Author Topic: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.  (Read 7194 times)

Elder Iptuous

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2010, 07:27:05 pm »
Nice!  looking forward to your studies, Dok!

When you said 'horror doesn't have to be a bad thing', is it still understood that there is inherent discomfort in it?  e.g. the singing roses.... they certainly aren't dangerous (until they find out that you're a common mobile vulgaris) but it does mean a turbulent rearrangement of your view on things is in order...

Although i enjoyed HPL, i always was amused by his descriptions starting out with the words 'utterly indescribable in human language' and then proceeding to use about 3/4 of said language to nail the subject down to a T.

(also I'll do my damnedest to give someone else a shot at saying the wrong thing, this time.  :wink:)

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2010, 07:32:08 pm »
When you said 'horror doesn't have to be a bad thing', is it still understood that there is inherent discomfort in it?  e.g. the singing roses.... they certainly aren't dangerous (until they find out that you're a common mobile vulgaris) but it does mean a turbulent rearrangement of your view on things is in order...

Absolutely.  And that's where the emotion "horror" comes in.  It's the feeling of having your worldview broken, for good or for ill.  Mostly for ill.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2010, 08:23:49 pm »
When you said 'horror doesn't have to be a bad thing', is it still understood that there is inherent discomfort in it?  e.g. the singing roses.... they certainly aren't dangerous (until they find out that you're a common mobile vulgaris) but it does mean a turbulent rearrangement of your view on things is in order...

Absolutely.  And that's where the emotion "horror" comes in.  It's the feeling of having your worldview broken, for good or for ill.  Mostly for ill.


Horror: the feeling of having your worldview broken, usually for ill.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2010, 02:06:06 am »
What I like about these terms is that they match up to my own experiences so cleanly.  I can easily recall moments of horror and fear and loathing as distinct emotional states that are rarely ambiguous.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2010, 03:53:49 am »
Introduce us to hell, Dok. I am ready for it.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2010, 08:37:50 pm »
What I like about these terms is that they match up to my own experiences so cleanly.  I can easily recall moments of horror and fear and loathing as distinct emotional states that are rarely ambiguous.

^This right here^

Great idea, Dok.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2010, 08:57:07 pm »
:mittens: for the OP. These are really good definitions, IMO, and will probably influence the way I use these terms in the future.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2010, 12:41:10 am »
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.

I think this sums up pretty damned well why so many modern mythos fics suck.  We all know Cthulu by now, there's no Horror anymore.
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2010, 12:45:11 am »
Posting to stay posted

Edit: Is it possible to be in a state where horror is not possible anymore, and everything goes under fear and loathing? I guess what I'm saying is that I haven't really experienced horror to my recollection, anytime in the past couple of years at least, and I'm wondering if this would hamper any attempts to study horrorology, or if there's just a lot I haven't encountered yet...
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 12:52:12 am by Nephew Twiddleton »
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2010, 01:17:01 am »
Posting to stay posted

Edit: Is it possible to be in a state where horror is not possible anymore, and everything goes under fear and loathing? I guess what I'm saying is that I haven't really experienced horror to my recollection, anytime in the past couple of years at least, and I'm wondering if this would hamper any attempts to study horrorology, or if there's just a lot I haven't encountered yet...

I feel kind of similarly, and the bolded portion is my take on it. I think what happens is that, early on in one's study of horrorology, one learns to accept that Horror is going to happen to you, that Horror is a part of life.

But when it stares you right in the face, you still feel it strong as ever... I found that out a little over a week ago, when I was threatened with death from some random stranger in a car while I was walking home at night in what I always (and by "always" I mean since like toddlerhood) thought of as a very safe and quiet residential neighborhood. The idea that someone might actually seek to do me harm without provocation on my part was as Horrifying as it was Fear-inducing, since my previous worldview told me that that sort of thing doesn't happen around here. Indeed, I'd never been threatened like that before, anywhere.




P.S. For those curious, I escaped unharmed by judicious application of my Wimp-Fu skillz: I hid in someone's bushes until the person threatening me lost interest and left.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2010, 01:33:07 am »
From what I understand, Discordians have rather flexible worldviews. "It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs." Thus, by getting rid of all firm beliefs, would one not be able to rid oneself of the ability to experience horror? I'm talking about cultivating an ultimate acceptance of whatever the universe throws at you, so that nothing is unexpected simply because nothing is expected. If that makes sense.  :|

Also, I'm going to infer from the above that the younger one is, the more often one will experience horror, as the young have narrow worldviews and thus can't quite avoid making generalizations about everything else that will often be toppled with horror. Thus, can horror be said to be a necessary part of building worldviews?

Well, not a necessary part but it is a response, and a natural one, so shouldn't it serve some purpose other than paralyzing us and making people stress out?
not quite there yet.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2010, 01:50:44 am »
I think nothing less than Rapid onset Cataleptic Disassociation, or Retro-Cognitive Asphasia would be sufficient to cause an actual immunity to Horror. However the level of awareness the subject is experiencing, must be carefully mapped by MRS+CAT Brainscans, before, and during any exposure to Horror.
Horror perception is usually localised, within the Medulla Oblongata. However, in  97% of test cases, when the Medulla region has been surgically removed, increased Alpha activity in the Pineal gland has been observed. Whether this activity has any cognitive resonance in the frontal, or even pre-frontal lobe area is open to speculation.  
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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2010, 01:54:02 am »
From what I understand, Discordians have rather flexible worldviews. "It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs." Thus, by getting rid of all firm beliefs, would one not be able to rid oneself of the ability to experience horror? I'm talking about cultivating an ultimate acceptance of whatever the universe throws at you, so that nothing is unexpected simply because nothing is expected. If that makes sense.  :|

Yeah, but good luck trying not to have expectations. As long as one has a worldview, one will have expectations. The best one can do, IMO, is learn to cope with these expectations being shattered.

You're not wrong, per se, it's just an implausible scenario.

Quote
Also, I'm going to infer from the above that the younger one is, the more often one will experience horror, as the young have narrow worldviews and thus can't quite avoid making generalizations about everything else that will often be toppled with horror. Thus, can horror be said to be a necessary part of building worldviews?

Well, not a necessary part but it is a response, and a natural one, so shouldn't it serve some purpose other than paralyzing us and making people stress out?

Being young myself, I may not be in a position of authority, but I'm gonna say yes to this. Once you experience Horror (that is, if you don't try to blot it out of your mind because it's too Horrible), it changes your worldview. It's all part of learning and living, Horrifying though it may be.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2010, 02:23:39 am »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment? This is how I look at it: horror is not the cause of a changed worldview but a reaction to it. 1) something unexpected happens, thus challenging your worldview. 2) Your reaction is a feeling of horror.
Yet it seems like for #2, it's usually horror (which is unpleasant to experience) as opposed to a feeling of "I'm glad I am aware of that now."

The obvious answer to that is that people have some inherent desire for beliefs that they can trust, convictions, faiths... and so quite naturally they are devastated when these beliefs fall away. It's like shaking the foundations of a building. And this is because people always embrace belief at first; belief is instinctive and distrust is inherited.

The obvious answer does not satisfy me because I don't want it to be that way, even if it is that way. It comes down to this: we don't always see things right the first time, and even if we do, the world changes. And what makes humans different from other animals is that we don't always adapt. For animals, adaptation comes first. For us, it's conviction. Horror is natural for us and normal for us and an overreaction to the reality of things. So we were wrong. No big deal.

I think I digressed a bit, but what I was trying to say is that horror doesn't help us build our worldviews; instead, it makes it a more painful experience and it makes people paranoid or blind. It wraps the search for Truth in barbed wire. It doesn't help us embrace reality. I much prefer the Discordian way of doing it: 1) something changes your worldview. 2) you tilt your head, understand, and laugh.
not quite there yet.

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Re: Fear, Loathing, and Horror.
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2010, 02:33:10 am »
Yes, but why Horror as opposed to a happier feeling, such as, er, Enlightenment? This is how I look at it: horror is not the cause of a changed worldview but a reaction to it. 1) something unexpected happens, thus challenging your worldview. 2) Your reaction is a feeling of horror.
Yet it seems like for #2, it's usually horror (which is unpleasant to experience) as opposed to a feeling of "I'm glad I am aware of that now."

The obvious answer to that is that people have some inherent desire for beliefs that they can trust, convictions, faiths... and so quite naturally they are devastated when these beliefs fall away. It's like shaking the foundations of a building. And this is because people always embrace belief at first; belief is instinctive and distrust is inherited.

The obvious answer does not satisfy me because I don't want it to be that way, even if it is that way. It comes down to this: we don't always see things right the first time, and even if we do, the world changes. And what makes humans different from other animals is that we don't always adapt. For animals, adaptation comes first. For us, it's conviction. Horror is natural for us and normal for us and an overreaction to the reality of things. So we were wrong. No big deal.

I think I digressed a bit, but what I was trying to say is that horror doesn't help us build our worldviews; instead, it makes it a more painful experience and it makes people paranoid or blind. It wraps the search for Truth in barbed wire. It doesn't help us embrace reality. I much prefer the Discordian way of doing it: 1) something changes your worldview. 2) you tilt your head, understand, and laugh.


That, I believe, is what makes one a Doktor of Horror.
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