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Horror 201: The Silver Scream
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E.C. McMullen Jr.

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Mine Games
MINE GAMES
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ALEX MERAZ)

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A Sierra Nevada Gunfight
A SIERRA NEVADA
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(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).

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Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Science Moment by
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23
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
THE NUMBER 23
MOVIE REVIEW
THE NUMBER 23
!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!
Eddie McMullen Jr.
SCIENCE MOMENT BY
E.C.MCMULLEN JR.

THE NUMBER 23 - 2007
Some have criticized THE NUMBER 23 for having such a silly concept as someone being possessed by numbers, but the psychosis of numbers is real and was covered in other stories and movies based on actual people, often living at the time of the book or movie (PI, Shine, A Beautiful Mind). The fact that it looks silly to an outsider is not an excuse to dismiss this movie, as every addiction looks ridiculous to someone who doesn't share it.

To an outsider, the cure for an addiction seems simple enough.

Are you depressed? Cheer up!

Are you obese? Stop eating so much.

Are you an alcoholic? Stop drinking.

Are you addicted to gambling? Stop betting.

The Illuminatus Trilogy
THE ILLUMINATUS! TRILOGY

THE NUMBER 23 could have fit any addiction into the storyline and it would have worked, but by giving us a rarity such as this, it draws us in with its alien nature. Like PI, the majority of the movie is all inner monologue as Walter tells us of his life in his own words, a la James Thurber's Walter Mitty.

The Viral Thought Pattern of 23 has infected well known people such as William S. Burroughs, Umberto Eco, H.R. Giger, Robert Anton Wilson, and is incredibly easy to slip into because it plays on our natural paradoxical thought patterns of Thought Suppression. The less you try to think or dwell on something, the more you think about it (the paradoxical nature of Thought Suppression was researched exhaustively over the last 40 years). Most of you are probably aware of the famous Polar Bear experiment. Tell someone to go a whole week without thinking of a polar bear, and by the end of the week you will find that said person can't get the thought of polar bears out of his or her mind. In such ways do obsessive compulsive disorders manifest themselves (though "bear" in mind that I'm painting in broad strokes throughout this article).

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is famous for having his detective say, "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth..."

This typical paradox of illogic is absurd to everyone but the obsessive. Most people understand that there is no possible way any person can know all of the possible alternatives to a mystery (if you did you wouldn't have a mystery). But Doyle believed it and he was a well-known sucker for any supernatural scam to come down the pike. So much so that he ended his days with much of his hard earned wealth stolen by frauds. If you are one of these kinds of people, have I got a treat for you!

THE PRIME NUMBER 23 ENIGMA

On February 23, 2007, I turned 46.
46÷2 (February is the 2nd month) = 23.
The 4th weekend of the month in the year 2007.
20+07=27
27 - 4 (4th weekend) = 23.
The movie THE NUMBER 23 was released on February 23, 2007. I saw it on the 2nd month of the year on Sunday, the 3rd day of release: 23. The friend I saw it with was half my age, 23.

We went to the theater in my '98 Mustang.

The lowest common multiple of 9 is 3.
The lowest common multiple of of 8 is 2.
23 reversed.

Obviously I'm a huge Horror fan, obviously, but did you know the best selling Horror writer alive, Stephen King, lives in Bangor, Maine, the 23rd state in the Union?

As of this writing, my wife works in the 23rd district of Los Angeles.

My real name contains three letters that are two strokes up and three strokes down (23), or three strokes up and two strokes down (23 reversed).
The letter W, in my name is the 23rd letter of the alphabet.
It is the only letter that takes 3 syllables to pronounce and its very name describes double "u"s. 2 "u"s, 3 syllables, 23.
2 pen strokes down and 3 up, 23.
I have two "M"s in my name. Three pen strokes down and two pen strokes up: 23 reversed.
Two "M"s, 23 reversed twice: 46. Which is how old I was on February 23rd, the day that THE NUMBER 23 was released.

This is our 491st movie review (491 is a prime number).
The lowest common multiple of 4 is 2.
The lowest common multiple of 9 is 3.
The Prime Number 23!
And the last of the three digits is a 1, which numerically precedes 2 and 3 - all of which are Prime Numbers!

RESULT - Coincidence of Evidence = Causation: the accuracy of the Number 23 enigma is all too real.

23
WAIT. IS THIS IMPOSSIBLE OR IMPROBABLE?

AMAZING, RIGHT?

No.

While everything I wrote prior to my result is 100% true, it also conveniently leaves out everything ELSE that occurred that doesn't tie in with the number 23.

I made the facts fit the enigma by excluding all other relevant data.

My Mustang is a 1998 model. I left off the 19 to fit my "fact".
The word Mustang cannot fit the 23 mold and neither can the word Ford. So I left them out.
I left out all of the letters in my name that didn't fit the Number 23 fallacy.

I kept in everything, no matter how mundane (2 strokes up, 3 strokes down - honestly!), that fit my theory and left out everything, no matter how seemingly important (the rest of the letters in my name, name of the theater, the address, the state, the screen) I couldn't fit into the Number 23 realm.

So what remains, however improbable, is NOT the truth: which brings us back to my point.


Still not convinced that the 23 Enigma is B.S.? Watch how you can work the same convoluted logic to mean anything:

James Thurber
JAMES THURBER: Writings & Drawings

Walter Mitty is a daydreaming man created in story by the legendary humorist, James Thurber.

The protagonist of this movie is Walter Sparrow and he goes through life in a "Walter Mitty" daydream.

Real life Reporter Andrew Sparrow, of the Telegraph, wrote an article on how Tom Kelly exposed the late David Kelly as a "Walter Mitty fantasist".

The real life 2000 children's book, The Adventures Of Sparrowboy, is the tale of a young child who fantasizes that he is a superhero.

In Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, Captain Jack Sparrow imagines himself to be a great seafaring Captain, when in actuality he makes his first appearance in the series standing proud aboard a sinking dinghy.

In the 1970s, NBC ran a cartoon called Waldo Kitty, which was an animated take-off on James Thurber's: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Waldo would imagine himself to be a superhero called Catman. His sidekick was Sparrow. Waldo Kitty's delusion was also a riff on the comic book, Batman: a wealthy but otherwise physically normal human who pretends to be a superhero, though in reality has no super powers. His sidekick is also named after a small bird, Robin.

In THE NUMBER 23, Walter Sparrow's son is named Robin.

The lead actor in THE NUMBER 23 is Jim Carrey. Jim played the Riddler* in the first Warner Bros. Batman movie to feature Robin.

*Did you know that the true identity of DC Comic's "The Riddler" is Edward Nigma?

Batman originally appeared as a caped crusader in Detective Comics. The detective in Walter's book uses the fictional name of "Fingerling".

A fingerling is a metal ear band used to ID bats.

EXTRAORDINARY, RIGHT?

HERE, WEAR ONE OF MINE

No.

As before, I'm stringing along all manner of disconnected situations to create the illusion of coincidence and thus causation, ignoring anything that doesn't fit within the formula I'm using.

Moreover, both Batman and James Thurber's best selling novel are popular enough in literature to generate fannish enthusiasm and multiple references and creative cross-references without the mystery of otherworldy or unseen forces at work.

See? You can create coincidence out of thin air and use the 23 Enigma formula to give meaning to anything you want.

Like Human induced global warming!

But that doesn't make it real, it only means that regardless of your education and intelligence, you are gullible. But even saying that you are gullible, like (the otherwise brilliant) Arthur Conan Doyle, doesn't take into account all the potential alternatives, including the possibility that the writer of THE NUMBER 23, Fernley Phillips, and Director Joel Schumacher (BATMAN FOREVER, THE NUMBER 23) might be intentionally, SERIOUSLY F'ing with our heads!


One more thing. In the U.S. Military, a "Walt" is slang for someone who poses as someone else - usually someone more exciting. Walter Sparrow believes that the cool detective in his book is a metaphor for his own life.

This article copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

The Number 23 (2007) on IMDb
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INTERVIEWS
Joe Mynhardt interviews E.C. McMullen Jr. in the book HORROR 201: The Silver Scream.

Matt Jarbo's interview with Feo Amante at The Zurvivalist.

James Cheetham's Q&A with Feo Amante at Unconventional Interviews *.

Megan Scudellari interviews Feo Amante and Kelly Parks (of THE SCIENCE MOMENT) in The Scientist Magazine.

Check out our interview at The-Scientist.com.

REFERENCES
Anthropologist Gretchen Bakke, PhD, references my UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT as an expert resource in her 2010 Anthropological Quarterly essay @ Johns Hopkins University

Researcher David Waldron, references my review of UNDERWORLD in the Spring 2005, Journal of Religion and Popular Culture entry, Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right: Community Formation in Response to a Moral Panic (downloadable pdf).

E.C. McMullen Jr.
Author page at Amazon (Amazon.com)
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Stage 32 listing (stage32.com),
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E.C. McMullen Jr. / Feo Amante is quoted throughout the Internet and print as a resource on,

Books That Bounce Inspiration from Shivers?*
Cirque Du Freak My Weekend of Horrors*
FilmSchoolRejects The Science of Fiction
In Defense Of J.J. Abrams PHANTASM EXHUMED: The Unauthorized Companion
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