Friday, July 27, 2007

The Satanic Subtext of Pollyanna

© Copyright 2007 Ray X

Pollyanna. I’ve heard the term a few times but I really didn’t grok its meaning.

I had to go straight to the source. Time to read the novel. A trip to the library and soon I was grokking. (And gagging.)

I never knew that the novel Pollyanna spawned a series, The Famous Pollyanna [TRADE MARK] Glad [TRADE MARK] Books. Now I am forewarned.

When the book was written, it was a simpler time. 1912. Good and evil. Black and white. No troubling shades of gray. Along came a simple writer, Eleanor H. Porter, who wanted to give hope to the world.

In Porter’s day characters didn’t speak dialogue; they ejaculated. For example, there’s a scene where Pollyanna meets a sour stranger on the street and tries to cheer him up. In response, the man reacts this way:

“Well, of all the—" ejaculated the man, with an oddly impotent gesture. (Page 52 in my edition. Porter doesn’t specify the form of the gesture.)

When they weren’t ejaculating, characters of that era sighed, crooned, scoffed, and breathed dialogue.

But I’m not here to criticize dated writing styles. The objective of this essay isn’t so trivial.

Brief plot summary: Pollyanna is an eleven year old girl who ends up living with her aunt after her poor father, a minister, dies. Pollyanna is an orphan: her mother had already been dirt napping for some time. The aunt is a bitter woman who is caught off guard by her niece’s positive spin on the bad. But she and the other cynical people in the town soon fall under the upbeat charm of Pollyanna.

Before her father died, Pollyanna learned how to play the ”just being glad” game. Pollyanna wanted a doll and her father had written for one from a charity. But when the missionary barrel arrived, no doll, just some little crutches for a sick child. Her father pointed out how that she should be grateful for the crutches because she didn’t need them.

Now do you grok “Pollyannaism?”

Even though the reader can eavesdrop on Pollyanna’s thoughts, one senses that her innermost feelings are being concealed. What would her id tell us? What sinister shadow lurks behind the light?

Throughout the book Pollyanna warps reality inside out, always finding good aspects to terrible situations. As I mentioned before, every hard-bitten bastard or bitch she encounters becomes enchanted by her personality. Mean, cynical people are transformed into angels.

But is it enchantment or ensorcellment?

Using my own brand of acumen, what I call Hyper-Logic [TRADE MARK], I see what really underlies this story.

As explained in the first chapter, Pollyanna was the last baby born to Jennie, her mother; the other babies had all died. So why didn’t Pollyanna perish like her siblings? Her mother must have entered into a ghastly pact. After all, demon spawn is a lot tougher than a mere human baby. [Paragraph corrected and revised 10/20/08.]

Lucifer is known to deceive with light, with beauty, blinding wayward souls to the ugliness behind his lies. Promoting unbridled optimism could be a clever trap, a scheme to keep victims naïve until evil finally reveals itself.

There is a dark moment (or is it really a bright one?) towards the end of the novel when Pollyanna is seriously injured; it appears she will never walk again. As Porter explains:

It was on the last day of October that the accident occurred. Pollyanna, hurrying home from school, crossed the road at an apparently safe distance in front of a swiftly approaching motor car.

Just what happened, no one could seem to tell afterward. Neither there was anyone found who could tell why it happened or who was to blame that it did happen…

A mysterious car accident. No one is at fault. What some would call an Act of God.

“But you’re just reading a lot of twisted BS into the novel,” scoffs a skeptic. Really. Note the date of the accident. The last day of October. All Hallows Eve.

And keep in mind that the devil’s weakness is iron. And in the olden days, motor cars had plenty of metal. But apparently not enough to keep rid the world of a deceiving demon child.

Alas, the psychic vampire that is Pollyanna will not be stopped by retribution directed from Above. She manipulates the fools around her to regain her health, to walk once again.

To stride across the world, ensnaring more in her pretty web, making sure that all will suffer abysmal despair when facing the greatest disappointment: death.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Sign Of The Apocalypse: I Defend Michael Shermer

I just left a comment over at Mac Tonnies blog,, in regards to some quotes that skeptic Michael Shermer made in an ABC News article about the reality behind UFOs. After reading it over, I decided that it was a piece I wanted to share here.

I’ve made the mistake in the past of jumping the gun, reading through an article too quickly and missing some key points. It happens to all of us. In this case I think Mac and most of the commenters at his blog have done this. To put this issue in perspective, click on the links above to Mac’s post and the ABC News article. Then read my following comment.

Sure, I sometimes engage in wild speculation and humor, but I strive to be fair (it's not always easy). Mac and the anti-Shermer commenters also try to be fair, but this time I think they overreacted.

= = =


I’m not a “fan” of Michael Shermer. One time he was pushing for a euphemism to replace the word “atheist” as if another term would disarm all the strict fundie believers out here. Also, he can be just as “fallible” as any human UFO witness when he doesn’t check out a source (Link) .

At the same time, he doesn’t come across as a complete skepwoo in the ABC news article. He does state: “So unfortunately we can't just, we can't always count [on] eyewitness accounts being reliable." (My emphasis.)

I do agree with that statement: you can’t always count on eyewitness accounts. (But you can never discount such accounts all the time. Accounts have to be judged on a case-by-case basis.)

And here are the last three paragraphs from that article that indicate that Shermer isn’t as close-minded as one would think.

* * *

Shermer says the problem comes in a kind of leap of faith — with UFOs it's a leap of explanation.

"In science it's OK to just say, 'Let's just withhold judgment for now and do more research. We don't have to commit to some big, grand theory of aliens visiting us. Let's just say we don't know what it is.' … But we have to follow the standards of evidence in science that we apply everywhere else. In no other science would anybody accept just a few random anecdotal stories and grainy videos and blurry photographs."

"The question itself I think is legitimate," he said. "It's interesting, it's fascinating. It's mythic in scale … one of the grand questions. It's like the God question or, you know, the meaning-of-life question. It's one of those, on that scale. So you'd have to be made of wood not to be interested and, you know, have they come here? Are they up there?"

* * *

So he does think the question is “legitimate.” What he states that more research should be done before any leaps of faith are made. I don’t argue with that. Until unquestionable evidence is found, we can speculate about the UFO mystery, but no one can truly say what ultimate answer lies behind the phenomena.

Apparently Shermer’s not a wooden dummy when considering the issue. Also, he’s right when he says that science is limited in trying to find answers in certain areas such as the reality behind God or UFOs. And that is indeed a limitation of traditional science when it comes to “mythic” subjects.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Roswell: What Really Went Down

Ignore all that coverage of the 60th year celebration in Roswell, New Mexico. Eschew all the insubstantial theories about what fell to the ground. The answer is revealed right here.

A skyborne array that had been held aloft by a big balloon did hit the dirt back in 1947 at a remote ranch. And it was indeed a secret military project launched by the US government, but it wasn’t called Mogul and it wasn’t intended to detect the Soviets setting off nukes.

The balloon array was made from ETech smuggled out of Russia years after the Tunguska Event. American scientists learned about Visitors from Out There from a data recorder that survived the crash in Siberia. With the remaining material they were able to built a device to trap a flying saucer.

As the balloon array drifted across the sky, it sent out a phony alien distress signal. And when a disc showed up, an electro-static field was created, ensnaring the ET scout ship. The ship struggled, finally breaking away, but it lost control and crashed miles away. When it broke free some of its exterior fell to the ground with the destroyed balloon array. This mess was what Mac Brazel found later.

The name of the military project was Operation Flypaper.

So that’s what happened. A tip of my Fortean thinking cap to my hyper-reliable source, PE, for providing the inside scoop.

Some may say that this information only adds noise to the mystery. As if there’s never been any noise associated with Roswell...

Print Your Own

Over at my website I just added the latest version of my hardcopy zine, the Ray X X-Rayer. It’s a collection of posts from this blog mainly intended for those who prefer paper over photons. A few of my followers only receive my writings via snail mail. I include posts that aren’t time sensitive.

My printzine is created with MS Word. Instead of just storing my zine files on my harddrive, I decided to share them with my online readers.

I’m aware that I blog here infrequently. If you want to catch up with my observations in one neat package, check out The Zine Zone. You can either open or download each file with Word or a compatible word-processing program. Each edition – in glorious black and white – runs 4-6 pages.