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Friday, December 29, 2023

Tammy's decoy

Last night Tammy, my miniature dachshund, got on the sofa.  And she brought along one of her Christmas toys: a plush dachshund toy, which came courtesy of my cousin Lauryn and her husband.

So she got up under her blanket, on my lap, and I noticed that she and her toy each had their tale protruding out:

Which one is Tammy??  In real life it really does look like there are two dogs in my lap.

It doesn't help resolve matters that the toy is almost precisely the same size as Tammy.  She could make serious trouble if she wants to :-D

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Twelve Years Later: Forgiving Mom

The realization hit me this morning that today is the twelfth anniversary of Mom's passing.
I've written about her before, here.  Maybe too much.   Sometimes all the hurt and anguish builds up and demands, even needs a vent.  Some people do that with art.  Or going out for a drive.  I learned a long time ago that I can't paint and I'm a threat to everyone on the road if I'm not in the right state of mind for driving.
I guess, I'm writing this to note how much my attitude toward Mom has changed in the past year or so.
There is no forgetting the things she did.  I can still hear her screaming "You're retarded!" at me.  The beatings.  The humiliations, often in front of friends (mine or hers).  Her telling me I wouldn't count for anything, and how much I believed her and maybe still believe on some level.  The list goes on.
I don't even know if I ever got a sincere loving hug from her.  She may have thought I was too deformed, too broken: the result of a birth that almost ended in my death and that close family insist made me mentally defective.
No, there is no forgetting those and more.  Mom had, as a dear friend put it, "a kernel of cruelty".
But in the past year or so, something has happened that surprises me as much anyone...
I've begun to forgive her.
It's not complete. Not yet. But maybe that's coming.
I've gradually started to let go of my anger and hatred toward her.  Have stopped letting it dominate my life, for the most part.   Maybe, even, coming to sympathize with her a little.
Because she was NOT all bad.  She did work hard to provide our family with food and clothing.  She also worked so that my sister and I would benefit from a private school education.  And there was never a bad Christmas, when Mom and Dad were behind it.  We always got nice presents from Santa that morning.
Mom did have her sweet moments, too.  They were so sporadic as to be complete surprises.  A few times she would come home from work, and having stopped at the Eden Mall along the way to get some things, and she would have a new Transformer toy for me (I so loved those little guys).  There were times when she surprised us with Domino's pizza for dinner.
I can't unfairly account for her bad, without doing likewise with her good.
Perhaps I must be content to resort to believing thus: that Mom was a very complicated person, who sometimes let the worst come out but was also capable of good.  That's the best I'll probably ever get to have on this side of the veil.
In her final year, she did once say something about how she had treated me at times.  Telling me that "wasn't the real me".  I've thought long and hard about that.  Was it just a lie, one of many that she told me over the years?   I don't know. I'll never know.   But like I just said, that's likely the best I'll ever get.  The closest to a real apology from her. I've got to do my best to accept it.
Nothing good she did will completely erase the hurt. But I can choose to overlook those, for sake of allowing myself to love the woman who, for good or bad, did bring me into the world.
Maybe writing this and sharing these thoughts will bring me closer to closure. And perhaps these words will resonate with others, who likewise are having a hard time letting go of anger and bitterness. I can tell you that forgiving someone can be a very hard thing. But it really will bring you a freedom that you've never known.
If I can forgive my mother, then anyone can forgive... and be forgiven.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas 2023: Return of a Tradition

To be honest, I don't know if I should do this.  It seems like it would be more ideal to bring this back during a better Christmas.

But when would that be?  We aren't guaranteed a tomorrow, much less a holiday that could be years from now.

It's like this: for a very long time, every year in the days before Christmas, I would post an article that I wrote for my college's newspaper, in 1998.  A few weeks ago was the twenty-fifth anniversary of it getting published.  When I started this blog some years after college, that essay seemed like a good thing to make a holiday tradition out of.

I just checked and the last time I did that was in 2013.  Ten whole years ago.

In 2013 I was recently back home from spending a week in voluntary commitment to a psychiatric facility, because of depression.  Well, a few other things that preceded that too, that had also really hit home.  I don't know how I managed to eke out the tradition that year.

And then in 2014, Dad passed away just before Thanksgiving.  There was no keeping the tradition after that.

Since then I've struggled to keep the blog going at times, occasionally wondering what is the point of it.  But I always seem to make myself realize that this is, as it always has been, a chronicle of the human condition, seen through the eyes of one particular and peculiar person.  With all his strengths and weaknesses, warts and all.

And then there was my picking up stakes and traveling across America, looking for a new place to hang my hat.  It was a quest that brought my dog Tammy and I all the way to California.  That didn't work out so friends invited us to stay with them in South Carolina for awhile.  Now I'm living in a real home, and have had a serious career under my belt.  Unfortunately the current economy made me have to look for other work.  Which is very sad, because I truly loved my job at the Department of Mental Health.

 Well, I guess... things could be much worse.  Despite circumstances there is still a roof over our heads, food on the table, a car that still runs.  Tammy and I are together and Lord willing will be for many more years to come.

And for the first time in a very long time, definitely since before the worst of the manic depression cranked up in stark earnest, I've found an abiding faith in God again.

I suppose if nothing else, that by itself qualifies the return of the tradition this year.

So here it is, for the first time in a decade.  And with that I am going to take a few days off from blogging.  Allow myself a period of reflection and consideration, as much as might be possible.  Maybe it will be a season in which I can draw further close to God.  I would really like that.

Until next time, Merry Christmas.  And now...



 Originally published in The Pendulum, Elon University, 12/03/1998

Celebrating the Christmas season means celebrating the memories

Chris Knight

     Some of the best memories that we take through life are about the times we cherish the most. And sometimes, it doesn’t take much to bring back the joy.

     Last Friday as I was driving around Greensboro, the all-time coolest Christmas song ever came over the speakers.

     Who knows what this genius recording artist’s name is? Does it really matter? Whoever he is, he’ll forever be remembered as giving us the immortal sound of “Dogs Singing Jingle Bells”:

Arf arf arf,
Arf arf arf,
Arf Arf Whoof Whoof Whuf…

     Ahh... you know how it goes.

     And there’s the ever-beuh-beuh-beauh-beautiful rendition of Porky Pig singing “Blue Christmas” and the Chipmunks and of course “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Christmas at Ground Zero,” but hearing those dogs singing “Jingle Bells...” ahhhhh.

     It brought me back to the very first time I heard that: on the radio coming back from school just before Christmas in 1982. I was in third grade at the time. And it brought back memories of the Christmas we had.

     It was cold and very cloudy. I remember that because Santa had brought me a telescope and I didn’t get to use it that night. Which wasn’t too big a worry, ‘cause me and my sister had our brand-new Atari 2600 to play with!

     Another Christmas memory: To this day, I’ll never forgive Anita for the pounding she gave me in “Combat.” I don’t care how fancy Sega or the Playstation get... they’ll never touch the 4-bit pleasures of the Atari!

     There have been many a Christmas since then, and I remember each one well, for all the little things they had with them.

     I’ll never forget Mom and Dad taking me and my sister to see Santa Claus at the mall in ‘84. That morning Dad asked if I’d come with him to cut firewood, so we rode the tractor into the woods. There had been snow earlier in the week, which lay around us in the crisp, cold morning.

     Dad also brought his 30-30 rifle, why I still don’t know. After we had the wood loaded, Dad asked if I wanted to try shootin’ the gun.

     There I was, a ten-year old kid, holding what looked like an anti-aircraft cannon in my tiny hands. Well, I aimed at this tree like Dad told me to, and pulled the trigger.

     To this day I cannot describe the colors that flashed before my eyes, or the sound in my ears. When my existence finally returned, I was flat on my back in the snow, and blood was gushing from between my eyes where the scope had hit my nose from the backfire.

     That night Santa saw the bandages and said “Ho ho hoooo, and what happened to you, little fellow?”

     “I got shot, Santa,” was the only thing I knew to say.

     Hey, was I gonna lie to the Big Man? Uh-uh, no way was I gonna lose all that loot!

     The following year’s Christmas I remember for many things, but especially feeding the young calves on our farm. It would be the last year our family would be running a dairy farm, and I had started helping with some of the work around the barn.

     Dad set up a Christmas tree in the milking room, with wrapped-up boxes beneath it.

     Tinsel hung from the front doors of the barn. And there was something about the feel of the place there, that has always held a special place in my heart, as if we knew that there would not be another Christmas like this one.

     I wish there had been another Christmas on the farm, because there’s something I wish I could have seen. And as silly as some people might find this, I really believe that it happens.

     You see, if you go out at midnight on Christmas Eve, you will see all the animals in the farmyard, and in the fields, and in the forests, and wherever else they may be, stop where they are.

     And then they kneel.

     They kneel in remembrance for another night, long ago. It was Christmas, but how many people could know it then?

     Nothing remarkable, to be sure: Caesar had decreed a census through the land, and each man went with his family to his town.

     One man in particular took his wife, a young woman quick with child. But there was no room for them at the inn. So that night, in a dirty and filthy stable and surrounded by animals, a child was born.

     You see, it’s easy for us to forget. At this time of the year, we are too overwhelmed by the consumption and the material and the glitter and all the customs that come with Christmas.

     And it’s too easy for us to forget that Christmas is, before everything else, a birthday.

     But the animals, who watched over Him as He lay as a newborn babe, two millenia ago... the animals have not forgotten.

     And so they kneel every Christmas and give glory to the newborn king, and in awe that God would send His Son to live among us in the greatest act of love.

     And to teach us many things, but especially to “love one another”. And to bridge the gap between man and God.

     The birth of Jesus Christ: the greatest Christmas present there will ever be. His birth, which would give mankind the greatest present it could ever ask for.

     Who in the world on that night could know the price that this present would someday have?

     Heaven and Earth sang praises to His glory on that night. The animals have always remembered that night. And Heaven and Earth still praise and sing unto Him.

     And if you only take a little time out from how busy things become at this part of the year, you can hear the singing, too. And it is a great temptation to join in that chorus.

     And perhaps in hearing, we will not forget the real meaning of Christmas, either.

     This Christmas Eve night I plan to be outside, with the same telescope that I got for Christmas all those years ago, and trying to envision a bright star over Bethlehem. Around midnight, I’m going to take a walk over to my aunt’s farm.

     Merry Christmas. Peace on Earth, and goodwill toward men.

Dedicated to the memory of W.C. “Mutt” Burton, for whom Christmas was always “In My Bones.”



Sunday, December 17, 2023

Tammy and me at Kitty Hawk

Today is the 120th anniversary of the first powered air flight, by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk on the  Outer Banks of North Carolina.

In May of 2017, not long after coming back east after nearly a year of traveling across America, I took my dog Tammy on a day trip to the Outer Banks.  I wanted her to be able to say (to other dogs anyway) that she has seen the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  We drove down to Cape Hatteras and visited the lighthouse, then went back north.  We spent a little while at the Wright Brothers monument, and got our photo taken at the spot where that very first airplane flight took off from:

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Got to see Godzilla Minus One last night

Many years ago an idea hit for a Godzilla movie.  There are strong doubts that I'll ever get to make it but the notion still occupies my mind whenever a film about kaiju is released.  My idea for a Godzilla film is to set it in Japan in 1954, the year the original film came out.  To treat Godzilla as a force of nature like an earthquake or tsunami.  Shoot the movie in black and white like Schindler's List.  And throughout the film it cuts to the modern day (or maybe it's the Nineties or Aughts) with survivors of the attack sharing their perspectives.  Just like the "witnesses" that were seen throughout Warren Beatty's Reds.  It would have been as close to a documentary-style film about a Godzilla attack as would be possible.

As I said, I don't expect that film to be made (or maybe someone at Toho will read this post and decide it's a good idea, in which case I will cheerfully say "Do it!").  But if that doesn't happen then I will be perfectly happy with Godzilla Minus One, which I was able to catch last night.


Godzilla Minus One is, absolutely, the Godzilla film that I have been hoping to see for a very long time now.  Yes, here is a movie that treats Godzilla as he should be: a natural disaster on ginormous legs and breathing atomic fire.  There is no bargaining with such a force of nature.  You can only do your best to brace for the destruction in its wake.  And maybe it's just me but I've long thought that Godzilla should not be endlessly fighting other kaiju.  The tendency there is that Godzilla becomes a nigh-unstoppable force for good... which runs fully counter to his character.

Let me be succinct: Godzilla Minus One is the Godzilla movie we didn't know we needed and thought we would never get.

The film begins in 1945, in the closing days of World War II.  Which I loved.  Setting the movie in postwar Japan is perfect for a Godzilla story and it immediately ups the stakes, what with the country just then beginning to recover from incendiary air raids and the two atomic blasts.  Just when the people of Japan think they might really be on the high road away from devastation, here comes Godzilla to make things even worse.

I'm stopping short of calling this post a proper "review".  It's more of just a blunt reaction piece.  Godzilla Minus One is a movie that you are going to want to go in cold when you watch it.  This movie was a sheer and quite moving delight that hearkens back and brings freshly to the fore all the qualities that one would expect from a serious Godzilla motion picture.  I had a blast (no pun intended) watching this movie and I think most of the people reading this will come away from seeing it feeling much the same.  WELL worth finding a good theater to see this movie in.

I'll close with this: No, I haven't seen Oppenheimer yet.  Real-life events have conspired me prevent me from seeing any movie this year up 'til now, with the exception of this past summer's Indiana Jones film.  But I could definitely see Godzilla Minus One being a serious awards contender.  It's a film as beautiful in its acting and cinematography as it is massive in scope.  In a perfect world this movie would be up for Best Picture at the Oscars in a few months.

If so, the gang at Toho Pictures will have well deserved it.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

DOOM is thirty years old today!

Doom, arguably the most installed piece of software in the history of anything, today celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its release.

It was at 12:01 AM on the morning of December 10th, 1993 that the team at id Software uploaded the first one-third of the game - the shareware version - to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Within minutes wanna-be players crashed the school's system as everyone and their brother (and a few sisters) tried to get Doom.  Hours later and campuses around the world were banning the game's network play capability, it was such a resource hog.

By the end of that first day it was very obviously clear: the world was Doomed.  It wasn't long afterward that the id Software staff started getting sales of the full game to the tune of a hundred THOUSAND dollars a day.

And it wasn't just the high school and college crowd that was playing Doom: it was people from all walks of life.  Young and old.  Students and professionals.  Especially when it came to the game's revolutionary multiplayer component.  Doom was the great leveler after death itself.  In a perfect world there would be no wars: only games of Doom to prove one's skill.

My first exposure to Doom came a few months later, when a friend brought over a box containing the shareware version that he had found at K-Mart for like a dollar.  This was still a time when most homes in America didn't have Internet and consequently no FTP access, so id also distributed the shareware edition in boxes for the cost of packaging.  Johnny's own computer was having problems running it, but maybe mine would.  We were sharing rides to the community college for a history class on Tuesday nights.  After I returned home that evening I installed Doom on the 486-SX system that I had gotten for Christmas.

Doom was a little overwhelming at first.  Also plenty violent.  I didn't honestly know what to make of it when I initially cranked it up, and there was school work and my job at the nearby seafood restaurant for most of the weekend.  But on Sunday afternoon I gave Doom another shot.  It sucked me in hard and refused to let go.  I was firing at anything and everything that moved.  By the time I found the chainsaw I was grinning like a maniac.  Dad walked past my door and looked in to see what I was doing.  He saw me blasting those Imps away with the shotgun and just sort-of shook his head in disbelief.  Later on he watched me sawing into the demons and I like to think he found it pretty amusing.  Just as I was finding that killing off hordes of the undead was a GREAT stress reliever after all.

It wasn't long after that when I sent a check off to Texas.  A week or so later the full version of Doom - containing version 1.666 - arrived at my door.  By that time I had conquered "Knee Deep In The Dead" many times on the various difficulties.  Now it was time at last to wade upon "The Shores Of Hell" on my way to "Inferno".

And then came the discovery that id Software had made the game almost completely customizable!  People had figured out how to create their own levels, edit and add-in new graphics, change up the sounds and music... pretty much anything pertaining to the game's environment.  That first night I tried an add-on, when I UNZIP-ped a WAD (acronym for "Where's All the Data?") file and changed the Baron of Hell into Barney the Dinosaur... that just lit a fire under me to find and collect EVERY add-on file that I could locate.  I think my favorite custom level was "Deimos Subway": a very well-designed board imitating a train station along with a catchy tune for background music.  There was the WAD that added sounds from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  And there is also no forgetting the various WADs that added classical MIDI music to the game.  All very clever (and often very funny) stuff.  Although I kind of harbor doubts that many people these days would be comfortable with loading the COSBY.WAD before starting the game...

Wow.  Thirty years.  So much has happened both in personal time and across the realm of video/computer gaming.  But even today, that first one-third of Doom is with us as much as ever.  Ports of the game have been made for everything from calculators to refrigerator doors to home pregnancy tests to John Deere tractors.  It's become an unofficial mantra of the coding sector: "It's not a computer if it doesn't run Doom."

And I would be remiss if I did not admit that every so often I find myself playing original Doom again.  There's just something about this game that charms the player and leaves an indelible mark on one's cerebral pleasure center.  I've played a lot of so-called "Doom-clones", but it's the original game which the game-oriented part of my personal entertainment proclivity owes its allegiance to.

Time has proven that it is true: "Doom will never die.  Only its players will."

So Happy Thirtieth Birthday to Doom!  May we be playing it for another thirty!

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Testing for un-named weekly series

It was my friend Matt Smith who first encouraged me to start a weekly video series like his own Sunday school videos.  He suggested some equipment and I've been playing around with shooting footage with my iPad Pro.  Today I tried it again, this time with a wireless lavalier microphone.

This is still VERY rough, but I thought it could be shared with y'all.  Few things from making this: the mic should be further up my shirt (crossing my arms in this muffled the sound).  And this show is in dire need of a name.  Maybe y'all can suggest one.

Anyhoo, here it is!

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

The Knight "Many Santas" Hypothesis

Work with me here.  This is something that popped into being inside my gray matter a few weeks ago.  Personally, I can't find any argument about how this is not a viable theory.  Although I confess that I did ummm... "borrow" some things from current pop culture.   But as Santa Claus is a character who has borrowed much else across the centuries I think it's appropriate.

So here it is: my hypothesis for why there are so many Santa Clauses, how Santa gets ALL that work done in a single night, how Santa knows everything about whether you've been bad or good.  And that ultimate question: does Santa Claus exist at all?

All right, here we go...

Santa Claus is a multi-universal entity. That's why we see so many of them at Christmas time. Most of the Santas you're seeing are from other universes who are in ours for awhile. Each Santa has a territory staked out, so it's always Santa who brings toys, they're just not necessarily Santa from our universe.  Santa is living, breathing proof that the "many worlds" theory is true.  He is the anthromorphic personification of quantum mechanics.
This is also why "Santa" takes so many forms wherever on Earth he's at. Father Christmas? Yup, he's from another universe too.  So is Julmoten (and HIS multiples), Papa Noel, and every other incarnation of a kindly old man who brings presents to good little girls and boys at Christmas.

Santas from across the Multiverse

Being a multiversal entity gives Santa access to all kinds of wild technology, some of which seems absolutely magical to us mere mortals.  This explains the flying sleigh.  Reindeer?  Those are mostly just for appearance's sake.  The real Santa's sleigh is a miracle of applied science that is as mundane to many others in the multiverse as a truck-pulled sleigh in a Christmas parade is for us today.
(That Santa?  Yup, he's a multiversal agent also.)
Every so often the Santas, all couple of million or so of them, congregate at the North Pole, which is the nexus of all those divergent universes. There the Council of Clauses set forth policy, handle legislation and otherwise provide leadership for all the Santas.
Who is that Santa Claus you see at the mall, or ringing a bell for charitable contributions? Is that the real Santa? The answer is no AND yes. Santa Claus is a mythic wave function given temporal form. If you share your Christmas list with one Santa, it's as if you've shared it with EVERY Santa.
And it goes without saying: all of those Santa Clauses operating in the world have a MUCH easier time than the government does in watching for who's been naughty or nice.
So be good and keep the faith, my friends. Yes Virginia, there most certainly IS a Santa Claus. And he is everywhere!


UPDATE: a kind reader sent us a photograph of one of the "Quantum Clauses".  This Santa is in the Reidsville, North Carolina, United States area:




Sunday, December 03, 2023

Sharing something very special tonight

So, this past week a memory just popped into mind.  About something I had written a long time ago as a student at Elon.  Awhile back I discovered an online archive of every issue of The Pendulum, which was the college's newspaper.  I've shared a few of the op-ed pieces I wrote for the paper already.

I don't know why I found myself thinking of it but I went looking for it.  And lo and behold I not only found it, but I realized today is the twenty-fifth anniversary of its publication!

Maybe there is something at work, that such synchronicity happened right just now.

For many years at Christmas time I posted the text of this piece.  It was a holiday tradition for this blog.  But I haven't done that in a long while.  Maybe this year would be a good occasion to bring that tradition back.

Well anyway, here it is.  From the December 3rd, 1998 issue of Elon College's The Pendulum: my essay about Christmas and its memories.  Click to enlarge the image.

I'm feeling as if Kipling is in order...

 The Gods

of the

Copybook Headings

Rudyard Kipling



As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all. 

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind. 

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome. 

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things. 

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."  

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."  

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, 
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; 
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, 
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."  

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more. 

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. 
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, 
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire; 

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, 
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, 
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Chris sees Doctor Who's "The Star Beast" so you don't have to

"Doctor... I let you go."

~ final words of the Twelfth Doctor


 Oh dear Lord.  It was so much worse than I was ready for.

I keep hearing Peter Capaldi's last words as The Doctor, now several minutes after watching "The Star Beast": the first of the three hour-long specials "celebrating" the sixtieth anniversary of Doctor Who.  

Because that is what I'm feeling now.

This GIF that I made a few years ago, taken from the Mel Brooks film Silent Movie, somehow expresses the disgust and sense of being let down that I'm experiencing at this hour:


I had been a fan of Doctor Who ever since I was six years old, and sneaking in watching it WAY past my bedtime when WFMY in Greensboro aired episodes of it after the 11 o'clock news on Sunday nights.  Those were mostly from the Tom Baker era, and I'll never forget the first time I heard that theme by Ron Grainer.  Then I discovered that PBS ran Doctor Who at respectable hours on Saturday afternoons, and I got to see those and not have to worry about Dad catching me out of bed.

I was an on-and-off fan of Who throughout childhood and adolescence, and then came the day when a lady from PBS (standing in front of a graphic of the TARDIS) announced that there would be no further broadcasts of Doctor Who on public television.

So began the show's "time in the wilderness", apart from the "Dimensions In Time" 3-D special for Children in Need, when there was no new Who.  It seemed the show had finally run its course.  But I never lost my appreciation for it.

And then one night in the fall of 1994, I was logged into the bulletin board system run by a friend.  His BBS featured FidoNET, which was sort of a USENET (remember that?) connected to bulletin boards all around the world.  And there was a group on it called the Doctor Who Echo.

It was like that scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where everyone realized they've had similar experiences with the UFOs.  It was finding others, out there, who were just as much Doctor Who fans as I was and indeed many who were much more Whovian than I thought possible.

A few months later I got Internet access for the first time.  Rec.Arts.SciFi.DoctorWho was one of the first newsgroups I subscribed to.  Using the Netscape Navigator browser I found (and bookmarked) the Doctor Who Home Page and discovered reams of text files of not only serious information but also bloopers, a "drinking game", just gobs of humor that had my sides hurting from laughter (literally!).

January 1996.  I had just gotten my first apartment.  My roomie was off in England as part of Elon's winter term.  Days before I was going to get seriously started moving in there threatened to be a fierce winter storm.  Mom convinced me to take the bare essentials and some clothing on to the apartment, 45 minutes away.  On the way I stopped at the mall in Burlington, looking for some entertainment.  I found the Doctor Who 1983 special "The Five Doctors" on VHS.  I bought it, got my things into the apartment and watched that tape while eating pizza from Little Caesar's.  I felt like I was king of the world, or at least my little corner of it.  I watched "The Five Doctors" a few more times while being iced in with nowhere to go.  It has become a tradition: every first night I spend in a new home, I've watched "The Five Doctors" while dining on pizza.

Then came the buildup to the premiere of the 1996 Doctor Who television movie, starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor (regenerating from Sylvester McCoy's previous Doctor).  Some were disappointed in the TV movie.  I thought it showed great promise and it was a let-down that it gained no further traction.

But true to form, The Doctor refused to die.

I need not go into the return of the Doctor Who series in 2005.  Even if you're fairly new to Who you probably know something about how long its "Nu Who" incarnation has been around, beginning with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.

Russell T. Davies was the showrunner then.  And I thought he pulled off a magnificent job in bringing the show back.  Oh sure, there were some fits and starts.  There were a few rough edges.  And maybe a little "progressiveness", but that never overwhelmed how amazing the new series was.  I was willing to overlook those.  The first of the new episodes I saw was "Dalek", featuring the return of The Doctor's most classic enemy.  And then some weeks later I downloaded (the revived series was strictly on the British side of the pond, not legally available in the States) the two-part story "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances", written by a chap named Steven Moffat.  That tale completely blew me away with its awesomeness.  And when Moffat brought us "The Girl in the Fireplace" during the following season, David Tennant's first as the Tenth Doctor...

...that one genuinely brought on the tears.  I couldn't remember any television story that had so moved me.

I could go on.  But I wanted to establish my credentials first.  If I haven't driven home the point yet, here it is: I GET Doctor Who.  Arguably better than many if not most modern fans can.

When it was announced that after Peter Capaldi's time in the role ended, that The Doctor would regenerate into his/their first female incarnation as Jodie Whittaker in the role, well... I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't cautiously optimistic.  I was willing to give her a chance.  But such a change was fraught with risk, and I'll say something here that I've said many times in the past few years: there is a dynamic at work throughout the Doctor Who franchise, between The Doctor and his companions, and that should never be "tinkered" with.

But I still was willing to let Whittaker, and new showrunner Chris Chibnall, prove themselves.

Folks, I will readily admit to being one of the Chibnall era's biggest detractors.  For the first time it was readily obvious that THE MESSAGE(tm) really was seriously becoming more important in the show than... GASP!... actual character and plot.  And then there was the "Timeless Child" notion that completely obliterated most of the canon about The Doctor's very existence.  Strangely I don't blame Whittaker herself.  She was just playing the role, she had no say in what the show's execs intended for her time as The Doctor.  I absolutely believe that in better hands she could have been an amazing Doctor.

But that wasn't to be.

And then it was announced over a year ago that Russell T. Davies was coming back to helm Doctor Who.  And again, I found myself cautiously optimistic.  Ideally it would be Steven Moffat, who took over the reins following Davies' first tenure, as THE ONE who would restore order to the Whoniverse.  But it seems that is not going to ever happen again, leaving Moffat's era - which encompassed Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi's respective Doctors - a brilliant diamond forever shining bright across the annals of the television medium.

"Cautiously optimistic".  I really was.

Then came the past few weeks, and Davies' insane changes to much-beloved villain Davros.  One fan posted an eloquent defense of the original Davros design on X/Twitter.  Davies replied: "Tough".  Which was definitely not an act becoming a conscientious and responsible steward of the Doctor Who mythos.

And then the advance word of "The Star Beast" special started filtering down.  And even the BBC admitted that the special was being driven by "The Message".

Much like what happened that night on the Doctor Who Echo on FidoNET nearly three decades ago, I began finding other devoted Who fans, who were becoming increasingly rattled by these developments and Davies' attitude.  Some serious dissent was brewing across the Intertubes.

It all came to a head yesterday, with the premiere on BBC and on Disney+ (yes, Disney is now partly running Doctor Who, which may explain some things) of "The Star Beast".  And X/Twitter's most trending topic for most of the day was "RIP Doctor Who".

I read a lot of those tweets.  I made a few of my own also, sharing some thoughts about how liberalism corrupts and destroys everything it touches (it really does).  And could it be that liberalism has now brought down Doctor Who?

Well, I made up my mind as I was working throughout most of the day.  I had to see "The Star Beast" for myself.  And make up my own mind about it.  A longtime reader of this blog made it available to me.

I just spent an hour watching "The Star Beast".

People, it's impossible to shine a turd.  But it can sure have lots of glitter thrown at it, in the desperate hope that some of it will actually stick.  However in the end all you're left with is glittery sh-t.

Words cannot possibly contain or convey how much I absolutely hate this "special".  It was so much WORSE than anything I was braced for.  So many times I wanted to give up, but noooooo I had to ride it out.  Had to be willing to give it a chance to redeem itself.

There is no redemption for "The Star Beast" and it's glaringly evident that there is no redemption for the Doctor Who franchise in Russell T. Davies' grip.

Yes, THE MESSAGE does loom large.  Like the atrocious Absorbaloff from the reprehensible "Love & Monsters" episode (don't go looking for that, please), it gobbles up and dissolves into nothing everything it touches.  The only people who are apparently crazy about this hour-long chapter are hardcore leftists, the sexually deviant and trans-activists of the kind that lately stalk J.K. Rowling like so many rabid hyenas.  Not even the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate to the saga can raise hopes that the Davies era is going to be anything but "progressive" in your face as long as he's in the big chair.

("Binary gender" is now a superpower.  And The Doctor must now take care not to tread wrongly and "mis-gender" anyone.  Just two of the atrocities committed during the running time of this... thing.)

I have a theory.  I've shared it on X/Twitter a few times.  Here it is: Russell T. Davis has become aware that he is mortal.  That one day he will shuffle off his mortal coil.  As a homosexual man he has no children.  He has no posterity, other than his body of work.  But that's not enough to satisfy him.  Davies is suddenly aware of the ingrained NEED to perpetuate himself.  And that's what is driving him most with his return to Doctor Who.  Russell T. Davies of 2005 was not like this.  THAT Russell T. Davies also had no issue with bringing Davros back in his classic form.  But TODAY's Russell T. Davies is now cognizant of the reality that he will DIE someday, and maybe sooner than later.  So he is now hell-bent on proliferating his sexual politics and hard-left agenda through Doctor Who and impose that upon generations to come.

Perpetuating himself through his creations, which are only meant to tear apart and destroy.

Clearly, Russel T. Davies has become that which he claims to hate.  Davies has become Davros.

I feel like I'm just getting started with how much "The Star Beast" let me down.  And apparently it let a lot of other people down also.  Broadcast figures from its premiere indicated that only about 5 million or so people tuned in.  Definitely not the ratings that "The Day of the Doctor" special ten years ago on the fiftieth anniversary earned.

The next special, "The Wild Blue Yonder", transmits this coming Saturday.  Followed by "The Giggle" and then the Christmas special that sees Ncuti Gatwa becoming the Fifteenth Doctor.  I have to wonder what these upcoming specials will gain in terms of viewership... if they gain anything substantial at all.  I kind of feel sorry for Gatwa.  I've seen some of his work and he would make an outstanding Doctor... but then again, Whittaker could have been an outstanding Doctor already, had it not been for The Message(tm) having the priority over everything else.

Okay, that's it.  I'm done with Doctor Who.  Maybe forever.  This show died in that blinding white light at the end of the Twelfth Doctor's regeneration.  Nothing since has been up to snuff and it sure looks like nothing yet to come is going to be proper Who either.

Incidentally, I spent Thanksgiving Day afternoon - the sixtieth anniversary of "An Unearthly Child", the very first Doctor Who episode - watching some of my many DVDs of the show's classic era.  First was the Fourth Doctor story "The Deadly Assassin" and then there was "The Five Doctors".  I celebrated The Doctor and everything good that he has stood for, for decades.  I'm very thankful for those DVDs (and I still have that VHS tape of "The Five Doctors").

To me, there is no more Doctor Who now.  It began with "An Unearthly Child" in 1963 and it ended with the final Peter Capaldi episode.  Everything since has been about nothing but forwarding THE AGENDA.  Doctor Who is now in the hands of people who do not now and might never have truly appreciated The Doctor and his universe.

But as Russell T. Davies put it so beautifully: "Tough".

Let us be grateful that we had The Doctor and his companions and their adventures for as long as we did.  And for now, there is still physical media of the classic series (and even many of the revived show) that can be purchased and archived away.  I recommend that you do that now, before Disney+ becomes the only means of watching the show at least here in America.  There is some genuine value in physical DVDs and Blu-rays and even videocassettes.

But as for what Doctor Who has now become?

Maybe there is some value in what the show is turning into.  Perhaps people better than I will look at what Doctor Who is morphing toward, and politely tell Davies and his woke minions that "oh yes that's nice!" when secretly they loathe it.  Kind of like a grown-up looking at the mad scribblings in crayon of a five-year old, who insists that it's a beautiful work of art.  And maybe the drawing will be put on a refrigerator door, before eventually being taken down and relocated to the basement.  Where rats and roaches will finally chew up its fading paper.

Let it fade.

Monday, November 20, 2023

God and me: How I found my faith again

I wish that I could tell you, faithful readers (all two of you) that my spiritual life is one that has been a beautiful one.  A life that has somehow escaped all trouble and heartbreak.  This month is the twenty-seventh anniversary of my first coming to having faith in Christ.  And you would think that all of that time would have resulted in... well, something beyond losing that faith and having to go through agony over and over again.

Yeah, you might think that.  And you would be horribly wrong.

I well remember the first ten days or so after my salvation.  The joy that I felt, at having confronted something that had been holding me back and beating that (or so I thought at the time).  And then it was like I plunged headlong into darkness that I still have a hard time believing is really there, waiting to swallow us whole.

Nobody told me that the Christian life is going to be like this.  If they had, I might have seriously reconsidered whether this was the life for me.  Thankfully, God put really amazing people into my sphere of things, who counseled me and encouraged me and discipled me.  I have not forgotten them, though it seems the years have taken their toll on some things.  But I digress.

To channel toward brevity, I will sum it up thusly: my spiritual life has been one disaster after another.

Being attacked spiritually (there is no other way to put it).  Then the manic depression that arose a few months after graduating from college.  The destroyed marriage.  The failure to have any sense of life worth living, losing my parents and then losing another relationship that I had hopes for... all of these things and more took their toll.  To be honest I don't know why I've stuck with the label of being a "Christian".

Identity means something to me.  If I am something then I can say that I am.  If I'm not, I will readily deny that is part of me.  "Christian" is something that for whatever reason I was reluctant to let go of.  It did identify me, even if I failed in my part to identify with it.

So let me sum up, again: this past year has been a very difficult one for me.  I had to leave a job that I loved dearly because of how bad the economy has sucked away at my resources.  I went to work at another job, one that paid immensely more.  That however lasted a week and a half: medication I take made it extremely difficult to have fine finger movement at a fast pace (yeah, even though I type at about 60-70 words a minute).  From there I was employed for two months at a manufacturing plant and that job I lost because of reasons that, well, there was an out-of-court settlement that I'm legally bound to not go into.  Then came the substitute teaching job that lasted all of two days, after I was accused of teaching chemistry students how to make high explosives.  I then found work at a supermarket.  After THAT I found work again, this time for three days (let's just say that my nervousness about the environment got the better of me).

So that's, what... five jobs I've had in the span of twelve months?

Then there were situations that arose during this time.  The worst has been a few weeks ago when Tammy, my miniature dachshund, hurt her back.  She required veterinary care and medication.  She's also been firmly instructed to NOT jump up and down from furniture anymore (an instruction I am trying hard to enforce).  Thankfully she is soon going to have a set of ramps tailor-made to her specifications that will let her climb up and down from the sofa and bed.

Oh, there were resources to draw from.  There was an inheritance I got from my late aunt's estate.  And the settlement.  But otherwise I have been clinging by my fingernails, trying to hold on.  And had it not been for God sending some very precious friends to assist, Tammy and I would likely not have a roof over our heads and food to eat.

Factor in that my mental health has had its ups and down throughout this time.  I'm not having the worst of the depressive or manic episodes, thankfully.  But they still come unbidden when I need them the least.  This past weekend, I went through a minor depressive episode.  It manifested itself in a number of ways.  Here it is Monday morning and I'm feeling much better.

I guess all this is a roundabout way of saying something that I've heard before in my life, but in the past few weeks and months have discovered its veracity first-hand: you don't know how much you really have, until you have nothing.

I am probably the most destitute person in my particular sphere of friends.  Actually, I know that I am.  And yet right now I feel more blessed and THANKFUL than I ever have in my entire life.  I do have amazing friends.  I have Tammy.  There is shelter.  There is food and there is gas (though I am keeping my driving about to a bare minimum).  There is always the promise of new and maybe even better employment...

 And most of all, I have my faith again.

And I hope and pray and even truly believe that it will stick with me this time.

The past few weeks, I've found that I'm not questioning God anymore, or at least as much.  I've seen Him provide for our needs way too much than to doubt Him.  Have felt a peace that I have not known since those very earliest days of being a Christian.

I'm not just saying that.  A lot of my friends have noticed it, too.

What changed?  Did I somehow in spite of my weaknesses become some kind of "Super-Believer"?

No, I don't believe that I did.  I'm still just me, Chris Knight: failure in all the worst ways and general loser at life.

But I did change something up, and I believe it has made all the difference there can be.

What happened?

I changed how I pray.

In my prayer life I'm now talking, really talking, to God as if He were a person.  Because He is a person.  The most important person, even.

All my life I've seen God as if He were an unapproachable force of supernatural nature, that must be appeased absolutely or else.  And I guess He is that, still.

But it finally struck me that God, in every aspect of the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - has made Himself available to us.  We only need reach out and speak to Him.

I'm not ready to say what it was that finally impressed that upon me.  It's actually something pretty trivial.  But it made me stop and reconsider how I pray.

So I began talking to God, not in an all-holy and overly-ritual kind of way.  But just talking to Him.  Asking Him to please hear me.  Telling Him what was happening in my life.  Telling Him my concerns.

For maybe the very first time I found myself not praying for things I don't have, like a family of my own (something I'm still hopeful for though I turn fifty in a few months).  Instead I was laying before Him my very present needs.  Things that needed to be addressed though I had no idea how that was going to happen.

I believe that God listened to me.

And I believe that God answered those prayers.

Like I said, Tammy and I are doing okay for right now.  Things could be MUCH better: I'm still desperate for employment.  But I've seen God at work and for the first time, I'm not doubting that He is behind that.  I'm not doubting that He does love and care for me, lumps and all.

If I'm to be honest, I can't really tell you the width and breadth of how much I have grown spiritually in the course of these past several months.  But I have grown, enormously.  And I hope that it's real and not a figment of my imagination.  Because I've found myself more thankful to God than I've ever been in my entire life and... I seriously hope it lasts.

Why am I writing this?  Well, I guess I felt led to, for one thing.

But I would be writing this anyway.  Because maybe if it has worked for me, maybe it will work for anyone.  Maybe even you, too.

Try talking to God.  It doesn't have to be in "holy prayer mode", for lack of a better term.  Just speak calmly with Him.  Lay out your heart to Him.  Tell Him what is troubling you.  Share with Him your needs.  Those are not necessarily your "wants", but what you require in the present.  Ask Him to provide for you, even if you can't see how that is remotely possible.  Ask Him to increase your faith, even if that especially seems impossible.

Doing that has changed my life in Christ.  Dramatically and drastically.  Perhaps it will change yours, also

And if you ever need a listening ear or just want to tell me how it's going with you, feel free to write to me at theknightshift@gmail.com.  I'm always happy to hear from someone who isn't telling me that payment is due, *laughing out loud*


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Changing Doctor Who's Davros is officially the STUPIDEST thing I've seen all year

The Doctor - the titular hero of the long-running BBC series Doctor Who - has had many, many enemies in his sixty years of saving the universe.  Everyone from Cybermen to The Master to the Weeping Angels to... well just about anything you can come up with has been a potential threat.

But there is one foe who is above and beyond the rest: Davros.  The insane creator of The Doctor's oldest nemesis, the Daleks.

From his first appearance in the 1975 Tom Baker-era story "Genesis Of The Daleks", Davros has gripped viewers as few Who characters did.  Bound to a life-support vehicle, only one usable arm, his natural eyes blinded necessitating a cybernetic replacement... Davros is someone who sought to perpetuate himself through his creations.  And he never cared who got in the way.  That one mechanical hand of his is stained with the blood of trillions of sentient beings across the span of thousands of years.  It could be readily argued that Davros is the greatest villain in fictional history, in terms of people killed and civilizations destroyed.

And now, returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davis has gone and ruined Davros in the name of leftist insanity.

Davros returned the other night for a Doctor Who "Children in Need" special.  And though it was billed as a comedy sketch, Davies has been most forthcoming in declaring that this is the Davros we are going to be seeing from now on (or at least as long as Davies is in the big chair).

Behold "Davros" on the left, compared to classic original Davros on the right:

Yup.  Davros is now just a regular Joe Shmoe, without ANY of the accoutrements that obviously inspired him to create the Daleks in his image.

As for WHY Davies is doing this to such a classic and iconic character, his reasons are... well, ridiculous.  From the story at the Radio Times website:

Speaking on new BBC Three companion series Doctor Who Unleashed, Davies said: "We had long conversations about bringing Davros back, because he's a fantastic character, [but] time and society and culture and taste has moved on. And there's a problem with the Davros of old in that he's a wheelchair user, who is evil. And I had problems with that. And a lot of us on the production team had problems with that, of associating disability with evil. And trust me, there's a very long tradition of this.

"I'm not blaming people in the past at all, but the world changes and when the world changes, Doctor Who has to change as well.

"So we made the choice to bring back Davros without the facial scarring and without the wheelchair – or his support unit, which functions as a wheelchair.

"I say, this is how we see Davros now, this is what he looks like. This is 2023. This is our lens. This is our eye. Things used to be black and white, they're not in black and white anymore, and Davros used to look like that and he looks like this now, and that we are absolutely standing by."

This ranks right up there with how the show fired Colin Baker back in the day.  It's even right up there with the reason American network ABC cancelled Police Squad! forty years ago (ostensibly because people actually had to WATCH the show in order to "get" it).

Where does this stop?  Will Cybermen now be referred to as "Cyberpeople"?

Hey, I know: Disney is the American distributor of Doctor Who now.  Let's go all out and get rid of Darth Vader's trademark breathing, since it's obviously unfair to asthmatics!

I say not for the first time: leftism corrupts and destroys everything that it touches.  There is nothing progressive about "progressivism".

Look dammit, that is NOT a "wheelchair".  That is a mobile life-support system, that gives Davros a range of movement after he was direly wounded in an attack by the Kaleds' mortal enemies the Thalls.  Davros can't live without it.  That it gives him lower body mobility is beside the point... or not.  After all it did inspire the look of the Daleks.

I honestly cannot believe the BBC is letting Davies eviscerate such a renowned character.  It is beyond crazy.

Well, if this is the way they want to go, let 'em.  I don't have to watch Doctor Who and neither does anyone else.  But the beautiful thing about this series is that there's no real consistency.  Perhaps someday a more sane showrunner will bring back Davros as he is most known and feared.  Just as I look forward to the "Timeless Child" being retconned out eventually.

Until then, Who has lost me.  And I imagine it will have lost a lot of older and more dedicated fans as well.

Friday, November 17, 2023

This is the kind of people that Americans used to be

It was 1983, forty whole years ago.  At the White House.  "Santa Claus" came that year in the form of Mr. T.  Here he is with beloved First Lady Nancy Reagan sitting on his lap:

Damn it.  What the hell has become of us, since then?

We aren't like that anymore.  Our culture and society has become so degenerated that something so playful like that photo would be practically impossible in today's environment.

But once, in seemingly a better time and a different reality, we honestly were like that.

I like to believe that we could be again.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

An offer to Russell T. Davies, about Doctor Who

Dear Mr. Davies,

Greetings good sir!  I know this is a very exciting time for you, so I thank you for taking the time (I hope) to read this proposal.  Please know that I have been a fan of your helming of Doctor Who since that very first episode with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.  I am looking forward to where you are taking the series next, especially with the return of The Toymaker and the debut of Ncuti Gatwa as the next Doctor.

However, Mr, Davies, I am somewhat dismayed that you are apparently not turning some attention toward addressing the matter of "the Timeless Child": by far THE most controversial thing that has happened to the franchise in its entire history.

Kindest sir, I am not alone in the belief that the Timeless Child subtracted from and even destroyed the mystique that The Doctor has had since the very beginning.  We are NOT supposed to know The Doctor's origins.  The Doctor is a cipher, for all that is best within us.  The Doctor is our surrogate in a magnificent universe and he belongs to ALL the ages, whoever or whatever he is supposed to be.  Your predecessor brought that to a grinding halt.  And indeed, I know a few who have stopped being fans of Doctor Who entirely, they were so disappointed by the development.

It's an issue I have devoted maybe too much time toward pondering about.  How does Doctor Who regain its sense of original mystery again?

So let me cut to the heart meat of the matter, my good fellow:

I have come up with a solution to the problem of the Timeless Child.

It is simple.  It is elegant.  It makes The Doctor an entity shrouded in mystery once again.

Here's the kicker: it does NOT invalidate or repudiate the work of your predecessor, Chris Chibnall.  It actually BUILDS upon that, in a pretty cool way.

I am presently living in South Carolina, in the United States.  Currently I am an aide to students with special learning needs.  I have also been a mental health worker, a filmmaker, and technical writer among many other professions.  I would not want monetary compensation or even any acclaim, if you might permit me to come to the United Kingdom and offer my assistance.  All I want is a chance to bring The Doctor back to his/her/their place of enigma.

Okay, there is ONE thing I would ask for, if you happen to have a spare one around.  I would like a full-size Dalek.  The classic design from the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras.  Because that's the style that most sent me hiding behind the sofa when I first discovered Doctor Who as a child in the 1980s.  That would be a very nice conversation piece in my living room.

Well, that is my proposal.  If you believe this is something you would be interested in, please feel free to contact me at theknightshift@gmail.com and we can discuss moving forward from there.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  And again, I am most eager to see what you have cooked up for Doctor Who's sixtieth anniversary!

Most sincerely yours,

Christopher Knight

I have watched the teaser trailer for GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE at least ten times so far...

 ...and, well, I'm stoked about this movie.  It looks like it could be even better than Ghostbuster: Afterlife.  And I loved that movie a lot.

Here's the teaser for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire that dropped yesterday:

I will definitely be wearing my Ghostbusters uniform to the theater to see this.  All the more reason to upgrade my boots for it :-)

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

The legend of Popcorn Sutton lives on! Family is (legally) brewing famed 'shiner's likker

Yowza!!  And I've thought that many times over the past several years or so, in regard to the memory of Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton.  Longtime readers will remember when I was posting about Popcorn with machine gun-regularity.  I'd always wanted to meet the man.  Unfortunately that never happened.  In March of 2009, a few days before he was supposed to have turned himself in at the prison to begin serving a term for illegally making his moonshine, Popcorn ended his own life.  And that was the end of my hope of getting to know the man.


If you weren't around this blog then, here's the "Popcorn Sutton" label that lets you look back across all the posts I made about him.  Especially the "Popcorn Sutton: Dead By Government Bastards!" post that broke some personal rules about writing, but I didn't care.  A good man had been driven by the government to commit suicide.  If the death of an innocent person wasn't enough to break bad over, I don't know what is.

That was in 2009.  And in the decade and a half since then it is absolutely amazing how Popcorn Sutton has become a bona fide legend.  There is a yearly music festival in his memory held every summer in the North Carolina mountains.  Popcorn Sutton's face adorns clothing (I spotted a guy in the kitchen of a nearby restaurant wearing a Popcorn Sutton shirt a few weeks ago, and we got to talking about how popular he's become).  Look around the Internet the past few years, and you're sure to find Sutton staring back at you from many a meme (he seemed especially ubiquitous during the COVID panic).  That's not to mention things like filmmaker Neal Hutcheson's much beloved documentary about Popcorn and his art.  There was even a commercial airliner that had Popcorn depicted in wrap around its fuselage.

We should all want to be like Popcorn Sutton, in a way.  Live so that when you are stricken down, your life will be remembered for all the good and uniqueness that it possessed.

Well folks, it's happened before already but there were some issues that came up.  Those have been resolved apparently.  And now, once again, Popcorn Sutton's original recipe "likker" is going on sale for the public to buy!  Popcorn's widow Pam Sutton has gotten the stills running full-bore and later this month two beverages bearing Popcorn's name and likeness will go on sale, according to Knox News in a story published today.

I'm still not much of a drinker, but I have had real moonshine before and can attest that I've something of a taste for the legitiamte stuff.  I'm definitely looking forward to having a bottle of Popcorn Sutton's recipe-brewed likke, if only for display in my living room.

Friday, November 03, 2023

Tammy: Feelin' Fine

Have had some scary time lately with Tammy, my miniature dachshund.  Two weeks ago she hurt her back around her hind quarters area.  I took her to the vet and sure enough, she probably injured herself jumping onto and off from the sofa and bed all this time.  The vet gave her three medications and I've been sleeping in the living room since then, close to where she's made a nest of her blankets on the floor.  Just making her take it easy.

Fourteen days later and Tammy is much better!  She's still not allowed to try to jump onto furniture, so I've been carefully picking her up and putting her on the sofa so she can be near me while I work.  She seems to be satisfied with the arrangement.  Here she is from this afternoon:

A very dear friend is in the process of making Tammy a set of ramps that she can use to get on the bed and sofa without risk of injury.  Which maybe I should have done a long time ago already.

But for the time being, she is recovered and spunky as ever.  She's happy, and that makes me happy too :-)

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Play that Mariah Carey song and it'll be THREE kittens...

Yes, at  12:01 this morning a lot of radio stations began their playing two entire months of Christmas music.  Something which I have never liked.

Good friend of this blog Lee Shelton made this graphic several years ago.  He said that it's time to bring it back out and I agree wholeheartedly...

Wow.  The original pic is from 2004.  A few months before I began this blog.  I weigh about 30 pounds more now.  A lot of that I gained in a very short period of time beginning in late 2008, after going on some medication for treatment mostly of depression.  I lost most of that but some of it still lingers.  I think that twenty years later I'm looking pretty healthy.

That's my father you see behind me.  I remember exactly which cap it is that he's wearing.

Okay well anyhoo, you have all been duly notified.  Look, I don't mind Christmas music for a few days after Christmas.  But before Thanksgiving is WAY too early.  It's making the year seem to go by much faster than it should.  There is no rational reason for it.  So, why the %@$& do radio stations DO it?

If radio stations still had human disk jockies I could probably call them and ask.  I guess we'll just never know.