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PUMPKINHEAD

Posted by TreSart L Sioux on December 18, 2010 at 4:54 PM Comments comments (3)

PUMPKINHEAD (1988)

by TreSart L Sioux

I have no idea why there is a smiling face where an 8 should be! LOL!

 

It has been crazy in the world of writing and interviews. Due to the upcoming holidays, I will not be posting until after. I hope all of ya'll have a wonderful time! Don't drink too much booze!

 

I have to admit there is something about the Pumpkinhead creature that is just creepy! I don't know if it's the way it moves or that it's so damn funky looking.

 

Pumpkinhead was special effects artist Stan Winston's first directorial debut. Needless to say, the effects in this movie are excellent!

 

Ed Harley and his son Billy run a small store out in the boonies. When city folks stop by on their way to a cabin, two brothers get out their dirt bikes to ride in a field. After Harley leaves to deliver feed to a customer, Billy's dog Gypsy takes off after the bikers. Billy follows and by accident is hit. All the city folks leave to attempt to get help except for one. Once Harley returns and realizes what has happened, the only thing on his mind is revenge.

 

Haggis, the old witch he visits brings more creepiness to this movie. While she can't bring Billy back, she can help Harley get his revenge. Too bad he doesn't truly understand what he's getting himself into.

 

Once the killing begins, Harley realizes the terrible mistake he has made. He gets visions as each one of the city folks come face to face with Pumpkinhead. He begs the witch to make it stop, but she only laughs and tell him to let it run it's course.

 

Two of my favorite scenes are when the three characters think they are safe in the abandoned church. Of course they aren't. The other one was when the boy is hiding in the closet. I would have pissed myself if this was reality.

 

You have to love Lance Henriksen playing the part of Ed Harley. I really don't think the movie would have been as good without him in it.

 

The movie is visual with the depths of the woods and the nightly scenes with the use of the blues and mist.

 

On September 9th, 2008 MGM released the 20th Anniversary Edition featuring commentary.

 

SEQUELS

Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (straight to video)

 

Jeffrey Reddick, the writer of Final Destination wanted to create a third movie called Pumpkinhead 3: The Original Sin, but issues prevented the production.

 

Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes and Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud were made into television movies and aired on the then known SCI FI.

 

COMICS

Dark Horse Comic published the comic book series, "Pumpkinhead: The Rites of Exorcism." Only two issues were released.

 

MUSIC

The Misfits released a song called "Pumpkin Head," which was on their album Famous Monsters.

 

Pumpkinhead was supposedly inspired by the poem written by Ed Justin. However, the producers have not clarified, nor the writer Ed Justin.

 

Keep away from Pumpkinhead

Unless you're tired of living

His enemies are mostly dead

He's mean and unforgiving

Laugh at him and you're undone

But in some dreadful fashion

Vengeance, he considers fun

And plans it with a passion

Time will not erase or blot

A plot that he has brewing

It's when you think that he's forgot

He'll conjure your undoing

Bolted doors and windows barred

Guard dogs prowling in the yard

Won't protect you in your bed

Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead

 

Until next time!

TreSart L Sioux

Not all books on writing are born equal...

Posted by RossWarren on December 9, 2010 at 7:06 AM Comments comments (1)

There are a whole lot of books about writing out there. I know, I've bought enough of them over the years. A quick glance of my shelves reveals in the region of a dozen and that fails to take in to consideration the ones that were so bad they went swiftly in the direction of the nearest charity book shop.


Now, as you know if you follow my blog contributions, I like to concentrate on being positive so I'm going to point out the ones I have found useful and show the wear and tear of repeated readings. All are highly recommended and I urge you to track down a copy of each.


First up is the daddy of them all: On Writing by Stephen King. Part memoir and part instruction manual it is all brilliant. Written with a warmth that makes you feel you are sat having a companionable one-on-one with the great man, it not only gives advice on the nuts & bolts aspects of the craft but also on such topics as dealing with rejection and fitting writing time into a busy writing schedule.


My second favourite is On Writing Horror from the Horror Writers Assosiation and edited by the brilliant Mort Castle. Featuring contributions from genre legends such as Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale and Jack Ketchum it covers all aspects of the writing process from initial idea through to selling and promoting your work.


My final recommendation is How to write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card which is a superb tool for assisting the writer to build the world in whcih to set their stories. It leans slightly more towards the Fantasy side of things but in common with the other two books featured here also contains advice on the non-writing aspects of a writers career.


What are you still doing here? Get and buy these books now. Go on, be off with you!

Movie Review Buffet

Posted by Shaun Hammel on December 6, 2010 at 10:34 PM Comments comments (2)

A few thoughts on some recent movies I've watched, and also a couple of old reviews as well....

 

(My rating system, *-- excrement, not worth even reviewing usually; **-- not especially good, has many flaws but perhaps worth a watch; ***-- a good film that works on most levels; ****-- truly admirable inspiring work, involves the viewer in something utterly unique and mesmerizing on multiple levels, a classic... fractions are also implemented to suggest in between grades).

 

MANIAC (1980)-- Tries to balance an almost impossible tight rope act between dark parody and serious horror film, but I think fails. Joe Spinell's acting-- while praised by some-- just really got on my nerves. A couple of fine moments of deadpan delivery were overshadowed completely by his incessant whining, crying, and godawful asthma issue throughout the movie. The mannequins and wigs scenes were creepy, but felt way too campy and ineffective surrounded by too many glib jokes and directorial winks. Compare this to Buffalo Bill's basement devoted to his secret passions in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, how the ambience of nazi symbolism and gender confusion, all the details of his subterranean existence, help to color the killer's brutal weirdness without being too ironic or cheesy, and you can see what is missing from truly affecting an audience with a killer's creep-factor and sense of otherness. Or maybe I just have a prejudice against whiney serial killers, I don't know.

 

A couple of fine send-ups to horror movie cliches (the sudden fog and night in the graveyard near the end of the movie being one example), Tom Savini's special effects and also some rather intense and crafty murder scenes, aren't enough to save this from falling 20 stories to its death. Yes, some 'cult' films are worth forgetting.  * 3/4 (maybe ** if I were in a better mood)

 

WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? (1976)-- Another movie that might have been less irritating to me if it weren't for the acting. However, this 70s Spanish horror film is light-years better and more unnerving than MANIAC. My slight problem begins with the Evelyn character, the pregnant woman. She is just written too stupidly. Her reactions come across as hollow and overly foolish. It isn't over the top bad acting, but I think there is a point in the revelation of the children's 'evil intent' that the whole premise of her psyche struggling over self-preservation and protecting an innocent child is rendered ridiculous. This may just be a misogynistic slant inherent in 70s era screenplay-machismo, I don't know. But it comes across as dated and is the film's only downside. Also the ending echoes the ending to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, but this may have been accidental-- I haven't read the book the movie was based on. The one difference is the 'murderous children cancer' is not confined to the island, but spreads to mainland Spain, as the movie ends. A subtle, creeping, endnote.

 

What is great about this movie is its ever increasing sense of menace. It all builds in a very subtle and progressive manner, and as the actors sweat on the hot and isolated Mediterranean island, so the audience 'sweats' too. The children are all the more macabre because they are by all appearances just normal children, except for that one fatal change. The movie also forces you to confront a not so lovely side to human nature, the brutal mechanisms of self-preservation: I found myself just wanting the husband, Tom, to start mowing down 'the enemy'. He had the means. But time and time again, he seemed to have to fight some psychological barrier. I thought this aspect was unneeded. Self-preservation takes over. If you have a machine gun and are threatened by an unarmed crowd of murdering children, you don't worry about moral implications. You just  fucking mow 'em down, lol. ***

 

CROPSEY (2009)-- Been too long for a proper review, but I highly reccommend this one. It's a documentary about child dissappearances and murders on Staten Island, mostly during the 1980s. The film is usually billed as some sort of Staten Island version of BLAIR WITCH PROJECT but this couldn't be further from the truth. 'Cropsey' is just a convienent term here; the film does not examine too deeply the mythological origins of the word. Nor is it a fake documentary. It's very real. The single scariest thing about this movie isn't the drooling homeless man railroaded into a guilty verdict, or the dark tunnel system connecting abandoned and folkloreish Mental Hospitals (the infamous Willowbrook Mental Institution in this case), or the scary filming in the woods-- but how easily apparently 'normal' citizens of Staten Island can condemn a man of multiple murder based purely on heresay, 20 year old witness accounts, and circumstantial evidence only. Andre Rand may very well have been the killer, it's just he was scapegoated first and convicted with zero forensic evidence, by a general public in the media and ultimately a jury in a court of Law, all too easily swayed by myth and image. So intellectually divorced from the judicially critical concept of 'reasonable doubt', the true horror isn't 'Cropsey' at all, but the hyperreactive reflections of your average Citizen Joe or Jill. *** 1/2

----------------

 

A couple old reviews, and I'm done.

 

BLOW OUT (1981)-- Watched this again after many, many years, and I have to say, it may be De Palma's best. [wrote this before I watched SISTERS] Stylistically, it definitely owes something to Dario Argento and Hitchcock, plus the story hinges on an incredible coincidence-- Travolta's character being on that bridge making sound recordings at the exact time of the botched frame up of the Governor of Pennsylvannia, who is running for the Presidency. What was meant to be just a way to ruin his reputation, turns out to be an assassination.The gunman (Lithgow) only shoots out the tire of the car as a means for the crooked reporter (Franz) to get some film showing the politician with a phony prostitute (Allen). What starts as a small crime, distasteful certainly, but not utterly diabolical, grows into something much more, thanks to the inate pyschopathic tendencies of Lithgow's character. It all reminds me of the hijinks of Fargo, where one man's greed and foolishness escalates by uncontrollable forces into multiple murder. And the ending is perfect noir or giallo fair, with the B-slasher film soundman Jack Terry finally getting his 'perfect scream', caught on wiretap during Sally's murder near the end of the film. *** 1/2

 

THE WICKER MAN (1973)--  There is just something about this film. There is just something about Sergeant Howie. There's just something seriously weird and addicting about this movie.

 

The music is odd, light, and airy--yet mysterious. My favorite is: "Willow's Song". A lovely, slightly melancholy lilt to it. Made more so by Sergeant Howie's torturous few minutes fighting those deep-dark urges that momentarily consume him, bringing out a full sweat as he is drawn to the wall opposite Willow's room, where she sings her song and dances in the buff.

 

Without the consummate acting of Edward Woodward, this movie might not have worked, at least not as well. When he finally realizes he's been duped the whole time, and sees, and I mean, really fucking sees, The Wicker Man, in all its towering majesty-- he exclaims, "Oh Jesus Christ!". It is a really powerful moment. But he only gets that faceless tower of wood staring blankly down at him, and the uniform gaiety-- a hallmark of all that are blindly and wholly swayed by any religion-- seen on all the dancing faces of the townsfolk during their demented May Day celebration.

 

Best Hammer Film? Quite possibly. [wrote this over a year ago...there must of been some joke I was making here, because it's not a Hammer film, but only stars Christopher Lee] ****

 

BAJO LA SAL (2008 )-- A good Mexican psychological thriller? Is it possible? Help me out, does one exist?

 

Mexican thrillers usually have that Catholic moral undertone to them and this one's no different. But this movie, despite its sluggish plot and fairly predictable killer (although for reasons I didn't predict), turns out to be worth watching because, despite its flaws, it is a suprisingly moving story. The characters are just beautifully drawn and you sink into their tragic lives and something just clicked on a deeper level for me. This isnt Saw. It doesnt attack and entertain in a non-stop thrill ride like that one. In fact it fails as a thriller/horror in that sense, and miserably. This movie is melancholic and dark and weird, especially the 'Doll Sequences" and the little burgeoning love affair between the two young characters that is too quickly snuffed out.

 

Worth a look, if you can find it. ***

 

On Wednesday or Thursday I will try to have another blog post out-- but I don't have a particular subject lined up. Any suggestions or requests?

MY INTERVIEW WITH BEVERLY RANDOLPH

Posted by TreSart L Sioux on December 4, 2010 at 5:17 PM Comments comments (1)

Ya'll will never know how excited I was to find out from Beverly Randolph that she would do an interview for my site! She is really a sweet lady to take time out of her schedule! So, what are we waiting for? Let's see what went on in and out of the set of Return of the Living Dead.

 

I was 15 when Return of the Living Dead came out. Needless to say I had my ways of getting into the movie and loved every second of it! What is your reaction to how many fans you have and their love for this flick?

Shock, amazement! It's so nice to have all of these great people like you and want to have a piece of you. So happy they like the movies so much and have fun with it.

 

Okay, I have to know. Are you a horror fan? I've read many articles on actors that aren't, but do the movies.

I am not a horror fan. People come up to me and want to talk horror movies and I am at a complete loss! I do not even care for the Wizard of Oz! (I know, shame on me…lol.)

Too scary for me.

 

What was it like to be on the set? I know you've mentioned there were camera problems, but what else went on? Any pranksters? Were you a prankster? LOL!

No pranksters that I remember. We did have a really friendly cast and crew. A great bunch of people to work with.

 

Tina, the character you played was pretty much a preppy type. How close was her character to who you are in real life?

I am definitely Tina.

 

The cast of Return has a few faces that are known and a few that went on to more success. What made you decide that you were done with acting?

I didn't have the greatest experience on "Return." Dan the director scared me to death. I didn't feel it would be worth it if that is the way it would be. I was young and foolish at the time. Everyone would tell me I had to be tough, nobody said the director was wrong. I know better now. I've learned a lot about Dan and do not hold it against him. He said before his death that he was an ass to me. I appreciate him saying that so much. All is forgiven.

 

I'm a huge NFL fan and I know that Mark Venturini played "Suicide" in the movie. Sadly he passed away from leukemia at the age of 35. What was he like to work with?

He actually passed away from a brain tumor. Mark was a big teddy bear. He was nothing like his character. He looked more like a surfer with his blonde hair and build. An absolute angel.

 

What do you think of the sequels of Return?

What sequels? (LOL)

 

I'm very close with my sis. I never knew you had a twin sister. Ya'll did commercials in 1965 as babies. What did she think of your role in Return?

Yes, my sister and I did commercials and a few films. She thinks it's fun and tells me to do appearances and conventions when I start to think I shouldn't. She says I owe the fans and go! We come from a big Hollywood Film family so it doesn't faze her much. She does think it's fun though.

 

Okay, now what is this about you having a pilot license?

My husband and I moved to Wisconsin, the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva. I would always look up and say how wonderful it must be to get in a plane and just go… So he surprised me with flying lessons. At first I was petrified but when the instructor let me "take off" and "land" I was hooked and never looked back. What an exhilarating rush.

 

Would you ever consider going back into acting?

Yes. I feel that if you have a child, you owe it to them to stay home and raise them. They didn't ask to be brought into this scary world. Now that I stayed home and raised mine, it's time for me to do something for myself. I am definitely thinking about it. I have one child and he is now 17.

 

Has your son seen Return?

I just let my son see the movie last year after he kept telling me that he was the only one out of all of his friends that hadn't seen it!

After he saw it he had a cute grin on his face and seemed to be very proud. He's been to a few conventions too. He can't believe the crowds and fans. He really had no idea what I did before him. It's funny when his friends introduce him to new people and they say "his mom is Tina." Even his friends are proud…it's really cute.

 

Again, I want to thank Beverly Randolph for doing the interview. Trust me, I had many more questions, but I know she's a busy lady! Here's hoping she does another great horror flick! 

REMEMBER WHEN?

Posted by TreSart L Sioux on December 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM Comments comments (0)

REMEMBER WHEN?

by TreSart L Sioux

 

 

Do you remember when those really low-budget campy horror films were actually good? I absolutely love most of them. There was just something about these films that were fun to watch. The bad acting with the awful effects were just the icing on the cake. Below I discuss two of my favorites, but trust me, I have so many more that are proudly displayed in my collection.

 

MICROWAVE MASSACRE (1983)

This movie was so bad it was good! When a construction worker by the name of Donald is not to pleased with his wife's gourmet cooking, he decides to become his own personal chef. Once she is out of the way, his desires for an assortment of meat that is cooked in the microwave makes this one hell of a cannibalistic treat!

 

Jackie Vernon who plays Donald was perfect for this part! Vernon was actually known for his comedy and opened up for Judy Garland and was a regular on the Merv Griffin show as well as many others. Despite his raw reputation, he is best known for his voice as the title character in Frosty the Snowman, which has been airing since 1969.

 

Microwave Massacre brought back Vernon's sinister side. There are so many classic lines in this movie by him.

 

When preparing to cut off a prostitute's head with an axe.

"I'm so hungry, I could eat a whore!"

 

"Well, the only problem is, I can't make love to a woman, unless I eat her."

 

These are only a couple that I've shared. The movie is completely filled with fantastic lines!

 

As usual, there is tons of nudity and odd sexual situations, but it's a true classic to watch. Oh, and be sure to finish it out until the final credits. There is a message saying: Remember, dismember a friend for lunch!

 

REDNECK ZOMBIES (1987)

It's no hidden secret that Troma has released some of the best movies ever! The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke 'Em High, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown and I could go on! However, one of my favorites next to these will have to be Redneck Zombies also known as Redneck County Rape.

 

With an estimated budget of $10,000, this creation is notable for being one of the first films shot entirely on videotape and then released to the home video market.

 

When a barrel of radioactive waste is found in the woods by some rednecks, they decide to add it to their still. Of course they want to share their moonshine with all the local hicks. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure out what happens next! These kinfolk will spit out their tobacco and take a bite out of anyone that gets in their way!

 

Now, where are earth would we be without the city folks that are vacationing and manage to get lost in the woods? They try their best to survive during the bloody rampage.

 

Redneck Zombies is a film that nobody is off limits. It's crude and rude and you have to love the scene where a mother puts her baby in the washer and gives it a bottle full of the toxic moonshine. What do we have next? A zombie baby!

 

The gore is more extreme in this movie than some of the past. They play homage to movies like, Day of the Dead, The Wizard of Oz, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance and even the Three Stooges.

 

Troma movies have always and will always be known for their bad acting, plenty of boobs and bad effects, but there is something about them that is pure entertainment.

 

So, those are my two picks of the week. I realize they aren't pure horror, but sometimes you have to give credit to those enjoyable campy flicks!

 

Until next week!

 

TreSart L Sioux

FEAR IS THE MIND KILLER

Posted by DriveGoddess on December 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (2)

I had been commenting for the past couple of days regarding political strategies, propaganda, myths, lies and power-brokering - yes, a typical couple of days for this erstwhile philosopher.  Sometimes the writing process which can be quite technical when it is assignment-driven can take on another life of its own, one whereby one key notion can be drawn and expanded upon not just by the writer but hopefully by others many times over.


Ego was a word that came to mind today and when combined with the notion of fear which was last Friday's theme and one that I was kind of flippant about in retrospect I felt that there was still much more ground to cover. 


So now let us step into this realm of the philosophical, one which I posited over on my own pages and no, this is not some shameful promotion here but rather a tying together of pages, ideas and adventures.  It is also practical to do this, to link back to the fear essay, one that I had great pleasure working on this entire morning.....so for your reading pleasure please go to the following.....and have a fearless weekend!


FEAR IS THE MIND KILLER

For the love or Show me the money honey!?

Posted by RossWarren on November 29, 2010 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (2)

If you went by the words of a notable betting company advertisement 'It matters more when there's money on it'. But can the same be said of this writing lark?


Obviously it must be a great feeling when someone is so taken by your words that they will thrust cold hard cash into your hand but It isn't the reason you put them down on paper in the first place.


You probably already spotted the word 'must' there didn't you? I'm still waiting to experience that particular thrill, but I can say that it will have to go some to top the excitement of my first appearance in a so called 'For the Love' publication.


That first appearance was for a story called 'Pestilence Takes a Cruise' in the Novemeber 09 'Sketchbook' Issue of Estronomicon Ezine from Screaming Dreams. Now this, for me, is in the top ten of non-paying markets. It's a quality presentation put together with passion and attention to detail by editor Steve Upham.


It's magazines like this one that come to mind when I see yet another thread on Shocklines attacking someone for having the gaul to start up a magazine with a non-paying policy. If people are discouraged by these negative threads quality publications aren't going to be discovered and possibly evolve into being able to offer payment. Just because there is no financial incentive being offered doesn't mean the editor is not going to try to make each issue the best it can possibly be.

Mark Gatiss: Dead Scary.

Posted by TomHodden on November 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM Comments comments (0)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Gatiss

Is this man the scariest person alive? He could very well be. Don't believe me? Allow me to produce some evidence:

 

1) He is one third of the League of Gentlemen. Not only was the League one of the funniest shows on TV, with the warped characters and strange twisting plots, the "horror" elements were genuinely horrific. The Butcher portrayed in the show by Gatiss, one third of the acting talent and one quarter of the writing team, is a beastly cad who already sells an addictive drug, but to compound the body horror of the nosebleeding it causes, there is the lingering suspicion that it is made of people. The film featured the Kings Evil, a horror film with in a film, that manages a few chills among the laughs. True, his muckers went on to produce the even scarier Psychoville, but Gatiss still has a few tricks left... Oh, and extra kudos for the League reuniting on radio this winter for a genuine haunted house experience.

 

2) He got the BBC to take his "History of Horror" seriously. And frankly, the very fact he made a three episode documentary series about our favourite  genre shown on the beard scratching BBC Four, deserves a harty round of applause.

 

3) He made Doctor Who scary again. He achieved it the first time back in the nineties when the only Doctor Who available on a regular basis was the series of tie-in novels. Everybody else was trying to be adult, but Gatiss wrote "Nightshade," and reminded the fanboys that we used to watch the show from behind a sofa. Once the two-hearted Timelord was back on television Gatiss hammered the message home with the first of three episodes he has written so far, the "Unquiet Dead", in which the good Doctor and Charles Dickens face a horde of ghosts. At Christmas. In Wales.

 

4) He wrote Crooked House. In terms of scares, this is the best horror show to grace television screens in recent years. another product of the Beeb it is three linked plays about the haunted history of one house. I don't want to descrie it too deeply here, as I am imploring you to look it up for yourself and I don't want to give away spoilers. These are very much the small scale, small cast affairs that are essays on building atmosphere over the cheap gore of a slasher film, in the MR James (or indeed Henry James) tradition. As we approach christmas, rekindle the tradition of ghost stories around the fire, and look up Crooked House.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1305108/

Losing Shit

Posted by Shaun Hammel on November 29, 2010 at 1:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Well I lost my blog post I was in the process of writing. Fuck it. I'll do it another time. It was my top 5 favorite slasher/serial killer movies. And why MANIAC wasn't one of them. Anyway--

 

Word of warning to bloggers here: there apparently isn't an auto-save function if you're blogging right into this white box, so be careful. My 1.5 hours of work gone in an instant.

 

And to all who read this blog (do we have a real audience yet?)-- if you want to guest blog here anytime just send me an email to [email protected]. Chances are extraordinarily good I will be happy to have you blog your goddamn heart out.

 

 

The Death Fear

Posted by Shaun Hammel on November 26, 2010 at 2:52 PM Comments comments (3)

For as long as I can remember I have had a deep and resonating fear of dying. I always just assumed the rest of mankind shared this feeling. There are people who have through various means convinced themselves of an afterlife, of heaven and hell, and the like. And these ideas massage away their fear of dying, which really is a fear of loss of consciousness forever. But, when an immediate and convincing threat arises that could end their lives-- eg., a mugger with a gun pointed at your head, a woman waking up in the middle of the night to find a stranger straddling her body with a knife aimed at her neck, -- most do not want to die, and experience the fear of it then in all its naked intensity. It is the self-preservation instinct, found in most animals for millions of years. There are means to hide this, to trick your mind into forgetting about it, but it's always there. Even suicidal people, whose SPI has eroded over time, still feel it I imagine to some degree. What percentage of suicides do the act completely sober? And who's to say the fear isn't still there, and they've simply found enough will power to overcome it? Loss of the will to live, is not the same thing as, not being afraid to die. Turns out Kamakazi pilots in WWII were high on meth. And one can't underestimate the power of self-hatred I suppose.

 

But if you point-blank say, "I am not afraid to die," it's hard for me to tell you you're lying or crazy or deluded. Hard maybe, but... Even myself right now, right this minute writing this blog post, I am not afraid of death. In the immediate sense. Still I recognize in a more abstract way that it's still there, and always there. It's our nature as brain-controlled animals.

 

The month of October I was very ill and went to the ER a couple times, thinking I was about to die (heart palpitations and severe anxiety). Also, out of no where seemingly, I developed a problem with agoraphobia. I would start to suffocate and feel like I was about to pass out every time I went outside. Somehow my brain cruelly-conditioned itself on its own and I was its victim--  That has since faded away. Never had anything like it before and hope it doesn't come back. I have filled that space with expectations, with duties, with hopes, with life. But that is a process of covering, not proof the fear doesn't exist at all. This 'fear of death' I'm talking about has phases. Goes into dormancy, but has the ability to rise back to consciousness, sometimes when you least expect it. You can beat it down with strong religious belief, with meditation, with a busy schedule, children to feed and care for, with constructed attitudes of strength or apathy, etc. but this again is not proof the Death Fear doesn't exist. Severe and long-lasting illness can cause a mind to even desire death, but only because it will eradicate forever the torturous nature of the disease-- most would chose a healthy body again over death.

 

Of course, the very basic point of its inevitability, becomes all important. How one deals with that inevitability. If you require an attitude of denial to get on with your day, then fine. But I promise you, under the right circumstances, everyone is afraid to die, on some measurable level. You'll fear it again someday. Even as now you shrug or find it funny or fascinating. Entire career paths are based around this fascination fo Death. Thinking about it too long, becoming obsessed with it, can be dangerous business as well. The brain is a magnificent conditioned and apparently self-conditioning machine, and it can just as easily work to muffle or exacerbate the fear of death.

 

 There really is no proper response to Death, but I think it's a bit on the delusional side when people claim they are not afraid to die. Try to laugh at it, scream at it, ignore it, whine about it-- all attitudes are empty in the face of Time rolling on without you. "Sucking it up," becomes just another way to turn your head away from the inevitable.


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