October 31st Halloween

In case you have been living under a rock for a few decades, tonight is Halloween. It has it’s traditions dating back to Pagan festivals but we really don’t consider those anymore. It is a huge, sort of, holiday. (We don’t actually get time off for it) Many rank it second only to Christmas. It can be fun, those little scares that get the heart pumping. However we must remember, those evils that are often created for Halloween do not really exist. Real scares are driving on the highways anymore! It’s fun to dress up, takes kids around to get candy and if you are like me, it’s a great time to decorate your yard outrageously! I do go a bit overboard. There is no harm in having good, clean fun, but don’t over do it. Scares are meant to last seconds, not a lifetime.

How to celebrate – Go trick-or-treating. Dress up for Halloween. Decorate your house or maybe, even make a haunted house!

October 25th Frankenstein Day

With Halloween coming this seems like a logical day to celebrate. It was created by Ron MacCloskey to celebrate Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelly who wrote Frankenstein in 1818 when she was 21. He has terrorized the world ever since! There have been rumors that Frankenstein might have been based on some real activities taking place during Shelly’s lifetime. Either that, or wow, what an imagination! (Particularly for that era) Mary had an interesting life and continued to write though most of her other efforts are not as well recognized. Frankenstein has changed over the years, now it’s more about the monster than about creating him, as it was in the original novel. Considering the real monsters we have in the world today, Frankenstein seems harmless, though he still scares us. Since 1818, we have learned how to harvest human organs for use in other people than originally intended for. It sort of shows that maybe Frankenstein wasn’t as far fetched as they would have thought back in the early 1800’s.

How to celebrate – Read the original, “Frankenstein”. Try to find Mary Shelly’s other works. Get ready for Halloween!

August 30th Frankenstein Day

Wow, there are a ton of Frankenstein days during the year. Seems like most of them come around Halloween, I can’t imagine why? They each have their own reason for being created but I believe today has one of the top reasons. Today was the day Mary Wollenstone Shelley, the author and creator of Frankenstein was born. August 30th, 1797. Did you have any idea that Frankenstein was created back in 1818? Of course the monster we celebrate today is quite different from the one she wrote about. She still gets the credit though. And well she should, if she had not created the monster we would never have had it in our lives. It does sort of make you wonder though, what monsters were running around in her head in 1818?

How to celebrate – Throw Mary a belated birthday party. Read Shelley’s original “Frankenstein”. Dress up like Frankenstein.

October 29th National Frankenstein Day

Frankenstein is very popular, after all… this is like the 30th Frankenstein Day we’ve had this year already (not really it’s only three but who’s counting). The fact is, Mary Shelly really hit it big (I wonder if she lived long enough to know it). And what makes today even more special is apparently it was created by Frankenberry Cereal!

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Frankenstein is probably the most popular monster ever created (don’t tell the Mummy or Werewolf). There are at least 54 movies created that either feature Frankenstein or he makes an appearance in. That’s even more than Rocky! And that’s not even counting television! He has been portrayed as evil, funny and even love-able.

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Now that we are close to Halloween, he will be even more visible than ever. Although, recently he has become a little less of a monster than in past years. Now kids dress up as political figures, various Pokemon creatures and those always scary ballerinas.

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Frankenstein is an international wonder. A part of him is British, French, American, Swedish, German, Hungarian, Russian, Brazilian, Spanish… well, you get the picture. He got the legs, arms, heart, kidneys, liver…

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So enjoy another of the many Frankenstein Days. There’s enough of him to go around and his wife, The Bride of Frankenstein covers his days off. Invite Frankenstein over for an evening of fun and merriment… just don;t leave any of your spare body parts laying around.

How to celebrate – Read Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Try and build your own Frankenstein. Realize that monster is an ugly word.

October 26th National Frankenstein Friday

Okay, so we all know Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein in 1818 when she was only 21 years old. Wow, what an imagination! With Halloween and Frankenstein Day both coming up soon, it’s nice to kick it off with a Frankenstein Friday. The idea was created by Ron MacClosky, who appropriately won the “Franky” award for doing so.

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I mean, who doesn’t know about Frankenstein? Children, adults, other monsters… we all know about Frankenstein! I even wrote a play about a fashionable, intelligent Frank Einstein (Available on Playscripts.com). The monster has been played as sad, humorous, curious and just about any other emotion you can imagine.

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The thing is, his name shouldn’t be Frankenstein because that was his creators name. If want his last name to be Frankenstein then, okay… but he needed to be given a first name as well. Maybe that’s why he roamed the countryside so angry all the time. How would you like it is people only called you by your last name!?!

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He is probably the only monster ever created that heart could really have belonged to daddy. He was very conflicted as well. He had one arm that had belonged to a man named White. The other belonged to a man named Wong. That makes it easy to understand that in the heat of the moment, he might not be able to know White from Wong.

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So, you might ask why do we celebrate Frankenstein Friday? It’s simply because if we didn’t we might find ourselves Abbey Normal. Think about it.

How to celebrate – Read the first chapter of Frankenstein but wait to read the rest on Frankenstein Day. If you want a good laugh, watch “Young Frankenstein”. Experiment n your own by mixing parts from a Barbie doll and a GI Joe.

August 30th National Frankenstein Day

Who is the best know monster of all time? Well, Frankenstein of course! He has been portrayed in so many movies, television shows and books that he has become an icon. He is played scary, funny, sad, happy, you name it and someone has performed it that way.

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We celebrate it today on Mary Wollenstone Shelley’s birthday, August 30th, 1797. she actually wrote Frankenstein in 1818 and my research shows she was in Scotland at the time. She was a novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer and a travel writer but no doubt she is best remember for The Modern Prometheus, the original title of Frankenstein.

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I am curious if she ever made anywhere near  the money others did off of her work. And though I do not know it for sure, I doubt there is any copyright applied to her work anymore.  There have also been stories about her getting the story from a relative who was actually trying to ring the dead back to life.  I don’t know if there is any truth to it or not but it is a wild story to just dream up.

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I also wonder if she had any idea it would become as popular as it did. And would she have taken offense at the way the world has treated her character. We probably will never know… unless, someone is secretly working on bringing her back.

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How to celebrate – Read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Watch a Frankenstein movie. See if you can find any other works of Mary Shelley’s to read.

 

 

October 25th Punk For A Day

I’m not sure that I completely understand the punk movement. While I was growing up the thought of being a punk was one of the worse things one could become. I understand rebellion, I don’t understand looking like death warmed over.

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Of course, my parents didn’t understand me wanting to play rock and roll so I guess it’s a generational thing. Oddly though, much of the punk look is going back to the way Native American warrior looked when they went to war.

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It seems that mutilating parts of your body goes along with being a punker. While I guess that’s fine for youth I wonder how they will feel when they reach seventy. And I come from an era where having something hanging from you nose was considered gross.

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But its youth and so they rarely think about the future. (Or at least their future) They are too busy protesting the present. And for many they don’t even have a cause that concerns them, they just like looking that way.  I guess there are those who found Frankenstein attractive as well.

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One area I do kind of find interesting is the Steam Punk movement.  It sort of mixes the old days with modern times. Though the picture above is supposed to represent a Steam Punk Christmas which I don’t really see.

How to celebrate – Dress up like a punk for the day. (Just remember not to make it permanent!) Create your own punk era. Join a punk rock band and go rock out!

August 30th National Frankenstein Day

It’s hard to imagine the world without Frankenstein. For those of us born after 1818, the day Frankenstein was published, he has been there for us, creeping around every corner, hiding in the woods or knocking on our door for some candy.

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Written by Mary Wollenstone Shelly this character has become a classic. You could say there’s a little of all of us in Frankenstein. An arm here, a leg there a brain or two from anywhere, he is the ultimate man-made monster brought to life by Doctor Frankenstein in his laboratory before the invention of electricity, cars or M & M’s.

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Of course he has been pitted against nearly every other European monster… the Wolfman, Dracula, Charlie Chaplin. Well, at least he had more lines in his films than Charlie Chaplin. He normally won proving brawn stands for something but he loses in the end to man. Of course he is a man, many men, so I guess you could say he loses to himself.

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One of my all time favorite movies is Young Frankenstein, a spoof about the monster and his creator. I still break up when Dr. Frankenstein finds out that Igor got him the brain of a guy named Abby Normal for his monster.

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We celebrate today because it is Mary Shelley’s birthday, August 30th, though she was born in 1797. You have to wonder what nightmare she had before writing this one down. However, it became a classic she will be remembered forever for.

How to celebrate – Read the original Frankenstein. Watch Young Frankenstein. Set up a Frankenstein movie marathon. (You might want to set aside several days)

October 28th Frankenstein Day

It is fitting that the last Friday in October should be Frankenstein Day. It was created by Ron MacCloskey in 1997 when he also created “The Franky” which he proudly gave to the person who best promoted the classic Frankenstein. He picked a Friday because it started with FR just like Frankenstein.

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Frankenstein was created by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in 1818 completed by the time she turned 21. I’ll bet she was a real fun date! It is set in the fictional Transylvania, though Shelley herself was English. Most of us know the story well enough by now. The monster created in a castle on a mountain during a lightning storm.

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Of course Frankenstein wasn’t really the monsters name. He was named for Victor Frankenstein, the doctor who created him from spare parts he found laying around. An arm from Bill, leg from Rudy, brain from Abbey Normal (sorry, couldn’t resist). Since all his body parts came from so many people he probably would have a name like Billy Joe Hamilton Marcus III.

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So many people have made money from the original book. The movie industry, costumers, audio recording artists, and so on have all made a pretty penny off something so ugly. But then, we all like to be scared, at least a little bit, and in the day Shelley had created one of the most frightening creatures ever to exist. It is remarkable that even after all these years the imagination of one woman could still stir the the hearts of so many over 150 years later.

How to celebrate – Do your best to promote the Frankenstein monster, “The Franky” is still being awarded! Read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. Watch one of the many “Frankenstein movies.