Author Topic: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.  (Read 8157 times)

Doktor Howl

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Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« on: August 13, 2010, 05:44:54 pm »
In describing the coming present weird times, and the study of horror that defines the Doktor's role in life, I think we have to nail down some terminology.  I'd like to propose the following definitions:

1.  Fear:  The sensation that something bad in the natural order of things is about to happen to you.  Example:  A dog approaches you, snarling and growling.  Your reaction is fear; something very bad is potentially about to happen.  Your fight or flight reflex kicks in, and you drop down a few neural circuits.  Another example:  You are a soldier on the front line, and someone starts to shoot at you.  This is part of the natural order of things for that environment, and causes fear rather than any other emotion.  How you REACT to fear will vary from person to person and event to event, and isn't really relevant to the definition (at least for our purposes here).

2.  Loathing::  The knowledge and distaste of something undesirable about the natural order of things, but isn't a direct, fear-causing condition (though anxiety is definitely part of it).  Example:  The knowledge that the next door neighbor owns a mean dog that occasionally menaces you, but isn't doing so at the moment...Or the soldier on furlough from the front, who knows that he is due to return to the fighting soon.  Displeasure, hatred, and anxiety are the root emotions, and again, the reaction may vary (see above).

3.  Horror:  The sensation of being confronted with something utterly outside of your perception of the natural order of things.  Example:  Same dog confronts you and starts singing Elton John tunes.  Or the soldier wakes up to find that his entire unit has pulled back in the night, leaving him to die (He has been ingrained with the belief that no man gets left behind).

Consider:  An infant is only afraid of two things...Loud noises and heights.  He hasn't yet had enough experience with the world to view anything else as a scary part of the natural order.  As adults, we know that there are demented people who like to molest and/or harm infants...This is a disgusting thing, but part of the natural order of how the world works, so we loathe it.  A child has no idea of this, and when the concept is introduced as part of the natural order of things, the child feels horror.  Once the child becomes accustomed to this new view, loathing kicks in...And a parent who loses track of her child at a crowded department store knows the natural order of things, and is directly confronted with the potential that someone has done something with her child, and you're back to fear.

So as we study the present century, and the events that lead up to it, we can distinguish between direct threats, bad things we know for certain will occur, and new things that increase our knowledge of the natural order of the world in ways that will be undesirable.  The first two have been studied (and if we worry about them, then we'll never get anything done), the third is our purview:  The Weird.  

It's a weird century, and we Doktors are Strangehunters.  Don't tell me about war, I know about war.  Tell me the new or at least previously unknown stuff.  We can predict those things based on fear and loathing, what we need to research is the horror.

Okay for now,
Dok




« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 07:07:57 pm by Doktor Howl »
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 05:51:34 pm »
So, how do we research this unknown horror?

Doktor Howl

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 05:53:36 pm »
So, how do we research this unknown horror?

That will be covered in the next few bits.  I wanted to nail the terminology down first.

I plan to do an obscene amount of work on this for the next 2 weeks, then get offended by something and fuck off on a tantrum for a while, only to return to it a week or so later.

Dok,
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"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 06:03:31 pm »
What do we call it when we are repulsed by a part of someone else's perception of the natural order? Like, say, racism? Would this fall under Horror? Or does Horror exclusively refer to that which has not been encountered before?
My shit list: Stephen Harper, anarchists that complain about taxes instead of institutionalized torture, those people walking, anyone who lets a single aspect of themselves define their entire personality, salesmen that don't smoke pipes, Fredericton New Brunswick, bigots, philosophy majors, my nemesis, pirates that don't do anything, criminals without class, sociopaths, narcissists, furries, juggalos, foes.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 06:05:25 pm »
What do we call it when we are repulsed by a part of someone else's perception of the natural order? Like, say, racism? Would this fall under Horror? Or does Horror exclusively refer to that which has not been encountered before?

Horror consists of new, undesirable additions to your perception of the natural order.  Racism is a loathing thing, except for the odd hippy who thinks it's dead and gone, and then witnesses a teabagger rally.
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 06:07:26 pm »
:mittens:

I love it - HORROR: reaction to the unknown unknown, the thing which comes from outside your mental model of the world, thereby shattering it

EGADS! IT'S ALIVE!!

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 06:16:18 pm »
:mittens:

I love it - HORROR: reaction to the unknown unknown, the thing which comes from outside your mental model of the world, thereby shattering it

EGADS! IT'S ALIVE!!

Yep.  That can be good or bad, depending on both what that change in perception is, and how you yourself react to change.  Some people have a positive reaction to ALL change (which is kinda sick), some people have a positive reaction to some change, and a bad reaction to others, and some people have a bad reaction to ALL change (most of humanity).

Horror doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing.  HP Lovecraft said that the essence of horror was walking into your garden and finding that your roses are singing.  I'd kind of dig that, even though it would definitely make my hair stand on end.

On the other hand, I've had experience with homocides, and they're frequently far worse than what you hear on TV.  Finding out that some people like to rub one out in their victim's wound(s), or even give the wound a little lovin' (I wish I was joking about this) alters your perception of reality in a way that is DEFINITELY NOT enjoyable, and in fact leaves scars in your mind.

Both are horror.  Obviously, the former is preferable to the latter.
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2010, 06:17:22 pm »
What do we call it when we are repulsed by a part of someone else's perception of the natural order? Like, say, racism? Would this fall under Horror? Or does Horror exclusively refer to that which has not been encountered before?

Horror consists of new, undesirable additions to your perception of the natural order.  Racism is a loathing thing, except for the odd hippy who thinks it's dead and gone, and then witnesses a teabagger rally.


Yeah, that occurred to me as I was typing the post but I wasn't sure how to put it in so I left it out.
Anyway, I'm liking the new terminology.

Horror: NAMBLA for many people. I'd say a major sign of horror is that your initial reaction, upon hearing of it, is "that can't be true." Right?
My shit list: Stephen Harper, anarchists that complain about taxes instead of institutionalized torture, those people walking, anyone who lets a single aspect of themselves define their entire personality, salesmen that don't smoke pipes, Fredericton New Brunswick, bigots, philosophy majors, my nemesis, pirates that don't do anything, criminals without class, sociopaths, narcissists, furries, juggalos, foes.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2010, 06:31:17 pm »
Thanks, BB.  I'll split that out later (in it's entirety), when I get this ball rolling this weekend.
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2010, 06:37:38 pm »
I like this--gels nicely with what I've experienced and observed.  I look forward to your reports on your experiments, Herr Doktor.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 06:39:00 pm »
I like this--gels nicely with what I've experienced and observed.  I look forward to your reports on your experiments, Herr Doktor.

I'm going to begin with some methodology first, then begin some "field work", alongside some observations garnered from the news, etc.
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2010, 06:43:14 pm »
I'm really looking forward to this. 


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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 07:00:47 pm »
This is genius. 

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2010, 07:07:21 pm »
Good stuff.


Testing out the terminology: Lovecraft wrote athiest Horror stories, because the existing theological-based 'horror-stories' stopped inspiring Horror, just dredging up existing Fears.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2010, 07:09:13 pm »
Good stuff.


Testing out the terminology: Lovecraft wrote athiest Horror stories, because the existing theological-based 'horror-stories' stopped inspiring Horror, just dredging up existing Fears.

Correct.  That's also why he tried to convey "the unknowable" (badly), and made use of devices like "alien geometry".  He was trying to convey horror as strangeness, not just tentacles and gills.
"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?"