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Dear People: of the Future...?
I am writing this around midnight on Saturday, August 6th into Sunday, August 7th, 2022.
I’ve been quiet lately. A lot has happened the last few weeks, and not a lot has happened the last few weeks. Heatwaves and floods continue, war and plague and a slow motion apocalypse. On top of the rest of the world, I need a new job, which is a whole other post.
In good news, let me tell you about Darkness, my old friend.
I’m currently listening to Lance’s Dark Mood Party Mix vol. 324 (Trip Hop/Downtempo/Electronica/Chill Out).
Lance is a guy, from I think California, who has released 324 weekly mixes of mostly instrumental trip hop, moody downtempo electronica, and kind of chill sexy techno dance beats. For six years now he’s been making a new Lance’s Dark Mood Party Mix, which is absolutely wild. This week’s mix is pretty good. He’s been pushing the format lately, I think Lance is feeling a little cooped up.
In other Darkness related news, last month a friend I’ve known for like 15 years but who I’ve only met in person a couple of times found a copy of the Dark Shadows The Complete Original DVD box set on sale at at thrift store, and in an act of incredible kindness, bought it and mailed the monster to me! It’s a 14” long coffin shaped box, containing 30+ DVDs with all 1245 episodes of Dark Shadows, plus bonus interviews and reunion features and bloopers and all the things!
A few years ago I watched all of Dark Shadows for the first time, it took me about 3 years, although I definitely slowed down after year one. I absolutely love it, and to have a copy that can’t go away if whatever streaming app currently carries it loses whatever deal, and to have every episode ever without commercials, is just huge.
I have of course started over, watching my absolute favorite era of the show - the early B&W episodes! This is before Dark Shadows became the sprawling sci fi / horror epic gothic melodrama that it grew into, and was more of Jane Eyre, the gothic soap opera. Before the vampires and werewolves and frankensteins and the phoenix and the magical severed hand and the magical severed head and all the time travel and parallel timelines, Dark Shadows was a show about an orphan, who came to a spooky house to work for a family of rich weirdos with skeletons in every closet and possible ghosts as well.
If you’re living in the near future from when I wrote this, you can find Dark Shadows on a variety of streaming platforms, I absolutely recommend sinking a few hundred hours of your life into it.
In further Darkness related news, The Sandman is a new tv show based on the Sandman comics written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by many great artists. (I will always be partial to the Marc Hempel issues.) Sandman came out at a very formative time for me, as a teenage goth in the 1990s. (See also Vampire: the Masquerade, the Crow, the Downward Spiral, and Portishead’s Dummy, all of which I lucked into being the exact right age for when they came out.)
If you’re reading this from a future where all of your other records of late 20th/early 21st century pop culture have been destroyed - Sandman is the story of Morpheus, aka Dream of the Endless, an immortal personification of a facet of reality, who is going through some shit. It’s an epic and incredibly well done comic, full of mythology and fantastic characters and a protagonist who looks like if Robert Smith was the Goblin King.
The tv adaptation took about 30 years to get made, but it’s really incredibly spot on from the comic. I’m still in the middle of the first season, but it’s as close to a perfect adaptation as you could ask for. There are of course racist assholes who are mad that some characters in the show have a different race or gender than the same character in the comics. I’d say those assholes could be ignored but they keep trying to outlaw everything they don’t like.
For people in the not too distant future, The Sandman is on Netflix. If you live in a future where Netflix has collapsed, hopefully someone saved some physical copies. So far I’m enjoying it a lot.
I could continue on with even more Darkness, and tell you about Orpheus: Project Flatline, the World of Darkness tabletop RPG chronicle I’m currently running for six of my friends. But it is late, and the more I write the longer until I can watch the next episode of The Sandman. So for now I’ll point any interested readers to In a World… of Darkness…
I will leave you with a something for the weird gloomy teenagers of the future, here is a brief introductory list of weird old goth shit you should look into:
Bands: Joy Division, The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Chelsea Wolfe, Philip Glass, Unwoman.
Books: the classics Frankenstein, Dracula, the Invisible Man, the Haunting of Hill House (the scariest and maybe book I’ve ever read), the War of the Worlds, IT, The Stand.
Movies: Nosferatu, Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, any of the classic Universal or Hammer horror movies, House of Dark Shadows, Hausu, Holy Mountain, It Follows, so many more.
Next time: The Beggar’s Carnivale Years, or possibly A Note To The Future Owners Of My House, or maybe some bad news, or maybe some good news.
Until then, take care of yourself out there. Be good to yourself and each other. Find joy in the things you can.
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