The history of all hitherto-existing societies is the history of monsters. Homo sapiens is a bringer-forth of monsters as reason’s dream. They are not pathologies but symptoms, diagnoses, glories, games, and terrors.
To insist that an element of the impossible and fantastic is a sine qua non of monstrousness is not mere nerd hankering (though it is that too). Monsters must be creature forms and corpuscles of the unknowable, the bad numinous. A monster is somaticized sublime, delegate from a baleful pleroma. The telos of monstrous quiddity is godhead.
There is a countervailing tendency in the monstrous corpus. It is evident in Pokémon’s injunction to “catch ’em all,” in the Monster Manual’s exhaustive taxonomies, in Hollywood’s fetishized “Monster Shot.” A thing so evasive of categories provokes—and surrenders to—ravenous desire for specificity, for an itemization of its impossible body, for a genealogy, for an illustration. The telos of monstrous quiddity is specimen.
Ghosts are not monsters.
It is pointed out, regularly and endlessly, that the word “monster” shares roots with “monstrum,” “monstrare,” “monere“—”that which teaches,” “to show,” “to warn.” This is true but no longer of any help at all, if it ever was.
Epochs throw up the monsters they need. History can be written of monsters, and in them. We experience the conjunctions of certain werewolves and crisis-gnawed feudalism, of Cthulhu and rupturing modernity, of Frankenstein’s and Moreau’s made things and a variably troubled Enlightenment, of vampires and tediously everything, of zombies and mummies and aliens and golems/robots/clockwork constructs and their own anxieties. We pass also through the endless shifts of such monstrous germs and antigens into new wounds. All our moments are monstrous moments.
Monsters demand decoding, but to be worthy of their own monstrosity, they avoid final capitulation to that demand. Monsters mean something, and/but they mean everything, and/but they are themselves and irreducible. They are too concretely fanged, toothed, scaled, fire-breathing, on the one hand, and too doorlike, polysemic, fecund, rebuking of closure, on the other, merely to signify, let alone to signify one thing.
Any bugbear that can be completely parsed was never a monster, but some rubber-mask-wearing Scooby-Doo villain, a semiotic banality in fatuous disguise. It is a solution without a problem.
Our sympathy for the monster is notorious. We weep for King Kong and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, no matter what they’ve done. We root for Lucifer and ache for Grendel.
It is a trace of skepticism that the given order is a desideratum that lies behind our tears for its antagonists, our troubled empathy with the invader of Hrothgar’s hall.
Such sympathy for the monster is a known factor, a small problem, a minor complication for those who, in drab reaction, deploy an accusation of monstrousness against designated social enemies.
When those same powers who enmonster their scapegoats reach a tipping point, a critical mass, of political ire, they abruptly and with bullying swagger enmonster themselves. The shock troops of reaction embrace their own supposed monstrousness. (From this investment emerged, for example, the Nazi Werwolf program.) Such are by far more dreadful than any monster because, their own aggrandizements notwithstanding, they are not monsters. They are more banal and more evil.
The saw that We Have Seen the Real Monsters and They Are Us is neither revelation, nor clever, nor interesting, nor true. It is a betrayal of the monstrous, and of humanity.
• long post • q • monsters • I want an entire book for each of these ideas • china mieville
"Cap visits a school assembly and they have him lead the pledge of allegiance but "under God" wasn't added until he went under the ice so he doesn't know that part so he doesn't say it and the next day all the headlines say "CAPTAIN AMERICA FORGETS GOD" and FoxNews freaks out."
oh my god
#YES. YES YES YES. YES#Steve is really fucking confused#Nat explains ‘because communism’#and he’s like ‘oh great#thanks a lot Nat’#and she’s like ‘you’re welcome comrade’#steve rogers (via bluandorange)
additional tags from penguinsparade: #and let’s be real here #Steve grew up dirt poor during the Great Depression#and missed the Cold War #so he probably has what are today considered radical views on communism #i.e. ‘it’s not terrible’ and not synonymous with the antichrist#’a bunch of the people on my block were communists’ he says when Fox News asks for an interview #’they just wanted jobs down in the shipyard so they could eat and not lose a hand trying’ #Steve just rolls his eyes with a smile#every time Nat calls him comrade from then onCan we all just take a moment to envision the Colbert Report section on COMRADE AMERICA and the subsequent interview where the first question is ‘so, why DO you hate America?’ and Stephen keeps accidentally propositioning Steve for the entire interview and ends up proposing to him.
#I don’t understand how anyone could hate america #says Stephen #I LOVE America #I love america’s great traditions #its love of freedom #its commitment to its ideals #its… lithe yet powerful physique #Steve is just sitting there with his lips twitching #trying not to crack up #gravely agreeing that there’s a lot about America to love
"So happy to be a source of entertainment for you. I hope Charlie likes California."
Last night I finally listened to that mix of Russian music titled “Baba Yaga Will Chase You” and the first song was this romantic violin solo, and I was like wow this would be great to fall asleep to so I left it on…
And let’s just say the next song was “The Evil God and the Dance of the Pagan Monster” by Prokofiev
I was not prepared to listen to that in a dark room
• i should've expected that though • the mix is called baba yaga will chase you • not baba yaga will tuck you in and sing you a lullaby • in her welcoming house made of bones
I think you’re just gonna have to LET IT GO ;-)
You are so lucky that you are on the opposite end of the country right now.
"Flattery won't save you."
Aw, don’t freeze me out…
• this is the pinnacle of MTV's achievements • versailles • mtv • mtv cribs • Jason Schwartzman • Marie-Antoinette
• yaya! • yaya dacosta • antm • let's do the pretty girl rock • black & white