Fun on post-UHF

Every local ‘berg you know, characterized for low-slung industrial ruin and stubborn humanity struggling within city limits—has its own local broadcasting-towers, a handful of low-budget stations cranking-out low-rent “special interest” programming which once ran on the tinny “UHF-band”. That was before all the signals were relegated to a narrow band of airspace, for best frequency conservation as folks surf “the broadband”, talking into cell-phones like spacemen. The whole thing is almost magical, wireless communications—even as data streams squeeze down life to a bunch of 0’s and 1’s through digital code in a manner previous generations would think of, “as eerie”.

Beyond “psi”, or oujia boards—automatic writing, telepathy, or even “astral projection” our local friend and death-rocker, Lydia Deetz makes her conceit, to the modern age with her televised diary, “Lydia’s Trunk of the Strange & Unusual” on local cable-access programming for civilization “and its discontents”—lugubrious, languorous, fodder for the young and pissed-off.

Foremost — angst is made “clickable”, practically instantaneous— for one’s “lifestyle consumption” as sure as the patter of black, nail-polished fingernails can tap-out a message, or “friending” via tablet, as life is conveniently organized along roots and tree folders of hard-drives, “Hello, Kitty” emoticons and clip-art for one’s perked-up “fidget-toy” and technological window unto the world.

Desperate times? Or maybe time made “less desperate”, but who can say. The dark soul of certain melancholy constitution has always been around as, a dreary “sleepwalk” through life—floating around like the apparition in a Bram Stoker novel. The dreary haze for the ongoing crush of modernity, going back to—and before—the wireless telegraph, the clacking wheels of the steam-locomotive uniting the continent, the globe. So what’s left, “after everything’s been done”?

A gothic aether, for boredom’s agony—and how the candle burns at both ends—lo, the mortification. An organic nausea like a paling-illness, like a solemnent crustacean lurking in the depths of dark seas, bubbles rising for the ineffable expression for the ectoplasm, psychic slime unto greasy, grimy biomechanical process, even as the saint, hermit, and religious mystic is pulled into the maw of modern traffic, and it seems everyone has a “Facebook” page. You name it, it is there.

“Oh, whatever”. Or something else.

Your morbid, fizzy, droll enthusiasm unto our local horror hostess on “cult t.v.”. Standing before a video-camera, microphone in hand, kooky retro-hosting over artifacts as her friends—volunteers, all the same—whistle and cheer off camera “for moral support” as she tries to maintain composure over her muggled-mouth, keeping “a straight face” amid the community governance meetings, religious programs, and syndicated re-runs.

Veritably a feast of the shoestring budget and it’s simply up to one’s rather simple production values, for the sphere of concentration a personality can impart unto an audience’s mind, like a Parisian mesmerist arching their fingertips into a rising volunteer with volting, mysterious energies—and otherwise, she’s holding up poster-board signs of her station’s address, script with a giant black marker and cartoony stars, spangles, and a wand of snappy magic.

As at least a few, watch her show.

And there is a young man of unhealthy pallor, unwell like a stricking cat, a sample of any “Edgar Allan Poe society” of malodorous presence, as it could be “consumption”, or mono, or not getting enough sunlight as “the strange and unusual” prefer the dark, furry-grime of the ole’ basement like lurking, shut-in zoological specimens caged in prayer closets.

See him in 19th century “sitting clothes”, a starched shirt and breeches like a vampyric cloud as hope is the rope, that leaves you in knots over religious catechism and the thin trickle of hope—a dingy living-room, put-up by his half-mad mother and overseer. The faded photographs and dusty lace curtains adds to the melancholy, timeless Midwestern settlers moving-into houses, over the yellow, rolling grassy hills of hard-brick and beer-drinking working-men, old pipes and gas-heating.

One of Lydia’s fans, all outside the bustle and snap of lusty commerce, no cold, hard cash in hand as it’s a world for hobbyists and fanciful moonlighting, inheriting the endless tide of dead time. A St. Louis story. Will their lives, meet? Stay tuned. . . . .


Fun on post-UHF

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