The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why would Casper be friendly?

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Do you believe in ghosts? I never have even though I have an early memory of seeing an apparition by my bedside. I suppose it's because we didn't have a "haunted house" in my neighborhood. And I had an older brother who tried to convince me ghosts were real. I learned early on not to believe my brother. He would do his best to convince me of something untrue so he could laugh at me later for being gullible. He has a lot to do with my cynical nature.

But there are no ghosts, are there? We like to pretend there are for things like Halloween and we seem to love scary stories. Who hasn't sat around late at night and listened to ghost stories? Ghosts and goblins have been used throughout history to explain the seemingly unexplainable. Authors through the ages have either written scary stories or used ghosts and apparitions as ways to invoke guilt or turn their characters around. Think of Marley's ghost tromping about in chains frightening poor old Ebenezer Scrooge. Think of Hamlet's dead father who appears 4 times in the play.

The best scary movie I ever saw was "The Haunting" (1963). You never saw any spirits, no ghosts, but they were there. More inferred than seen. The one scene where an apparition seemingly appears is explained soon after.

One of the reasons I never believed in ghosts is because I could not figure out how they could harm you. They hid from sight most of the time. They were apparently unable to touch you. If something can't touch you, how can it harm you? There were plenty of real things that could harm me, starting with my brother, that I saw little need to worry about the supernatural.

At some point I began to see supernatural things as devices used to control people. Haunted houses are dangerous since they are usually rundown and seedy. Rotted floors and crumbling stairs are hazards which can hurt curious children. And children are nothing if not curious. It is a bit ironic that children want to explore haunted houses since fear is supposed to keep them away.

There were times in my life where I wished I could believe in such things as ghosts. My lack of belief has always made me feel apart from others.


Pearl said...

I've never seen a ghost.

But I've heard voices. :-)


The Commentator said...

Movies once upon a time forced you to work your imagination, eh? As compared to today, it seems like the challenge is to come up with new ways to visualize terror and horror - which I like too. Both have their place but I'd love to see someone try and pull something off like The Haunting TODAY.

Douglas4517 said...

Too true, sadly. I grew up reading Bram Stoker and watching really old "horror" classics. Though I enjoy the realistic special effects of today, I still don't like the "slasher" flicks.

Douglas4517 said...

That's just other people on the bus filtering through your i-Pod earbuds.