So, no quote to start off with today, because we haven’t been reading anything new in English yet. Today, I’m going to start out with a little story.
Several weeks ago, my English teacher assigned a project on WWI to coincide with us finishing All Quiet on the Western Front. He left deciding what to do pretty much up to us, all he told us was we had to present something about WWI in a creative/memorable way. After changing my mind at least twice, I finally decided on a long dramatic speech, with props, about the Christmas Truce. So I wrote my speech and prepared my prop, a miniature Christmas tree.
And then I realized that because I was going to have the lights off for my presentation, it would be dark, and I would have to have my entire two-and-a-half page speech completely memorized. I practiced, but due to the fact that my attention span for homework on Saturday is tiny, I didn’t practice as much as I could have. So Monday rolled around and I gave my presentation and everyone said it was fantastic and my English teacher gave me a sandwich the next day, and everything was all hunky-dory. But there was one thing that no one else saw. During my speech, I was terrified.
I’m still not entirely sure how I managed to stay standing through the presentation, I was shaking so bad. When the crucial moment came to untie the bag and reveal the tree, I had a hard time untying the knot because my hands were shaking. I was afraid to a degree that I have never felt before. For some reason, I always get super nervous and shaky every time I have to present something in English class, but this was the worst it had ever been, in any class or any time in my life I can remember.
Now, I have to admit, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junky. That’s why I watch most of the nerdy thing I do (and why I ride roller coasters). There’s this feeling in the pit of my stomach, that then spread throughout my body, that happens when I’m watching these shows and movies, most of the time when I’m afraid someone is going to die. And it’s addictive. It’s kind of the same with coasters. It’s a thrill.
This feeling is a kind of fear. A controlled kind, where we know, deep inside, that we’re going to be okay. But then the question comes, where is the limit?
There always is a limit. Even the most die-hard adrenaline junkies have one. Sometimes it seems like they don’t, but they do. After all, fear is a good thing, most of the time. It keeps us from doing really stupid things that could be really hazardous to our health. But where does fear cross the line from a fun jolt to actually really freakin’ freaky?
This has actually been on my mind for a while lately. After all, everyone has their own limit, and I was trying to find mine. See, my friends, especially my best friend, is a huge fan of Supernatural, which is a horror/drama/adventure TV show (to the fans, sorry if I explain it badly, it almost defies description).
And after several months of feeling really left out while my friends were discussing the show, I was debating about whether or not to watch it. I wanted to be included and for the most part I trust my friends to introduce me to things that I will really like, but, well, I HATE horror movies. Just the commercials freak me out and can keep me up at night. And I’ve finally figured out why. In most TV shows and movies I’ve watched, there is a sense of division between the real world and the show. You know that what happens in the show is not going to happen to you, so it doesn’t really matter what happens, because you are going to be okay. In most horror movies, there isn’t that division. You feel like what happens in the show could happen to you, and that destroys the controlled part of fear, changing it from okay or even desirable to honestly really, really freaky.
I realize that throughout this post, I’ve been trying to define fear, to put it in nice little boxes, to make it easy and rational and understandable. But the truth is, that’s impossible. Fear is not a rational thing. After all, if my problem with horror movies is the lack of a division between movie and real life, Supernatural should scare me. But it didn’t. I watched the first four episodes, and except for one stupid jump-scare (sidenote: I HATE jump-scares as well, because I always jump out of my seat, even if I know it’s coming. It sucks) and one disturbing ghost death (yes, I realize what I said), the show wasn’t scary. Now I know I’m only four episodes in, and actually I’m still waiting for the show to get good, but still. According to what I said, I should have been scared, and I wasn’t.
And yet, I feel like this post wasn’t a complete waste. While fear is not a rational thing, even in out attempt to understand it, we understand it a little better. Not perfectly, because that’s impossible. But better. And that’s got to be worth something.
P.S. The other thing we talked about in English class is comedy. While I despise trying to label and define humor, I will leave you with something that made me laugh like crazy. And no, you don’t have to be a Supernatural fan to understand or even enjoy these.
(sorry for the really bad video quality)