I can’t seem to escape Stephen King
. . . lately. He appears to be stalking me this year. King has been a prolific writer/creator since the early Seventies, when Carrie first hit the stands. Maybe that’s why everywhere I look these days he or his works are looking back. This guy has written at least 65 books, 200 short stories, and had many of those made into movies.
For Christmas, I got this book of gargoyles and grotesques. It was published in the early Eighties. Yep, Stephen King wrote the essay that accompanies the photos.
Christmas morning I flipped through the book and set is aside to read after several other books that also came with Santa.
The new year arrived and began its march into spring. I read the other books. I began also to notice Stephen King’s books on the super market shelves, which is nothing new, but it was there. King’s movies seemed to be dominating the television channels during this time. My internet searches also turned up much of King (unrelated searches, but in the genre). Finally, I opened the coffee table book. His essay was good, speaking mostly of the wherefore and why we humans feel the need to decorate our buildings with capering monsters. What got my attention, was King’s reference and commentary on Gargoyles, a 1972 made for TV flick.
Now, this was a less than adequate B movie. But, it had struck Stephen King as frightening, hauntingly so.I was 14 years old in ’72. My friends and I loved that movie too much. I never forgot that movie, which considering the number of horror flicks I’ve seen and forgotten, speaks to the cord it struck in my teenage self. So, as the years brought me to manhood, I wrote my affection for the movie off to adolescent naivety and my insatiable childhood desire for all-things-monster. Now, I find King felt the much the same about this movie as I had, and he was a grown man in ’72. More so, as he relates that he and his young son watched the movie (on DVD) so many times they could quote the dialogue. This is what King’s critics don’t understand about the man. He gets it. He understands human nature; he understands fear. Any of his works that fall short (and there are a few) are usually the ones he wrote under contract to produce a set number of books for the publisher and was a victim of his own success–it looks as though his editors lacked the courage to tell him to cut down or eliminate portions of the stories. This is great, Stephen, but seriously, you need to cut some of this shit, some of these secondary plots that don’t really work. I understand. You can’t hit a homer every time you bat, especially when you’ve got a committee telling you when to swing.
Back to my stalker.
Just a week ago, I was surfing the latest on the women’s rights, the battle against President Trump’s administrative efforts to cripple Planned Parenthood. Who should pop up in a video but Stephen King. In this video, he is encouraging the crowd in Sarasota, Fl. The people were about to march in support of Women’s Rights. Regardless of how you feel about that, you’ve got to admit King has the courage of his convictions. In this current absolutely bat-shit crazy political environment, I would think twice about exposing my celebrity self to the possible extreme consequences of this action. Turns out, he’s been advocating political causes for years. That is courageous.
That’s when it hit me. King’s books and stories, his movies, his talks on writing and horror, the band of musical authors he belongs to, and now his activism, have somewhere along the line become a geometric progression. No wonder I see him or his influence everywhere. The guy is omnipresent!
He’s probably not going to make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he’s not bad.
Now I can relax. Stephen King is not a stalker, but a super human, a demi-god, one of our times literary deities. We could do worse.
For more information about Stephen King, try this link to his website. StephenKing.com