Thoughts from my study of Horror, Media, and Narrrative

Archive for August 7, 2011

Seeing Things as They Appear (To Us)

Homeostasis. Nature has a way of correcting itself, resetting the scales and maintaining a kind of chaotic order. Tumbling, turning, Halloween, shifting, and inversion–this season is all about seeing the same old things in the cold grey light of dawn.

Or maybe it’s really just seeing things as they really are (for the first time?). To live in a post-Edgington world is to live in a world that is constantly under surveillance. We work ourselves into a frenzy over issues of privacy and security, not realizing just how hard we have bought into the system. We have, collectively, become Big Brother (something anyone from Gossip Girl could tell you if he or she just thought about it hard enough). Social paranoia is the name of the game as we look for the first thing that’ll confirm our suspicions. We see things, then, not just as they are (to us) but as they have always been–and always will be. We are deaf to protestations, because, after all, that’s exactly what a zombie would say (and we knew it all along, anyway). To live in a post-Edgington world is to live in our world.

Or maybe it’s seeing the evident truths of others long before they do? Our gaze, focused at a distance, loses perspective on who and what is in front of us. We struggle to see what we’ve already lost. Older, wiser, we see the long view and just how far away we are from where we want to go.

Or maybe it’s seeing the truths that are all too evident to us. Driven by the spirit of Mab, we fixate on revenge, redemption, absolution, forgiveness, or our maker. We cling, we claw, and we scrape by because, for us, there’s only one way out, one way forward, one way through.

Sight. Seeing. Being seen. It’s what a part of this season is all about.

In different ways, we deal with the fracture of our selves, forgetting that we, as creatures of Nature, will also be set right by the cold grey light of dawn.


Superman (It’s Not Easy)

This raises interesting notions about what/who is a superhero. It sort of saddens me that we have gotten to the stage where we can’t see ourselves–our everyday selves–as superheroes in some fashion and attempt to grasp the feeling by (temporarily) transforming into something/someone else. Sure, symbols have power, but I can’t help but think that, if we tried, we could, too.