Friday, September 21, 2012

Frightmare Manor ScreamPark Opens Tonight

"I admit it - have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk."

Frightmare Manor 2012 opens tonight, yes, in September - this ScreamPark has become enormously popular and successful and is now open on weekends, up until October begins and then more nights will be added.

You have to understand that founder/creator Chris Wooden, his brother Michael, along with folks like Curtis, Andy and Denise love to scare people. For them, the work on making Frightmare Manor bigger and better and scarier is a full time job which they enjoy so much, it's kinda spooky!

And they've added something new this year to keep the entertainment rolling for the folks who are just waiting in line to get into the 4 different attractions at Frightmare Manor - the largest outdoor movie screen in East Tennessee. Chris says that just exactly what will be playing from night to night is still a bit of a secret at this point, but he emphasized that the Frightmare crew wants every moment you spend on the property to be as entertaining as possible.

Now you can go to their website, here, and find out about all the dates they will be open and check out their discount ticket prices too -- I recommend you also check out their Facebook page, where they are always offering discount and even free tickets, and this weekend the first 25 visitors on Friday and Saturday night will get a free Frightmare t-shirt, and as so many from out of town come for a visit, the Hampton Inn is offering a special package for Frightmare Fans - just call (423) 587-0952 and ask about the Frightmare Manor Package.

Chris also said they've hired even more employees this year, over 100, and that means not only is this an event loaded with fun, it's a bona fide economic force! Check out this interview from last year with Chris and with Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain.

As the ScreamPark continues, I'll have more details and info to share with you, so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life In A Time Of Madness

I had the sad misfortune yeserday to read an essay penned by the daughter of a one-time school chum which was utterly dumbfounding.

These are some fairly smart folks, college-educated, they work hard to provide for their families and yet the essay in question was a stunning display of intellect strangled by a deadening diet of lies and distortions fabricated by the relentless machinery of talk radio and the one major cable news outlet mostly owned by a Middle Eastern tycoon.

I'm not linking to nor quoting the essay - I don't wish to either repeat the nonsense or further embarass the writer.

The writer's apocalyptic lamentations were due to the mere fact that Barack Obama is president and is seeking re-election. A cascade of illusory woes then followed - seems that every evil and myriads of sin-laden plagues were apparently created at the very moment in January 2009 when President Obama was sworn into office. The essay ended with a 'call to arms'.

I pondered and marveled at what I had read - a voluminous litany of horrors were presented addressing so many areas of life: history, economics, religion, and the basic elements of life in our nation, all now somehow exist absent any context or fact. The roll call of fear was the beating heart of this essay. For a few moments, I considered some reply, for none of us wishes to witness a person in writhing agony and pass them by as quickly as possible. But I reluctantly realized there was no salve nor poultice nor any surcease of pain for this person I might offer. Their agony was entirely imaginary, founded on nothingness. The enormity of their fantasy was an unscalable fortress. 

Doubtless there are those who hold views in opposition to the writer who likewise cling to perspectives absent any context or history or understanding and are merely the products of xenophobic rage. For too many people, histrionics has replaced reason - and such misalignment is not dependent on national geography or religious orientation.

I do have some remorse that I have no words or thoughts to share with such folk which might reorient them to rational, thought-provoking ruminations and discoveries. It is truly a sad loss, a bizarre madness which exists within the confines of certain political climates.

And such problems are not simply the loss of recent history, it is the loss of connection to all of history. It is as if all history, facts and truths are now a goopy unshaped mass which can be momentarily shaped into whatever might be expedient or utilitarian and which easily returns to its shapelessness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney: Vote For Me Or You're A Freeloader

Some (possibly too honest) commentary on American voters (especially those who support President Obama) from Mitt Romney  has been storming the internet. Was Romney just trying to whip up multi-million dollar donors, or was he offering a look at how he views much of the nation?

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…

[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

"This [Romney] comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?

"It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey….

"The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor."