1.18.2013

King's Highway pt. 67: Desperation

"Life is more than just steering a course around pain."
THE NOVEL

Mining operations in the town of Desperation, Nevada unearth Tak, an ancient "outsider" demon imprisoned deep within the earth; its physical form is too big to escape, but its anime can possess human hosts and foment murder and chaos. Unfortunately, for it (and those unlucky enough to host it) it first alters and ultimately burns them out in the process. A group of passers-through (and the survivors of its rampage through town) are captured by Entragion, the lunatic-Sheriff possessed by Tak... or are they gathered together by God for the purpose of stopping Tak / keeping it holed-away far under the earth? Either way, hi-jinks, as they often will, ensue, Tak is re-sealed in his prison under the earth, and the survivors recycle back to the world.

"Desperation is about God; The Regulators is about TV." - Stephen King.

In the 90s, three themes dominate King's work: his recovery, "feminist consciousness," and God. At least two of those themes intersect in Desperation, and one of them (God) gets center-stage. And was, for this reader, handled a bit more compellingly in The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. While Desperation is by no means a bad book, it went on a bit too long for this reader, and some of the "God" discussion (though not all of it) is a bit creaky. Between it and its "companion star," I prefer The Regulators. Though I don't think either would qualify as my go-to exploration of the themes their author assigns to them. (Evaluated together as one work examining God and Television, even less so)

Still, it's a fun read, at least most of it.

King examines this movie a bit in Danse Macabre; one wonders if its themes percolated in mind for years before sitting down to write Desperation. I don't know it well enough to speculate, though.
This one, on the other hand...! Granted, the "mining operations uncover ancient evil" trope is hardly unique to King's novel, but there are more than a few parallels between the two works. (And Nevada could be a stand-in for Mars; ask anyone who's ever flown over it)
The title comes both from the story's setting and something The Man with the Yankees Cap (grrr) says during David Carver's (i.e. the boy who talks to God) brief foray into The Land of the Dead, near novel's end:

"The opposite of faith is unbelief. The first (disbelief) is natural, the second willful. And (...) the spiritual state of unbelief is desperation."

This state is perhaps best encapsulated by the character of Johnny Marinville, whom we'll get to in a bit. 

TAK 

The novel charges out of the gate with Entragion's gathering of the protagonists.

"'That's when I started to think he must be crazy, because (nothing he said) made sense.'
'I see holes like eyes,' Mary said.
Billignsley nodded. 'Yeah, like that. My head is full of blackbirds, that's another one I remember... They were like Thoughts for the Day out of a book written by a crazy person."

Played with considerable relish by Ron Perlman in the 2006 TV adaptation.
Perhaps it's just a bit of King Fatigue (i.e. that inevitable feeling after tearing through the guy's catalog like this over the last eight months), but King's overused-villain-tropes collide in the character of Entragion/ Tak. He's got the seeing-through-animals/ mind-reading of Flagg with the inexplicable-racism/anti-semitism/what-have-you of... well, of every other King villain. Why would an ancient demon sound like a MSNBC caricature of "the enemy?" If it's meant as an amplification of latent prejudices in Entragion himself, a) we get no text-support for that, b) why is it an aspect of every King villain, novel to novel? and c) why do these attitudes remain as Tak leaps from body to body? 

The bottom line is, King's villains need more variety; they all tend to act either like Norman Daniels from Rose Madder / Big John Rennie from Under the Dome, or like Flagg/ Leland Gaunt, wherever and however they appear. That and the alien-presence-throwing-a-tantrum/no-emotional-control appears way too much. (One can almost hear the Star Trek voice-over... "These bodies... these emotions... how do you humans stand it?" In fact, doesn't Mister Gray say as much, in Dreamcatcher?)


At other times, Tak is less predictable, and therefore far more interesting, as when he tells Johnny Marinville after his capture:

"You have never written a truly spiritual novel. (...) It is your great unrecognized failing, and it is at the center of your petulant, self-indulgent behavior. You have no interest in spiritual nature. You mock the God who created you, and by doing so you mortify your own pneuma and glorify the mud which is your sarx."

(Although it's a bit odd, considering later he seems as ignorant of "the God who created (Marinville)" as he claims Marinville to be here.)

That aside, Entragion's sporadic violence and non-sequiters are certainly menacing. (His addition of "I am going to kill you" to the Miranda read-em-their-rights speech is particularly effective.) I also enjoyed the can-tah, i.e. the wood carvings unearthed that are talismans for the evil spirits.

The Dark Tower connections come in two forms: Tak itself (the Outsider/ Todash demon, similar to the Outsider spirit of Bag of Bones) and the Desatoya Mountains. Also the setting for "The Little Sisters of Eluria," and the spiders of Eluria are very much in evidence here, as well. As given broader discussion here:

"Both stories take place in deserted, demon-haunted mining towns located in the Desatoya Mountains.  In both tales, the demons desire bloodshed and death.  But most remarkable of all, despite the differences between the demons of each story, both speak the same language."  (Furth) (...) Between that and the brief mention -- in both the novella and the comics -- of "Tejuas" being some 200 miles away, it seems that The Little Sisters of Eluria has major hints about how connected Roland's world is to our own.  At the very least, it seems it must be some alternate-universe version of it, probably one in the future."

That's something my mind kept turning back to while reading this. I wouldn't mind another book elaborating on these connections/ this chronology. (Added to my wishlist for further Dark Tower projects.)

Finally, what would one of my blogs be without a word from Kev:

"The imprecise nature of Tak is important. King suggests that Tak might be the literal Devil (going so far as to name the mining company that disturbed Tak's prison Diablo, meaning devil in Spanish) and that Tak exists in Hell. But suggestions and sketches are all King allows, unwilling to define Hell in literal terms. This is to the book's credit."

Agreed. Although assigning Tak the usual anachronistic prejudices as all-other-King-villains takes a chunk out of said credit. The temper tantrums are more understandable, but still somewhat repetitive.

Perlman with Matt Frewer (David Carver's father) in the TV adaptation.
GOD

Upon its release, The New York Times observed:

"God is the edgiest creation in Desperation. Remote, isolated, ironic, shrouded behind disguises, perhaps "another legendary shadow," this deity forms a sly foil, and an icy mirror, to Tak. The adjectives frequently attached to God (here) are 'strong' and 'cruel.'"

True."God is cruel, and God's cruelty is refining" is a recurring motif, particularly in the last act. Continuing from the Times review:

"Mr. King boldly refracts his supernatural horrors against some haunted American legacies. Tak, we are told, was released from the earth when modern strip miners of dubious legality accidentally blasted open an old gold lode, site of a fabled 1859 cave-in that buried alive 57 Chinese laborers. After accumulating the bitter freight of 19th-century racism and capitalist greed, Tak slides forward to the Vietnam War: David Carver's dream scrambles together an Ohio tree house his friends call ''Viet Cong Lookout'' and a Saigon bar of the same name where John Marinville drank as a correspondent in the 1960's. (...) When Tak, near the end of the novel, lodges his spirit inside an eagle, his equation with the alien impulses within the American psyche appears complete.

Yet just when Mr. King convinces us of the intensity of his Gnostic meditations, (...) he tosses everything away. Desperation concludes with an uplift that is entirely false to its own dark energy. David Carver has God all wrong, we discover in the final lines. For "God is love." How this bromide dispels Vietnam, the enslaved Chinese miners, the devastated earth or the massive millennial fervor of nearly 700 pages devoted to a ''cruel'' God and his rival demiurge, Mr. King doesn't say."

Except, he does. I'm not sure how the reviewer, here, missed the explictly-spelled-out wrap-up that God is all these things, but the rosy "Oh, God is love" ending described here is simply not the way the novel ends. I'm not saying King is entirely successful with this (he is a bit more elegant on this topic when he returns to it in The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon) but throughout, it is quite obvious that the "nature of God" here is more Taoist than anything. It's a mixture of the personal-God of Catholicism, interacting with humans and helping them along within the "free will" covenant, and the sort of emptiness described (among other places of course) in the Tao Te Ching:

"There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty. Solitary. Unchanging. Infinite. Eternally Present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao.
(...)
Man follows the earth.
Earth follows the universe.
The universe follows the Tao
The Tao follows only itself." (ch. 25)

So, like or dislike King's thoughts on the subject, but the NYT reviewer is simply incorrect. Compare with the "The Other" mentioned in It, or in other places such as "The Beggar and the Diamond:"

"Uriel looked at God (as nearly as anyone - even an archangel - can look at that burning face, at least) uncertainly. "Have you given me a lesson, Lord?"
"I don't know," God said blandly, "have I?"

Or from the end of TGWLTG:
"How much of it was real?"
"All of it," he said, as if it didn't really matter. And then, again: "You did a good job."
"I was stupid to get off the path like I did, wasn't I?"
He looked at her with slight surprise, then pushed up his cap... He smiled and when he smiled, he looked young. "What path?" he said.

False idols also come into play. Tak's can tahs and can taks "reveal people's baser natures and devolve them into dangerous, obsessive behavior." (Kev again)

In this way, they are the opposing idol to the Sköldpadda seen in the Dark Tower books.
Personally, I see this sort of "God" as just another character/ deity/ presence of the Dark Tower-verse and not a theological assertion, but, as with anything that deals with faith, the supernatural, or religion, one's own views will color one's interpretation. I don't know if an atheist or a Jesuit (or a Buddhist, or a snake charmer) would have any trouble connecting to the story, and that is certainly a testament to King's storytelling abilities.

"As always at these times when he felt really in need of God, the front of his mind was serene, but the deeper part, where faith did constant battle with doubt, was terrified that there would be no answer... People could make shadows, minor tricks of light and projection. Wasn't it likely that God was the same kind of thing? Just another legendary shadow?" (David Carver, pg. 458)

I could've done without the miracles performed by David Carver aspect, as well as the Communion via Three Musketeers wrapper. But meh.

Shane Haboucha (David Carver) and Annabeth Gish (Mary Jackson)
"Your God loves drunks and hates little boys!" - Brian Ross's Mom (I didn't write down the page, sorry.)

JOHNNY MARINVILLE

aka Tom Skerritt aka George Bannerman from The Dead Zone aka Evan Drake from Cheers
"Once you'd been accepted as a bona fide literary lion, someone would be glad to go on publishing your words even after they had degenerated into self-parody or outright drivel. Johnny sometimes thought that the most terrible thing about the American literary establishment was how they will let you swing the wind, slowly strangling, while they all stood around at their asshole cocktail parties, congratulating themselves on how kind they were being to poor old what's-his-name." (Johnny Marinville, pg. 72)

That cracked me up. I don't see it (or Johnny's parting shot: Fuck the critics) as a self-assessment of any kind, but it's an insight that means more to me coming from a bona fide literary lion such as King.

Marinville's is an interesting case to consider. On one hand, his character-arc is rather straightforward. He is on a quest of redemption and realizes his salvation in heroic self-sacrifice. The traditional Christian motif, in other words. On the other, he is King's "in recovery" talisman for the novel, and in several sequences, the recovery-thoughts dovetail nicely with the God-thoughts:

"Above that - and all sides as well - the desert wind howled. It was a sound that cooled Johnny's blood... but he could not deny the fact that there was something strangely attractive about it. God made you hear that sound. That sound says quitting is okay, that quitting is in fact the only choice that makes any sense. That sound is about the lure of emptiness and the pleasure of zero." (pp 369-370, emphasis mine)

Emptiness here meaning both the oblivion of intoxication and (perhaps) the Taoist emptiness of God.

I was rather lost by the late-innings "reveal" that Marinville was killed in Vietnam. I guess it wasn't meant as literally-killed, but it was unclear enough for me to go back and re-read several sections. I guess it has something to do with the omnipresent timespace of "God," i.e. the Vietnam-connection between Marinville and David Carver, but it just was unclear to me.

MIRROR, MIRROR

As I'm sure no one here needs to be told, this was released simultaneously with The Regulators by Richard Bachman. For a side-by-side comparison of each character, see here. Ultimately, though, I didn't find there to be any illuminating connection between the books. One reader mentions how Desperation details Tak's revenge for the events described in The Regulators. Could very well be. But if there is one explicit and defining rationale that ties the books together, I didn't find it in either text; one gets the impression it just "seemed like a cool idea."

THE MOVIE

Perlman with Henry Thomas (Peter Jackson) and director Mick Garris.
Here we have the typical directed-for-TV-by-Garris/ adapted-by-King collaboration, i.e. way too literal/ uncompartmentalized and all-too-sanitized-for-mainstream-dissemination. (My above comments re: stereotypical-King-villain-attributes aside, the material is improved by changing "New York Jews!" (i.e. what Entragion angrily calls the Jacksons) to "unisex Blue State swingles." It makes as much sense for an ancient demon to give a crap about red state/ blue state as it does for Jewish/Gentile, but the phrasing cracks me up. Changing "Fuck the critics!" to "Fuck Ann Coulter!" (or whatever exactly Johnny Marinville says) is less successful, though no less amusing.

The shots of the American Southwest were quite nice, so a (rare!) tip of the cap to Mick Garris, or more accurately, Christian Sebaldt, the cinematographer. 

And both Annabeth Gish
and Steven Weber (Steve Ames, here with Kelly Overton as Cynthia Smith) were fine.
The NY Times review of this contains this interesting observation:

"In one of movie's several climactic scenes, Tak — a Chinese demon, remember, though at some point sense has been abandoned — booms at Marinville, "The heart of the unborn commands you to stop!" To which Marinville shoots back: "Adam Sandler demands you stop! Ann Coulter demands you stop!"
Like the iconography, and the vocabulary, and the tone, the ideology of "Stephen King's Desperation" is all mixed up. This first-rate movie is also a chthonic mess. Mr. King has once again slammed his hand flat on all the buttons, and everything is lit up."

I agree that lines / juxtapositions like that work against the film rather than for it. But to characterize this as a "first-rate movie" is a bit wild. For example:


Man, that's funny. I recommend watching that first ten or twelve seconds multiple times; the hilarity is cumulative. Mick and Stephen, when they get together, just can't resist that bad  make-up and pop-out crap like this but here, it's a real LOL. I must have said "TAK-A-LA!" in response to my cat's endless-meowing a million times this past week.

That's almost an "I Am Kirok!" moment, i.e. a perfect storm of an actor doing seventy-five in a schoolzone / plain-ol' sci-fi weirdness. Almost but not quite - neither the script nor the rest of the film is hitting on "I am Kirok" cylinders. Still, as evidenced below, someone else has at least begun the process of "meme-ing:"


Perlman does a bang-up job as the psycho-sheriff, and a less (or a lot more) self-consciousness film could sincerely transform the whole thing into a cult classic. But, in its present form, it's just not there.


Finally, I enjoyed this:


An effective (and unexpected) way of demonstrating the backstory. All in all, it's probably the best thing Mick Garris and Stephen King have ever collaborated on, or that the former has ever done. 

But, as an adaptation, however unofficial, of the book, I'll stick with Ghosts of Mars.

NEXT: Under the Dome or 11/22/63. (The End of the Highway approacheth.)

19 comments:

  1. As ot the way King portrays his villains.

    I think it's important to understand two things:

    1. King's inspiration for his villains.

    2. the idea (or nature) of evil/insanity itself.

    First off, King's villains are all informed, more or less, from the social conscience King devoloped during the Sixties. That means an idea of evil shot through with a lot of liberal...what's the word I'm looking for here?...Guilt...Zeitgeist? In either case, his villains are informed by the viewpoint of an old hippie and the types of social injustices he read or was told about by others (since I doubt King ever got into a total all out Sixties confrontation with The Man ever once in his life, he was still nonetheless effected. See JFK for instance).

    As to evil, I think it's a good idea to lump it and insanity as pretty much one and the same thing. If I had to offer a good reason for that viewpoint, it's really my thinking based on my brief time in therapy.

    I was made to understand that things like racism and anti-semitism are really just "Clinical Cases" walking around unguarded, so to speak. Whether that sounds too harsh or not I leave up to others. All I know is it makes sense to me, and it also helped me understand the nature of King's villains in that psychosis, in it's own warped way, follows it's own neurotic set of rules, or negative rules if you will, hence the reason there are, unfortunately, numerous racists instead of the phenomena being limited to just one person.

    It's the same reason, to take a less serious case, you find many OCD sufferers (hi, howyadoin') instead of, say, just me. The implication was neurosis and, much more serious, psychosis seem to follow an addictive pattern. One theory for this being that insanity depends on sanity for it's existence.

    Just two cents though.

    ChrisC

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    1. "And Nevada could be a stand-in for Mars; ask anyone who's ever flown over it."

      Aha! Well, since most are familiar with the fake moon landing theory (nonsense!) are there any known fake Mars theories?

      Looking forward to 11/22/63 review, sad to here it all end.

      ChrisC

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    2. Eventually, somebody is going to write a book that focuses on King's approach to spirituality. As far as I know, it hasn't happened yet, but it seems like an obvious one to me. And it began at least as far back as "Carrie," so there's plenty of material to draw from.

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    3. pt. 1 I hear you (CC) on what you're saying, but it still gets very repetitive. He's got a great imagination - there's just no logical reason why he can't mix it up a little. I understand a writer/ artist is limited (or at least determined) by his or her own social conscience. But this is where I feel King has been failed by his editors over the years. There's such a reluctance to get him to re-evaluate certain things, whereas if he had someone he trusted (say, his brother David, just off the top of my head) telling him, "No, black girls don't all say "sugar" at the end of every sentence," or "No, you've really drained this particular villain well dry" or "I think you might want to cool it with the psychic-child trope, at least in this one," or "are you trying to do the Spielberg shooting star thing, here, or Hitchcock-cameo, with these characters that burst into laughter and then have to hold on to one another because they're laughing so hard? Because it is literally in every damn book; if it doesn't need to be, or if you're not aware of this, let's cut it," etc. his body of work would have more depth and variety.

      Now (obviously) I love the guy's work, and he's been so mega-successful that I realize comments like these might seem somewhat, well, ass-headed, for lack of a better word. But I feel in a pretty unique position to comment on this. From May of last year to now, I've read everything (well 99%) of the guy's work; I doubt any of his editors have ever been in a similar position. Not that they haven't read everything; I'm sure they have. But taking his work as a whole (and skipping around in it, reading the old with the new with the middle) you can really see these things.

      Anyway, it makes no sense for an ancient evil to sound like a MSNBC caricature. That this was amped up for the 2006 adaptation goes to show - other things are being prioritized over the character's internal-sense/ internal-milieu.

      I'm fine with King addressing "the banality of evil" or "temper tantrums," but good God, man, mix it up a bit, make it make sense, not just as a villain-suit all his villains wear from project to project.

      I'm perhaps being too critical, but again, I feel like if you can't make these sorts of observations at the tail end of a project like this, what's the point? Again, I love his stuff, repetitive/anachronistic villains/ all of the above, and all. But it just had to be said.

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    4. pt. 2 I haven't, surprisingly, seen any fake Mars landing theories. I wonder why?

      There is some thought out there that Kubrick was hired to fake the moon landing, or that one can "read" 2001 as a confession/ example of how it can or can't be faked. I don't buy into any of it, of course, just maybe we haven't head any fake Mars landing stuff because there's no more Kubricks out there in the world! I doubt NASA's going to hire Bret Ratner or Zack Snyder for such a thing, haha.

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    5. BB - the spirituality of King, I agree: great idea for a book. I nominate you!

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    6. p.p.s. By the way, I hope it came across in my comment about King's editors re: the "since last May I've read..." yadda yadda, I'm not patting myself on the back or making any sort of comment on whether or not his editors (or whomever) have read whatever-amount of King's work, merely that taking it all in a crunched period of time yields different results, is all.

      I was just reading all this over and just wanted to clarify. This wasn't meant as a value judgment or anything, merely that in the same way watching 5 seasons of The Sopranos in 3 weeks yields different results than watching 5 seasons in real-time, with long waits between new story and character arcs and different approach, etc. One is no better or more worthwhile than the other, just a different set of results, is what I'm saying.

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    7. It's important, I think, to remember that being critical of a writer's work does not by any means negate loving that writer's work. No artist is perfect. King's work has many flaws, and I do think there tends to be an occasional sameness to the way he approaches certain things. No need for me to list them, since you've already done it here; and pretty doggone accurately.

      I spend a lot of time thinking about King's work, and it occasionally worries me that my reasons for doing so might indicate some sort of low-grade insanity, or possibly even sycophancy. For that reason, it makes me happy when he puts out a book or story that I dislike every once in a while. It reminds me that I love his work not merely because it is HIS work, but because it is great work that happens to have been his. Seems like a minor distinction, but it's actually a rather major one.

      By the way, this seems like a good opportunity to salute you, from one King fan to another. I'm quite impressed by the fact that you've managed to examine -- or re-examine -- the majority of King's work in such a relatively small span of time. Add in the fact that you've done some excellent writing about it, and I'm downright envious. As you know, I'm -- slowly -- working on my own re-examination, and I fully expect to be referring back to these posts of yours for years to come.

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    8. Coming from the author of The Truth Inside the Lie, that is a real compliment, thanks man!

      I'll save my wrap-up thoughts and I'd-like-to-thank-the-Academy(ies) for the last of the series, but I appreciate it.

      I hear you, too, on how it's actually kind of re-assuring to come across things (or whole books) that don't quite work. I had the same doubts you mention at a few times during this and worried I was hypnotizing myself, or something. As said elsewhere, the guy's writing-batting-average is just crazy-high, so it's understandable to wonder if one's compass isn't "compromised." It's good to see him whiff once and awhile, or realize he has trouble with certain pitches, consistently.

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  2. I just started this book for review on my blog. I've read it twice before and did not much care for it either time. I still like it more than The Regulators.

    I would separate Leland Gaunt from other King villains. I think he was over the top -- almost comical ("I'm from Akron.").

    I've never noticed a "sameness" about King villains or entities. Christine was a faceless, unthinking killing machine much like the tanker truck in Richard Matheson's DUEL. Carrie was a tragic figure. Jack Torrence was a good, but flawed man. IT was pure, distilled evil. Randall Flagg was suave evil. Annie Wilkes was psychotic, but also sad. All of these villains had depth.

    Norman from ROSE MADDER was a poorly conceived caricature. The tacked on Raymond Andrew Joubet of GERALDS'S GAME was perhaps his worst, because he was tacked on in a vain attempt to make a bad story better.

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    1. Well, in Christine, we had LeBay, who fits the Norm Daniels pattern described. As does Carrie's Mom/ the hooligans tormenting her. Jack Torrance wasn't the villain of The Shining, really, but the Overlook fits the pattern described, as does certain suggestions made by Grady et al. In It, we had Henry Bowzer, which fits the pattern described. Annie Wilkes, ok, sure, she was different.

      No one's saying his villains don't have depth, by the way, just there isn't as much variety as there should be. he has certain go-to traits and aspects (all supernatural/ clairyvoyant villains tend to act like Flagg/ Entragion/ Lelan Gaunt, etc.)

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  3. If you're currently on 11/22/63, then I don't know if this will help or hinder the read (though if it keeps this blog a little longer, so much the better).

    Anyway, meet David von Pein, and his youtube site:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/DavidVonPein1

    It is quite literally an almost (not quite) one stop shop "depository" (sorry) of JFK assasination media.

    Pros: The list of JFK matirieal is almost endless, in fact I think he's adding more to this site as I write. Seriously, this guy makes Stone look like a hobbyist. The best videos are from three docs in the collection. One is Four Days in November, made in 64 a chronicles the (sad but true) Warren Commission scenario.

    It's one value is as a visual time capsule catalogue of that era. Much more interesting is Mark Lane's 66 doc of the first book to question the "Official" version, Rush to Judgment.

    Lane's book can also be found at several other youtube vids by just typing in Rush to Judgement Mark Lane and googling it.

    I forgot othe most interesting video collection of real TV newscasts from all big three networks (I seriously don't know where and how this guy got his hands on them and am not sure I want to know) however the best is a video serious from ABC affiliate WFAA as it's real time video from Dallas that day featuring interviews with witnesses including Abe Zapruder

    TBC

    ChrisC

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    1. Sorry, this turned out longer than expected. In many ways 11/22/63 unwittingly opened a door I'd closed long ago. I wonder how many others felt the same way.

      Anyway, some final docs and vids of note on Pein's site are:

      The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (64) and (77). Two docudramas with the same title filmed at different times positing the what if of Oswald standing trial. The 64 follows the Commission while the 77 is more up in the air in spite of what I felt was a cop out ending.

      The final valuable video is a recording of a history channel special The Warren Commission, which neatly summarizes all the flaws in the book.

      This site was like free book publicity leading up to 11/22/63. I literally spent the whole of 11 until November going over that site (yes, I do need a life as a matter of fact).

      Anyway, I hope this is.............informative or helpful........in some way.

      ChrisC

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    2. Thanks for all that, CC - I probably won't spend too, too much time on the assassination itself, alas, when I review 11/22/63. If I did, that post would get out of control, I think, both length and content-wise. I'm approaching it like I approach the Warren Commission, i.e. a work of fiction. :-)

      But, the 60s assassinations (plural) have always been a hobby of mine, and essential info for any thinking American, I say. I'm a bit dismissive of this guy David Von Pein, I have to say. A lot of the things he's claiming as "UNDISPUTED FACTS" (emphasis his) are highly suspect, i.e. Oswald killing Tippit, shell casings linked to the gun Oswald owned, etc. (I'm referring to his blog, here: http://oswald-is-guilty.blogspot.com/) And he doesn't seem all that interested in some of the more baffling aspects of the case (i.e. foreign running the full story of Oswald-as-lone-killer with full history of the man only minutes after the assassination happened, the curious orders of military standing down, etc. Many, many more.) But like you say, as a one-stop mega-warehouse of JFK-related videos, it's great stuff/ very helpful.

      I have a dvd-folder in which I group all of my "conspiracy" DVDs. I'd say a third of it is JFK related. Fun stuff to put on and obsess over, ha - I'm loads of fun at parties. Anyway, once I had the flu and watched all 9 hours of this back-to-back: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/evidence-of-revision/

      it's well worth anyone's time. One can see for one's self how the story changed. It's at least a good companion video for some of the ones on that Von Pein site.

      One thing that always cracks me up about those who insist Oswald acted alone is they talk about the forensics/ bullet angles, etc. Considering the autopsy notes were burned and the forensics evidence is highly suspect, I don't understand placing any stock whatsoever in the highly-suspect "results," there. But, of course, I have no idea. Personally, I think the approach described by Walter Matthau in the Stone movie (which, whatever one believes, is just one hell of a cinematic achievement; I could watch that all day) would have been the most logical - make a list of the world's best shooters and see which ones were in Dallas that day. Oswald was a patsy; there's just no way he could do the shooting. If the FBI's best sharpshooters couldn't replicate his performance, that to me is the
      smoking gun, pardon the expression.

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    3. By the way, if anyone likes this kind of stuff, I highly recommend the book 'How the World REALLY Works' by AB Jones. it's a chapter-by-chapter review of a whole slew of 'conspiracy literature,' none of which it endorses, just summarizes. It's fascinating stuff. The chapters in there on the JFK assassination offer some stuff I'd never considered. I wish I spoke French and Russian - they've published quite a few interesting things on the 60s assassinations that (conveniently) never seem to get translated/ a lot of mention in our media.

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    4. Good to know you like. As I said, the best is the Warren Commission history channel doc. It's a real eye opener to see the Commission member, especially Gerald Ford admit...but that would be telling.

      Be seeing you.

      ChrisC

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  4. Getting back on track, as regards Tak's motivation I came up with a rather interesting theory. The way it works has to do with the nature of the King universe. In my view it's not a multi-verse held together by a Tower, cause that's just a fiction come to ife on it's author.

    Instead it's just really our world with things that go bump in the night as a a sort of tack on. So if there's no multi-verse, then there's no alternate world of different Carvers and Marinvilles etc. So who are these people in Regulators?

    My answer anyway is that they are the exact same people from Desperation, yet in Regs they've been caught up in a kind of living dream, created by Tak and augmented (reluctantly) by Seth Garin. Think of it as a slightly upscale version of Nightmare on Elm Street with more restrained Splatter.

    In this scenario, while in the dream/mindscape state, the characters are somehow shifted around, while still maintaining their basic natures, as witnessed by the fact Dave Carver still displays an interest in religion in Regs. If I had to explain how or why they are shifted around in the dream I'd have to say it's because Tak mixed them up deliberately for his own sick amusement.

    TBC

    ChrisC

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    1. Continued from 1

      I rather like the scenario outlined, even if it is just a fan theory. For one thing, it ties into my idea about Regulators and Desperation being parts one and two of a single story. For another, I hope the outlined idea here helps explain the idea of Tak seeking revenge.

      In this thinking, Tak is foiled by the only truly other self-aware character in Regulators, Seth Garin. His defeat of Tak makes the creature thirst for revenge. Curiously, this theory sows up and interesting plot element in the Garris adapt where a young Marinville is confronted by Tak in Vietnam as it fits in with that idea of revenge and Johnny is the one Tak seeks out first.

      The irony in this set up is, by caturing Dave Carver in his family, Tak may have been responsible for spurring his interest in religion and, by proxy, setting up his own downfall. Oops!

      I also like that idea that Regulators helps flesh out the characters from Desperation by revealing other sides of their characters while fleshing out characters only hinted at in Desperation. Perhaps the most interesting character arc is the ultimately tragic Audry Wyler, at least in this scenario. While in the King book she's revealed as this kind of stuck up woman who appears to have little time for others, its interesting to see she could make a pretty good parent in the Bachman book.

      Needless to say, while most of the cast survives Regulators, not all of them do. Then again, perhaps something Chris Carter said applies to the King-verse as well.

      "Nobody ever really dies on The X Files."

      ChrisC

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    2. "My answer anyway is that they are the exact same people from Desperation, yet in Regs they've been caught up in a kind of living dream, created by Tak and augmented (reluctantly) by Seth Garin. Think of it as a slightly upscale version of Nightmare on Elm Street with more restrained Splatter."

      Sincerely, that's a very cool idea. I like it. Also that Tak sets up his own demise through his own machinations - also apt. Good stuff.

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