Sunday, August 19, 2012

This is some scary stuff, yo

When I was a little kid, I was scared to death of ALF. You know, the crazy looking alien creature from the 1980's sitcom of the same name? Yeah, scared the mess out of me. There's a video of me when I was about two; we were at my aunt and uncle's house, and I specifically avoided the area under their staircase because of an ALF doll. Even if it wasn't on video, I have an older cousin who will never let me live that down.

Sounds pretty crazy once you get older, but little kids often have some pretty crazy fears. I was also afraid of zombies, Darth Vader, and cats.

Yep, this little guy was right up there with dead people who wanted to eat my brains. (source)

Everyone is afraid of something. Fear can be a great asset; if you're afraid of the creepy guy following you into a dark alley, that fear will let you know to be alert and maybe, you know, get the hell out of that alley. Sometimes it can cause problems; lots of people are fearful of anyone or anything unfamiliar to them, hence the universal and timeless problem of prejudice. And sometimes, fear is a problem because we just don't know what to be afraid of. We all know to be afraid of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, who we know how to identify and (to a certain degree) defeat. But for every Freddy Krueger in the world, there is a Ted Bundy -- the danger we often don't realize is dangerous until it's too late.

A few months ago, I was watching one of those "What Would You Do?" shows. You know, the ones where hidden cameras capture actors faking inappropriate and potentially dangerous situations and see how people react. This episode involved bike theft, but as done by three different people. The first two not-thieves were men -- one black, one white. People reacted harshly, and several called the police. The third was a pretty blonde girl, and few people reacted negatively at all. Many of the men ogled her and even encouraged her -- all while their furious wives called the police. The implication being, of course, that if you're an attractive white female, people assume you can do no wrong. And this assuming and stereotyping can be dangerous.

Sadly, we live in an age where nobody can be trusted. But your instincts are your most powerful tool. If you think something isn't right, take the appropriate measures to right it. And if you think something is okay...well, you should still be cautious. After all, the scariest monsters are the ones we don't even know we should be afraid of.

Wow, that was rather depressing. Here's another picture of Adam Levine.

Maybe in my next depressing post, I'll add in some shots of Robert Schwartzman and Joe Jonas. Admit it -- you'd rather look at them than the kitten.

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