Friday, December 2, 2016

The Monster in Stranger Things, Part V - The Weird


This is Part V of an exploration into the nature of Demogorgon (or The Monster, as I prefer to call it) in the Netflix sci-fi/horror masterpiece, Stranger Things. You can read Part I here, Part II here, Part III here and Part IV over here. Spoiler alerts will follow.

MKSEARCH

Early on in the show, Eleven is tracking Russian agents with her mind while scientists study the results. This whole scene is a reference to Project MKSEARCH, which was another program that came out of MKULTRA. It was primarily intended to program people to have ESP, telepathy, and all that other psychotropic funky mind trip stuff. Just like the Russians, the American government wanted to make sure they could either do it themselves, or that it couldn’t work.

What they found, according to conspiracy theory investigators who give more a fuck about it than we do, is pretty horrific. Dr. Cameron was involved, once again, but so was a new mad scientist, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. Together they performed more than 150 experiments using chemicals to control the minds of “expendables,” homeless people, children from foster homes, etc. that the government had found to test the chemicals. In 1972 the CIA destroyed all files related to this project. What exactly they discovered, we will never know.

You’ll notice that in the show there is mention of how Eleven’s mother took drugs as part of the government’s investigation into psychic behavior. This is one of the common threads that runs throughout the horrifying story that is our government’s investigation into psychic behavior, according to the conspiracy theories…that the government is testing a drug that will give a person psychic powers, whenever the government wants them to.

Sure, having a mind controlled, programmed wind-up toy is fun, but the ability to give a person, any person in the government psychic powers is something that any government would have to be insane to not want to have. Imagine the potential if you could give a diplomat, politician or spy telepathy or the ability to kill with their mind. It would certainly be better than mind controlling a person who already has psychic powers naturally. You could affect politics on a global scale. 


COMMON CONCEPTS

Running through all of the MK programs that deal with the study of mind control, paranormal and psychic behavior are two important concepts that explain what the government was up to, if the conspiracy theories so many people have written about are to be believed. One is drugs. Over and over, drugs are used to induce behavior, control minds, etc. Go ahead and research all of these programs for yourself. From the Nazi’s to the modern era, you will find that the Powers That Be apparently really want to study drugs, almost as much as the human mind.

The other common concept is systematic sexual abuse, especially in regards to children.

MORE MKOFTEN THAN NOT

I have already mentioned MKOFTEN, and don’t worry…all the usual evil mad scientists end up involved in this conspiracy theory. What is very important is that authors who have worked on the subject like Peter Levenda mention that in this project, and other projects, people with psychic powers were locked in copper lined Faraday cages. Science often uses these cages to block out electromagnetic energy in order to sterilize the environment for outside influence in order to work on very precise, sensitive electronics. Apparently, Faraday cages also increase pyschic power.

When Eleven is forced to hide inside a closet, she has a flashback to when her own father had scientists drag her away from him, traumatized and screaming, into a dark room of sorts. Look over her left shoulder as the image fade to black. The wall is copper. She is in a Faraday cage…a reference to all of the conspiracy theories we’ve just gone through to figure out The Monster.

At one point in the series, Eleven is told by the scientists to kill a cat with her mind, but she doesn’t do it. Think carefully…we are given precious little information about the experiences the little girl had in the lab, so that scene is important. It shows us she won’t take innocent life. But a fragment of her personality, a shard of her psyche, a splinter personality, based on brute-force survival programming, fight or flee psychological instinct…maybe that would. When she first contacts the psychic Russian agent, she walks up to the man and then turns around when she hears The Monster, becoming aware of it.


In the next scene, an obviously upset, traumatized Eleven is alone in a room with her father, a stuffed lion and tulip (tulip/tulpa) flowers. He tells her it chose her, whatever that means. After that, she finds it, touches it, and screams, opening a wormhole into time, space and her own mind, pulling The Monster into the real world, where it destroys and kills with bestial abandon.

By the way, did you notice the time gap at this point? When Eleven summons The Monster, she is wearing a strange, flesh-colored diving suit. When she escapes, she is wearing her hospital gown. Right after she screams, and the massive crack opens in the wall of the lab, we don’t see anything else for a while. The Monster escaped, later. Eleven escaped, later. Time passed…but we don’t know how much. I think we are all going to see more from this missing section when we watch Stranger Things 2.

You have probably figured out by now that the flesh-colored diving suit is a nod to the audience that The Monster is her. Even the helmet makes her head look bulbous and strange. If she had been put in a blue diving suit, The Monster would have been a different color.

PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY

Modern psychology believes that a human personality is comprised of three sections, the ego, the superego, and the id. The superego is the idealistic part of your brain. That section handles ethics, conscious and morality. If you feel bad because you betrayed an old friend, your superego makes you feel that way. The ego is you, your personality…your self. The id is all of your basic instincts. Anger. Sex. Hunger. Fight. Flee. When you were a little baby, you were basically a screaming id. The ego and the superego came later.


I find it very horrifying, but equally important, that Eleven is always seen with a hospital gown. She doesn’t ever seem to wear normal clothes when she is inside the lab. A hospital gown isn’t exactly a great thing to wear for a long time, seeing as how it doesn’t protect or cover up your body, south of the belt buckle. It is also eerie that she is so willing to strip naked in front of the boys, when she thinks she has been told to strip and change. What kind of terrible environment did she grow up in?

There is also something else…the strange absence of images and visual influences around Eleven in the lab, especially in her cell. Aside from her father, the tulips, the stuffed lion and a few other things, she really doesn’t have a lot to look at and influence her imagination. This was probably done on purpose.

Right before she is dragged away from her father, she is wearing a hospital gown and has been traumatized. Right before she is told to contact The Monster, Eleven seems traumatized, wearing a hospital gown, alone with her father. Even her father’s behavior when he finally gets Eleven is odd. It doesn’t exactly seem like a healthy father/daughter relationship.


There is another thing. Eleven’s father’s skin tone is the same skin tone as The Monster. During the fight with The Monster inside Will’s house later on in the series, when the teens attack it with fire, bullets, a bear trap and a phallic baseball bat, the teens aren’t as tall as The Monster. Compared to it, the teens are almost half its size. Compared to her father, Eleven is almost half his size.

Because The Monster is a reflection of her id, and it looks like things that are in her imagination, combining the images of a tulip, a naked man, sexual imagery, a stuffed lion and raw, animal biology. Was there ever a conspiracy theory that featured a rampaging id monster conjured from a person’s mind, like a scientific tulpa? Of course there is…everything is on the Internet, even pure evil. Maybe if we can find a conspiracy theory about an, “id monster,” for lack of a better term, we could prove my wacky theory…

To be continued!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Is Cannabis a Cure for Cancer? - Cannabis


            As mainstream medical science continues to explore the healing properties of cannabis, research indicates the plant has several properties that reduce the risk of cancer in people who smoke it. Some scientists believe cannabis could even be cancer’s proverbial silver bullet.
            Most cannabis smokers will admit that while cannabis is great for what ails them, it certainly can’t be good for the insides of their lungs. However, experiments performed at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) suggest smoking cannabis might actually prevent lung cancer.
            Dr. Donald Tashkin is a pulmonologist at the UCLA. He has studied the effects of marijuana smoking since the 1980’s. Agencies, institutes and think tanks across the country often reference his work.
            He performed a study to determine if there was a link between lung cancer and smoking cannabis. Although marijuana does contain the same chemicals in tobacco that cause cancer, Dr. Tashkin discovered that chemical compounds in cannabis protected the human body from tumor growth.


            While patients who smoked tobacco were twenty times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers, cannabis smokers showed no increased risk. Dr. Tashkin believes the THC, one of the psychoactive components within marijuana, kills aging and unhealthy cells before tumors can form.
            In another scientific study performed in Spain, research scientists at Madrid's Complutense and Autonoma Universities separated 30 laboratory rats with brain cancer into two groups of 15. One group was given infusions of THC to treat their affliction.
            The first untreated group died in two weeks. 9 of the THC-infused rats lived longer than a month, and 3 of the rats were cured. Scientists believe that THC causes cancerous cells to die prematurely, leaving healthy cells unharmed.
            In October of 2003 the medical journal Nature Reviews published an article written by world-famous cancer treatment research scientist Dr. Manuel Guzman that discussed in great detail the antitumor effects of cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are one of the principle chemical compounds found in cannabis.


            Dr. Guzman discovered in study after careful study that cannabinoids selectively target cancerous tumors, destroying them, and at the same time even protect non-cancerous cells from harm.
            Another study conducted by scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center of San Francisco also found that THC, in many experiments, destroyed cancerous brain cells without harming the healthy ones.
            The Italians are also part of the march to cure cancer with cannabis. In July of 1998 research conducted at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that cannabinoids prevented tumor growth in cells of patients afflicted with breast cancer.
            During the 90’s the federal government used $2 million taxpayer dollars to conduct research on cancer in mice and rats. Conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, conclusively determined that THC protected cells from cancer.
            Upon reaching this conclusion, the federal government hid the results. The report was leaked to AIDS Treatment News and the results were later published in the national media, but despite the positive results, the federal government has yet to conduct further research.
            As the country gets greener with legalization, many people can attest to the beneficial effects of cannabis for treating their symptoms. If more knew about the research that indicates cannabis just might cure cancer, the legalization effort would attract greater numbers.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Henry Rollins - Music


Ever since the death of Samuel Clemens in 1910, the country has been in constant need of home-grown, brutally honest authors to gaze upon our world with x-ray perception and tell us the real truth of how we are doing things right or wrong, regardless of who we are or the extent of the backlash. Henry Rollins is a musician, performer and writer that has been doing just that with his regular journalistic contributions to magazines such as Details, LA Weekly, Vanity Fair and The Huffington Post.

Along with his stand up comedy, spoken word performances and YouTube series, “WordswithMeaning!” the critical observations of Rollins have been the perfect vehicle for a sustained, uncompromising assault upon hypocrites, idiots and pundits on both the left and the right at a time when everyone else seems to be lining up to kiss a large amount of corporate and/or government ass to make a buck.

Although the term has been used so many times it is nearly a cliché, “Renaissance Man” is the best way to describe the modern American philosopher known to the world asHenry Rollins. He’s been the lead singer of the legendary southern California hardcore punk band Black Flag, and was the front man for the critically-acclaimed, commercially successful Rollins Band. He’s also performed alongside Robert DeNiro in Heat, played a cop hunting down Charlie Sheen in The Chase, has appeared on David Lynch’s cult classic Lost Highway, and held his own as a central antagonist on the cable epic outlaw biker series “Sons of Anarchy”.


While Rollins was doing all of that he also won a Grammy for Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag, and authored the spoken word classics Black Coffee Blues and Think Tank. After getting his start in radio in 2004 as the host for Harmony in My Head on Indie 103.1 FM Los Angeles, in 2009 he began hosting a live show Saturday nights on KCRW 88.9 FM public news radio, where he combines kissaki-sharp analysis with cutting edge music for the massively perceptive. What’s next for a man with a career as intricate, illustrious and revolutionary as Henry Rollins?

I am sure you have a lot going on right now. What projects are keeping you busy?

The super boring job of proof reading and editing a lot of material. One of the books I have coming out is easy to wrap up, but the others will take a lot of surgery. Editing books takes a lot of time in between working, meetings and auditions. That’s what I do when I’m not touring. I’m also looking for employment.


It’s hard to imagine a person as prolific as yourself looking for a job.

It’s a non-tour year. Last year I did nearly 190 shows. It gets to the point where shows are still coming in, but the tour is booked so your calendar gets pretty marked up. Now it’s a non-tour year, I’m in this interesting position of having some solid jobs, I have a lot of contract stuff to do, but I still have to look for employment. That necessitates pitch meetings and auditions. Yesterday I was in a line thirty people long auditioning just for a microscopic role on a television show. We’ve mostly been pitching ideas for shows that I might be plugged into.

It is an interesting position, one year you are the guy, you are on the billboard, the marquee, and the next year you are in line hoping some casting person who doesn’t know you will throw you a bone. It’s good, though, that it keeps you humble.

What kind of show would you want to do? I could easily imagine you as the History Channel equivalent of Anthony Bourdain.

I’d like to do a show that tells you where and how the history books got it wrong. Just an entire series where we point out the facts and reveal how history is written by the winners, so of course the winners give themselves a white hat.

For example, if you tell a person in rural American that we lost the Vietnam War, you’ll be eating your dinner through a straw in your neck because he’ll break your jaw. But if you go over to Vietnam today, the Vietnamese have moved on. They are very sure they won that war, because they survived it. That’s how they think. “We are still alive, so you didn’t beat us.” What I mean is…there are a lot of ways to look at any historical event.


A cable television show that tells the real truth about the history of America? That’s way too controversial for prime time.

Doing that kind of show would be interesting to me, but since so many channels have corporate investors, you have to go with Current TV or some other equivalent, but they couldn’t afford to do it because they are always broke.

Watch the Fox News financial channel. They keep saying that we’re in a big recession so you have to invest in Home Depot. To people like that, someone else’s disaster is a shot in the arm for the economy.

When it comes to Hollywood, it’s all about the money, and a big part of that is maintaining a corporate-approved, advertising-friendly environment.When you go into the entertainment industry as a worker bee, and see how the sausage is made, you really see how it’s all just based on a scorched earth policy. You end up having really mercenary conversations with people, when it comes to what you will do.

Nobody would wants to see a show that tells people the truth. They might know too much. They won’t fight our wars for us, fill our prisons for us. They’ll question authority. When you sell bombs and bullets for a living, you push a political agenda that’s going to make you the most money.

You don’t touch cannabis, but you support its legalization. What is your honest opinion about this controversial topic?

Smoking marijuana, in my opinion, is a monumental waste of time, but I’m not going to slap it out of your hand. But I not only want it legalized, I want it decriminalized. At least then you won’t go to jail for smoking it.

I see marijuana as just another stimulant. I fear alcohol. It fuels a guy up so he punches his wife and drives his car into a tree. I’m afraid of a person buying two AR-15’s and shooting up a shopping mall…that guy should get marijuana. I fear stupidity in America more than I fear someone buying weed.


My question is, will the states have the intestinal fortitude to retroactively free the black prisoners who are unfairly incarcerated for using marijuana if it’s legalized?

Probably not. The prison-industrial complex would lose a lot of money if it happened. I don’t think President Obama could ever let it happen.

I remember how, at one point I thought of the term, “prison-industrial complex.” I looked it up, and it turns out someone else thought of it a long time ago. Once they legalize it. Maybe the incarcerated won’t get their money back, but at least they will be free.

Obama may be against it, but the states have the tenth amendment, and can tell him to piss up a rope. But if it’s legalized then everyone who went to jail the month before over a back pocket full of weed should be let out.

The real problem is, if you decriminalize marijuana, you have a lot less opportunity to put Johnny in jail. It’s the prison-industrial complex. You see how much money is spent. The prison guard union is one of the strongest unions in America. They sell light bulbs for prisons, cement, paper, the food, and they need Johnny to break more laws. They say they are fighting crime, they are building prisons. Who’s making the money?

Why is it that cannabis still illegal in America?

Because brown skinned people grow, sell and use it. A lot of those Fox news assholes smoked it in college, but now they use coffee and martinis, so it’s only for faggot hippies. “I’m a responsible chemical dependant. I use booze. It’s just five martinis.”

Pot, by comparison, is messy. You are buying a plant from someone that is not in a vacuum sealed, federally-approved package at the local 7-11. Besides, everyone out there is buying weed right now, anyway. Why not just legalize it?


What is the cannabis legalization movement doing wrong?

By having guys and gals going to the medical cannabis places with their bullshit hangnail prescriptions. For most, it’s a scam. Oh, you hurt your knee so I’m going to write you a prescription for your hangnail.

But the reason why the legalization movement is such a clusterfuck is because there is no clear political plan. The first time I saw medical marijuana, I was at a friend’s house. His mother would smoke these government-approved medical marijuana cigarettes. My friend would steal them. Medical marijuana is never in a black or white area. It’s always in the grey.

That’s obviously the case in a lot of places. Since we are already there, why not just legalize it? It’s stupid how someone with cancer pain has to worry about being arrested. If marijuana can help, why wouldn’t you want them to feel better? Why would you be okay with them being in pain? If you can help someone, right now, why won’t you? We are supposed to promote the general welfare; it says so in the Preamble to the Constitution.

What is your best advice for proponents of cannabis legalization?

As a non-smoking, marijuana decriminalization proponent, I would go at in as sensibly and legally as I could. Take into account the people who oppose you. They count on you to be unkempt, sloppy, illegal and high. Don’t go into an intellection battle high. Go in with your facts and figures and stats tattooed on your brain pan. When you do that, an opponent will still have to respect you for it.
Fortunately, the world is changing. The President actually mentioned the word gay. That set a precedent. In a hundred years they will talk about Barack Obama and how he said, “Gay brothers and sisters.”  That took a lot of brass.


In a political world, if you say that you smoke cannabis you might as well be say you like to make it with little kids and sheep. All the other side has to say is, “My opponent wants your son to get high at school.” Why can’t someone say, “My opponent likes wine so he wants your son to get drunk at school.

But they are elected officials. They are in a very precarious position. I get a second chance, if I screw up. They don’t.  If someone loses an election, he doesn’t get to come back. You can say you back gay marriage, but that is as red hot as you get. Saying yes to marijuana has to no longer be seen as, “He said what!?”

Your country is changing very rapidly, though. If I was writing for a cannabis-based magazine, I would be showing that marijuana smokers are not the funny characters the media always depicts, but that they are doctors and lawyers…professional, responsible people, just like the people who drink four beers and watch the game after working at the office all day.

In this transition to a weed economy, there is going to be a drunken sailor syndrome. When you take a sailor off the boat he’s going to drink his paycheck. There’s going to be a transition. As Joseph Stalin said, “When you cut wood, chips fly.” Someone will abuse weed. It’s going to happen. They are going to drive recklessly, have THC in their blood, and a bunch of people will overreact because of it. But let’s face it, cannabis is already out there. Legalizing it will not change anything.


Check out Henry Rollins at his official website, right here: http://www.henryrollins.com

http://ireadculture.com/henry-rollins-a-man-of-integrity