Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Tragedy of Michael Myers: A Halloween Fantheory

Halloween opens with a shockingly young murderer committing his first kill as he brutally stabs his teenage sister to death. He then wanders outside where his parents find him and remove his mask to reveal what is usually interpreted as a blank, callous look given what the audience has just witnessed. However, a more careful examination reveals the expression on the young boy's face to be more shocked and confused than merely blank. A careful examination also reveals another important detail: There is not one drop of blood on his clothes.

Exhibit A
A six year old stabs his nearly adult sister to death and his clothes are pristine. No blood on his face, no blood on his hands. If he just violently stabbed someone, why is there no blood splatter on him? My theory of this murder is that Judith's boyfriend is the one who killed her. 

Judith's boyfriend rushes down the stairs and out the door shortly after they go up to her room. As a movie watcher, you get the idea that they had sex; but did they, though? I know they're teenagers, but a minute and a half elapses between the time they go upstairs and when the boyfriend leaves. The audience clearly sees Judith is alive and doing some naked hair brushing after her boyfriend leaves. But throughout the opening sequence, we are seeing events through Michael's eyes. If he were a young child who had just walked into his sister's room to find her brutally stabbed to death, he would struggle to make sense of what he was seeing. His mind would try to piece together this event that he has no template for. According to my theory, this is what the audience is seeing. We are not seeing events as they actually unfold, but what Michael remembers as he is trying to make sense of his sister's death. He needs to make what he is seeing logical, so he imagines that when he walked into Judith's room she was still alive and then he imagines himself stabbing her. That's how children make sense of the world. They create elaborate fantasy worlds to figure out how everything works and to practice for the real world. What a child is usually trying to figure out with their fantasy world is what does a mommy or daddy do, or how do I astronaut. But Michael Myers has a much darker incident to figure out. 

Once his parents find him holding the knife used to stab his sister, they assume that Michael is the one responsible for her death. As doctors and lawyers and wardens reinforce his fantasy that he's a murderer, any real memory of what actually transpired is whittled away and all that's left is a bloody knife, a dead teenager, and a child's imagination trying to make sense out of the senseless. Michael apparently spends most of his time catatonic, so his mind never progresses far beyond the six year old trying to understand his sister's death. Fifteen years later he escapes, a child who has been brainwashed into believing that he is nothing more than a killer. Much like kid logic tells a child that they cannot be a cowboy without the hat, Michael Myers is not a murderer without his mask. The few times that his mask gets ripped off, Michael stops the murder-in-progress. There's no real reason to. He's very adept at killing, it's not like he's planning on leaving any witnesses. The Michael Myers underneath the mask is not a murderer. He has to put on the mask and play the role of murderer because every trusted adult he has encountered for most of his life has told him that he is a murderer. Still with the mind of a child, Michael is dutifully following the expectations of his elders and fulfilling the potential that he has been convinced is his nature.

Also, Michael Myers is a cat! 

The opening scene of the original Halloween movie:

Other interesting articles about Michael Myers:

Why Did Michael Myers Start Killing?

This post was based on John Carpenter's original Halloween. I know later Halloween movies went in all kinds of directions, and Rob Zombie's remakes are wonderful but completely different from the original 1978 Halloween. To see the original, you can buy it either digitally or in physical formats from Amazon (affiliate link).


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The True Spirit of Halloween


Halloween has come a long way from its origins. Today there are only intermittent reminders of the true nature of Halloween.

Halloween started as Samhain, a festival that marked the end of the harvest. The Earth has given life and is also returning life back into the Earth to prepare to create new life. The Earth is in a liminal state between life and death, and so this time of year became a time to remember death and honor the spirit world.

The Reason for the Season

Samhain has been regarded as the day when the veil between the physical world and the spiritual world is the thinnest. It's a time for remembering loved ones that are now a part of the spiritual plane. It's a great time for divination and scrying. Samhain historically occurred just after the last of the crops had been harvested, so it was considered the beginning of the new agricultural year. It's the start of the time when the Earth rests and regenerates in preparation for creating new crops.

Here are some ideas to celebrate in the true spirit of Halloween.

Divination and Scrying


A Tarot reading is a great divination activity for Halloween. It’s something that you can do by yourself or as an activity with friends. You don’t have to be an expert at Tarot to do a Tarot reading. You can let your intuition guide you to decipher the cards.


Runes are stones with symbols carved on them. Each symbol has a complex meaning. A fun group activity incorporating Runes could be to carve Runic symbols onto apples and have everyone bob for apples. They can look up and interpret the symbol they receive.


Scrying is simply gazing into a reflective surface and meditating to let images come to you. People generally think of gazing into a crystal ball to do this, but a bowl of water works just as well. What's most important is to be relaxed and to let the images come naturally.

Halloween is a time to reflect on new beginnings. As the Earth
prepares to create new life and people reflect on life that has
passed, remember that every ending is a new beginning.

The Fortune Telling Book 
This is a small and simple book about fortune telling. It has many different ideas for fortune telling activities. It gives directions for how to go about divining using various mediums. It even gives you ideas for fortune telling using simple household items (like using an ordinary deck of playing cards as Tarot cards).

Friday, September 19, 2014

Treasures From Half-Priced Books: Bon Jovi Picture Disc

I frequent Half-Priced Books and, while they sell mostly books, they also sell records. I collect records so I like to look through the vinyl just to see what they have. Sometimes they have some interesting LPs, but I never would have imagined that I would have found collectible vinyl at Half-Priced Books. During my most recent excursion I found Bon Jovi's New Jersey 12 inch picture disc.

New Jersey is Bon Jovi's fourth album. It was released in 1988, and the date of this posting is actually the 26th anniversary of the release of this album. Doing a little bit of online research it looks like the picture disc was a UK release. That's the band looking very 80s on the the front. The back is just their New Jersey logo (lots of blue with the band name and the name of the album).

My favorite song from New Jersey is Born to Be My Baby. You can listen to a 30 second preview on Amazon.


 Their New Jersey album really solidified Bon Jovi's status as a great rock band. Their first album (Bon Jovi) was decent, but then their second album (7800° Fahrenheit) was a total flop. There is literally one song from their second album that I like - and I'm a Bon Jovi fan. Their third album, Slippery When Wet, is a great album that really sets the tone for the Bon Jovi we've come to know and love over the years. Then this album - their fourth album - is similar in style and quality to Slippery When Wet. With the release of New Jersey Bon Jovi demonstrated that they just needed to get their bearings and figure out what works for them, and from then on they've released hit after hit.                     

I collect rare records so this was a very exciting find for me. I seem to have good luck with Bon Jovi at Half-Priced Books. I recall one day I was looking for their album Slippery When Wet. I wasn't looking for it specifically, I just had awareness that that was an album I would like to get my hands on as I was flipping through the records. Then Slippery When Wet leapt out at me. The cover art is supposed to look like the album name drawn in raindrops on a dark car, so it took a few seconds for me to process what I had found. Half-Priced Books never disappoints.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Remove Web Protect Virus Without Using the Control Panel

A computer at my work was recently infected with the Web Protect for Windows virus. This is a particularly nasty virus. Not only does the virus get onto your computer, but it downloads other viruses onto your computer by affecting your web browsers (potentially all of them). The worst part is that when you try to uninstall Web Protect for Windows by using Add/Remove in the Control Panel it will actually try to install something else. Now, it's possible that if you select custom install and then deselect everything that it's trying to install that it will in fact uninstall Web Protect without installing something else, but I didn't want to take that risk and I wouldn't suggest that anyone else take that risk. So, while everywhere else on the web that I've seen suggests that you go to Control Panel and uninstall Web Protect from there I decided to do something different - something which worked without installing more viruses onto the computer.

To uninstall Web Protect for Windows without going to your Control Panel you have to download a separate uninstaller. I downloaded Revo Uninstaller. Run the uninstaller on Web Protect and when it starts to go through the uninstallation process that you were trying to avoid before close out of that uninstallation. So (this is with Revo, I'm not sure what it will be like with other uninstallers) Revo will start uninstall, then it will go through the Control Panel process where Web Protect tries to download more software at which point you close out of the Web Protect uninstallation (but not the Revo uninstallation). Then Revo should continue and it will give you a list of stuff from your Rootkit that was downloaded by Web Protect. Let Revo do its thing with deleting all of that bad stuff and at the end Web Protect will be completely uninstalled.

After this you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Run that on your computer to remove anything left that was downloaded by Web Protect (because Web Protect downloads other viruses onto your computer, too). Malwarebytes is wonderful software that will remove things that virus scanners don't. Of course, have a good virus scanner on your computer to try and prevent this from happening again.

Although I didn't keep having problems with my web browsers, if you still think your web browsers are being affected then go to Malware Tips. This page on Malware Tips has instructions for uninstalling Web Protect the bad way, but after that it has instructions for resetting all of your web browsers to remove anything that might be left over from Web Protect. However, when I used Revo and Malwarebytes I didn't have anymore problems with Web Protect at all. But the virus was only on the computer for a couple of days, so if you think it's been on your computer for longer then you might want to take this extra precaution.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why I Love Being A Loner

I am a loner, and there are times that I am really grateful for my preference. This morning my coworker came into work three hours early because he woke up early and, it being four in the morning, no one else was up so he had nothing to do. As a loner I am seldom bored. I am engaged with my own mind. There is never a shortage of books to read or movies to watch or even puzzles to do. I am not dependent on having other people around to have a good time. My life doesn't stop because no one else is awake.

For all the times I've been accused of "doing nothing" or "vegging" because I spend most of my time alone, and for being accused of having no life because I don't spend time with friends I say: How is sitting at home and reading more "vegging" than going to a bar or going to see a movie? Why is doing puzzles or reading short stories alone "doing nothing" but going to a sports game is doing something?

I love being a loner because every day I get to take part in activities that are interesting to me and I don't have to wait to do them. I don't have to wait until the world starts to do something fun, and if all of my friends are at work it doesn't make a difference to me. I feel lucky that my plans aren't tied to someone else so I'm not at someone else's mercy for my fun.

If you're a loner and you get tired of people ragging on you for "never doing anything" or calling you boring because you never go out then remind yourself of how mentally diverse your life is. I know it's easy for the "socials" of the world to get us down, but how interesting is it really to go to a bar every weekend?

If this post resonates with you, then I suggest you read my article Being a Loner in a Social World.

Also recommended reading is Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto by Anneli Rufus - "a long-overdue argument in defense of the loner." Available as a Kindle ebook or paperback through Amazon (affiliate link).


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Treasures From Half-Priced Books: Poltergeist The Legacy on DVD

I occasionally wander around Half-Priced Books when I have nothing better to do. I promise myself that I'm just going to look at the books, I'm not going to buy anything. But I always end up buying something. Sometimes I come across something that I would not have imagined finding at Half-Priced Books.

This week I found Poltergeist: The Legacy first season on DVD. I didn't even know there was a DVD release of this show. Poltergeist: The Legacy is a show about a group of people who investigate paranormal phenomena. (It has no relation to the Poltergeist movies). It ran from 1996 until 1999 and it was on at two in the morning on Saturday mornings. It's produced by Richard Barton Lewis, who also produced The Outer Limits revival series. I didn't even know anyone but me watched this show. When I came home and looked up some information about it I discovered that it's actually a Canadian show, so it must have been on at a regular time up there. And not only is there a season one DVD, but there is also a season two DVD and the entire series is available on Region 4 DVDs. Update: The entire series has now been released on Region 1 DVD (for US/Canada). There is an Amazon link to the DVD collection below, as well as links to the first two seasons streaming on Amazon Prime.

More About This Show :

The main characters are Nick Boyle (played by Martin Cummins), Alexandra (Alex) Moreau (played by Robbi Chong), Derek Rein (played by Derek DeLint), Rachel Corrigan (played by Helen Shaver), Katherine (Kat) Corrigan (played by Alexandra Pervis), and for the first couple of seasons Philip Callaham (played by Patrick Fitzgerald), whose character left to become a priest. They all live in a big mansion in San Francisco and investigate occult phenomena throughout California. The Legacy is a worldwide organization that is set up to protect people from occult occurrences, with members stationed in various cities across the globe.

Derek is the Precept (or head) of the house and is the oldest member of the San Francisco chapter. He sometimes clashes with younger Nick, although he views Nick almost as a son so they work through disagreements quickly. Nick and Alex are the younger members so they do most of the research and investigating. Rachel is a psychiatrist who sometimes helps the Legacy although she is a skeptic. Her daughter, Kat, has shown some strong psychic abilities and this causes them to get drawn in to some of the cases.

Since the beginning of time mankind has existed
between the world of light and the world of darkness.
This journal chronicles the work of our secret society,
known as the Legacy, created to protect the innocent
from those that inhabit the shadows and the night.

Poltergeist: The Legacy season one and two are streaming exclusively through Amazon Prime. The entire four-season series is only available on DVD (affiliate link).


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Paid Survey Sites

There are plenty of paid survey sites out there. None of them will pay you a lot, but you may get a little extra money each month. Sign up for multiple survey sites to maximize money-making chances. I've been taking paid surveys for years, and what follows is information about some of the most popular survey sites.

Survey Spot : Survey Spot is one of the best survey-taking site out there. When I first signed up they were up front about the fact that taking surveys will not get you a lot of money. They send the most survey invitations (although you won't qualify for every survey). You get points for every survey that you complete and those points can be redeemed for either a Paypal payment or gift cards. (You don't get any points if you don't get to complete the survey, though). When you cash out with Paypal they pay right away. Literally, when I cashed out I received an e-mail just a few seconds later letting me know there was money deposited into my Paypal account. You can also redeem your points with an Amazon or iTunes gift card or Webshop vouchers from multiple online stores.

Ipsos i-Say : Ipsos i-Say offers points in exchange for taking surveys that can be redeemed for Amazon or iTunes gift cards, Paypal deposits, or charity donations. If you don't qualify for a survey you still get a few points so the time you spent seeing if you qualify for a particular survey isn't a complete waste. They send a fair amount of survey opportunities, maybe two or three each day. But again, you might not qualify for all of them.

Harris Poll : Harris Poll offers about one survey each day, sometimes less. You receive points in exchange for completing a survey, and you do get a few points if you don't qualify. The points can be redeemed for gift cards or magazine subscriptions. They have gift cards for many stores, including, so you won't have trouble finding a redemption that works well for you. Harris Poll allows people as young as thirteen to join.

My Survey : My Survey has a few surveys posted each day that you can take. You get points for completing a survey that can redeemed for Paypal deposits, e-certificates and gift cards, DVDs and video games, and assorted items. I like the rewards on My Survey best because you aren't limited to boring cash or gift cards, you can get an actual item if you want to (and that just seems more fun to me). Looking through the DVDs I saw a DVD of Mama's Family (the Carol Burnett show spin-off from the '80s) and Doctor Who (and they have over 1,000 DVDs and Blu Rays to choose from). Given that you won't make serious money taking surveys, sometimes it's better to get a neat item in return for your time.

Survey Savvy : Survey Savvy has the highest payout for their surveys, but surveys are only available a couple of times a week (and there's no guarantee that you'll qualify for every survey). They only pay with checks. There's no points system, just a straight cash incentive per survey. You don't get any sort of compensation if you don't complete a particular survey.

VIP Voice  : VIP Voice has easy surveys every few days but the only options for reward redemptions are one of their auctions or sweepstakes. You get points for every survey you take and you can use them to bid on an auction or you can use them to try and win one of their sweepstakes. So basically you're not guaranteed any real incentive for taking their surveys. 

How to Really Make Money Taking Surveys :  All of these survey sites are well and good, but as you can see you won't make a lot of money by using them. Even signing up for all of them you might get $50 each month if you're lucky. To make real money taking surveys go to Amazon Mechanical Turk. There are a lot of tasks posted to this website that pay you pennies (sometimes more) per task, but the real money is in the surveys. And there are people constantly posting surveys, so you won't have to worry about only getting two or three surveys each day. I easily make $10 each day taking surveys on Mechanical Turk (that's $300 each month at least). Some of the surveys will drag on and on with little pay, so check Hits Worth Turking For on reddit to find surveys that are worth your time. Their rule is to only post HITS (which are mostly surveys) that will amount to at least $0.10 per minute, so you won't have to keep doing surveys that pay $0.20 for twenty minutes of your time.

Never sign up for a survey site that asks you to pay first to access a bunch of surveys. There are plenty of free survey sites. You won't get rich taking surveys so don't trust any site that says you will. Before signing up to take surveys check with the Survey Police. They have information on thousands of survey sites and people can comment if they've tried a particular site to let others know if it's worth it.