Sunday, April 20, 2008

Daily Terror

To be menaced by invisible flying monsters is a sure sign of mental illness. If the whole town is terrorized, it's mass hysteria. I imagine such hysteria would look a lot like Hitchcock's 1963 film The Birds but without the birds. This strange concept is an ongoing project by artist Martijn Hendriks. Hendriks is digitally removing all the birds from the classic film. Clips of the reconstructed fiction can be found here, here and here.

But those imaginary monsters are still clearly fiction. The Guardian takes us half a step into reality in the recent article I'm Loving Aliens Instead. Writer Jon Ronson follows UK pop star Robbie Williams to the Nevada desert to explore another paranormal threat -- UFO's! Yes, seems Williams wants to believe in aliens. When he is asked why aliens do not reveal themselves to humans, he gives this explanation:
"I think maybe they're making mistakes," he replies. "I think the shield comes off by mistake and they were there all the time." He pauses. "I don't want to hear any debunking because I want to believe."
So, the guy is definitely not a skeptic. How far do you take it though? If you are a believer, is there a point where you stop and say "wow, this is just too ridiculous!" I'd think most people would question the sanity of these people:
Apparently, a woman tells Ayda, a number of conference attendees spotted a battle between two giant reptilian beings in the desert outside the hotel the other night.

"Did anyone take any photographs of the battle?" Ayda asks her.

"No," she says, "but someone collected a tissue sample and gave it to Dr Roger Leir. He might show it to you, if you can find him."

In a world where nearly everybody has a cell phone with a digital camera built in... in a world where we are always ready to film a dog eating vomit... you'd think somebody would capture an epic battle between giant reptilian beings!

So, I ask what exactly do YOU fear? Are our favorite fears real or imaginary? Or should I ask are our favorite fears real or manufactured political distractions?

It's easy to laugh at the UFO believers and the ghostbusters, but are liquid bombs really a threat to air travel? Are we in danger if our government doesn't have unchecked surveillance powers? Have we underestimated the risks of climate change? We need to have real debates about these issues and stop swatting at invisible flying monsters.

No comments: