent can be considered a ghost. By only talking and not participating, they are only barely there, not tangible. Their challenge would be to walk their talk, and stand in their truth.
- The Frankenstein Monster is one who has been patched together with things that have died. So maybe someone who has been through a series of traumas could feel like Frankenstein, pieced together with old wounds, events, experiences. And yet he lives anyway, with the help of a friend who reanimated him, he walks on, waking people up to his existence (who often chase him with torches and pitchforks—I didn’t say it was easy!) Like the Mummy, he may need to focus on the fact that he is alive and aim to knit his various parts into the cohesive whole of who he is.
A skeleton is all bones – no soft parts left to hurt, no parts to make pretty. They are dead, but they grin and dance. In the Mexican celebration known as Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, people dress up skeletons doing everyday things, to show us our grinning mortality. Maybe they tell us not to be afraid of death? If we are feeling skeletal, perhaps we have lost touch with our humanity and need to nourish ourselves. Maybe our eyes look empty, and we need to reinhabit our bodies.
Written by Malayna Dawn as part of a Halloween Sunday talk at Unity Community Church in 2005. It can be found on her Symbolic Themes blog.
Original air date: Monday, October 27, 2014
It’s the time of monsters and magic, witches and werewolves, vampires and voodoo, zombies and … well, you get the idea. All of these have symbolic meaning that we celebrate each Halloween season, but we may not know why it resonates within us. With our special guest Rev. Ogun Holder, a fellow pop culture aficionado, we’ll look at some of the most popular depictions in pop culture and come up with ways to make your Halloween more deeply meaningful without taking away the fun! And be sure to tune in to his show, Rants to Revelations, on Wednesday as we continue the conversation that’s just too big for just one show!
Malayna’s Notes: (You’ll have to listen to the show to hear how the conversation really went!)
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour – Karie Bible, tour guide & historian! (Dia De Los Muertos – Nov 1st + Olvera Street)
Vampira (from Wikipedia)– Maila Nurmi was a Finnish-American actress born in Petsamo, Finland, who created the campy 1950s character Vampira. She portrayed Vampira as TV’s first horror host and in the Ed Wood cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space.
According to Nurmi, this was because the station cast comedic actress Cassandra Peterson in the part without consulting her. “They eventually called me in to sign a contract and she was there”, Nurmi told Bizarre magazine in 2005. “They had hired her without asking me.”
Unable to continue using the name Vampira, the show was abruptly renamed Elvira’s Movie Macabre with Peterson playing the titular host. Nurmi soon filed a lawsuit against Peterson. The court eventually ruled in favor of Peterson, holding that “likeness means actual representation of another person’s appearance, and not simply close resemblance.” Peterson claimed that Elvira was nothing like Vampira aside from the basic design of the black dress and black hair. Nurmi claimed that the entire Elvira persona, which included comedic dialogue and intentionally bad graveyard puns, infringed on her creation’s “distinctive dark dress, horror movie props, and…special personality.” Nurmi herself claimed that Vampira’s image was in part based on the Charles Addams The New Yorker cartoon character Morticia Addams, though she told Boxoffice magazine in 1994 that she had intentionally deviated from Addams’ mute and flat-chested creation, making her own TV character “campier and sexier” to avoid plagiarizing Addams’ idea.
Pop Culture History
Universal Monsters or Universal Horror is the name given to a series of distinctive horror, suspense and science fiction films made by Universal Studios from 1923 to 1960. The series began with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, both silent films starring Lon Chaney.
Universal continued with talkies including monster franchises Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. The studio’s leading horror actors during this post-Chaney period were Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney, Jr..
My Childhood History
- Scooby Doo – 1969!
- The Count! On Sesame Street – 1972-2012
- Groovy Ghoulies -1970-1972 – pop song each episode
- Addams Family 1964 – 66
- Munsters – 64-66 too
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