What do we fear the most? Our deaths? American culture is enraptured with the idea of dying in our popular entertainment and religious cultural memes. Today is Friday the 13th and that means — to many people — that today is an unlucky day, a foreboding moment in time, a chance for the terror within us to strike out in the dark to wound those surrounding us.
Do we seek out the irrational in life to jar us out of our sad, somnambulistic, existence?
What happens during the rest of the year?
Do the black cats lose their magic?
Or are they simply recharging their scare capacity?
In our ordinary lives, we revolt against the unfamiliar and the foreign.
We prefer symmetry and recognition to disjointed anarchy.
However, we are willing to suspend our tepid aesthetic in order to allow ourselves to be uniformly scared — the cathartic release of screams and endorphins gives us a publicly accepted meme for getting a full-body rush without needing to privately excuse the orgasmic experience.
The everyday lonesome takes on new meaning when we seek to place bogeymen in closets and monsters under the bed.
We don’t see poverty or despair or damage in the abandoned: We prefer instead to mitigate reality by envisioning ghosts and demons and the bubbling cauldron of witches unknown.
“Burn it down, or they will chase us!”
Scaring ourselves makes us feel better.
An entire movie franchise was built upon the false scare of Friday the 13th.
It’s big business to scream and gather blood.
What, then, happens to the bloodless among us?
Do we, the bloodless, scream in the terror of self-recognition that we are the waking undead and that our entire lives are merely a morality play against our inevitable, terroristic, demise?
Or is there something greater to be earned in the deception of our deaths and in our unending renderings to trick the Grim Reaper into a temporary suspension of his final, moral, duty?
Why do we need to create fear and where is the reality in our disbelief?