Malice Pontificates On~ Fear

     The 2016 elections in the United States are basically what happens when a Bond villain skips the stupid plans, like trying to flood Silicon Valley for some deadly insider trading or irradiating Fort Knox so everyone really wants his gold. Hell, President Trump even lived in a pent house at the top of a giant sky scraper named after him, which is something like number eight on the checklist for finding out whether a megalomaniacal businessman is just a Bond villain wearing a fancy suit. I say this, because I am now officially sick to death of politics. Every time I say this, the people I am conversing with look at me with mouths agape in horror, as though I had just told them that under the paper bag I wear , I’ve really been John Gacey wearing clown make-up the whole time. I get why people are still paying attention. We had all our normal boring political players lined up for target practice and in comes President Trump, riding a flaming motor cycle and using his Hellfire chains to punish the guilty who…wait, no. That’s ghost rider. You can see how I would get the two mixed up, because they both have clearly done something to their hair and they both glow in the dark. I get people talking about Trump though, because people are afraid. Trust me when I say that there’s all kinds of fear in this world, some more legitimate than others.

     So, let poppa Malice take you through his thoughts on a few of the types of fear that exist in the world and how you can deal with them. The first step to facing your fear is understanding your fear. Either that, or it’s the first step to running away from your fear. The first type of fear is the one which goes bump in the night, it’s your cat. It makes your heart freeze and your blood chill, it’s your cat. It’s the type of fear that makes you remember that movie you watched about the alien popping out of John Hurt but it’s your cat. And then you remember you don’t have a cat, but you have a cat now and it’s trying to get into your room. To be fair, that’s a lot scarier than most movie monsters because they wouldn’t eat you if you suddenly died of a heart attack. Even monsters have standards. When I had a kitty named Penny, she would climb up the clothes in my closet and terrify the hell out of me. It’s what I think of as unreasonable fear, because it’s fear that can only exist so long as you’re not reasoning about. And the sun is down. And you’re alone in the house with all the lights out. And your cat. The best way to beat this kind of fear is to hide under your blankets until the sun comes up with your eyes closed. Go to sleep, you fool.

     Then there’s that fear you get when you notice the car behind you has been following you for the last twenty minutes down a dark road and you’re running out of gas. There’s all kinds of movies about random strangers turning out to be nightmarish serial killers, which I usually put in my Schadenfreude catalogue of films that also includes the Orson Welles wine commercials and Marlon Brando’s stellar work in the Island of Doctor Moreau. It’s that feeling you get when you’re alone in your apartment and you hear a noise and suddenly you’re awake wondering whether you locked the door and how many cats have gotten into your apartment. I have issues. Stop laughing. It’s a good thing that movies don’t get this right very often. I still remember watching that movie about the three strangers who invade some random couples home and poke idly around the house in order to terrorize them for fun because shut up, everyone needs a hobby. I just remember trying not to laugh because all three masks offer no peripheral vision, and look like they were made in a hurry for a home economics class by their respective grandparents. The worst offender is the guy’s mask that looks like he was getting geared up for a major-league baseball game before he had a major change in plans for the evening. Every time I looked at his mask, it seemed as though the holes for his eyes must be hanging over his them slightly. I kept expecting him to fall down the stairs or walk into the frame of the door, ruining the suspense somewhat I would imagine.

     But you know, fear is a strange thing. It’s not the mutant zombie dogs that really scare you. It’s not internet freak shows like Slender Man that really keep you awake at night. It’s not even the idea of three people wearing poorly made masks wandering around your house in an ill-conceived attempt to sue you for personal injuries sustained on your property at three in the morning. Nope, what you’re really scared of is dying and being totally forgotten by everybody. Boom, I called that shit! You’re also afraid of not being able to pay the rent and what’s that rash on your left arm that keeps getting bigger and I wonder if my next-door neighbor is the one who lets his dog poop on my lawn. You’re afraid of going into work tomorrow and having to deal with that one truly unpleasant coworker who feels the need to tell you about his weekend in extensive, excruciating detail while you try to work and who smiles really weirdly whenever they see you, like they just left a present of their ear in a box on your desk. I get it, you know? I’m scared of things too, that’s why I’m writing so I can try and make some money and support myself and Miss Cobwebs. Evil schemes don’t finance themselves and are much more difficult to complete when living on the streets.

They say fear is subjective, and to some degree that’s true because everybody has different phobias. You might have a fear of flying and spiders. For myself, I have a fear of crowds and spiders and crowds of spiders while we’re on the subject. There’s a medical condition that I’ve experienced a few times where you wake up while your body remains asleep. This was terrifying for me because I have sleep apnea and thus I would just randomly stop breathing while I was on the couch. I also got to watch a spider the size of a large Welsh Corgi crawling across the ceiling towards me while venom dripped from its fangs. Even though I knew it wasn’t real, this isn’t the type of thing you want to wake up to. Ever. I’m sure everyone has a horror story about this terrifying, and if you haven’t sold the rights already then to the box office with you! You may have noticed that horror is the one genre left that’s allowed to do its own thing and actually be unique sometimes, like it’s the red headed step child of the cinematic family that is also an expert surgeon and ace fighter pilot. That is, unless we’re talking about the endless sequels and reboots to slasher films because that really is scary. How many peoples brain cells have died while watching them? A moment of silence for all the brain cells lost during the viewing of Freddie V. Jason, the rebeginnining.

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