The Haddonfield Women’s Studies Department.

Finding a good podcast is like opening the door to a diner where they’re always discussing life as you know it.

Michael Gets Educated
Never too old to learn, I guess.

 

I enjoyed three episodes of Faculty of Horror today, and I was glad to settle in for their conversation. Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West offer feminist views on horror flicks. Their thoughts are often critical and always insightful, but sitting to listen for a spell never feels like receiving a stern lecture. The Faculty of Horror is a true conversation;a pla ce where there’s room to think and form your own opinion.

Here’s the problem – you can’t talk back at podcast diners.

Because of this, I had to rush home to write some words about the women of Haddonfield, who I believe were slightly misunderstood in Episode 1: Halloween vs. Black Xmas.

Much of the discussion from Subissati and West, as I interpreted their conversation, was based on the idea that the women from Halloween were less well-rounded than the women of Black Christmas. I agree with this statement, and I also believe Halloween exists in a very masculine, patriarchal world where women are punished for not behaving.

My complaint? I believe regionalism must be taken into account when viewing Halloween. The massacre takes place in Haddonfield, Illinois, after all.

Laurie Strode and her friends are more believable as Midwestern women. I view Laurie as a character whose innocence is stifled desire, where Annie’s great energy and spirit are suppressed to focus her attentions on her rather unimpressive boyfriend. I see Lynda as smarter than her beer-swilling lover, but having too much fun to rock the boat by letting her intellect show.

Are these simply projections of my own values and beliefs? Quite possibly, but these ideas do add something to Halloween. These women have not really lived yet. They are trapped in a culture of rules and values. They speak in cliches because it’s the only language they possess. Maybe if they were more free they could better help themselves.

This isn’t really a complaint. It’s  more of an attempt to keep a great conversation going by adding my two cents.

They’re planning on doing a new podcast every month, but I plan on hanging out in this diner in the hopes they just keep talking the whole  month long.

Or twice a month. Twice a month would be pretty good.

-Axel

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Thurgood the Teen Mummy – A Poorly Written Grab For Teen Dollars.

Thurgood

Thurgood the Teenage Mummy:

Horribly Written to Steal Tween Dollars!

by I. M. Non-Threatening

As I expected, the first day of school was completely wretched and awful. I didn’t know anyone there, and all of the other girls were six feet tall with flawless skin, as if hewn from rocks only found in Heaven itself. They had shiny blonde hair and they wore only the best clothing. I don’t think I could have made it through the day at all if I hadn’t had Thurgood to stare at.

He sat two seats in front of me in World History class, and he was a new student, too. DJ, the spunky girl who had instantly befriended me upon arriving at school, gave me all of the delicious details.

“He skipped out on last week, when we were discussing the ancient Egyptians,” DJ said. “No one knows why, but then again, no one knows much about the Bangles family.”

Thurgood Bangles sat only a seat away from me. I tried to make eye contact with him, but my whole body quivered in fear he might notice how ridiculously moronic my face looked. To avoid embarrassing myself further than I may have already, I slammed a textbook into my own face to cover up my own hideous face. I would have plunged a dull pencil into my own eye and twisted it around slowly, to punish myself for daring look on such a handsome man, had DJ not taken the pencil out of my hand and giggled.

“Boys!” she said. Then, she popped a piece of bubble gum loudly.

Thurgood Bangles was normal in height and weight, except that his massive biceps nearly tore through the tight sleeves of his polo shirt. He had eyes. I looked at his eyes a lot. I sure did like those eyes. I knew when I got home, I’d be saying “eyes eyes eyes eyes eyes” like some sort of cartoon lunatic, while shaving pictures of eyes on the cat’s back with an electric shaver. I like eyes!

Of course, then Dad just wouldn’t get it. Dad doesn’t understand girls. The other day, he asked why I didn’t use the urinals in public restrooms! Maybe he doesn’t know a lot about girls because he and mom weren’t married all that long. he definitely wouldn’t understand anything about boys. He’d just tell me, “Jesse, I love you no matter what you do.” He so doesn’t understand, but he’s still sweet in a dumb kind of way.

There was something different about that Thurgood Bangles I’d have to figure out this school year. Maybe it was the way my heart stopped when he looked into my eyes. Maybe it was the way the sun made his sandy blonde hair seem alive and on fire with aliveness. Maybe it was the small strips of bandage peaking out from his shirt sleeves, or even the way his entire face was covered in old, rotten bandages. Something about that boy seemed different to me, Jesse Blume. I’m a teen girl just like you!

Thurgood did something that filled me with amazement.

It happened on my way home for the day. I was busy putting on my second hoodie to make sure I gave everyone that extra-frumpy vibe. As I pulled the second hood over my head and slid in earbuds blaring sensitive, non-threatening feminist rock music, I couldn’t help but notice how much more sensitive and soulful I was then the tall, blonde, pretty girls.

Then my friend Stephen asked if I was going to the fall dance, and I actually cried that he thought I could ever view him as more than a human puppy dog. Stephen is nice and friendly, but the idea of him even holding my hand makes me want to punch him in the face.

When I got outside, I knew I had walked out of the wrong door. I had run into the no-goodniks from town. There were three men, of no discernible ethnicity or age. None of them appeared to be armed, and none of them had facial expressions.

“Give me your milk money,” the one closest to me said. Then, he added, “Please.”

I knew he was serious. My face nearly contorted into something resembling a human emotion, something that might make a reader like me. Fortunately, I stopped that from happening. I knew I was totally in some serious bad business.

“Get away from her,” Thurgood the Mummy Teen said. I had barely heard him slowly dragging his dusty, sandy teen body toward me. Just looking at him made my heart tingle, even as my face was free from any recognizably human emotion.

“Okay,” the troublemaking bad guys said. They walked away together, all at the same time.

“I’m sorry that got so rough,” Thurgood said. “Even though I never actually move or do anything at all interesting, I want you to know I would have done some very bad things to them.”

At that exact moment, his bandaged arm fell off and fell to the floor.

“You’re just going to have to trust me on that,” he said.

Thurgood showed me something magically magical today.

I sensed something was different about him. I had been up for hours at night, using my computer to look up information about ancient Egyptians. Dad was downstairs watching a bowhunting TV show and drinking beer. I could have used some time with my mom, but she was off giggling with her new boyfriend, the cabana boy who wasn’t much older than me but was pretty nice because he bought me a pair of cute boots for Christmas.

Then, Thurgood Bangles appeared in my room. He very slowly appeared. He tossed one of his bandages into my open window and crawled up it, being careful not to let the strain tear off his newly re-bandaged arm. When he finally crumpled over my windowsill and collapsed into a heap, then stood up and walked beside my bed.

“There’s something different about you,” I said. A giant Egyptian scarab crawled out of his collar and scurried down his back.

“I want to show you something,” Thurgood said. Slowly, he unraveled the dirty bandages covering his face. The first thing I noticed was his perfect hair, which was tousled to precision. Then, I saw his face.

Thurgood’s face was smooth, free of blemish and anything resembling an actual facial expression — just like me! The amazing part, however, was the way his face glowed. It did not glow in any colors that might upset or raise a person’s blood pressure in any way, like in baby blues and soft pinks. Even more than that, I could see beautiful phantom spirits of unicorns, kitties, and puppies. They crawled over my face and cooed and purred.

“Thurgood, you’re a magical, wonderful creature!” I said.

“”Being a mummy is my sad, sad curse,” he said.

“Do you live in a pyramid?” I asked Thurgood. We were in the lunchroom. I had gotten a plain ham sandwich, an apple, and a lukewarm glass of water. Normally, such an exciting meal would have held my complete attention, but I had so many questions.

“No,” Thurgood said. “But I do still sleep in a sarcophagus.”

“Do you miss your internal organs? Are they all still in jars?” I asked him later, as he was driving me to a building outside of town. Thurgood had heard they had just painted, and he thought, if we hurried, we could get there in time to watch the paint dry.

“I use tupperware now,” he said. “And know, I don’t miss them. My clothes fit so much better now.”

“But don’t you have a pet sphinx or something?” I asked him, as we sat on a park bench, measuring how much the grass grew by the hour. He had taken me on a wild date straight out of my loveliest dreams.

“Shouldn’t we be doing something, other than just sitting around while you ask me all of these questions?” Thurgood wondered out loud. “It feels like we need some sort of conflict right now. I mean, doesn’t it?”

“So do you have a sphinx?” I asked again, stroking the bandages around his head.

“No,” he said. He sighed.

Then there was a bad mummy, and Thurgood beat him up.

He came to visit me in the hospital. Somehow, in the short amount of time the bad mummy was around, he had pushed me and I broke my toe. I sure would look pretty cute and vulnerable in a cast!

“Take me to the big dance,” I asked him.

“I’m a mummy,” he said.

I started to talk.

“Fine. I’ll take you to the dance,” he said.

“Make me a mummy,” I said.

“Not until at least book three and a major motion picture deal,” Thurgood said. He looked at me, gave me a thumb’s up, and smiled.

Then, his thumb fell off.