Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

30 Days of Hypnosis: Day 12

What’s your favorite pop culture reference about hypnosis?

Whew! So many possibilities.

The first one that comes to mind is “The Hypnotic Eye”. A movie about a sinister stage hypnotist who entrances his lovely subjects certainly plays to many of the public misconceptions regarding hypnosis, plus the producers had a professional stage hypnotist instruct the actor how to perform on camera as well as hypnotizing the actresses to go in to a trance on cue. Regrettably, it suffers from low public knowledge so it barely registers as a pop culture icon.

Another one that comes to mind is the classic spiral motif that so represents hypnosis in popular culture. That and the spooky, swirly music that seems to always accompany it in any advertisement or television episode scene transition. The same also goes for dangling crystals and staring eyes.

But I guess my favorite has to be “Trilby”. No other work so influenced the pop culture regarding hypnosis throughout its history. It is one of the few culture icons that directly influenced the English language, with the addition of “Svengali” as a term for a manipulative mentor.

A Holiday Treat — The (Physical) Hypnosis in Media Collection

As a special Holiday present, I present the (physical) Hypnosis in Media collection in its semi-entirety.

The bookshelf unit here holds the main part of the Collection. As you can see, it is divided in half, with the left half holding figures and artwork behind the glass doors, larger books and folders below, and the doors below holding the media elements that don’t fit anywhere else. The right half holds most of the fiction and nonfiction books. As you can see, the bookcase is by no means large enough to hold everything, as there are parts of the collection on the floor before it.

This is the upper part of the left half, which has the figures and artwork. On the upper shelf you can see the two figures from the Silent Screams figure line, from the movie “The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari” on the top, along with the Princess Ariel figure, and smaller toys with hypnotic themes in the middle. At the back of the lower shelf as a animation cel of Hypnotia from the “Iron Man” animated series, several dozen HeroClix figures in the lower left and my latest acquisition, the Ringmaster mini-bust, in the center. The boxes on the right contain a number of stereotypical hypnotic foci, including several crystals and even a couple of hypno-disks. The HeroClix figures are a large but not complete of all of the characters with hypnotic or mind control abilities, including Professor X, Saturn Girl, Super-Gorilla Grodd, the Puppet Master, the Mad Hatter, etc.

The folders and notebooks on the shelves below the  glass doors consists of the results of research projects carried out in the past, including the material behind the search for ‘Secrets of the Sleep Merchants’ detailed elsewhere, a set of publicity photographs of Pat Collins and details of her life, comic strip and book collections and reference materials, smaller magazines and pamphlets that might get damaged if put elsewhere, the two records released by Pat Collins, as well as anything that doesn’t fit in anywhere else.

The fiction part comprises roughly 200 pieces, including several collections, double-stacked on the first two shelves and in front of the non-fiction stacks on the third shelf.  The non-fiction section also contains roughly about 200 books, not including the various pamphlets and booklets that are in another bookshelf. These books are strictly hypnosis related: there is a separate section for media references, such as indices and reference books on various TV series, movies, etc.

This is by no means the complete collection: there is a storage case with several dozen video tapes elsewhere that I am slowing digitizing and converting to DVD format, along with the comics collection stored in the garage, as well as the regular fiction collection that takes up most of another bedroom / library. All in all, I estimate I have somewhere in the range of 500 — 600 books, over 250 comics and dozens of magazines and papers in the collection proper and maybe another couple hundred books and I can’t even guess how many comics elsewhere.

Hypnotic Beauty — Victoria’s Secret

Sometimes serendipity provides the material for the blog, and this is one such case.

The name and company Victoria’s Secret is not one I should have the describe: suffice to say this is just the sort of thing I would expect from them.

Victoria’s Secret Hypnotic Beauty

The product here is a combination of eye shadow and liner, lipstick and blush makeup, with a definite Morroccan / Indian theme to the packaging and the colors themselves.  However, I cannot determine from the references whether this was a 2011 or 2010 release, and I haven’t had any luck finding it listed on the Victoria’s Secret online catalog. Of course, it may have been released for a specific time period (Fall) so it might not be in the catalog at this time no matter which year it was released.

Of course, this kind of packaging tends to reinforce the stereotypes surrounding hypnosis (and I think I need to create something that types that phrase automatically for me, given the number of times I use it) and female beauty, especially when it involves the eyes. This trope of a woman’s hypnotic eyes has its roots not only in the folklore about “the evil eye” and its evolution into the vampire’s mesmeric gaze and the concept of “the eyes are the windows of the soul” but also in elements of the seductive ‘vamp’ who bewitches men, a trope that which goes all the way back to Biblical times and thereabouts.


The Ringmaster — Marvel Mini-Bust

The Ringmaster (and his Circus of Crime): is there ever a group as sorry as these criminals in all of comics? A truly second-tier villain and his henchmen who probably are the joke of the super-villain community.

… inevitably, the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime end up being defeated by whatever Marvel Super-Hero happens to be attending the show.

Which appears to be just about every super-hero. from Daredevil to Spider-Man to Howard the Duck: they were even defeated by Power Pack! Still, you have to admire the man’s determination (or just plain stupidity) for coming back again and again.

But this post isn’t about the character, its really about the mini-bust sculpted by Troy McDevitt (seen above) which is the latest addition to the collection. After all, the character is so iconic that it certainly deserves a place in the collection, especially when I found it at the comics store Friday afternoon, on the sale rack. Not that the character was that unpopular as to have (or not have) a following, it was damaged, so I got it for 90% off. The damage? One of the Ringmaster’s trademark drooping mustaches is completely broken off. I could somehow find a way to repair it so I’m not that worried: besides, I’m not likely to have it out of the box.

The Hypnotic Tarot — Part I: The Suits

I have quite an interest in the Tarot, largely from a symbolic and possibly even a Jungian perspective and certainly from an artistic standpoint. As an art collector, I have several pieces of art that are based on the Tarot, including “The Star” by Frank Kelly Freas 1 that is one of the “stars” of my entire collection.

I also know that it is common for Tarot enthusiasts to create their own Tarot deck: doing so not only personalizes it, it deepens the connection with the Tarot symbology and imagery for the individual. Therefore, its only natural to combine this interest with my interest in hypnosis to want to create the Hypnotic Tarot deck. Of course, one caveat: everything surrounding the Tarot is open (and quite fervently) to discussion and argument, from the history of the Tarot to the individual meanings of each symbol. What follows is my own interpretation which has about as much (or as little) validity as any one else’s.

This first part will discuss the basic elements of the Tarot, the suits and their accompanying symbols. The Suits order the Minor Arcana, the 52 cards that eventually became the playing cards in use today. The Suits and their symbols also appear regularly in the Major Arcana. Subsequent parts will cover the Major Arcana and the individual Suits of the Minor Arcana.

⇒ Continue reading “The Hypnotic Tarot — Part I: The Suits”

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