Monday, October 3, 2011

Someday, I'll Build One ...

And for once, I'm not referring to a pirate ship. Though that be on me list!

No, I'm talking about a different sort of craft entirely. As many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of H.P. Lovecraft, and consider him to be the father of modern horror. True, some of his writing is almost painfully dull, and when he goes on one of his racist tirades - although I do keep in mind that he was writing in the '20s, which was not the most enlightened of times in terms of racial integration and understanding - I'm tempted to give up on him. But when I reread "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Shadow over Innsmouth," or "The Dunwich Horror," I'm reminded why I love his brand of weird tales so much.

One of Lovecraft's strong points is that he completely avoided the whole cliche of good vs. evil in his writings. It's not that the monsters and villains are evil; they just don't care or don't even notice humanity at all! To Lovecraft, humanity is to the Old Ones and their cults what a bug is to a car on the highway: barely noticeable, aside from the debris on the windshield. When conflict occurs between humanity (usually represented by one or two people who are unlucky enough to get caught in the wrong place and wrong time) and the beasties, the outcome is usually uncertain or at best a draw. To me, this is how horror should be. Not ending with a celebration, but not ending with utter defeat, either (I'm talking to you, Skeleton Key!). The protagonists may have forced the chaos back, but there's always the knowledge that humanity isn't safe, was never safe, and will never be safe.

Anyway, Lovecraft has a rather cultish fan base, and there are podcasts, games, and people selling props and replicas of items from his stories (I have a diploma from the fictitious Miskatonic University - a PhD in Theoretical Realities, in case you were curious). Today I came across instructions to build a cemetery plot for Lovecraft! Once the Dude gets old enough, one of the Father-Son activities I've planned is for us to go nuts and build a haunted yard display. You can bet that this is going to be one of the central pieces!

In the meantime, though, I must return to the drudgery of work. Ugh. At least I am making money that I can put (although One Ring generally terms this as waste) towards these projects!

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