Thursday, July 31, 2008
The Blurring of fact and fiction: True horror in the age of youtube
What scared and fascinated me the most about the whole BLAIR WITCH phenomenon of 1999 was the way its phony authenticity worked to enhance the fear. As you may remember, the film's release in theaters was preceded by a website where the footage was alleged to have been found in a bag containing several tapes and cameras, all buried under a house in the middle of the Maryland woods.
Even "knowing" this was a publicity stunt didn't stop me--or millions like me apparently--from being scared for days by that movie. I was so scared I launched Frightened Male Monthly around the concept.
What concept you ask? The idea of a willful return to pagan superstitious ignorance! Why? because its fun to be scared. BLAIR WITCH reminded me of how close my friends and I could come to a kind of LORD OF THE FLIES Paganism, making up things like effigy sacrifices to burn to appease, say, The Goatman. BLAIR WITCH worked from the same principle: it's 100% more scary if you can pretend its true.
Youtube is now full of "authentic" footage of yeti, UFOs, aliens, bigfeet and sea monsters, the whole land, sea and sky of the "unexplained." If you can suspend your disbelief, lots of chills await, especially in these disclosure times, with NASA employees coming forth with tales of high weird strangeness.
For the discerning Acidemic reader, I've taken the time to pick a handful of my favorites, selected for their graininess and scare factor. Enjoy!:
Both these show the gravitational propulsion system commonly associated with UFO technology, so I choose to believe they are real, though I don't necessarily think I am right in my choice. I pursue Jung's conception that the truth about UFOS lies beyond the 'are they real or no't dichotomy: aliens are real, but not in the clumsy vaguely scientific way we understand "real."
For a typical human to say "If aliens are real, why don't they show themselves?" is like a dog saying "If algebra is real, how come I can't smell it?" In fact, a dog's sense of smell is far more reliable than human sight; therefore, algebra cannot exist. Tripping hard frees us from ordinary perceptions of things like distance so we can remember what it was like to have a child's eye vision - of being able to really see and taste the miles between your bed and the doorway of your room during an HO scale army man maneuver, or Dungeons and Dragons graph paper. A mile is no different than a yard to a blind horse.
Read Patrick Harpur for a clearer definition of what I'm talking about. In the meantime, bring on the bigfoots!
I like this one a lot because of the high "fearful" pitch in the kids' voices; if they're sure it wasn't a bear, I'M SURE it wasn't a bear. Kids have a mainline into the dark collective psyche, right along with acid freaks, schizophrenics, yogis, mystics, aliens, yetis and... that's right, Jesus.