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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Stephen King Universe

What to say about King that hasn't been said.  You either love him or hate him. For me I love the hell out of his stories.  The horror, the drama, and the dark humor ones especially.  King has given us a new spin on old legends as well as adding some of his own.  From troubled teens with special powers, to killer cars that are very jealous when their drivers talk to another person, the four-eyed mild-mannered Maine man from hell has and always will scare the living daylights out of us. He is a firm believer of one simple strategy "Write what you know." Which has been imitated a lot, through parodies that even he himself takes part in.  Best of all he also values expression and will let anyone with a camera film a movie based on his short stories in exchange for $1.  Speaking of adaptations he cameos in almost every single one and even had a minor role.  I often came up with a little conspiracy theory that if he ever showed up in one of his own adaptions, anyone near him would die horribly. Bonus points whenever someone near him tells him off.  For this portion of Could It Exist In Real Life since it's now my 25th post. I am gonna do a defiction tribute to the King of Horror stories.

Since I already covered some of the classic monsters which you can no doubt see in my other analysis. I shall cover some of the elements that King himself is more well known for.

First is Carrie.  We know the story, a socially awkward teenager discovers that she has Telekinesis, the ability to move objects with her mind.  With a combination of peer pressure from an atoning teen/her boyfriend, her bible crazy abusive mother, and dozens of evil teens constantly picking on her. Its a wonder she doesn't explode right?  Well she kinda did, as the result of a prank to get even with her for getting her in trouble for picking on her to begin with. (A vicious cycle.)  Local Alpha Bitch, Chris Hargensen dumps a bucket of pigs blood on Carrie, which jumpstarts the prom night of hell. Nice job Chris, hurt the already unstable girl at the height of her final happiness no way she'll get even.  There's no way that a girl like Carrie can exist right?  Wrong see there are two schools of thought on the matter.  The first and obvious is whether or not telekinesis is a real thing, while I have no video proof of it since most of it is word of mouth. I can honestly say that is real.  My mother being a prime example.  She was a sweet woman but what she liked to do for fun was scare people.  And one of the things she did to me as part of a scare was close the front door of our house without even touching it.  That door was made of thick steel and hard to move some times so using an ordinary string wouldn't do it. The other doors and windows were closed so it wasn't air circulation and there was no one standing behind it.  However a more practical explanation other than what I saw is a more convincing method. Princeton University has started an orginization called PEAR. the Princeton Engineering Anomolies Research.  This particular orginization studies the effect the human mind has on the physical world and has even made a few discoveries that steer closer to the truth spectrum of the once debatable psychic phenom.  Now the second and most overlooked part of Carrie's existence is the Troubled Teen Gets Even.   I will not give any examples for 3 reasons.  1.  There is too many examples to choose from. 2. Because they are both traumatic on both sides of the coin, one being the family of said troubled teen as well as the families of those that he/she/they got even with as well as those wrongfully struck down in the crossfire.  3. Not all troubled teens go down that road, many actually get to work on trying to be better than those that have wronged them in the past. In fact some of the most famous celebs like Christian Bale and internet reviewers like Spoony have been bullied children and social outcasts. Hell one of my mom's friends was pined after by Sebastian Bach of Skid Row before he got famous.   Once again this is word of mouth.

The Second example of Stephens own is Christine.  We all know this story too, another troubled teen purchases an old beat up 58 Fury.  He repairs it and despite it's outer beauty it is repulsed by the entire town.  And for good reason.  For that car has a mind of its own and she is jealous of anyone, foe, friend, girlfriend or family member that comes between her and her man.  Bullies beat the car to a metal pulp but that doesn't stop her, and she is out for revenge.  Could Christine Exist.  Much like Carrie there are schools of thought on the matter.  The first being the car aspect.  As a car Christine exists in 3 variates. 1. through auto collectors that have an affinity with vintage cars. 2. A recurring theme in cars both vintage and modern is the bond between the car and driver.  This goes from affectionately referring to the car as she rather than it, two being the one to personally clean and maintain their dream machine rather than trust a mechanic. And 3. The supernatural aspect of the car.  There's no way it could exist right? Wrong.  King has on record stated that he based his story off of the famous accident that took the life of actor James Dean. His car nicknamed "Little Bastard" Had often been rumored to be cursed as well as blaming the cause of his death in a more supernatural aspect rather than the practicality of it. I personally believe that it was because it was given such a bad nickname, cars have feelings to you know.

The Third example is Dead Zone.  This one you might remember from the memetic "THE ICE IS GONNA BREAK!!"  If not here's the short end  Johnny Smith (No not the one that falls for Pocahantas.)  gets hit by an 18 wheeler and put in a coma for 5 years. When he awakens he finds his life going to hell. His job his gone, his girl is gone and his legs about useless.  That is until he finds out that he is able to see things that either have happened, or will happen.  There's no way he could exist too right? King based this particular character off Peter Hurkos who claimed he had the gift of Psychometry or in layman's terms the ability to tell the past and future through physical contact of an object or a person.  It has often been debated that Hurkos was using a method known as cold reading, an old fake psychic trick that is designed to get the volunteer to inadvertently give information about his/herself. According to Dr. Andrija Puharich, that is not the case as Hurkos was tested by Puharich and scored a 90% accuracy. On the other hand someone else said he did both? Who you may ask? Why Hurkos himself.  He stated that his ability was like a TV Screen randomly going on and off. At the times it was off he relied on cold reading in order to keep people's support of him going. As for my belief, the only way I would know either way would be to grab a flashlight and a shovel.  I am not even kidding on that for he died June 1 1988.

Last but not least is IT.  A group of kids do battle with a shapeshifting monster that uses their fears against them.  They kill IT but make a promise to return should IT ever come back. Now with all IT can do there is no way IT can exist right?  Well IT does, but not in the way you think.  One of IT's trademarks (aside from being Tim Curry in a clown costume.) is that IT takes on the shape of whatever you fear, be it ghosts, werewolves and other monsters.  These fears exist because you make them exist. For me IT would either take on the form of a swarm of bees or big Dogs than that.  However overtime I managed to fear bees less to the point where when ever one approaches me, I manage to swat it down to submission.  However that doesn't erase my fear all together, for its my fear that drives me to fight back.  As are with major fears like heights or death.  You face IT and the courage takes their power away from IT.  Hence why the Losers Club was able to beat IT no triple entendre intended.

Now normally this is the part where I say "Debate, argue and let me know what I miss." and I still instill that. However as my 25th I am gonna make this my first interactive post. I want you to share any ways other King stories can be defictionalized. Be it from your own personal favorites, to the ones you heard about, to even ones you just looked up on the net. I want you to find any scientific or mystical examples of any book of your choice. There is so much King to look into and so little time. As usual stay tuned for more.

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