Post No. 200: Pay Attention to the Road

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Photo credit: “Full Moon Over Death Valley” by Donna Kennedy

Every 25th post, darkadaptedeye takes a planned break from normal business to plumb the shallow depths of its author’s psyche and/or overtly explore the locked attic of memories it only ever really dabbles in otherwise. You might think of it as a pit stop, or maybe a soft reboot. In “Danse Macabre”, Stephen King termed his own such digression “An Annoying Autobiographical Pause”, which I choose to think was kind of charming. Please know I take seriously the challenge of making patent self-indulgence interesting – actual results be damned – and I appreciate you being game. We’ll return to our irregularly scheduled programming shortly…

Professional musician, professional counselor, semi-professional cheerleader – it was my father who, long ago, instilled in me the central tenet by which, though so far removed now from the rolling hills where I spent my childhood, I have nevertheless carved out some semblance of a happy life as an adult: always have something to look forward to. Through repeated and jarring market fluctuations in both the professional and romantic sectors, I have intermittently thrived but stayed consistently afloat, clinging to that piece of advice like driftwood on the open sea. I’ve always been a solitary sort – introspective and dry, shy and goofy, practitioner of deadpan sarcasm and proponent of laid back empathy – more conversationalist as counterpuncher than raconteur. Continue reading “Post No. 200: Pay Attention to the Road”

Movie review: “They Shall Not Grow Old” (2018)

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“Mostly, they were just boys, as we were. They seemed to be glad to be captured. They were out of it.”

What struck me most as a viewer were the faces, the procession of almost invariably smiling faces – the assembled weight, minus any pretense of pageantry, of an entire generation of British youth girding themselves, steeling up their courage, gearing up for war. The images, seen faraway, largely lack distinguishing features yet are familiar, static black and white, grainy, jumpy, degraded in spots, over or underexposed in others, confined within a comparatively meager square occupying the dead center of a massive IMAX screen. In that square, smiling face after smiling face, looking around in a mixture of bemusement and anticipation, not entirely ignorant of the horrors they have yet to confront but, to a man, nevertheless outwardly unconcerned. Continue reading “Movie review: “They Shall Not Grow Old” (2018)”

My Top 20 Albums of 2018 + Supplemental Lists

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Of the twenty-five components that comprise my annual top twenty album list (there are actually twenty-nine if you count ordering/re-ordering the individual lists as I write about them), this intro section is, counterintuitively, the one I tend to care about the least. It’s usually written very late in what, having traditionally started in early December and ending heaven only knows when, has by that point been a lengthy and fairly exhausting process. For this 2018 list, it came in dead last, which I admit might seem an odd way of putting your best foot forward as a writer. To be fair, and by way of context, I finished six other posts in the two months flat it took me to bring the following countdown through to fruition, comprising an approximate (and puny!) combined total of 11,000 (additional) words. I also supervised the fifth anniversary relaunch of my/this beloved little backwater, including its long-threatened change of address to the theoretically easier to say/type/remember URL www.darkadaptedeye.org, and the criminally overdue renovation of its former offensively junior varsity digs. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2018 + Supplemental Lists”

DVR Hindsight #18 (1/16/19): Temptation Island Premiere

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“Temptation Island” – “Temptation Begins” – Season 4, Ep. 1 (USA)

In the continued interest of exploring the fascinating push/pull relationship between high cunning and low art, let us now figuratively hold our collective noses and deign to discuss/ dignify a television dating game show on which four attractive young heterosexual couples in theoretically committed relationships of between three and eight years are, of their own volition, whisked away to a ridiculously swanky tropical resort to mingle and/or cavort – again, on purpose – with a herd of photogenic and aggressively amorous singles and, in the process, stick pins in those aforementioned relationships as if it they were an assortment of designer voodoo dolls. Continue reading “DVR Hindsight #18 (1/16/19): Temptation Island Premiere”

Ranking, Dissecting the “Friday the 13th” Series (Special Edition)

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Since its publication in October of 2014, “Ranking, Dissecting the ‘Friday the 13th’ Series” has been by far the most viewed post on Darkadaptedeye. In celebration of DAE’s fifth anniversary, that original piece has been revisited, expanded, and thoroughly updated, which is something its author both has wanted to do and, frankly, should have done years ago. Thank you for visiting and reading DAE. On behalf of blog/camp management, I hope you enjoy your time down at the lake! -EN

“He neglected to mention that, downtown, they call this place ‘Camp Blood’…”

John Carpenter’s Halloween is, without question, my favorite horror movie of all time – its prominence as recurring subject matter on this site, whether directly or as an invariably unfair comparison point, is conclusive proof – but its rough-hewn demon spawn, Friday the 13th, actually qualifies as my favorite horror series. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, in fact, about what a surprising little swath of my adolescence and teenage years was given over to fuzzy but fond memories of watching an unstoppable killer stalk nubile teenagers around the grounds of a New Jersey summer camp. Continue reading “Ranking, Dissecting the “Friday the 13th” Series (Special Edition)”

The 24 Ways in Which I am Definitely (not) George Lucas…as DAE turns 5!

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  • Like George Lucas (and George Carlin!), my first name is actually George.
  • Unlike George Lucas, only telemarketers and other such salesmen call me George.
  • Like George Lucas, my greatest creative work yet (the blog Darkadaptedeye has been judged roughly equivalent in artistic merit and cultural impact to The Empire Strikes Back, according to the handful of departed low-level Trump Administration officials whose breathless kudos I just made up) was entirely self-financed.
  • Unlike George Lucas, my greatest creative work did not have a standalone budget of $54 million dollars (adjusted for inflation).
  • Also unlike George Lucas, my greatest creative work did not have a budget at all. Though I do occasionally advertise it in $12 chunks on Facebook.
  • Also also unlike George Lucas, I made/make no money at all in exchange for the periodic consumption of my greatest creative work. Not ideal, I know, but just the way it is currently. If this was truly an issue, it probably would’ve surfaced by now. Continue reading “The 24 Ways in Which I am Definitely (not) George Lucas…as DAE turns 5!”

Movie review: “Gremlins” (1984)

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“What are they doing in there?!”

“They’re watching Snow White…and they love it.”

Gremlins isn’t a Christmas movie per se and yet it is my favorite Christmas movie, observing all 360 degrees of the holiday season – the warmth of simple pleasures and gathered family as ward against the cold; the balm of home and hearth belying some of its tackier trappings and base consumerism – through an appealingly dark lens while, counterintuitively, still treating the festivities with more heart and care than might your average “Santa is/toys are/elves are real/magic/cute” kiddie tract or “I’ll be home for the holidays” made-for-television romantic schmaltz. Joe Dante’s 1984 hybrid Americana monster movie/comic thriller, in which the improper care of an exotic house pet unwittingly unleashes a destructive plague of mischievous beasties upon an unsuspecting small town, is a savory Christmas confection coated in arsenic and wrapped lovingly in exploding sandpaper. Continue reading “Movie review: “Gremlins” (1984)”