Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Matinee: Isis Unveiled

As a Neo-Jungian auto-didact nutcase, I'm obsessed with the concept of resonance. We're subjected to thousands of ideas and concepts every day, most of which are instantaneously flushed from our consciousness. But the memes that stick are the ones that fascinate me. And the UFO/Ancient Egypt meme is so prevalent, it's practically a cliche.

It was so even in 1975, when Isis (aka The Secrets of Isis) premiered on Saturday morning on the CBS network. The plot, such as it is, centers on a Scooby Doo-type villain faking UFO sightings and abductions so he can scare people off of their land. The "dual person" Isis is played by Joanna Cameron, an exotic beauty who made her name in a sex comedy called BS, I Love You. In the pilot, Andrea Thomas (another he/she name) and her chums, Rick Mason ("Masonic Ruler," who sports an enviable 70s pornstache) and the adorable Cindy ("Moon Goddess") Lee help her crack the UFO case while presenting local law enforcement with all sorts of scintillating erotic possibilities to speculate on. When the proceedings get mildly threatening, Isis shows up. You can still hear the children yawn.

Finally, the pilot is shot in the same kind of rugged yet somehow depressing California countryside that the near-simultaneous Escape to Witch Mountain was, which has similar Sirian semiotic undertones. Well, that takes care of the semiotics. Without them, Isis is about as entertaining as a sinus infection.

Aliens and Ancient Egypt collided yet again in The X-Files, of course, and a few months back we looked at the connections to TV's Isis and my personal redemptrix Dana Scully in "The Secret Identity of Isis." Worth re-reading after you've watched an episode or two of Isis.

For more deep background on Isis, check out the Unofficial Isis Appreciation Page. For some NSFW pix of Joanna Cameron (as well as some other sultry 60s sirens) click here. Interesting to note that Cameron lives today in Hawaii. Where else could "Isis" live in the Age of Obama?

Bonus factoid: Isis premiered on September 6, the 355th anniversary of the launch of the Mayflower from Plymouth, England. We looked at how that event played into the Gathering Memetic Singularity here. 9/6 also seems to be Day One in the Mayan calendar as well.


  1. I was scanning the provided link, filled with some of the hotties of the golden ages of cinema, looking for this actress. She is hot....her profile pic from the side was hot.

  2. OUCH!!!

    In someone else's words from the 70's -


    So much to catch up with - so much happening daily.

    What an incredible time to be alive and what a fantastic blog to be able to respond to.

    Gawd bless you guvnor!
    (Chris aka 'the guvnor' lol!).

  3. That's one bossy women, even the police do what she tells them. Her male partner is portrayed as totally inept and who's incharge but the black guy.

    Why did the Realestate Agent try to destroy the documentation of the UFO's? Makes no sense if he is the one faking it in order to terrify residents into moving.

    But that's TV, does it ever change?


    Speaking of Mayan Calendars, the most current 13-Baktun cycle started on my birthday, 8/12, in 3114 BC.

  5. I didnt even know this existed!

    Now I have something to buy (thanks!)

    PS. HEX-aii

  6. Ack. "Most current" is nonsensical. I typed in "most recent" but forgot to delete the "most".

    In Scooby Doo, the villains were always trying to cover up their tracks and "debunk" something that they themselves were causing. Meddling kids like us prove dangerous to such operations. I always wondered how crazy you would have to be to play 2 extremely different roles like that, even though the villain was usually just trying to defend something in which he found value. Having grown up on the show, it always seemed to imply "there is nothing truly paranormal in the world", and you have to question the sanity of a group of people seeking ghosts who are proven wrong at the end of each episode (it's just some redneck in a mask). Instead they are subjected day after day to real strangeness in the labyrinth of cunning thought.

  7. Music you might enjoy by Happy Rhodes.

    Ra is a Busy God

    And Dream of Sheep Cover

  8. Thanks for the Cinema Sirens link. Not just for a peek at the luscisous babes of the past (I don't care if many of them are in their 60s and 70s now), but for reminding us that a bit of fleshiness was not a bad thing back in the day. It's too bad that, even with the major strides of Second Wave feminism, "body issues" have become a problem (or remain so under a new name). Is the fetishization of almost unhealthy slimness indicative of a backlash, whether by "The Media" or those who find Second Wave feminism too extreme (including some women themselves)?

    Whatever the case, I'm sure that a number of those past sirens would be considered fat by contemporary media standards. I suppose it's the same people (whether in the media or insecure dudes with adolescent standards of beauty) who call Jessica Simpson fat for tipping the scales at 135 lbs., or who consider Amanda Peet and Maggie Gyllenhaal ugly.

    I do think, however, that if you asked a lot of (straight) guys what they want, deep in their heart of hearts, they would prefer... someone a bit fleshly with intelligence and toughness, and not someone skinny with major insecurities and little going on upstairs. I keep telling my wife this whenever she despairs of her weight and looks... never minding the fact that she has lost and kept off roughly 100 pounds, and the attention she attracts from a number of men (usually nerdy guys with whom she can converse on an intellectual level). I half-jokingly threaten to take her to Wal-Mart to give her some persepctive, though I think a lot of the people there are overweight from a combination of bad food and medications that just create a viscious cycle. I'm sure this ties in somehow with Secret Sun themes overall, too.