The Monsters Who Live Among Us

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Maybe It's Not Only a Movie
    By Froma Harrop, from The Indianapolis Star
    July 20, 2005

    I was watching "The War of the Worlds" at my local theater, but thoughts of the London bombings kept crowding out the pictures on the screen. And those were remarkable pictures up there. Steven Spielberg spared no detail in showing a bloody rampage of space creatures across the American landscape. Yet the vivid gore of the movie did not overpower the awful images out of London. Why was that?

    The best answer is that both "The War of the Worlds" and real-life terrorism are the same story. Intelligent beings strike at civilization for the sole purpose of killing people. Neither the space creatures nor the terrorists have any real negotiating points. Their goal is to commit wholesale murder of ordinary people, who are powerless to stop them. Even the annihilators' favored targets -- public buses, trains, planes, ferries -- are the same in both the real and the imagined events.

    Earthquakes and tsunamis kill humans by the thousands, and disaster movies dramatize their destruction. But these, of course, are acts of nature. The quality of the dread changes when a thinking entity stands behind the bloodletting. That's why when terrorists, serial killers or movie vampires cause mayhem, the story is not just one of disaster but of horror.

    What makes the London bombings extra frightening is that these perpetrators, unlike vampires and space aliens, look normal. Sure, the terrorists in London could be identified as ethnic Pakistanis, but they were British-born and dressed like everyone else. In Europe, where 20 million Muslims live, these four would seem unremarkable.

    Darwin suggested that the ability to fear might have evolved as a tool to aid survival. But how can that instinct help you when you don't know whom to fear? The BTK killer was the ultimate average person in his Wichita, Kan., neighborhood. Stories like his churn stomachs precisely because the villain walks among us unobserved.

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