The ‘horrible’ & the ‘terrible’ & Lust

‘they’re sellin’ you love in a satellite…

ugly swan
ugly swans

[no bullshit, this is the first thing i thought about today, like as i was waking up, i wrote all this… i dont know why]

Remember your English 102 text, the section on gothic literature. Writers back in the day would debate the definitions of horror and terror; and they were all wrong, and boring. They didn’t even mention capitalism, Gosh.

We live in gothic capitalism.

Like Fisher’s the Weird and the Eerie, the horrible and the the terrible are inverses of each other, they each have a specific competence and meaning for us.

{To say two ideas are inverses of each other is to say that they are the same, the elements of the ideas just flipped, in opposite order; the super become sub and the sub become super. The same spectacle, depending on presentation, can inspire horror or terror.} Behold:

Terror emanates from the big Other; terror reigns, terror is always a tool of the regime. (Now hold that thought) Terror is fire raining down, it is always outside of your personal subjectivity and menacing you from a position above (big Other like the police, like the CIA or the KGB) or it can be outside your subjectivity from an insidious, uncrushable menace from the other (radicals of all sorts, political, religious, economic).

‘Terror’ is both oppression from the Big Other above us and insurrection from the insidious other below, between the cracks of the social structure. Terror is always outside the individual psyche in either formulation.

Paranoia is the little black bat that hangs like a Fury around the Goddess Terror.

Terror displaces, pushes you out, it moves the subject away, with explosions, crowd attacks, social spectacles meant to move you…

(I feel dangerous writing this. What a funny feeling. What funny times we live in.)

Ivan_the_Terrible_&_son_-_destroyed
Ivan the Terrible

Horror is on the other pole of the structure of subjectivity. (forgive me these ridiculous lit-theory terms). Horror is inspired in you, by the object of your perception; rather than forced upon you from outside, from the reigning Other or the creeping other.

Horror is in the placement or role of an object in a sequence of sensation (reality or art, literature or life, cinema or sight), it’s juxtaposition leaves you transfixed.  Like a Henry Darger painting, (which I won’t put on here), the juxtaposition of beautiful, pristine wonderland nature and, well, slaughtered little elf villagers, leaves you in horror. But the paintings aren’t terrible. They’re horrible.

Horror leaves you spellbound.

Horror transfixes. Terror scatters.

Horror stains you behind the eyes. Terror blinds you with fright.

How the fixation of the inspired horror summons you forth speaks to your psyche.

mubi
ugly swans

You might reject the sights and the story and the fact, turn around, deny it, digest it into disbelief and live with the repression for as long as you can.

You might be forced to reassert your fantasy of autonomy by slaying/destroying/oblitering the Horror, in an attempt to reclaim your status as a (mythical-bourgeois) complete-and-sealed subject.

You might see the horrible and be perversely attracted to it’s aura, the power of it’s proximity, it’s allusion to Death and decay.

You might kiss a lover who has done something horrible… arousal and disgust, desire and death; the repression and its dancing-partner, the love of transgression, playing inside you. Like Alex from A Clockwork Orange. He’s truly horrible.

You might…

Terror is a drone; the minuscule and cold little reaper’s crow of plastic and wireless signals, a blind tool of the big Other and Their schemes of hegemony and War. The cold little satellite of the regime rains fire upon the villages and the deserts of the earth, scattering human beings, terror in it’s silence, its invisibility, its eruption from the pristine blue of heavenly skies…

Terror reduces to ashes, embodies our material end, hastens our decay. Explode.

Horror is the snuff video on your friend’s open desktop… the obscene exposure of a fantasy, disgusting in itself, reified as an object of pleasure, as consciously-woven spectacle, meant to transfix you, meant to disgust and arouse you, meant to inspire loathing; ‘get your rocks off, get your kicks.’

Horror materializes the unspeakable, an embodiment of fantasy. Horror prevents any further development, it snags you, poisons and perverts you, rots you. Implode.

You tremble at horror, shaken inside. You panic at terror, the shake of reality, of the world.

Sorry. (:

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