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A Television Lesson A Television Lesson
by David Sparenberg
2013-03-18 08:12:59
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Fox Network’s TV series THE FOLLOWING, what is it?  What is it at the base of its storyline?  First, America’s cult fascination with the vampire—the creature that blends sex and death, avoids its own death by draining the lives of others, and is psychopathically fixated on the emotional release of erotic murder (especially torture and mutilation of young women)—appears here to have entered the psychic (or energy vampire) phase.
In THE FOLLOWING we have a human monster of near inhuman calculation exercising mental power over others by the principle that like responses to like—an intellect and intellectual that is cold, demonic, malicious and malignant, and narcissistically self-indulgent and self-delighting; a sort of bored Satan in guise of a Professor of Literature and hierophant of Edgar Allan Poe who entertains himself by sticking pins into voodoo dolls to torment his captors and enemies.  And this grandiose figure is opposed by the “good guy”—a bit rough and edgy, a bit alcoholic, a dedicated problem solver and hero of tough love, with bad conscience and a troubled and weak heart.
How telling the symbolism of it all is!  How revealing of the mindset and occult rules of a popular social game!
Lurking in shadows around the two main personae in this expose in fictive disguise is the villain’s cult of followers.  Failed individuals who are aroused by degradation and bloodshed, who get their kicks off of killing, who seek to prove themselves to the leader of the fascist fraternity they are parts of by making spectacles of murder or, when finally called upon, providing shocking exhibitions of public suicide.
Glaring at us through the trivialized darkness of TV drama is the coldly grinning image of the politically usurped and distorted superman—agent of Aryan superiority, cruelty and destruction. And moving through the storyline, more like a wind-murmur of decaying social flesh than even a darkling whisper is the message that death is more exciting and fulfilling than life—at lease so long as the cult devotees and thrill seekers are the ones administering sudden and violent death to others —to the inferior and expendable specimens—and any and all viewed with contempt and considered removable as obstructions before the murky goal of what can only end in a neo-gothic cannibalizing feed. In the Fall of the House of Usher, the Hannibal of his ghoulish soul must eventually feast on the organs of Roderick and drink to the dregs the venom of the master’s Tell Tale Heart.
Of course one can always say I am reading too much into a silly television series intended only to creep us out and make us nervously laugh at ambient flutters and deepening shadows.  Of course one can always go along with the pretense and remain silent.  But the gadfly in me is asking questions and I recall from memory how Ludwig Binswanger, one of the founders of existential analysis, remarked that if you want to look into a nation’s future, study the plots and inner workings of its criminals. And crime, so asserted, whether it is serial rape, serial murder or genocide, does not begin in the deed but in the imagination.
David Sparenberg
8 March 2013


From LIFE IN THE AGE OF EXTINCTIONS, Volume Two, a work-in-progress. Volume One is currently available as a free ebook download from OVI, HERE !


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Emanuel Paparella2013-03-18 13:24:33
Thank God for gadflyes. Keep on being a gadflay David. We desperately need them nowadays. Indeed, as both Vico and Croce have reminded us in their philosophy, the status of imagination reveals even more of a civilization than the status of the intellect. Vico coined the phrase: “barbarism of the intellect” to describe an intellect devoid of imagination and rationalizing what ought never be rationalized. A worst status than that of the barbarism of old.

What you describe so well has also been dubbed in the encyclical of various Popes as “THE CULTURE OF DEATH.” Such a designation has of course been interpreted by the Western intelligentsia, with a knee cup reaction to any pronouncement coming from a Pope, any Pope (we are witnessing it as we speak), as obscurantism harking back to medieval times attacking progressivism and modernity but it remains nevertheless an inconvenient truth. What it reveals in its sheer hubris and bias is a tragic callousness toward the truth. Ultimately, the truth shall makes us free or it shall condemn and destroy us. The angst and dread of existence is that we have no choice but choose, and to choose apathy and refuse to choose is already to have chosen…

Leah Sellers2013-03-19 06:31:31
Well done, Mr. David !
Well added upon, Brother Emanuel !

Joe, the "hierophant" of Poe - the flawed Demonic, Charmingly Seductive Villain, Loves Claire.
Claire cheats with Ryan - the flawed, Raw-boned and Well Intentioned Hero.
Whether or not she Loves either or both the Flawed Demonic Villain, and or the flawed Conscience-ridden Hero is Questionable. Making her Questionable. But she is a Loving Mother who wants to protect her Child from the Boogey-Man, so that makes her relateable and redeemable.
Claire is the stinging Queen Bee. The lusted after - the Cheating and Had by Both Demon/Heroic Energies.
Ryan battles with and for the most part has the Dis-Trustful FBI behind him (sort of and intermittently), and finds himself always having to break Rules and Protocols, and Go maverick in order to get Work accomplished on the Case/Game. Much of which is undone or shockingly re-directed by the Demon Army of Joe-Poe's psychophant-killers/torturers many of whom have infiltrated the FBI and the World-at-large, and who kill/torture for the sake of killing/torturing and/or sadistically/masochistically weaving the Tapestry of Joe-Poe's Demonic Nightmare Illusionings and Dis-Illusionings.
Death gives Life meaning, and Joe Poe is the Pied Piper.
Who can you Trust ? No One.
Death and its Wounded and Seduced Earthly Minions are everywhere.
Everyone is on their own. Circling - ever circling within Joe Poe's Toxic Drain Hole. The Scarey Black Hole that drains, sucks and snuffs out everyone's Mind, Heart and Soul. And all of it done in the name of Lusty Love/Life and Death which didn't measure up to its romantic hype for any of the Illusioning/Dis-Illusioning of the Triadic Energetic Dilemmaphants, and or their direct/in-direct Victims along the way, and/or their opposing Armies.
All of them Circling - ever circling into the murky, swampy Shades of Moral and Ethical Gray until All Life Ends in Decompostional Oblivion.
Moral and Ethical varying Gray Shades of Absolutely Nothin'.
It is a rather terrible commentary of the existing ancient/modern psychic elements which can (and at times do) plague and destroy all civilizations, and the individuals who dwell within them.

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