WEIRDLAND: Anne of Green Gables, Redheads, LSD, Jim Morrison: An Hour for Magic

Friday, May 12, 2017

Anne of Green Gables, Redheads, LSD, Jim Morrison: An Hour for Magic


Anne of Green Gables returns in a new adaption for Netflix. Debuting May 12, 2017, Anne With an E stars newcomer Amybeth McNulty. Anne Shirley is the heroine of Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved 1908 novel, Anne of Green Gables. If you know only one thing about Anne Shirley, it is most likely that she has red hair, braided into pigtails, sticking out from underneath an unfortunate straw hat. In the 1890s, red hair was a symbol of witchiness and passion.

Anne's hair immediately establishes her as an outsider. It was Moira Walley-Beckett's interest in trauma that attracted her to participate in both Breaking Bad and Anne of Green Gables' screenwriting"I am drawn to the psychology of wounded people," she says. Anne is also a romance, but a slow-burning one. Margaret Atwood wrote in an essay on the occasion of the Anne of Green Gables centenary, "The presiding genius of Anne is not the gritty gray Angel of Realism, but the rainbow-coloured, dove-winged Godlet of the Heart's Desire."

Gilbert Blythe first appears in Anne of Green Gables at school, “a tall boy, with curly brown hair, roguish hazel eyes and a mouth twisted into a teasing smile”. Gilbert Blythe is handsome, smart, witty and chivalrous. But he also turns out to be one of the great feminist heroes: he and Anne are the best students in their year, and he openly admires her brilliance and mouthiness, saying brains are more important than looks while she arrogantly disdains him for years, even when he saves her from drowning. Anne finally realises she loves Gilbert in the third book in the series, Anne of the Island. Gilbert tells her he loved her since the first day he saw her and called her 'Carrots,' when she broke her slate over his head. Years later, he gives up his job offer of teaching at the Avonlea school so that Anne may live at Green Gables.


Pamela Courson is usually mentioned in biographies of Jim Morrison as his redhead 'cosmic mate' but a closer look at her as a person is usually evaded. John Morton, from the American psychedelic garage-rock band of the 1960s Hunger, recounts how a fortuitous rendezvous with Pamela at the Whisky A Go Go inspired them to write the song Colors, published in 1969: "She came back stage and I just figured she was a groupie. She said her name was Valerie Sunshine (this may not have been unusual; in an article about her boutique Themis, Pam used the pseudonym Pamela Roselilly). She told us she wasn’t interested in sex but she had some LSD she wanted to share and go down to Santa Monica beach. Me, Valerie Sunshine, and Mike Lane walked on the beach in Santa Monica. The night was perfect on the beach, full moon and turquoise ocean with beautiful waves rolling in. In the distance you could see the lights on the pier. Valerie was like a goddess with long red hair, in a white lace see through blouse and an airy short white skirt. She was running and skipping on the sand like a carefree child. She just breezed through the air, floating like a leaf, a beautiful white leaf. Valerie had that magical quality that just drew you in. We were all high on Blue Owsley, one of the strongest mind-altering acid you could take.

Valerie was just this innocent soul, I was envisioning her as an angel passing through time. She was magical. All of sudden the intensity of colors just emerged from nowhere. She smiled and said “can you see how fantastic the world is?” She said, “Create me a song!” We looked over at the pier and flashed on the beautiful lights and colors and watched the waves roll in simultaneously from the turquoise sea under a bright moonlit sky and Mike Lane sang “lights flashing, images before my eyes, people turning finally/all the colors in the world have come from me.” I finished with “try and realize what life is worth if you don’t have a disguise.” At that moment there was a full orchestra at my command and the music just flowed in, the violins and strings just resounded as if I was conducting the song. She then became the mad hatter and said “I’m late! I’m late for a very important date.” We drove back to The Whisky and Valerie said as she got out of the van, “in the real world my name is Pam—Pam Courson.” Then she disappeared into the crowd. The next day as we were rehearsing we put together our new song “Colors.” Source: pamelacoursonmorrison.wordpress.com

Jim Morrison was a genuine Southern gentleman and believed that gallantry, charm and a dash of manners were the ingredients to win a woman’s heart. Pamela Courson Morrison was Jim’s soulmate, refuge and friend. Morrison thought and felt in planetary terms, and his mind had an uncanny way of reaching way back in time. In the heart and soul of Jim Morrison there was an uncontrollable rage against injustice. I never knew him to harm anyone physically—except himself. And then it was only to make a point, a statement he deemed important enough to suffer for. Jim always gave you back at least as much as you gave him. He always gave a good count and never short-weighted anyone. But in the last years of his incredible life, he ceased being other people’s image of him. He changed, he began to dislike performing in large halls and finally decided not to do it anymore. He became himself. His personality and his physical appearance were not transformed for the same purpose that a chameleon changes colors to blend into the environment. Jim changed on the outside because his mind was evolving into new levels of awareness. It was the final transition into James Douglas Morrison, Poet, that most confused and alienated his fans. They wanted him to stand still, to be forever the leather-limbed dark angel. For Jim that would have been as intolerable as wearing a mask to a fete and never again being able to remove it. In the years 1966 and 1967, Jim used LSD to journey to the frontiers of divine madness, seeking inspiration beyond the perimeter of reason. He was out there with Homer, Blake, Rimbaud, Poe, Whitman and others. The visions and portents he experienced were the breath and fire of his poems, lyrics and observations. Some of his visions were brilliant and clear, filled with universal mythological and symbolic images. Other times, what he saw was horrible and the words he put on paper could not adequately convey the abstract terror and nightmare transparency. —"Jim Morrison: An Hour for Magic" (1996) by Frank Lisciandro

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