Category Archives: Teleivison

AHS Cult Season Finale + Final Thoughts


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Last Tuesday was the season finale of American Horror Story: Cult.  It’s been more than two months since we dived into the cult theme for this season’s chapter.  We dealt with creepy clowns, crazed neighbors, bouts of betrayal, brutal acts of revenge, and one insane cult leader.  Other than the crazy cult that Kai initiated, we dived into the true horror stories of bizarre cult leaders of the 20th century.

Let’s start with a quick summary of what went down during the finale:

Summary

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Image result for AHS Cult Kai in prison

We start the story 11 months later where Kai is in a maximum-security prison (more on that backstory just a bit).  Kai connects with members of the prison, increasing his army for his revolution.  He has more members doing his bidding, including employees of the prison as well.  While in the prison, Kai has been planning to kill Ally once he gets out.

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In the next scene, we go back to the event where Ally catches Speedwagon.  Ally realizes that Speedwagon was the mole of Kai’s group and proceeds to kill him.  Meanwhile, Kai bands his group together for a plan to massacre one-thousand pregnant women.  A SWAT team storms through the Anderson basement, disrupting their plan and taking Kai away (this is how Kai was sent to the maximum-security prison in the first place).

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Months after the SWAT raid, Ally reveals to Beverly that the FBI recruited her as an informant in order to capture Kai.  It was Ally who turned Kai over to the authorities in the first place.

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Image result for AHS Cult Kai Prison

Kai later escapes from the maximum-security prison, only to infiltrate a televised political debate between Ally and her opponent.  He tries to kill Ally with his gun, but failed to because the gun was unloaded.  Beverly later shoots him in the skull.

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After her political debate, Ally ended up winning the Senate seat of Michigan.  The finale ends with Ally donning an emerald SCUM cloak as she heads off to her next meeting.  Surprise, surprise – Ally became a part of Bebe Babbitt’s group to change the system.  That surprising twist marks the end of American Horror Story: Cult.

Final Thoughts

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This season dove into the themes surrounding a cult.  Kai Anderson, as well as other crazy cult leaders that were featured on the season, revealed some shocking insights about what a cult does to human beings.  As insane as the messages were, people still blatantly followed the leader’s every word.

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Some people are truly lost in the world, seeking for some guidance or hope that an answer will come to them.  When they are truly desperate for their answer in life, human beings will follow some divine figure that could provide them the results they are searching for (beggars can’t be choosers you know!).  Some individuals joined a cult out of fear or anger that they have felt for a long while.

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Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

That fear/anger has been bubbling underneath the surface, waiting to explode at any minute.  The real event happens when those few individuals with those same thoughts band together to take action over their problems.  Kai’s members joined the cult based off of the same fear/anger they felt after the November 2016 elections.  After Donald Trump was elected, the group decided to take charge on this new world they were living.

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Many notorious cult figures, like Kai Anderson, made their mark on the world because of their revolutionary ideas.  Their hospitality, smooth charisma, determination, and ambition made them the valued leader of their community.  Some of their demands were disturbing, yet people blindly followed orders.

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As insane as their movements were, you have to admit that their community had some detailed tactics.  Whether it was Hitler’s strategy for the Third Reich or Charles Manson’s ‘Helter Skelter’ movement, these cult leaders came with some meticulously detailed plans for the world.  They were all planning something BIG for the nation and that plan went into extreme details before carrying them out.

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Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

Image result for AHS Cult Clowns

In the end, American Horror Story: Cult gave us a disturbing glimpse into the world of cults.  There were no supernatural elements this season, yet the cult them was frightening enough.  All of the main members joined Kai’s cult out of the increasing fear after the 2016 elections.  Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton were the main stars of the season, but the series definitely worked around these events.

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And with that, I can conclude that I’m done joining the cult and I’m ready to see what the next adventure brings us next season.

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AHS Crazed Cult Leaders!


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The moment is finally here…tonight is the LAST episode of American Horror Story: Cult!  It’s been a twisting and bizarre chapter this year, what with this insane cult storyline.  Kai’s army is growing stronger all while killing off his loyal followers (Beverly and Ally are the last remaining main members so far!).

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            Before heading into the final episode, we were introduced to some stories about notable cult figures.  Kai held meetings with his army to discuss the stories of David Koresh, Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, and even Charles Manson.  Out of all of the crazed cult leaders in the country, Kai looked up to Charles Manson the most.  But what’s crazier than Kai’s fascination with these leaders are the bizarre stories about the leaders themselves.

Here are the shockingly true stories about the cult leaders mentioned in the past two episodes:

Marshall Applewhite

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Our first crazed cult leader is Marshall Applewhite.  Marshall Applewhite hailed from Texas and founded a cult known as the Heaven’s Gate religious group.  He organized a mass suicide event in 1997, claiming thirty-nine people during the ritual.  The group believed that an accompanying spaceship would take their spirits on board to a journey towards another planet.  In order to ascend into the spaceship, members of the group committed suicide within their mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

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Image result for marshall applewhite

A media circus followed after discovering their bodies and much discussion was held over Applewhite’s actions.  Applewhite was featured on the covers of Newsweek and Time on April 7th, 1997.  His story was featured everywhere in the nation.

David Koresh

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Image result for David Koresh

David Koresh is most famous for the Waco Seige back in the early 90s.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) raided Mount Carmel Center (where David held his prisoners hostage).  This standoff lasted 51 days ended on April 19th when U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno approved final assault where the Branch Davidians were to be removed by force.

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During the course of the assault, the church building caught on fire.  80 Branch Davidians, including David Koresh, were barricaded inside the building.  Medical examiner reported of people being shot or even stabbed while inside the building.   It was a bizarre standoff event that ended in a fiery blaze (LITERALLY!).

Jim Jones

Image result for Jim Jones

Image result for Jim Jones

Jim Jones’s historical episode gave rise to the term ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’.  He organized a mass murder-suicide with over 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana.  Him and other group members discussed how the group should commit a ‘revolutionary suicide’ by drinking grape-flavored Flavor Aid mixed with cyanide.  Temple films showed Jones opening a container full of Kool Aid for his group.

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Even as members cried in hysterics, Jim Jones calmed them his soothing charisma.  He pushed them to commit this so-called ‘revolutionary’ act.  It resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life through a deliberate act (that is, until the 9/11 attacks).

Charles Manson

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Last but not least is the most notorious crazed cult leader of all – Charles Manson.  Charles Manson established the Manson family, a quasi-commune that rose in California around the late 60s.  His followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations between July-August 1969.  He was found guilty in 1971 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for deaths of seven people.

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Anyone familiar with the former TV series Aquarius would remember the story of Charlie’s journey with his community.  Both TV series refer back to the atrocious time when the Manson Family committed the murders around southern California.  To this day, Manson is serving multiple life sentences in Corcoran at California State prison.

That’s it for today’s discussion of the crazed cult leaders featured in American Horror Story: Cult.  Some provided sedatives to ‘leave their bodies’ or spark a ‘revolution’ while others simply created a strong army that would do their bidding.  Cult leaders have a lot of powers over their followers, severing ties with those who are their weakest link.

Kai’s army is growing stronger and it will all go down tonight at 10 PM on FX!

IT’S ALIVE — at Peabody Essex Museum!


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Happy Monday everyone!  Fall is still in the air and Thanksgiving is just around the corner (just TEN days!).  Halloween may already be over with, but the spookiness still lingers on around the Witch city of Salem.

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Even before the hasty Halloween month of October, the Peabody Essex Museum opened up their own horror themed exhibit since August.  The exhibit is titled ‘It’s Alive!’, featuring Kirk Hammett’s collection of horror and sci-fi movie posters (metal fans would know Kirk as lead guitarist for Metallica since 1983!).  Kirk Hammett has been working on his movie poster collection for decades and his various posters became one of many exhibits for the Peabody Essex Museum.  His horror and sci-fi movie poster collection were an essential source of inspiration that fueled his own musical creativity.

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I got to check out this exhibit yesterday and was blown away by some of these colorful posters.  Some posters I recognized from watching the films while others were completely new titles to me.  Nevertheless, it was quite an entertaining event to check out.  Here were the overall highlights from yesterday’s adventure:

Horrifyingly Amazing Posters

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First thing that caught my attention were the posters.  Various movie posters were hung around the walls of the exhibit.  The collection history starts around the 1920s and ends within the 80s.  While there weren’t many modern films featured, there were still some notable titles and themes I enjoy.

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One common horror theme I noticed were monsters, especially vampires.  Dracula was a huge hit in the movies, spurring what would be the start of vampire movies throughout the decades.  Vampires were especially a huge hit in the Hollywood creative pool from the 1990s-2000s (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, anyone?).

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Another common horror theme I passed through was zombies.  Zombies had its roots from Haitian folklore and the voodoo religion.  They have been a popular type of monster for horror films (even before The Walking Dead invaded AMC on Sunday nights).  Even as time goes on, these lifeless creatures still make their ways into TV series and movies each year.

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Other than Dracula and zombies, Frankenstein also made an appearance for the event.  Frankenstein was originally written by Mary Shelley back in 1818 and he has been adapted into many works of film.  He even got his own bride in the film Bride of Frankenstein on 1935.

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As I wandered more into the exhibit, more horrific monsters hid around every corner.  Some looked really creepy in the posters while others just seemed silly.  Even still, it was intriguing to see how films were made back in day.  Many of these films existed way before I was even born, so we’ve definitely come a long way with that Hollywood magic.

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My personal favorite posters were from the films within the 60 and 70s.  Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the infamous poster for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? I remembered Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Bette and Joan back in the winter and the poster immediately took me back to that series (you can learn more about their tumultuous story here).

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Cruising just a few steps over and the poster for The Exorcist was hanging up.  The Exorcist was released on December 26th, 1973 and became an instant cult classic.  It’s widely regarded as one of the scariest horror films of all time (FYI, people literally passed out after watching the film in theaters!).

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Across from that were the posters for Star Wars and Aliens.  These movies were more sci-fi films, but they made significant breakthroughs in the film industry.  Aliens took horror sci-fi to a new level with the monsters in space (their marketing stunt with the egg was genius!).  Star Wars was one of many films that took over the box offices many times.  Decades later and Star Wars still remains popular to this day!

Scary-Good Background Info

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Adjacent to the posters were some tidbits about the films themselves.  Some just featured the title of the film and when it was made while others provided some juicy story about the artist behind the work.  I really learned a lot info just from reading some of the cards.

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The tidbit that really got me thinking was about the various color scheme.  On the title card for Dracula’s Daughter, Karoly Grosz explained how black and yellow that is used boldly will stand out anywhere at any time.  Yellow reflects light on a sunny day while black absorbs it, making it a powerful contrast.  Many movie posters featured yellow and black in their color scheme, which really made the artwork stand out in your eyes.

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Being a PR pro myself, I understand how important color scheme is when it comes to design.  Utilizing a good color scheme is crucial for captivating your audience.  Use the wrong type of colors and your audience will be turned off by the promotional work.

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A lot of these posters utilized important design tactics to the very fullest.  Many of them featured lots of yellow and black to draw out that contrast.

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Reading these tidbits really added some flair to these artworks.  It’s always great to read about the grand history behind the designing of these posters.  Props to the artists for creating such masterful designs!

Bizarre Guitar Art

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One of the main focal points of the exhibit were the colorful guitars.  Being a huge fan of horror movies, Kirk Hammett fueled his passion by designing his guitars with pop culture flare.  Design tactics from posters like Nosferatu and Dracula were utilized to create these colorful sleeves.

These guitar sleeves looked absolutely incredible!  I loved the detail that was put into rearranging the content from the movie poster onto the parts of the guitar.  It was one of the interesting features of the exhibit other than the posters themselves.

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That’s it for my adventures at the ‘It’s Alive!’ exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum!  The movie posters, tidbits, and colorful guitar pieces were all incredible to look at.  It’s been a long while since I have been into a museum and I was glad to finally check out this entertaining exhibit.  Who knows where my next adventure will be.

Will it be another museum?  Another philosophical walk in nature?  A conference?  Stay tuned on this blog to see what will happen next!

11/10 TGIF Quote!


In honor of John Hillerman…

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I have studied Aristotle, Socrates, William Friedrich Hegel, Bertrand Russell. I have toured college campuses debating the virtues of dialectic versus symbolic syllogism. I have written scholarly articles on the need for a new, more dynamic logic. But nothing in my life has prepared me for the workings of the Thomas Magnum mind.
~Jonathan Quayle Higgins

Gentrification: The Green Rush’s Secret Curse


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Since I have going out most of the week, I’ve rarely had time to check out my favorite series when they air.  Bong Appetit has been cooking up more dank cannabis-infused foods and the cult within American Horror Story: Cult has been growing incredibly twisted each week.  My other favorite 4/20-themed series Weediquette has also been going deeper into other complex problems of cannabis prohibition.  Last week’s episode featured an intriguing problem that dealt with problems surrounding gentrification.

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Titled ‘Dank New World’, the episode looked into the skyrocketing cost of rent in Denver during the cannabis boom.  Krishna talked with various figures of the real estate industry about an answer out of gentrifying the city more.  Construction has been underway in Denver, with tons of condominiums and apartment buildings springing up each month.  One two-bedroom apartment featured on the episode was listed at $6,000 a month for rental price (which would easily be 5x as much if this were in Boston!).  It was shocking to see what kind of startling effects have been occurring with cannabis legalization.

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Image result for Denver Cannabis 2017

Think about this for a minute – Denver has been become one of the HOTTEST cities on the southwest coast since cannabis legalization in 2012.  Cannabis continues to grow as one of the most trending crops within the agricultural world.  This 21st century green rush event has motivated hundreds of thousands of Americans to flock to the legal state.  All of these ambitious consumers are chasing the American Dream – or their dream for that matter!

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The gold rush of the 19th century spurred an adventurous phenomenon where folks from all across the country headed west for the gold.  It wasn’t so much the gold they were chasing after; rather, the gold stood for a brand-new opportunity.  A new friend, an original business practice, someone that would be their soulmate, and even the chance to claim a whole new identity.

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But the most essential and common aspect lying within these phenomenon?  The chance for a new LIFE.  A mysterious new life that could be found hundreds of thousands of miles away from your home.  You’ve never actually been there, yet you envision how beautiful the country must be on the western region.  Its these magnificent visions that caused everyone to head towards their new destination.

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Image result for Denver High rise apartment

We’re in the 21st century ‘Green Rush’ and Americans are more motivated than ever to seek out new beginnings.  The cannabis culture sent shockwaves around the west coast, yet that shock comes with a HIGH price.  More residential buildings are cropping up, but the ironic part is the lack of affordable housing being presented for the consumers.  Denver, like many other major cities within the U.S., is being continuously gentrified and leaving out some audiences out of the 4/20 pot parties.

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Leaving out a handful of unique audiences due to lack of money would spell out bad PR problems like Denver.  Not only does the monstrous marketing tactic of gentrification invites specific audiences into the pot parties, but it also pushes audiences of the lower economic ring out of the occasion as well.  The only audiences that would snag the VIP access of Denver’s cannabis culture would be the ones who can afford the $6,000 two-bedroom apartment.

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Image result for Boston Apartments

Image result for Boston Apartments

What does this mean for the cannabis culture of Boston?  Could gentrification push certain target audiences out of the VIP pot parties?  Would we start seeing one-bedroom apartments go for $3,000 a month within the city?

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Image result for boston massachusetts

While rent prices haven’t gone crazy like those in San Francisco ($1,400 a month for cheapest apartment to rent!), affordable housing options are something we should think about while the green rush is happening in Massachusetts.  Once the cannabis boom ignites, thousands of enthusiastic audiences will be looking to take a piece of their gold.  Boston has already been more relaxed with their cannabis laws then New York City and their liberal perspective of the 4/20 culture is definitely paying off.  That boom comes with a blessing AND a curse.

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Image result for Affordable Apartments in Boston

And yet, we can break out of that gentrification curse (we broke out of ‘The Curse of the Bambino’, so Boston has that going!).  Affordable housing options shouldn’t be some fantasy that can’t be reached.  Everyone, from every type of audience, should have the right to the new and incredible opportunities waiting for them with this green rush.  The gold rush phenomenon provided people a sense of hope, a clearer vision towards what they worked for their whole lives.  It’s an extraordinary national event that sparked ideas in everyone, especially the underdogs (FYI, Boston is DEFINITELY a city full of underdogs!).

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Image result for Affordable Apartments in Boston

The answer for providing all audiences their access to the Boston pot parties?  Affordable housing units satisfying more audiences within the economic ladder.  There were no economic restrictions during the Gold Rush of the 19th century, meaning lots of audiences were able to move out west for a better life.

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Let’s learn from our history and get the green rush right before gentrification turns that gold opportunity into a costly VIP dream.