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DEAR JON LETTERS
Vampires and Candidates
An eclectic sort for a Hallowe'en during election year.

by Dear Jon
October 19, 2004

ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

How come FOX insists on showing "the Simpsons" Halloween specials the week AFTER Halloween? Is this an attempt by the producers to finally get the show cancelled?

Simpsons Fan
 
Dear Fan,
 
It is all about the baseball.
 
Speaking of Hallowe’en, I just had a miniature film festival which involved seeing a restored version of the classic silent vampire film “Nosferatu,” followed by “The Shadow of the Vampire” which creates a myth around the making of the silent movie.
 
The key to making “The Shadow of the Vampire” work is that the original “Nosferatu” is all made by foreigners, which appeals to the innate American suspicion that vampires are very real and very European. The production company was formed specifically to make “Nosferatu,” and then it was  sued by Bram Stoker’s widow for copyright infringement of the novel Dracula. The judge agreed and ordered all prints of Mirnau’s movie to be burned. Meanwhile, the production company filed for bankruptcy, a victim of the ruling of a British court, and a victim of the post-war economy of Germany’s Weimar Republic.
 
While prints of the movie remained in underground circulation, the principles in its creation died. F.W. Mirnau, died at the age of 42. Max Schreck, who played the vampire not as a seductive charmer, but as a demonic zombie, died in 1936. Although he has some other movie credits, his record has some gaps. Is this his real name? “Schreck” is German for “terror.” Yet he is supposed to have been born in Berlin in 1879.
 
“Shadow of the Vampire” posits the idea: What if the genius Mirnau decided to cast a real vampire to play the title role? This would of course be a slander on the memory of Max Schreck, if anyone has a real memory of Max Schreck….

 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

After watching all three debates, I still can't decide who to vote for. Should I just not vote?

Wishing for another candidate
 
Dear Wish,
 
The reason you have not decided, is that the debates were under-represented. The media, complicit with the federal government, is helping to persuade you and much of the public that the United States is a two-party nation. In fact, numerous parties exist, and these parties provide genuine alternatives to the current entrenchment of a Warfare/Welfare Nation. You have been informed that these parties operate on the lunatic fringe.
 
Twenty years ago, when the lunatic fringe was warning Americans not to be complacent about their personal freedoms, you were certain they were just being paranoid. Now, the “Patriot Act” and the Campaign Finance Reform law have come along, restricting free speech and authorizing the executive branch of government to ignore several provisions of the Bill of Rights. The power to declare even “pre-emptive” war on intelligence that turns out to be flaky and misrepresented, now resides, albeit unconstitutionally, with the President. It turns out, of course, that the lunatic fringe was right, and the things that you and I said twenty years ago would never happen here, have begun to happen.
 
So, in this election it is time to ask yourself the following:
 
Have you joined millions of others in believing that safety is more valuable than liberty? Have you joined millions of others in accepting the assumption of journalists, celebrities, and politicians, that government paternalism is more valuable than your freedom as individuals and families? If so, you should love this election because you would love both candidates.
 
Is your chief disappointment with these two candidates, is that they are not more polite to each other? If that is what upsets you the most, you have not been paying attention.
 
Bottom line: As you continue to foster the myth that only two parties reflect a viable vision for the United States, are you part of the solution, or part of the problem?

 
ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon

Is Nebraska football dead?
 
Dear Blank,
 
Some would say that Colorado drove a stake through its heart on Thanksgiving Friday, 2001. Others point to the firing of Frank Solich after a 9-3 season (they won the bowl game after he was sacked) as the final departure of the soul from Nebraska football. When an unranked Texas Tech team demolished them 70-10 on October 9 of this year, that should have been the obituary of the program.
 
However, Baylor just came out of the losing end of a 59-27 whooping by the Nebraska Cornhuskers. For the first time, the quarterback threw all touchdowns, five of them, and no interceptions. Optimists might say that means the program is being resurrected. I am not so sure. Nebraska football might still be soul-less, coming back like a vampire.



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