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December 6, 2011

Midnight Top Five - The "Random List Based On a Quote About Fear" Edition

I'm draggin', you guys.  If I was a horror movie villain I might take that comma out and be ACTUALLY draggin' you guys, but that's certainly not the case.  The case, as sad as it may be, is that I'm at one of those "I'm too busy and worn out to actually think and write stuff" moments in life.  You've probably seen them here before, they go around.

If y'all don't know already, I take this blog thing pretty seriously.  It's my baby.  And the fact that I only fed it 14 posts last month is borderline child abuse. Some tell me that's still a respectable number, and they're probably right.  But 20's always been my goal, and falling that far short for the first time since 2009 TERRIFIES me.
I was reading the Twitter earlier, and someone said that Alfred Hitchcock (who, for the sake of argument, was all kinds of awesome) once said "The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them."  I don't make films - don't have the eye for it (or the camera) - but I do write a mean blog post once in a while.  And hey, I can write the poo out of a list.'s a list.

Midnight Top Five - "The Only Way To Get Rid of The Mike's Fears is To Write a Mean Blog Post About Them" Edition.
And when I say mean, I don't "mean" mean like King Kong Bundy smashing Hulk Hogan's ribs, I mean "mean" like a bowl of Chili that's so good it's gonna rip your intestines up and make them make it a sandwich. The good kind of "mean".

Let's face it. As much as some of us try to deny it, death is the scariest mofo out there.  I've never been too scared of my own death - I got a feeling that there's more out there for me someday - but In the past week I've known three people that have died.  And that sucks.  Heck, only one of them was related to me, one of them I knew for three days, and one of them I'd only known in passing.  But it still bugs me, because I fall in to that trap of not wanting to believe that it can actually happen.
And that's where horror movies come in to play.  In real life we fight to believe that death can't really happen.  In horror movies? We look for it.  We expect it.  WE BEG FOR IT.  You know how many times I've seen people complain about a horror movie because there's not enough death in it?  A lot of times.  That's how many times.
I'm going to my Great Uncle's funeral in the morning, and I'm not happy about that.  But tonight, I'm watching Friday the 13th Part 2.  I don't even think that's a good movie, but it takes me away from the world where death is a scary thing.  And that's just how I roll sometimes.

On the movie screen, my biggest fear has always been needles.  I blame my father for this, as he did an excellent job of making noises that sound like sow in heat trapped in a burlap sack with a rabid coyote whenever he saw someone get poked with a needle in a movie while I was growing up.  Y'know how they say behaviors are learned? Well, so are fears.
But, on the other side of the picture, there's a strange allure to seeing the needles on screen and being terrified of them to the point where I have my own slightly-less-animal-sounding-and-more-gasping-for-breath reaction to them.  The other day I was in the store and I saw a DVD cover for this movie called Needle.  I swear to Gosh, it thoroughly excited me.
So, while I'm afraid of needles, I'm at the same time kind of excited to face them.  I don't know what that means, but I know that every year, when the folks at work push that awful flu shot upon me, I do what I gotta do - and cowboy the heck up.  So I guess I owe the movies a debt of gratitude - because the needles I see in the real are never as scary as the ones I see on screen.

(BTW, it would be awful for me to not mention that one time when my favoritest female named Andre over at The Horror Digest once tackled my fear of needles for me.  Y'all should go give her blog hugs on my behalf.)

Someone Taking Paul Rhoads From Me
OK, this probably shouldn't be one of my five biggest fears.  But right now, it's out there man. 

As I posted about a couple of weeks ago, I am a relatively proud graduate of Iowa State University and a bit of a Cyclone fanatic.  But I add the words relatively and a bit here, because sometimes it's really terrifying to believe in the good going on at ISU.  I grew up in an era where we (I went to school there, I can totally say "we"!) lost 15 straight games to our rivals on the other side of the state and didn't make a bowl game until I was a sophomore in college.  Our best season ever was that 9-3 season, and we've struggled to stay relevant ever since.
So, the fact that we currently have a head coach who's from here and loves our school and seems to be doing a really good job is awesome.  But do good things really last?  Sometimes I feel like being an ISU fan is like being a survivor of a horror movie who's always waiting for the killer to jump back at 'em.  It's like us fans are Sue Snell, and ISU's past is Carrie White's ghost and if we're not careful the same kind of people who took Gene Chizik away after he went 5-19 over two years will come take Coach Rhoads from us.  And that bugs me.  (BTW, Chizik's an asshole.)
I think this was supposed to have something to do with horror movies. But hey, I at least made the Carrie analogy.  And I think any devoted sports fan out there can probably relate with times they've felt like their team is a horror movie waiting to happen.  We buy in, we care too much.  That's what us fans do, whether it's sports or horror.  Don't hate us because we dream.

Being Trapped In A Loop of Pain
As much as I hate to say it, the Saw movies have this fear down.  

Of course, in the real, the loop of pain doesn't usually have elaborate plans and a cancer patient turned evil mastermind with Shawnee Smith shaped henchwoman.  Instead it's usually a monotonous daily grind or a demanding boss or trouble in our relationships with others that wears us down.  Lately it's been ridiculous expectations at work that have me feeling trapped and exhausted and pretty much beaten (so much so that I think I've already said that). It's another thing that seems kind of petty to fear, but we all dream of things being easier.  Maybe the movies got it wrong on this one, because usually it's them and that TV that are telling us things should be easier.
But in horror movies? There's no easy way out.  There's no shortcut home.  Everything's a struggle.  Sort of like recent indie hit Grave Encounters, in which a haunted asylum becomes an uberdeathmaze.  Or like any haunted house flick, really.  So yeah, maybe horror movies are the one set of movies that really do prepare us for life's traps - and hopefully with much more machete than real life.

Being Misunderstood
Sigh.  OK, this post has gone on way too long.  But look, sometimes that's the point of the internet.  We kick and we scream and we suggest ever so delicately, just because we want people to understand who we are and why we are those people.  Especially us horror fans.
Some of us are here for cheap thrills and violence and sex and crap like The Human Centipede that's all about sensationalization.  Some of us are here to think about what we're watching because we love the idea of horror movies.  And if y'all can't tell which group of horror fans I fall into, then I'm afraid that it doesn't matter how many posts I make a month. Because if you don't know, I've failed miserably at my only goal here.

There.  Five big fears.  How they relate to horror.  One rambling post.  I sleep now.  Be well, Midnight Warriors.  Face your fears, even if only through movies.


DrunkethWizerd said...

I can relate to being trapped in a loop of pain. I don't mind the work I have to do, but I just want people to leave me the fuck alone while I do it. There's always someone trying to suck me into their drama (I'm talking about real stupid shit and some real loathsome folks) and I'll have none of it. Ever since my break up in 1998 I've been completely unemotional and a total escapist. Especially around people screaming, going nuts, crying, begging or pleading with me. I feel Nothing now. And a few months ago when I was near death I actually felt happier than ever, bursting into random laughing fits when I thought about dying. My body is of course a lot better now, but my mind and spirit are totally lost.

Marvin the Macabre said...

I think a lot of horror bloggers will identify with that last item. The fear of being misunderstood may be the key ingredient in creating a horror blogger. Not only do we constantly have to justify our macabre tastes to everyone else, but we may be trying to figure it out ourselves. So we join this community and try to unlock the mystery in a welcoming environment.

Some horror bloggers try to just discuss the films, and leave themselves out of it. To me, this entirely defeats the purpose. My favorite bloggers are those who are really writing about themselves through the lens of horror films. Sure, I like getting good movie recommendations, but I'm really in it for people's personal stories, and to hear voices I can relate to.

So fear not.

Andre Dumas said...

YAY! I'm so proud of you for conquering these fears by putting them out there. And man....good times with our fear exchange. Crap, why did I look at that hole and needle from Requiem For a Dream again.?

P.S. I nearly shed a tear when you called me your favoritest female named Andre. And then I realized I'm probably the only female named Andre on the planet. Oh well I'll take it!

Christine Hadden said...

Just have to say thanks for all the work you do on your blog. It's not easy to write and stay fresh when the demands of our lives get in the way and make us feel like crap, so the fact that you can still blog when being trampled by life is a testament to your fine character.
Oh yeah, and your blog kicks ass and is one of like, 5 that I read on a daily/regular basis ;)
(and I loved the "oh so delicately" phrase...Psycho reference or coincidence??)