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Bob Alexander's Commentary

Trance-Formation

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There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.

Thus intoned Rod Serling at the beginning of the first episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone in 1959. It would be years before I read Kafka, Huxley, and Orwell, but I knew the territory well. Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, and Richard Matheson, had already taken me there once every week for five years.

The Twilight Zone left me with powerful memories of stories of ordinary people who had somehow slipped almost casually across an unseen line, and into another world … another reality. And here we all are … 49 years after the last program was broadcast … living in The Twilight Zone. I wish we had better writers.  The same plot devices from a handful of episodes are used over and over, overlap one another, and play simultaneously non-stop. And the kicker is … most people don’t even notice … and that in itself is an old Twilight Zone episode.

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Happy Anniversary To Us!

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Two years ago today, August 22nd, we moved to Beautiful British Columbia. I’m only going to say this one more time as I can imagine everyone is getting awfully tired of hearing it:

Every Single Day
I read at least one news item, oftentimes more, from The States that makes me very happy and relieved we don’t live in the U.S. anymore.

And …

Every Single Day I have a moment, some days a couple of moments, when I am grateful we now live in Canada.

I know a guy in Seattle who feels compelled to remind me that Canada isn’t perfect. It’s his way of countering whatever positive thing I’ve told him about living up here.

Canada is not perfect. I know. I live here. But guess what? Relatively speaking, after a lifetime of living in the U.S. …Yes It Is!

Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 13:24 Read more...

Springtime in Santa Barbara

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Back in 1971 a couple of good ol’ boys grabbed me outside of a bar in Amarillo Texas and pounded me into the ground like a human tent peg. They didn’t like the length of my hair.

A couple of years later I was walking down De La Vina Street in Santa Barbara in the late afternoon when a guy sped by me in beat-to-crap white pick up truck, screamed out, “YOU EFFING HIPPIE,” and threw an unopened bottle of coke at my head. It missed by inches, exploded against the rock retaining wall on my right, and instead of a concussion … I was covered in broken glass and dripping soda pop.

The beating in Amarillo was pretty bad. It could have gotten worse but luckily for me, the bartender had an idea about what the good ol’ boys were up to, and came out and stopped it. But the “Pop Bottle Incident of 1973” had a greater impact on me. The thing in Texas I chalked up to, “What the hell do you expect? You’re in Texas for chrissakes,” but the lucky near-miss in Santa Barbara really shook me up. I was in Southern California, one of the “sane” states, where a long hair could walk around without getting stomped.

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Nowhere Near the Road to Damascus

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I Have Seen the Light! Glory Gee to Beezus I Have Seen the Light! And since being filled with this Grand and Glorious Light I feel compelled to share The Good News of my Epiphany to everyone I know.

Pretty scary opening eh? I remember hearing similar words coming out of the mouth of a friend of mine after he had accepted Jesus Christ as his own personal redeemer and new invisible best friend. It was abso-freakin’-lutely terrifying. One day he was just a regular guy kickin’ around Hollywood trying to pick up a job here and there when WHAMMO! The next time I ran into him his eyes were all glittery with  new-found madness. He had a goofy vacuous grin plastered on his face and he was clutching a cheap copy of the New Testament. Something terrible had obviously happened to my ol’ pal Danny. And whatever that terrible thing was … the escape route he took landed him smack dab into the arms of The Lord.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 19:45 Read more...

Nothing Bad Happens in This Story

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It all started back in 1944 when a group of high-powered Democratic hacks couldn’t pressure FDR to drop vice-president Henry A. Wallace from the ticket. The corrupt Democratic machine knew Roosevelt wouldn’t survive a fourth term and they wanted their favorite weasel Harry Truman in the number two slot ready to carry out their agenda the moment the president dropped dead. But Roosevelt held firm, kept Wallace on the ticket, and easily won the party’s nomination and then the national election.

In his last State of the Union address Roosevelt introduced a "Second Bill of Rights" which would complete the Founders' vision of ensuring all Americans equality in the pursuit of happiness. Millions were listening spellbound when Roosevelt said, “In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:30 Read more...

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