Alas & The Entity: Confronting Fears of Nature

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  1. Abishai100
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    Modernization comes with great urbanization paranoia which compels us to deal with psychological sensations regarding fears of human nature arising from claustrophobia-related anti-social behaviors.

    Indeed, many modern horror-films such as Relentless (Judd Nelson), Jason takes Manhattan (Kane Hodder), Sin City (Bruce Willis), and Spawn (John Leguizamo) deal with these imaginings.

    Why, for example, do we seek to go camping in the forest outside the big city? Are we trying to 'escape' from our own sense of human-ness?

    How do we characterize fear of nature itself?




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    In 19th Century London, there was great urban traffic and commerce and tales of Scotland Yard pursuing the elusive serial-killer named Jack the Ripper awoke people to the reality that urbanization was not simply secure. In this aura, we became conscious of the strange feelings of being 'haunted' by notions of urban anarchy and uncertainty in general. There was a spiritual backlash to various urbanization-related developments, leading to the Woodstock generation and later to the punk-rock generation.

    alas10.jpg

    When we go camping in the woods, even though we might, say, live in the big city (e.g., NYC), we feel a 'release' from the congestion of human nature and the monotonous flow of traffic. We unwind to the splendor of Mother Nature and enjoy the quiet calm of the forest. However, our escapism-mentality from urban environments might induce in us an 'unnatural fear' of strange 'presences' (or 'entities') in these forests-by-the-city, leading to tales of cryptic spectres 'haunting' the woods --- e.g., the Headless Horseman.

    alas11.jpg

    Today, various horror-films depict strange emotions and even stranger environments in which humans grapple with the duty to survive amidst overwhelming circumstances. They're desperate and feel the need to pray and yearn for miracles. These horror-films capture our modern fear of urbanization-related 'nature-paranoia.' We might even imagine that a serial-killer (not unlike Jack the Ripper) roams around a modern city and preys on unsuspecting pedestrians and therefore invokes our new age fears of loss of social control amidst great traffic.

    alas8.jpg

    What if Jack the Ripper himself hopped into a time-machine he discovered in a 19th Century English mad scientists' laboratory and traveled to modern-day NYC (where 'TrumpUSA' was reflective of new age commercial vanities and traffic-consciousness related to urbanization and consumerism)? What if Jack the Ripper then realized that 21st Century NYC, just like 19th Century London, was a center of great congestion and flurry of activity, inducing people to 'flee' into the forests for some naturalism-embracing camping? Imagine then that Jack the Ripper dons the alias 'Alas' and follows a 21st Century NYC couple choosing to go camping in the forest outside the city one weekend and reveals to them a 'dark' or 'mysterious' shapeless 'entity' in the woods symbolic of a general fear of uncertainty. Would this hypothetical/fictional NYC couple be forced to deal with their new age fears of traffic-related human nature paranoia?

    alas12.jpg

    JACK/ALAS: Why did you go camping this weekend?
    COUPLE: To escape the hustle of the big city!
    JACK: I want to show you this forest-entity.
    COUPLE: What is this 'shapeless entity'?
    JACK: Perhaps it's a 'spectre' of mystery-consciousness.
    COUPLE: Why are you showing us this?
    JACK: Perhaps you need to confront your fear of traffic...
    COUPLE: Is this entity a 'punisher' of arrogance?
    JACK: Perhaps it is; perhaps it wants to see if that's what you 'want.'
    COUPLE: So it taps into our 'desires' and then 'entreats' our basic instincts?
    JACK: Isn't that sort of what all ghosts do (in general)?
    COUPLE: Well, the Devil does that certainly (in Christian mythology).
    JACK: Perhaps this shapeless forest-entity wants your mind...
    COUPLE: What does it want with our mind?
    JACK: The same thing I wanted with my victims in 19th Century London.
    COUPLE: But if you're Jack the Ripper, why would this 'entity' entreat you?
    JACK: Because I'm a 'servant' of darkness...
    COUPLE: So you want us to 'learn' about the 'reality' of enigmas?
    JACK: I'd like you to confront the 'presence' of fears of nature.
    COUPLE: Maybe these 'fears' are related to population-claustrophobia.
    JACK: That makes perfect sense...perhaps you two are on a 'quest.'
    COUPLE: I wonder if we should've stayed home and enjoyed Poltergeist on Netflix!


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  2. Abishai100
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    Two-Face/Fight-Club



    The shocking anarchy-exposition film by David Fincher called Fight Club (starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton) is a novel-adapted exposition of the urban claustrophobia that induces rebelliousness among young American bureaucrats who seek to indulge in anti-social urges and retaliate with forms of terrorism.

    In the film, a bureaucrat simply named 'the Narrator' deals with the boredom of office-work while his mind unravels as he meets an incendiary punk-anarchist named Tyler Durden (who just may be a figment of the Narrator's slowly bifurcating anti-social imagination!). The Narrator also meets an emotionally complicated woman named Marla Singer and engages in a very awkward love-triangle with her and Tyler.

    The Narrator develops a morbid interest in Tyler's brand of 'urban mayhem' and the two form a symbolic 'Fight Club' society in which bureaucrats meet secretly to engage in boredom-exorcising refereed fist-fights (some graphic). Soon, Fight Club evolves into 'Project Mayhem' (a full-frontal revolutionary terrorism scheme designed to blow up all credit-card company headquarters in America). This is an anti-consumerism 'crusade' and the Narrator and Tyler Durden become like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Obviously, such a schizophrenia-tale exemplifies our modern urbanization-fears regarding disintegration of human nature in the face of labors and tedium and mindless consumerism and bureaucracy. Where then do sloth and wrath derive from as we contemplate the features of anti-social behaviors in the age of networks?

    The fictional DC Comics super-villain Two-Face was once a respected Gotham City attorney named Harvey Dent who was disfigured during a court-trial when a mafia-henchman splashed corrosive acid on one half of his face. Harvey went insane out of rage and decided to become the Gotham City rogue vigilante known as 'Two-Face,' administering extreme punishments as a form of 'urban cleansing.'

    We can see how Harvey/Two-Face parallels some of the anti-social psyche themes seen in the Narrator and Tyler Durden in Fincher's Fight Club.




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    "As I sat in my office-cubical preparing my weekly inventories for the new batch of my insurance company's customers, I started thinking more and more about what Tyler Durden told me about the inevitability of anarchy in a world dominated by meaningless consumerism. I started feeling like I'd explode if I didn't assist Tyler in his anti-capitalism crusade. I decided I was something like Tyler's 'alter-ego,' and I had to learn from him. He was the rebel to my patriot."

    fc36.jpg

    "I was a respected Gotham attorney named Harvey Dent. I was working on an important case and had to call to the stand a mafia-henchman named Joe Mooney in a courtroom-trial. When I turned my back, Joe pulled out a vial of corrosive acid hidden in his shoe and splashed it on one half of my face. I was disfigured by the trauma, and Mooney's mob-boss obviously sent the minion to perform the criminal deed to frighten Gothamites into believing that the mafia ruled the city. However, I never recovered psychologically from the terrible incident and decided to become the Gotham punisher known as 'Two-Face.' Now, I exert justice at the flip of a chance-coin and remind Gotham that crime is never cool. I am the ultimate archangel now."

    fc41.jpg

    Evaluating such 'bifurcations' in mentality in folk-literature, pop-art, and cinema can help us better understand/appreciate how urbanization creates natural feelings of frustration and rebelliousness. The key is to learn how anti-social urges reflect a basic human paranoia regarding a complete confusion over the proper management/prioritization of nature. We have to understand why we're simply scared of drowning in the city.


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