My father, feeling better, left Emergency and came home after a futile eight hour wait to see a doctor (is not Canadian medicine simply wonderful?). We had no exchange of gifts or turkey dinner for the first Christmas in my long experience. My mother and I had some turkey at the Windsor Court care home where she decided to stay for awhile, and it was an awful meal. Worst turkey that I ever had. My father was at home, resting after his heart episode.
My mother's operation had been on Friday, November 13, 2009. The superstitious significance of the date was not lost on me, and I expressed concern about it to my friends on Facebook on the day. And as things did transpire, it was a most unlucky day for my mother. The surgeons discovered a second heart valve aneurysm while they were operating to repair the first one. They did not do anything about the second aneurysm, deferring repair of of it to some later date. Alas, my mother was not fully recovered from the first surgery before the second aneurysm was looking like it was going to burst and an emergency surgery was scheduled in late February, 2010. It was too soon after my mother's first operation for her chest to be surgically opened again and for there to be more trauma to her heart. She did not survive that second operation. She died in post-op.
The doctors did not lie to my mother. Her chances of "pulling through" after operation two were not overwhelmingly positive. It was at best a fifty-fifty situation. On the night before her being wheeled to the operating theatre at Saint John Regional Hospital, she spoke on the telephone with me and expressed her last wishes to me in case she did not survive. She urged me to make something of my life, to be happy, and to just live.
And she died. My life would never again be what it was. The stability of my life with the anchor of my parents' presence had been upended. Nothing that had been foundational to my life could be relied upon. Nothing at all. It was good that I had found many of my old friends by way of Facebook and that they were there on Facebook for me with sympathies, condolences, moral support. It was quite fortuitous for me to have found Facebook and had the reconnect with so many people of my past as my mother's surgery was approaching. I felt so fortunate, perhaps even blessed by God, to have that.
On the day that my mother died, March 4, 2010, I was at work until about 3 P.M.. It was a quiet day there. I was on Facebook for awhile and reached out to my old friend, Michael, my closest, best friend of Era 2, wishing him a happy birthday. It was the first time I reached out to him since 1988. Then, I drove my car to the Brookside Mall to buy a few things and receive a package, a Superman movies DVD box set to back-up one that I already possessed, from the Canada Post facility inside Lawton's Drugs, and then went home. The sky was grey. There was a chilly wind blowing some snow flurries around in the air. My father was in Saint John at a hospital there with my aunt (my mother's sister) and my uncle (my mother's sister's husband) that day for prognosis for my mother's post-operative condition. I was alone at home for a short while, and there was a gust of wind that blew the front door open. Strange. Could that have been my mother's spirit? Maybe. My father, my aunt, and my uncle walked into the downstairs apartment, and I went down there to meet them. My father's eyes welled up with tears as he said, "Your mother died."
My heart sank to the lowest depths. I had known my mother's chances, but I still thought that she would survive. No, she would not. I would never see her again. I was numb at first. And I needed to be strong for my father. We summoned one of my father's friends to our house to help us as we were struggling to come to terms with our loss. My father said to his friend that he never expected to be a widower, that he would the first of my parents to expire, and then he "broke down" and cried. Tears started to flow from my eyes, along with an aggrieved lump in my throat. The next day was a sunny one, and it was the beginning of a, for me, unprecedented string of sunny, mild March days that lasted through the rest of that month. It was sunshine and blue sky for weeks and weeks. What snow there was on the ground melted entirely in almost no time. And it was divinely pleasant in terms of weather all through the time period of mourning, warm and bright. My mother's visitation and funeral, my accompanying my father to all of his required appointments after my mother's death, my solitary walks around Nashwaaksis and looking despairingly, plaintively, at the sky and then deliberating my loss to friends on Facebook. All of that with sunny skies and gentle, warm southwesterly winds.
I allowed to myself the consideration that maybe my mother made a deal with the Lord our God to have pleasant weather for my father and myself in our time of acute loss and sorrow. It is a nice thought. My intense dislike of winter, especially a winter outstaying its dubious welcome, had not been unknown to my mother. She may have left her mortal coil determined to do as much for me as she could in the days and weeks following her passing into the afterlife.
My father and I continued onward with living as the spring of 2010 progressed and transitioned into summer. We bonded more than ever before. We had dinner together at home. And in restaurants. Pizza Delight Nashwaaksis and Oromocto. The Ramada, formerly the Howard Johnson's. Frank's Finer Diner. The Diplomat (where we had a Thanksgiving dinner in 2010). Bearistos' Family Restaurant, Main Street, Nashwaaksis. Jack and Andy's, an eatery on Prospect Street. And others. And watched movies together at home and at the Fredericton cineplex (Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the last movie that my father and I saw before he fell ill with the disease that ultimately claimed his life). I accompanied him to all of his appointments. And some semblance of normalcy was restored for us. At least for eighteen months, from March, 2010 to September, 2011. My father watched his evening sports and his daytime dramas on television, and I resumed my collecting of DVDs, with Season Three of The Six Million Dollar Man from an Italian release thereof, and some Doctor Who serials ("The Space Museum", "The Chase", "The King's Demons", and "Planet of Fire"). My colleagues at work were sympathetic of my situation. And I was given recognition for years of service to the company with a gift of a SONY Blu-Ray player. My first Blu-Ray player. At the time, spring of 2010, Star Trek was available on Blu-Ray in full, and I bought those Blu-Ray box sets to play on my new apparatus. First Blu-Ray high definition images that I saw were those of "Where No Man Has Gone Before", Star Trek's second pilot episode, and a documentary on the restoration of Star Trek for high definition video.
I fell immediately in love with the picture quality of Blu-Ray. The clarity. The richness of the colours. I had never seen filmed productions look so magnificent. And so, I embarked on a quest to upgrade my whole DVD collection to Blu-Ray, or as much of it as the companies releasing Blu-Rays would permit me to upgrade. Blu-Ray was a toddler at that time. It was growing, but the global financial crisis of 2008 certainly was not stimulating that growth. Happily, though, emphasis did seem to be on entertainments with cult followings and a guaranteed moving, to some significant degree, of released merchandise, and science fiction/fantasy was foremost in consideration of Blu-Ray releases by powers-that-be. In the summer months of 2010, I bought Blu-Rays of the Planet of the Apes movies, the Star Trek movies, Flash Gordon, the complete television series of The Prisoner, and what James Bond movies had been given the nod for Blu-Ray. The Alien movies were granted representation on Blu-Ray that autumn, along with such obscure productions as Starcrash. And Space: 1999 was announced for Blu-Ray in November of 2010. Space: 1999- Season One, that is.
I spent some considerable time in 2010 and 2011 working on a television listings archive project, going often to the University of New Brunswick's Harriet Irving Library's microfiche section to look at the television listings of old newspapers. I was, in 2010 and 2011, sharing the yield of my researches with friends on Facebook and a Internet-based discussion forum called Radio Info Boards. I remember my father scolding me one blisteringly hot summer's day for walking all of the way to the university library on Fredericton's south side and then back home. He was right to do so. I was exhausted, dehydrated, and overheated.
My Website, one of the constants of my seventh life era, had ceased to exist before my mother's death. And I thought that to be in my best interest. I had failed to foster a fascination of the multitudes along with mine with the works that had most impressed me over the course of my life. Quite the opposite, in fact. Opinion against that which I fancied had become all the more steadfast and proliferated. There was the ever so routine push for consensus against my favourite works and how I was observing them and interpreting some of them. Whether they be Space: 1999 or the cartoons of Warner Brothers. Or the Spiderman seasons produced by Ralph Bakshi. Or even the last few seasons of The Flintstones. The contrary tide was relentless. I was sick and tired of reading it and being told by oh, so much more mature individuals spouting vulgar derisive language, to accept it and to shut my pie hole and be a good "village idiot". Or else be branded a mentally deicient piece of work of no consequence, no possibly valuable heed.
God knows, in my bereavement following the loss of my mother, I did not need the frustrations, the invalidations, the dismissing of my experiences and insights as worthless and me a piece of human garbage for not having the same disdain as all of the preeminent persons, for the productions that had captured my imagination, fascinated me, established my particular taste in colourful entertainment of a most imaginative nature. Productions that had been of some sizable import in my life's experiences over numerous eras. Productions through which I had been connected with many a friend in some of my life's happiest years. Productions with which I have rather a unique history. I now chose to eschew the rejecting of all of that by total strangers flinging pejoratives and slinging "plot hole", "plot hole", "plot hole" at my entertainment favourites for nigh on ten years. The 2000s. Decade of the most tiresome use of the word, cheesy, applied to everything that was not to a person's liking. I chose to be with friends on Facebook. I wrote for them. Memories of old times. Impressions of certain works to which they knew me to be adherent. And my interest in those works considered by them to be acceptable.
So, I let my Website continue to "push up" cyberspace daisies and did not mourn it. I did have some very positive experiences with it early in my life's seventh era. Indeed, I did. But memory of that had been cast deeper and deeper to the farthest reaches of my mind by the more and more prolific swine defecating and slobbering derisively on my pearls. Haters of my entertainment favourites and of anything favourable that I would say about them. My statements of appreciation of those favourites were not befitting of the ever so sacrosanct consensus. If indeed I am unique in my connection to the works of my fancy, then what I say about them, or about my life experiences in conjunction with them, cannot be of interest, of value, to anyone but myself. So I kept being told. So, shut my trap. Do not be a big baby. Kowtow. Accept that these people all are right and that I am all wrong. A bastardised product of a freakish life. A mentally defective, garbage human being.
Does my uniqueness make me necessarily illegitimate and contemptible? Some people do think so. And some, perhaps most, people regard a peeved or indignant reaction on my part to such branding, to being the outsider in a group of consensus-adherent dismissers of something that I hold dear and appreciate aesthetically, as that of a petulant child deserving a condescending lecture and treatment evermore as "village idiot". A few in the main pleasant years in the late 1990s aside, my Internet experience had been exceedingly dispiriting. Even what had ostensibly been popular productions, the cartoons of Warner Brothers shown on U.S. network television and Canadian television, was nowhere to where I could turn for belonging and meaningful contribution to discourse. I had sought validation and kindred spirit and some open-mindedness and perhaps even agreeing supporters among people of a similar interest to mine, on many an entertainment, and what I instead found was invalidation, contrary spirit, closed-mindedness, disagreeing detractors, in the "camps" of Space: 1999, the Warner Brothers cartoons, and numerous other works. With Facebook, with my contact thereon with old friends, it did feel like coming home again after a long trek into a desert. For months, on Facebook with numerous persons of my past, I did not miss my days as a Website host. I was not about to go back to that. I felt content with Facebook and writing for my friends there, friends who were supportive of me in the times of my mother's illness and the aftermath of her death.
But my mother's last wishes for me did stay in the foremost regions of my mind. Make something of my life, she said. Was congregating with three or four dozen friends on Facebook, pleasant though that may be, a fulfillment of that wish of my mother's? Was pointing television cameras at people in verbose oratory going to constitute such? It was a rare thing for me to receive spoken words of appreciation for my work at my job. I was praised a few times over the course of two decades. A few times. Praises that came mostly from my supervisor. The public never commended me for my work, and nor did broadcast industry professionals at the major Canadian television networks that used footage from cameras that I operated. And politicians always thanked everyone but me in their speeches in the Legislature. I would receive some items in recognition for ten, fifteen, twenty years of service. Oh, there was job satisfaction to be had at times when I successfully directed a challenging live television programme, or coordinated volunteers into a problem-free production. My name would be in the credits under such titles as director and producer. Yes, I had all of that. But it was not making something of my life, my whole life, including my fascinations with cartoons and space science fiction/fantasy productions of Hollywood and British film. It was not bringing my life's experiences to the eyes of new beholders of it. It was not satisfying as fulfillment of my life. My whole life. The more meaningful, to me, experiences of my life. It earned for me a paycheck and some ephemeral on the job satisfaction. And some temporary situational friendship. That was all.
One morning in 2011, as I was languishing in my bed before rising to prepare for a workday, I thought of my mother's last words to me. Make something of my life. Be happy. And a day or two earlier, I had found that my Web pages were still available in caches on the Internet. Most of them. Some were gone completely from the World Wide Web. Some of them were not available in what had been, in 2009, their most up-to-date form and content. I was of the opinion that if the Web pages were to be still present on the Internet for people to read, they ought to be in a state most acceptable to me. The state at which they had arrived in my final weeks and months at the Geocities Web space provider. And it was dawning upon me that my Website, for all of the detraction and frustration that it had brought to my life in the preceding decade, might indeed be that something to be made of my life of which my mother had spoken. It was my life's work. Honouring everything that had captued my imagination through my formative years and bringing to the world my particular "take" on it all. It had been a labour of love in those first years that I was on the Internet. It was not just a pressing of buttons in a television studio for some talking-heads production. It was my keen interests over so much of my life given substance and value as artistic appreciation. Whether that value was acknowledged or not by multitudinous Internet users. I could improve upon it and have the gratification in knowing that I had done so. At the very least, I would be happy knowing that the Web pages were "out there" in cyberspace in their most up-to-date state. And that I could still update them at will if more information, more memories, more insights should come to light.
Oh, I knew the unhappiness that my Website had brought to me. I knew all too well the stance of my detractors. Carl Jung may be a respected psychologist, but in no way can his theory of a collective subconscious be applied to Space: 1999 or the post-1948 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies or anything else for which I have a Web page. Anything that comes out of the more imaginative genres. No. No way. "Because reasons." "Because monsters." "Because rubber." "Because Freddie the show-killer." "Because Bob Clampett was a genius and Friz Freleng was a hack." "Because Ralph Bakshi cut corners." "Because we don't like it, and if we don't like it then it must be trash, because we're always right." Bla, bla, bla. And the piece de resistance. "Because Kevin McCorry grew up an only-child, did not see the better stuff first, is a mentally defective, delusional, 'emo' piece of garbage, and should either be ignored or cast out of the herd or made to leave of his own volition." Yes, this is essentially "it". This was the bile slung at me by the Space: 1999 fan club president and rank and file in the 1990s and in all of my other woebegone encounters with fans of various works thereafter. I know all of this.
All of these thoughts were in my head that morning. And yet, I found the resolve to cast aside my pessimism and the wounds of the slings and arrows of the past, and entertain some hope, however remote, that somewhere among the world's seven billion people there was a person or two who might deem my Web pages to be of value, might find inspiration in them to peruse aesthetically the television series, cartoons, or whatever, and might be better than I at conveying the observations and interpretations to an incredulous world. Why not? It cannot hurt to just have the Website material available again with recent updates, and with contact with readers not facilitated with a provided e-mail address. And I would certainly continue to give a wide, wide berth to fan groups, discussion forums, et cetera, to not be lured into joining the fray and trying in vain to counter the barrage of hate and consensus-maintaining vitriol therein or thereat. Just reservedly host my Website. No engagement with anyone. Or almost anyone.
And so, in 2011, Kevin McCorry's Website was brought back from the dead. I had preserved html. files of a vast majority of my Web pages in my personal computer. Web pages that I did not retain therein, could mostly be found in cache on the Internet. I assembled all of the Website elements that I had or could find and then searched for a new Web space provider. Webs.com was the Web space provider of my choice. I liked its terms and conditions and procedures for uploading content. I would later discover it to be prone to service interruptions and inaccessible Web pages for protracted periods of time. But in 2011, it seemed to be a problem-free place in cyberspace for my Website.
My ambition was not simply to resurrect my Website as it had been on Geocities, but to improve upon it. To add to the text of many Web pages. To modify text in some cases, so that what I was saying was more salient, more lucid, more persuasive. My article on "Hyde and Hare" was ameliorated thusly. And to increase image content and upgrade existing images on all Web pages. Television series Web pages. Autobiographical Web pages. All of them. The old jpg. images with a substantial amount of compression were no longer to my standard, as I sought to have images as sharp and as un-distorted as possible. I was, in 2012, in contact with a young man of Florida, Frank Rey, who had a videotape copy of the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour episode telecast by CBS on August 21, 1976, and countless videotape-recordings of early-to-mid-1980s Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show instalments and some episodes of The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour of 1985-6. He provided me with frame captures of the titling of many, many cartoons, a lion's share of which with minimal compression and a gorgeous appearance in highest quality jpg. or even superior png.. Near the end of 2012, I successfully downloaded to my computer some image capturing software with which I could do frame captures from DVD. And I set myself to work at upgrading a whopping amount of my Website's images, bringing to my Web pages' readers some dazzlingly colourful and detailed images of the cartoons of Warner Brothers, Space: 1999, Spiderman, and The Pink Panther Show. I captured several new Rocket Robin Hood images. I sourced from my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour reconstructions on DVD-R images of the title cards of cartoons in episodes of that television show. And I vastly expanded my autobiographical Web pages with new images. It was an effort that saw me through some of the loneliest months ever of my life, after my father's death in November, 2012. I was alone at home for days and days, "snowed-in" by a series of storms. Alone apart from my faithful cat, Sammy, that was all that remained of the family that I once had.
I wrote season overviews for Space: 1999 and Rocket Robin Hood. I rethought my Space: 1999 chronology and rewrote it almost from scratch. And all of my television listings research would be showcased at my Website. My Website had returned, and with flair.
Only two Web pages had been unrecoverable from caches. One of them was about half of the entries of my Weblog. The other was a collection of Littlest Hobo newspaper articles. I restored all that I had of my Weblog to my Website and decided to add content to it on a regular basis. My Weblog would be the item on my Website to receive the most constant attention from me in the 2010s. It chronicled my long, long wait for a Blu-Ray release of Season Two of Space: 1999, my protracted vigil for the delivery of that Blu-Ray box set to my mailbox, my review of that Blu-Ray box set, and my many contentions with what fans were saying about it and each and every episode of second season Space: 1999, their usual aspersion cast upon it with increasing heaps of scorn, wilful falsehood, rancour. I lamented the end of some latter-day releases of the Warner Brothers cartoons to DVD and Blu-Ray. And I kept my Website readers up to date with my activities. I did all of this on my own platform, and I was not inviting any stated disagreement or argument, caustic or no, with any of it. The days of that were very much in my rear view. They were Era 7, and that was where they would stay. My Weblog, my Website, is my domain. My opinion prevails. For whatever number of people visit my Website on a regular, rare, or one-time basis.
I have no title to assign to the era in which life had now situated me. It started in late 2009 with my mother's surgery and would be one of loss of loved ones through death, death of both of my parents, some friends, and, eventually, my cat, a horrible nuclear reactor disaster in Japan with devastating effects on health of people worldwide, a waxing and waning of my social existence on Facebook as friends came and went from that, me being "un-friended" there occasionally, and sometimes very hurtfully, by mostly friends of my acquaintance post-2000, making me rather wary of logging onto Facebook, and a proliferating of political acrimony and something called "cancel culture". My father and I enjoyed watching election results in 2010 and 2011 as the political parties that we wanted to win, were victorious. That would be the last time that elections in Canada had outcomes that I liked. The Zeitgeist and something called the Overton window slid constantly in the 2010s in a direction contrary to how I wished to see my world tend to go, and a "cancel culture" was to become one of the tenets of my unloved new reality.
My Weblog tells the continuing story of my life, post-2009.