Sunday, December 29, 2002

Evil more time

I wonder if this 'future' posting thing will work. I guess I won't know 'til I get to Amsterdam (I assume they have gobs of internet cafes in Amsterdam for the backpackers, etc.)

Eventually, I will get into the whole issue of 'Whither Reproduce One's Genetic Set?'

Or half of it.

I have my doubts about whether such a choice is wise but I will probably procreate. It is the very foolishness of it that attracts me. Talk about self-destruction! For women, motherhood is probably as self-destructive as riding a Harley at 100 m.p.h. through the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot while shooting up heroin at the same time.

Oh, wait. I forgot that nothing can tear a cop from his donut. Scratch that metaphor...Motherhood is like huffing paint daily while one's adolescent brain is still growing--motivation, deeper levels of consciousness, sociability--all destroyed. For years. Never again the wild heights of reflection and imagination.

I'm gonna do it! Yeah! I'm gonna!

Anyway...I blather on and on...but really have a very deep question that I am getting to in this roundabout way. Perhaps it is psychological in nature, perhaps not.

Why is there nothing that appears more evil than an infant or small child? What is it about infants and small children that scare us so? They are small...they are sometimes totally helpless (floppy even). Think about it: Omen, Exorcist, Children of the Corn, The Ring, Rosemary's Baby, It's Alive, The Bad Seed, Village of the Damned...

Why are they so darn creepy. Oh man, get one of them talking in a deep and scratchy Satanic voice and you need do nothing more to scare your audience.

I know...I know--It's the whole 'uncanny' thing. Phones that ring when the cord has been pulled from the wall, objects that move on their own, etc., etc. When the natural world gets subverted--we just get scared. We need things to work and act a certain way...Babies...little children. We need them to be cute and innocent. When they start levitating and speaking in deep, slow voices (or backwards)...well--that's just not how little humans are supposed to act.

The uncanny doesn't explain all scary things--clowns, for example. That is due to the hidden face under the paint.

Or perhaps deep inside we suspect there is no true innocence. The little ones--they have just arrived, are unsocialized, do not submit to the usual unspoken pressures. We know their anarchic and destructive potential.

Funnily enough, it is really what is in the hearts of humankind that is the scariest of all. I remember having this revelation as child. I used to be afraid to take out the garbage at dusk because I suspected there might be a monster in the alley. I don't know how old I was but I realized it was people I needed to truly fear. This depressed me. Somehow I preferred monsters as an object of apprehension.

Edgar Allen Poe ('The Divine Edgar' as he is called by Humbert Humbert) knew that a person is always a bit of a danger to his/her fellow man. Yet, I guess we've grown a bit hardened to the ordinary evils and need more complicated tricks to frighten us.


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