Stranger Things is more than strange; it's like total protonic reversal! I thought the new ghostbusters was the film that would blow my mind this year but then I saw stranger things. Ghostbusters was a do-over, with women, it's true, and was very funny and Kate McKinnon stole the show but Stranger Things lives up to its name. It takes all the old stories and gives them a good shaking, boldly reinterpreting the dry tired scripts of patriarchy. In Stranger Things, we have a little girl taken from her mother at birth and made into a violent weapon through the technology of men. They covered up her birth and made it seem as though her mother had miscarried, discrediting her at every turn until she finally winds up a vegetable when we are introduced to her twelve years after her daughter was taken. Similarly, the mother of the missing boy is portrayed as the classic hysteric who can't care for her own children and her son Jonathan holds strong to what his mother has taught him. This bond of trust is what allows the whole narrative to unravel-trust between characters who are telling one another risky impossible things because they are courageous enough to tell the truth. Instead of the tragic narratives we are used to, where the Cassandra voice cries out in the wilderness and no one hears her, or where the little girl must be sacrificed for the betterment of men (as Game of Thrones season 5 took a page from Agamamenon's book). Stranger Things pushes past the limits of the impossible and ups the ante-not only are the femininized characters in the story not going to obey orders; they defy and strategize and trap according to their own design, woven together. This is not the superhero all alone story, where one man (phallus) rises up to stop the forces of darkness all alone...(oh sorry, I fell asleep). This is a new narrative. When they put Elle in the bath together I nearly cried-to have one moment of unity like this, where we all clearly see what needs to be done and are on the same page is tantamount to the telepathy imagined in the show. No authority tells the troop of heroes (children, women, and disgraced men) what they should do; they evaluate the situation together and act spontaneously to solve the problem, with each person performing their function perfectly at the exact right moment: this is an image of what the Greeks called kairos. This is the new creating; it is not a master narrative; we don't need a lurking leviathan or monster to keep everyone behaving well or to swallow up the bad guys in the end. The new narrative is responsibility-if the old "nuclear family" has settled into dust, what did we expect? We are the ones who named it the "nuclear family" and then seem so surprised when it implodes on itself. Someone somewhere is laughing. Families are not made by blood like linear tablets that curse you to the inheritance of your father; families are living and breathing networks of associations and guides that love one another and trust each other to help show the way. The story holds on to this theme consistently throughout, as Jonathan calls out Nancy for trying to be someone else then behaving exactly as her parents did. Elle, at the end of the series, appears to be the thing that needs protecting; she is bloody and her energy has been sapped, she is barely conscious as the boys carry her to lay her on a table much like the bad men did, but in love and compassion. The demiurgic craftsman god making his shiny weapons of violence to cut things the way he wants them ordered has cut himself into shreds. No one did this violence, it was in it all along. The monster eats the monster. As St. Augustine once said, the punishment for inordinate desire is inordinate desire: you are trapped in the state of being that you create for yourself by following all the old lines and scripts. Be like Elle and say, no more. The world is big enough for all of us to stand up and speak the truth.