Sunday, July 04, 2010

Film watching, and fun with mirrors.

Chaos still rules the weather here. Thursday night was a monsoon, Friday was tropical heat, and today (Sunday) we had hail. If there were any Americans here who fancied a 4th July firework celebration, the hail was powerful enough to knock those rockets back down. Nobody has anything to investigate, none of those outdoor venues are safe to visit while the weather remains unpredictable, so I have to find other things to do.

I finally managed to see a film Southern Writer recommended a long time ago - 'Paranormal Activity'. It was a very entertaining film with pretty accurate background information. Within the 'artistic licence' range of accuracy, naturally.

Some points - if you have a haunting, ouija boards almost always make things worse. You might think it's a good idea to play with a ghost but you know, they might have games in mind that you don't want to play. Once you have invited them to play with you, you lose the choice of when the game ends. You hand over control to the spirit and that is never a good idea.

Why do you think those old magicians designed all those elaborate and time-consuming diagrams? It's because what they were calling was dangerous and had to be contained. If you were taking delivery of a wild-caught tiger, you'd be sure to have a strong cage in place first, right? Playing with an ouija board is like taking delivery of that tiger, giving it the run of the house and thinking 'It just wants to play'. It does, it wants to play cat-and-mouse. You get to be the mouse.

The paranormal investigator who opted out of the job was right to do so. This particular job was out of his skill set. If someone wanted an exorcism, I wouldn't do it. I don't have that skill and if I tried, I'd make matters worse. Rather than sedating and removing the tiger from your house, all I'd achieve would be like poking it with a stick until it was really angry. The spirit world is not a TV channel. It's not there for entertainment and if you turn it on, you can't turn it off. I think the film makes that part clear.

A very entertaining film, with pretty accurate background. Don't have any drinks in your hand for the last fifteen minutes or so.

Anyway, with nothing to do, I decided to wander with my camera on Friday. A blue-sky day, rare in these parts lately, and the heavy rain the night before had washed everything clean. In particular, it had washed a certain mirror clean.

On some roads with blind corners, there are convex mirrors so you can see whether anything is coming around the corner. These give a distorted view but all you need to know is whether anything is moving, so they do the job they're supposed to do. Unless they are dirty or coated with condensation.

This one was the cleanest I've ever seen it. I trimmed the photo down to just the mirror and its black backboard.

I've never owned a fisheye lens. These mirrors provide a decent approximation of the effect.

Pity they are fixed in place.


tom sheepandgoats said...

When I was a kid, someone presented me with a oiija board as a gift. They were common gifts, marketed as toys. Harmless probing of the unknown, and all, likely marketed by businesspeople who thought it was all hogwash. At any rate, any attempt at communication always came up empty for me. Yes, I might get some answers, but I knew very well I was pushing the platform myself.

It was many years later, as a Witness, that I learned it is a genuine link to the spirit world for some. Perhaps that potential existed even for me way back when, but no spirit ever responded. Why should they, dopey kid that I was? But I guess now that it was a good thing.

Your post highlighted dangers of using them. I've no experience. Are there some who use them unscathed? What are best case/ worst case scenarios?

Romulus Crowe said...

Suppose you went out into the street and shouted 'All skinheads are girlie men'.

If there are no skinheads within earshot, you get away unscathed. If there are, well, it's going to be very painful.

I don't think the ouija board attracts spirits. What it does is allow them a means to establish a link. The user has to be open to such a link so someone who regards it as a joke is likely to be resistant to the spirit's attempts.

If there are no spirits around, the board does nothing. That's the best case scenario.

The worst case would be where the user really wants to talk to spirits, and there's a vicious one around, looking for a way in.

Unfortunately, it's often during poltergeist type hauntings that people try these things out. They already know there's something unfriendly around.

Provoking it, and giving it an open invitation via communication, always makes it worse.

Regina Richards said...

One of my kid's friends brought a board over to my house once. I sweetly explained to him why that wasn't allowed in my house and made him leave it out on the front walk until he went home again. His mother later called me and told me she hadn't known he had it - apparently his cousin gave it to him. She assured me it had been disposed of and he wouldn't be using it in or outside of my kid's presence again.

Romulus Crowe said...

They are toys in one set of hands/one situation and dangerous in another.

Militant sceptics would laugh at them and I wouldn't discourage that. No more than I would discourage people from setting up their own nuclear generators.

In their own way, these apparently simple boards are just as dangerous.

Southern Writer said...

Rom, you scare the living daylights out of me (I wonder where that term came from?) I'm fascinated by ghosts, but I don't want to think about there being that kind. I want to leave the bad ones in the movies and have them stay there.

Glad you liked my movie suggestion. I believe there's a sequel coming. (Did I mention not to bother with The Fourth Kind? Ugh.) So now I have to know which ending you saw because there were three different ones. Don't want to type spoilers here, but if you'd email me, I'd be glad to hear from you.

As for the fisheye lens, total pareidolia, of course, but if it weren't, the that would be one motley crew at the lower left. :-)

Southern Writer said...

I mouse pad looks like a Ouija board. I bought it because I thought it was funny. You know, the mouse is kind of like the planchette, or whatever that dealy is called. The first few nights I had it, I left Word open on my computer and told the pad it could give me the winning lottery numbers if it wanted. It never did. Never wrote anything. I've never tried to play with it for "those" purposes, for the very reason you stated. I've had this thing for...geez...a dozen years, maybe? So far, no problems. If there ever were, I'd get rid of it.

ver: disphook

Da spook saw Phideaux written on a dog house, and decided it wanted a fancier spelling, too.

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