Secret Sun-o-Vision: Stranger Things


2016 has been a messed-up year.

I probably don't need to remind anyone of that but it bears repeating anyway. 

How's it been for you? Every time I think 2016 is doing smacking me around it gets another lick in. But I can't really complain, given the endless ticker-tape of terrible news coming in from all around the world, so much so that it threatens to become routine. 

All hell has not quite broken out everywhere yet, not the way it has in Syria or the Ukraine, say, but it could only be a matter of time. I don't need to read the litany here; you're all smart people and know what's going on out there.

The Olympics, that beloved mash-up of mostly obscure and unloved sports and high initiate ritual, isn't looking like it will offer much relief this year, as Brazil is rocked by political scandal and bad omen.  

America's one-time great escape from reality, the summer blockbuster, is slipping from its grasp as studios focus their money and energy on the foreign market. This is why nearly every movie title these days has either a numeral or a colon in it. 

At some point Hollywood is going to run out of material to recycle and its competitors are going to catch up with its technology. Until then, it's nothing but remakes and sequels as far as the eye can see.

With more and more people shunning the multiplex, television is filling the (yawning, gaping) void. Many of the top writers in the business have migrated into TV, which offers more room to breathe than the hyper-controlled world of moviemaking in the 21st Century. 

And here's where we get to the flip-side of 2016.

Earlier this year I wrote about how a lot of the themes I'd been exploring here seemed to be coming to fruition and Netflix's new series Stranger Things is practically a tulpa in this context. 

It's basically a checklist of Secret Sun standbys, from remote viewing to alternate realities to human experimentation to old-school geekdom to the friggin' Clash*. 

It also ties into another theme this year, this theme of planetary retrograde. I've taken advantage of all these backsliding planets to recover a lot of things from my past and in that regard Stranger Things feels like a kind of punctuation to that process.

I binged the entire thing and have already begun my re-watch but I wanted to riff on my immediate impressions. Suffice it to say, it's been a sync motherlode, personally-speaking.

The story starts off with a Twin Peaks-type mystery; a young boy named Will Byers goes missing after riding his bike home from a friend's house one night. He comes from a broken home with a single mother who isn't entirely stable and has a low-paying job as a cashier. 

He's obsessed with Lord of the Rings and comic books and Star Wars and the rest of it, loves to draw and likes The Clash. He and his friends get bullied a lot by the "mouth-breathers" at school, who all think he's gay.

Yeah, you could say I related to young Will. Except I loved baseball when I was his age. 

And didn't play Dungeons & Dragons, mostly because it wasn't really big when I was his age and by the time it was I didn't have anyone to play it with. The comic store I worked in didn't even sell any D&D stuff at the time, just to give you some context.

If you've watched the show and have read this blog over the years, you've probably picked up on some of the other connections, like the peculiar nature of the Byers' living room. That seemed awfully familiar. A little too familiar.†

So was the general theme of bad shit happening to kids, something else I was all too familiar growing up with. Actually, just this past week I was talking about bad shit happening at a local quarry when I was young and sure enough that very theme pops up in Stranger Things.

Anyhow, as Will goes missing a strange young girl appears, who's apparently escaped from a secret government lab. Will's friends take her in and soon discover she's no ordinary kid. And so the game is afoot.

Stranger Things has been called a pastiche, and to be sure it wears its influences on its sleeve. There's a lot of licks lifted from E.T., The Goonies, Firestarter, Akira, Altered States and a whole host of other 80s classics. There's a healthy dose of X-Files and Outer Limits in evidence.



But there's a lot taken from lesser-known films such as Beyond the Black Rainbow (if you haven't seen it, do so) and especially Wavelength, a decidedly-obscure movie Secret Sun readers are probably familiar with

A lot of the themes the series explores are well familiar to readers of this blog, so much so that it very much feels like its producers have spent some time here (I first made the connections between Wavelength and MK Ultra). The Clash references almost feel like winks in that regard. 

Given that this series was originally supposed to take place in Montauk, I'm wondering if the producers googled my Eternal Sunshine posts and got linked to the Wavelength piece.

The faux-Tangerine Dream music in Stranger Things certainly doesn't disabuse me of that particularly suspicion. 

Well, either way.

Speaking of MK Ultra, its star is Timothy Leary's goddaughter Winona Ryder, whose father was a Leary protege. 

Winona is now 44, which scares the shit out of me. Winona's had a hard go of it  the past several years, having fallen from grace several years ago after being arrested for shoplifting. Which means she's perfect for the role here and adds a spiritual connection to the source material that helps complete the circuit. 

In more ways than one, actually. 

It was refreshing to have something to watch, finally. My problem with most TV (or movies) these days is that I just can't get into the subject matter

I'm hard to entertain. I admit it. I've just consumed too much pop culture over the years. This series was pre-sell for me, there's no doubt about it. But I wouldn't have stuck with it if it weren't so well-done. I'm not really into things with kids but this was not a kids' show, it was an adult show that had kids in it. Big difference.

You'll notice I'm not going into the storylines or plot points in any great detail here. And that's because I want you to watch it. Once it's sunk in we can dive into the nitty-gritty and see if we can't parse some of the finer points.

Long story short: it's great. Go watch it.






* Not just The Clash but also a weird 1983-specific Clash sync. In one scene, we hear "She Has Funny Cars" by The Jefferson Airplane. One of the pivotal events of my youth- and certainly of 1983- was my purchase of the Casbah Club bootleg of The Clash at Brixton Academy. That album starts off with a lift of the drum riff from "Funny Cars." 

That's some pretty specific synchery going on there, especially since I bought the album at the same flea market I got a lot of old comics, including the John Byrne issue of The Comics Journal, artist of the issue of the X-Men that is repeatedly mentioned in the first episode of Stranger Things.

† Around the same time this story takes place (November 1983) I had my cop nightmare, which played uncomfortably like the abduction scene in the Intruders TV movie. It went like this: I was sitting with my mother and stepfather in the living room (aka the owl room) and we were worried about my sister, who was late getting home. 

Suddenly we saw flashing lights in the front window (pink and purple, significantly) and I went to get the door. There was a cop on the front porch but I couldn't see his face. As I opened the front door he took out his gun and shot me in the stomach. Or chest. I had a strange feeling of accomplishment after having that dream. Which raises all kinds of weird issues not unrelated to this series.

50 comments:

  1. Talk about sync, I just now (this instant) finished episode 4 and was settling down to sleep, decided to check the Google app on my Ipad to see what news I may have missed and wala, there's the link to this blog and your article. Just like that. The first two episodes were slow going and I was ready to write it off, but 3 got me hooked in and I'm starting to enjoy the ride.

    Talking about finding it hard to locate good entertainment lately I've watched the British show "Humans" which was excellent as well as the Swiss show "Real Humans" from a few years ago it is based on. "The Living and the Dead" as well as "The Secret Agent", which just premiered last night round out a trifecta of really well made UK shows I've been watching.

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    1. I really want to be entertained. I need to be- I spend a lot of time at the computer and need distraction. But I've seen it all. But Stranger Things came along and did it all right and proved I'm not quite the curmudgeon I was afraid I was becoming. There was that BBC series Utopia that I blogged about that started off strong before lapsing into the usual Auntie Beeb riffs. I was enjoying it before they had to drop a turd in the punchbowl. Most other stuff just seems like a xerox party.

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  2. Funny, my oldest son Kevin told me tonight when we went to watch Ghost-busters that I should watch this series, but when he mentioned it had themes like the movies E.T, Super 8 and The Goonies (all films I don't like) I told him I'd pass on that show.
    But, now I might have to do an about-face and watch it.
    And I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the scriptwriters have mined your blog for ideas Chris.
    It's not exactly an obscure little blog.

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    1. Well, I'm used to getting tagged by Hollywood. It's been going on for 20 years now. And I get a lot of LA-area traffic. But there were a lot of producers on this show and they were cribbing from a lot of sources. I feel honored it all ended up in something good.

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  3. What struck me immediately was how the main characters fit very neatly into two elemental crosses: Dustin and Hopper as Fire; Mike and Joyce as Water; Lucas and Jonathan as Earth; and Will and Nancy as Air. Then comes Eleven as the Fifth Element, the integration of the four elements into a higher state. The symbolism (both intentional and unintentional) in the series is off the charts.

    - Bruno

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    1. Yeah- the Fifth Element. Good call. Both the film and the Alchemical theorem. And of course my post on The Fifth Element is one of my most-read posts here. So there's another one. Cheers, Bruno. Good call.

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  4. Was just reading about this elsewhere. Must now watch.

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  5. Speaking of TV, I was wondering if you've seen (or care to see) the AMC show Preacher. I enjoy it for it's casual and funky take on the supernatural. Nothing profound, but entertaining kind of like True Blood was.

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    1. I have not. That's based on a Vertigo comic I could never quite get a handle on. It was extremely popular in the 90s. I'll give it a try and see how it goes. The vibe never really grabbed me.

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  6. Man -- you sold me - tulpas and stuff -confused though - is Winona Ryder and MK Ultra part of Stranger Things or is your programming slipping its grooves? Can one "star" in a mind control program? And also - you know whom else is Timothy Leary's goddaughter? Uma Thurman - because her mom's previous husband was Timothy Leary - and they're still friends because current husband (and Uma's dad) is Buddhist scholar non-parallelled Robert Thurman - whose translation of the Book of the Dead and Leary's Psychedelic Experience, need I say more? The you look at her strange face and the eerie resemblance to the alien hybrid Nordic found at the Brazil UFO conference (that old pic) and what's her name, that old Vrill Society psychic from....Maria Orjsic - Thule Society? Don't get me started - I wrote a whole thing about it. UMA THURMAN IS FROM VENUS: http://www.acidemic.com/id144.html

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    1. My ears perk up with the Tulpas mentioned. I will view the Stranger things. Thanks Chris. Picked blueberries today a fruitful activity! Dennis

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    2. Uma Thurman is an interesting case. Even her name sounds alien. And of course she was in Gattaca, a film about the genetic engineering agenda that is out in the open now. I'm skeptical as to whether it can actually become a practicable system- the margins for error are too wide and can ultimately bring the entire operation down- but there's no doubt that elements within the PTB want to eliminate the family, shift all reproduction to an engineered protocol and all child rearing to the state. Aldous Huxley was sounding the alarm about this almost 100 years ago. There's no doubt in my mind that the Nazis would have already put such a system in place had they won the war. Just look at their rather insane agricultural micromangement. We're going to find out- probably too late- that out t-square approaches on how to manage Nature are no match for Nature's fractality. Nature will always outwit our most carefully thought-out plans.

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  7. So I got me a show to watch that's actually about interesting shit? Sweet. It's interesting that the kid is called William Byers, considering that both of those names feature prominently in The X Files. I'm gonna get on this show tonight! It really wouldn't surprise me if the producers were inspired by this blog. The Secret Sun occupies a strange and interesting place within the alternative scene. But not just culturally, spiritually also. It's kinda hard to convey without sounding like a total flake but in psychic energetic terms things have spheres of gravity and lines of influence. Psychics and intuitives far more gifted than me can use these unseen resonances to sort of back-step their way to certain targets, mysteries or secrets. Kinda like following an energetic paper-trail. It's in this sense that I view this blog as a very crucial pivot or nexus, spiritually speaking. The Secret Sun has affected things in positive ways that are beyond the perceptual scope of most people. You can take that to the bank. Never doubt the importance and utility of the work you've done, Chris. It might sound portentous, but I for one know it to be true - you've done your part in shaping pop-cultural history, and therefore history itself. That's not a compliment, it's energetic truth. There are all kinds of lines of force and influence running through this blog; things that precipitate greater changes in the larger context. I'm just personally delighted to have found your work when I did.

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    1. Agreed. I have to believe finding this work was more than a coincidence. We are lucky to have Chris, he knows what he's talking about and history is his middle name.

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    2. Thank you very, very much. The thing is that I feel like I'm throwing bits of paper off a bridge into a rapidly-flowing river. That's the nature of the internet beast. I'm in the process of moving to a new domain and I'm stunned by how much I've put up here and almost forgotten. I've blurted out all this information as it occurred to me but the next step is to try to format all of this into a more tangible, more permanent presentation. Like I said, I get a lot of traffic from the Los Angeles area and will see ideas manifest in distinctly Secret Sun-specific patterns in other forms of entertainment media. And then there are people like Vigilant Citizen who ripped off my early work blind and ran with it all the way to the bank. But part of it has not wanted to interfere with the flow of information by imposing a structure on it. Especially since what I'm after here is so elusive, liminal and undefined. There are other forces at work as well, forces one does not mess around with. Gordon has said I'm an "oracle" which unfortunately is not a road to riches, fame or even inner fulfillment.

      Now, mind you, I don't want to read too much into all of this, vis a vis Stranger Things. But it's patently obvious to me that they read my Wavelength piece (among others) and then went and watched the movie and took copious notes. I know how these shows are put together. I'm fine with that. That's how it works in the real world. But there's got to be something more. Especially after that Hanna debacle.

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  8. "It's basically a checklist of Secret Sun standbys, ...friggin' Clash*." Unbelievable isn't it? Thank you. Add one series-season bingeview to vacation activities blotter. This one seems as much made for SecretSun-volk as this was for me -- by and about folks living and experiencing stuff in our little UFO-hotspot of Woodstock:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3095080/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    And now I am wondering if the dolomite quarry shown in episode 2(?) of _Stranger Things_ might be the one in Kingston NY about five miles away. Which quarry happens to be within 2 or three miles of a number of noteworthy UFO sightings in the past 15 years which MUFON has documented (though some of the scariest, and somewhat earlier Hudson Valley/Catskill encounters ever described in detail are found in _UFO-Dynamics: Psychiatric and Psychic Aspects of the UFO Syndrome_ by Berthold Eric Schwarz).

    And I second Raj's comments. I have lurked since almost the beginning and read every article here at *least* twice. And even now, the smartest people I know just don't seem to get how great your work is, no matter how many times I synopsize, eulogize and link to topically relevant portions of your posts on behalf of those persons' avowed interest in this, that and the other amazing thing amongst your repertoire of expertises. But please don't every stop on their account!

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    1. Thank you, V. I truly appreciate it. As to the quarry, I know the original setting for this series was supposed to be Montauk, so you may well be onto something. They may have been scouring the Net for weirdness in the New York area and come across that. Quarries are interesting places given the geology. We've had no small share of high weirdness here and I'm not 2 miles from an old quarry.

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  9. Mi inglés no es muy bueno así que escribiré en español. También tuve sincronismos con esta serie. Desde hace unos días sueñaba con alguien que se convertía en electricidad y viajaba por el tendido eléctrico, y hoy soñé con un rostro difuso que salía de la pared. Y son elementos que están en la película. También hoy conversaba con un amigo y le hablé de los mkultra, y luego veo esta serie, hice una maratón de capítulos, y justo trataba el tema de los mkultras. Sobre la serie en sí, tiene muchas referencias a películas, por ejemplo minority report. Pero en sí veo mitología egipcia y también toca el tema mkultra y reptilianos.

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    1. Siempre se puede usar Google translate cuando se desea enviar un mensaje. Aquí está el resultado.


      My English is not very good so I write in Spanish. I also had synchronism with this series. Sueñaba few days ago with someone who turned into electricity and traveled wirings, and today I dreamed of a fuzzy face coming out of the wall. And they are elements in the film. Also today talking with a friend and told him about the mkultra, and then I see this series, I did a marathon of chapters, and just dealt with the issue of mkultras. About the series itself has many references to movies, for example minority report. But I do see Egyptian mythology and also plays the mkultra and reptilians topic.

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  10. Well, the cop with no face. I am sorry. The red orbs will flash the colors in this place as that sort of thing.

    I did not know they traveled like that in 1983. I suspected.

    You need bird medicine, and thunder beings. Actually, you need a water bird, like a great blue heron, to slow down the poison. I hope you will have luck.

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    1. Well, that's quite cryptic! Care to elaborate?

      Actually, there's been a great blue heron in my neighborhood over the past 20 years or so. It drops in from time to time but I believe they live in the marshes in the big park in the center of town.

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  11. Chris...

    What do you know about the show's directors, the Duffer brothers?

    (Shades of the Wachowskis?)

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    1. Well, I'm glad you asked- check out this short film they wrote. https://vimeo.com/5717875

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  12. I'm having a bash at making a wind turbine but I'll find the time for Stranger Things, thanks for the heads up.

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    1. A wind turbine? Wow, what's that all about? Care to share?

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  13. No hint of plagiary nor accusation of phone calls about scripts something like Secret Sun, quoted without credit. Sounds familiar, freakin' fractally familiar.

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    1. I don't think there's any plagiarism involved here. But then again there's this: http://secretsun.blogspot.com/2012/06/true-hollywood-horror-story-sequel.html

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  14. I binged and really enjoyed the series for several reasons. Beyond its content being rich, the filming is tight so that each scene deals with plot development without leaving the viewer bored. Each scene leads directly to the next. The acting is great due to credible choices in casting. The content has indeed been covered by Chris in such depth. It's hard to believe this blog has been overlooked by the writers, but the mind control/governmental secret tactics have been exposed for a long time so I can't be sure. Still, I look forward to the syncs and symbolism Chris has to offer.

    I was left feeling a familiar loss at the end of this series, as though the hunt for more good programming was daunting. The other side of the argument is that binge watching something really good is such a relief from the anger and craziness offered in the daily news. It's had to say good-bye.

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    1. I know that feeling. I know we keep hearing about all the great things out there but I have a hard time getting into them. If the subject doesn't grab me, I'm done before I start. I've lost that suspension of disbelief.

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  15. Spencer Dryden's drum opening on "She Has Funny Cars" is unforgettable. That alone will get me to watch this program. That, and the themes seem to sync with me circa 1983.

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    1. Great album. That and Volunteers are my favorites. Pillow is still the best, since it has the most Balin material. They were stupid to sideline him, he was the songwriter in the mix.

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  16. I'm only about halfway through the series, but this is excellent. Lots of sync here for me, too, though on different 'frequencies' (it's that symbol-ful).

    For one thing, the series starts 2 1/2 weeks before I turned 16, so the kids resonated particularly (Being a smidge younger than you, I got more of a 'Freaks and Geeks' feel than 'The Goonies'-- but can see a bit of that, too).

    Also, never been that much of a Clash fan (sorry)-- But imagine my shock as I'm struck hard upside the head by the Joy Division references (right down to the 'nerdy kid named Michael gets introduced to good music by cool older kid' scene being very... Familiar).

    And... Do you mean the old Quincy Quarries? I grew up on the opposite side of Boston from you (Somerville/Cambridge) but I do remember that death trap being on the news almost weekly for awhile. You'll be happy to know they've since filled it in-- Using dirt from the Big Dig, oddly enough.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing this out, never would have found it otherwise.

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    1. Yeah, the quarries off Route 3. The Quarries of Doom. I went up there to drink but never jumped them. The, you know, multiple deaths had an inhibitory effect on me. I was a big JD fan too. I liked the early New Order stuff but lost interest in the disco stuff.

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  17. Yes, quarries are strange. Many bizarre events have happened at the Quincy quarries. My uncles worked there but I never got to hear their stories. I grew up in Scituate, Ma and my friends and I had many weird adventures at the Scituate Sand Pits (the closest thing to a quarry there) along the North River, some of which I have sworn to secrecy about. And that is how I learned that some secrets are best kept close, and that secret societies among friends are useful. The site of the Sand Pits is now a yuppie golf course called Widow's Walk, how appropriate. I am looking forward to your future analysis of this show. It resonates, even though I came up a ways before the 80s.

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    1. If you grew up in Scituate you probably know the bridge on Border St in Cohasset. I used to jump that and ride the rapids there. They eventually put in a metal rail so you couldn't jump it. My dad used to live on Border St, across from the hotel. my mom and her friends rented a summer house in Scituate for a couple summers, out on that road that's surrounded by water on both sides (whose name escapes me at the moment). I never went to the sand pits there though.

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  18. Thanks for the heads up on this series!
    (Spoilers below, if you haven't watched yet.)

    I haven't seen you say very much about Stephen King, but a lot of the stuff in Stranger Things that are consonant with Secret Sun topics also overlap with Stephen King and his work. Seems to me that King is acknowledged/nodded to in a number of ways throughout the series, including a direct shout-out in Episode 6, The Monster, when Eleven's mom's sister asks Hopper and Joyce -”Ever read much Stephen King?”

    The first thing that stuck out to me was plotline similarities between Stranger Things and King's early (1980) novel Firestarter. Eleven's psychokinetic and (not exactly) remote-viewing capabilities are parallel to Charlie McGee's firestarting ability in the novel. How did each girl get her abilities? Their parents had been involved in MKUltra experiments in college with psychedelic drugs! Stranger Things straight-up refers to MKUltra, while King refers to an off-the-record government research group called “The Shop.” While Eleven's mom apparently was not “gifted” by her participation in MKUltra, both of the McGees were. Charlie's mom gained some slight telekenetic and telepathic ability, while Andy McGee, her dad, got telepathy and autohypnotic control over others he referred to as “the push” (something that showed up in the X-Files several years later). When either of the parent McGees used their ability, they got migraine headaches and suffered mini-strokes – Eleven's constant nosebleeds and other cues show that using her abilities took something out of her, just as it did to the McGee parents. It would be very easy to see Dr. Brenner's outfit (no longer exactly MKUltra) as “The Shop”.

    I read Firestarter not long after it came out, and it was my first real 'wake up' that things like MKUltra (although I didn't know it was called that at the time) probably had and did exist (nowadays, I take out the “probably”). I'd be curious to know what King might say about his inspiration and source material on that novel.

    The second big plotline/theme overlap between Stranger Things and Stephen King stuff ties into the King shorter work, “The Body” (filmed as Stand by Me). Here the overlap is between the adventures and quest of a just-adolescent, socially nerdy foursome, including obstacles put in front of them by bullies. Of course that “stories about kids” theme ties Stranger Things in with lots of other material (as you noted, “The Goonies” and etc.), but, the third episode of Stranger Things is called “The Body.”

    Further with episode titles: The second episode is titled “The Weirdo on Maple Street,” reminiscent of the King short story “The House on Maple Street.” I don't recognize any other direct links between episode names and Kings short story titles other than to say, if you take a look at the TOC to King's short story collection, you'll see he had a penchant for short titles, often being precluded by “The”: “The Mangler,” “The Boogeyman,” “The Ledge.” Compare, “The Bathtub,” “The Monster,” and “The Upside-down.” Not the strongest link, but I see it.

    I didn't realize until I looked at his wikipedia page that King has a lot of association with The Ramones. He was an early fan, quotes their lyrics – for instance, in *Pet Sematary*, as well as other references in written work. This of course goes two-ways; Dee-dee Ramone wrote “(I don't want to be buried in a) Pet Sematary* after King gave D. a copy of the novel. I also was kind of clueless as to how much crossover King has had in the comics world (above and beyond the Dark Tower stuff).

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  19. I didn't realize until I looked at his wikipedia page that King has a lot of association with The Ramones. He was an early fan, quotes their lyrics – for instance, in *Pet Sematary*, as well as other references in written work. This of course goes two-ways; Dee-dee Ramone wrote “(I don't want to be buried in a) Pet Sematary* after King gave D. a copy of the novel. I also was kind of clueless as to how much crossover King has had in the comics world (above and beyond the Dark Tower stuff).

    The last connection between Stranger Things and Stephen King that I noticed snuck up on me. As I watched them, I began to feel like the title graphic for Stranger Things felt familiar. Eventually I decided that maybe it referenced an early King book-cover. I looked through dozens and dozens on-line, and didn't come up with a dead-on obvious direct quote, but I did notice that among many of his covers, his name is presented “Stephen” over “King,” with “Stephen” stretching longer over “King” for a visual that looks a great deal like the Stranger Things graphic. Of course, there are other ways to do it, and they show up too, (“Stephen” is over “King” but not longer, or “Stephen King” is all one line.)

    However, as I was looking through all these, I noticed that King's name and the series title are not quite anagrams: “Stephen King” =/= “Stranger Things.”

    There are other thematic things we could delve into. Back when I used to read Stephen King, one of the things that I appreciated about his output – especially in the novels – is that I felt that he was very good at portraying the inner lives and everyday challenges of “regular folks”. I thought that came through in Stranger Things – I thought David Harbour did a great job as Chief Jim Hopper; he would make a classic King character.

    I don't mean to suggest that these connections between Stephen King and Stranger Things are the only direct influences and references… but I think they're there. To me the connection to Firestarter is the most convincing. I wonder how many popular literature references to MKUltra-style projects were out there before Firestarter?

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    1. Well, MK Ultra was exposed publicly in an ABC News special in 1979 or so, so I don't know how much was our before Firestarter. Firestarter is obviously the source for a lot of the ideas in Stranger Things, though I think Stranger Things is a million times better. Check out Beyond the Black Rainbow too.

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    2. I was a big Stephen King fan when I was younger but kind of lost touch with him. The Dark Tower stuff doesn't appeal to me, though I did like Hearts in Atlantis. But he certainly defined pop horror in the 1980s, there are no two ways about it.

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  20. I just re-watched the last two episodes and there is so much there that's NOT Firestarter! But I hadn't really thought at Firestarter as being one of the first things that *I* was exposed to that would prep me for understanding MK Ultra. I expect that if I read/watched either version, I'd agree with you that Stranger Things is better.

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  21. Chirs, Winona Ryder being 44 scares the heck out of me too. I used to have such a crush on her. She's the same age as my younger sister. And her friends, who I routinely tried to seduce. I remember then when they were all so young, high school and university students, it seems like yesterday. It was yesterday. How can they be in their mid-forties? How can people born in the early 1990s be in their mid-twenties?? Doesn't seem possible, they should still be in grade school, learning to read and write. How can Baby Boomers be old? They should be the age I am, middle-aged. How can people born in the mid-eighties now be in their early thirties?? That just kills me.

    Ah the mid-life crisis, and Time going by at the speed of light. And yes the older you get, the faster time goes!

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  22. So...I don't know if this counts as synchronous or not, but the town of Hawkins that the show takes place in is also the name of a county nearby that my parents live. I also work in that county. That's nothing strange in and of itself, but at the episodes continued I noticed other names being mentioned that were also names of places here. First the name 'Roan' or 'Roane' was mentioned. Next the show mentioned a town called Jonesboro, which is the name of the town in which I live. Even my girlfriend noticed it and asked me if I thought it was weird. Honestly, I had noticed, but I didn't think of it as particularly strange. Then, right after she mentioned it, Sheriff Hopper goes into a sports bar to confront a person involved in the faking of Will's body. The name of the bar was The Hideaway, which is the name of a local punk rock bar I go to. I realize these names are not uncommon, but at that point I did get a little freaked out.

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    1. I grew up not far from a town called Hawkins. My grandfather used to make trips to Jonesboro and I had other family that lived at Hideaway Lake. I think probably they used common place names on purpose to give it more realism.

      The upside down theme is interesting. I often think of things as being upside down these days. One might even peer through a looking glass that renders the image as upside down (telescopes e.g.)

      Good series. It was put together like a piece of furniture made from repurposed wood from other old buildings. Telling a story with repurposed scenes. Almost like the structure itself is part of the message or story.

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  23. batvomit (what a choice for a moniker!), as far as the name Hawkins goes, one of the most important scientists who investigated anomalous scientific phenomena, was Gerald Hawkins, a prominent British astronomer. A pioneer in archeoastronomy, the author of 'Stonehenge Decoded' and 'Beyond Stonehenge'. Towards the end of his life he developed an interest in the crop circle mystery. He became convinced there was something going on beyond two old guys having a lark with planks and ropes. He claimed to have discovered diatonic ratios (the 'spaces' between the major musical tones/octaves) in some of the crop circles in Wiltshire and Hampshire that made all the news back in the mid to late 1980s.

    Related by the name game I suppose and associated Forteana, Paul Hawken is an American journalist who authored an influential book (among the New Age set) on the Findhorn community in Scotland back in about 1970, entitled 'The Magic of Findhorn'.

    Of course the name Hawkins ties in with the hawk, the bird. That has its own esoteric and occult symbolism. A whole other thing.

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  24. i've watching this show, and it seems to me you are missing an obvious connection. the same goes for your previous posts on lucifer/babylon. when eleven is separated from her friend, she gazes into the pond and sees her reflection, she is wearing a blue windbreaker, she puts on the wig, looks at her reflection and screams. just at that moment i thought, gee she looks an awful like the virgin mary.

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  25. Funny enough, watching Stranger Things was a terrifyingly bizar experience because I remembered almost every part of it, scene for scene. Remembered. I'm not talking Deja Vu. But that couldn't have happened in this lifetime. So the plot thickens, and madness is all I've got going for me. But at least it's nice to see some larger scope of things on this blog. Thank you Secret Sun.

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  26. I had to wait til I watched the whole series before I could read your articles - now I am left with the still-warm feeling of finishing an amazing new piece of art, and I get to learn that you are in part related to it - and as I think of Gordon I shift gaze to see your mentioning of him (an Oracular Spectacular, if you indeed are) (no doubts here) - and I really wish I could get out what I'm feeling but it's kinda jamming up like Mr. Burns' billion different viruses - just... anyways, I concur deeply with Raj on your impact, though I am just learning of all of this 'Higher Forces' (you say to stay away from)- "That's not a compliment, it's energetic truth" - jeez. I'm grateful for finding your work too. It's coz I saw this article that I was driven to watch the show. So, you drive the production, and you drive the consumption. CLK. You occupy the space between this Upright World and The Upside Down one. Blessings always to you. Thought I'd something more to say. Thank you.

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  27. Oh I just see the comment above and remembered - I 'suffered a shock' of deja vu for the first 15 or 20 minutes of this series. It's... something is going on here.

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    1. This is a remake of a wake up call for something that only happens once in a lifetime. So the bell tolls. Patience.

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