Sep 13, 2023, 05:55AM

The Funkification of Fear

Like mountains, mole hills, and sandcastles, the natural process breaks down.

Screenshot 2023 09 12 at 10.17.04 am.png?ixlib=rails 2.1

There’s no mistaking the scent of decay, and that odor accompanying decomposed remains is what floors you. Plant matter, vegetable matter, animal matter, mammals—all that definitely includes us. Even minerals break down and erode. Like mountains, mole hills, and sandcastles, the natural process breaks down. Organic pecking order to a more malodorous scale over time. The humble fart is there to constantly remind us of our own smelly demise. Although there are some hoity-toity people who think they're always coming up roses, eventually they’ll be pulling up daisies like everybody else. I wonder, do zombie farts smell bad? I mean, with all those raw brains they devour, technically they’re dead but still alive. Double-stinky. But I’ve got a whiff of the living that are pretty ripe, so there’s that. I’ve also been a sweaty, farting mess at the most inopportune times.

All creatures, alive or deceased, have a common denominator and a unique scent. Even the dead skunk in the middle of the road stinking to high heaven. Life’s so beautiful, filled with aromas and bouquets so sweet, most concur, yet death like plastic flowers is always funky. It’s noted by some that they can smell fear. The universal fear shared by all sentient beings. Do potatoes scream in agony when peeled? Does a ripe fruit or vegetable know it’ll eventually become rotten? Do trees talk to each other? That’s one for the scholars to sniff out. Surely, on a scientific level, you could translate that into some kind of malarkey theory. Although a conspiracy, the fear of death, or more precisely, the fear of the unknown, is the null and void of nothing minus zero. A nugatory romance doing a solo dance. You've got to love it. Impending doom and all that rot. The dead don’t know they’re dead. The living know for sure. The same applies to the stupid.

Existential dread is popular among people from every walk of life and all age groups, all the time. It’s the latest contemporary fad, a national pastime rapidly becoming a universal phenomenon. Confronted with all potential dangers, both natural and man-made. Catastrophic disasters and the threat of mass extinction. Total destruction has a consequential, nihilistic finale. It’s all too much for most to understand. There’s a fear afoot, spreading across all corners of the globe; a globe has no corners to hide in. Panic sets in quickly, like the fast-drying cement of a concrete overcoat sinking to the bottom of most frightening nightmares. Your nerves tingle as anxiety builds and paranoia rises to the top of a spiteful, hateful heap. What do you expect? You better believe if we go down, we’ll all go down together. Hate has a way of inducing mass hysteria, without exception. No excuses.

A sweet and sour angst. Bigotry knows no anguish. Afraid of our own shadows, jumping out of our sorry skins, leaving a pile of dusty bones. The biggest threats today seem overwhelming and mysterious. They have no boundaries and no maps to show them the way out. It’s one crisis after another. The hot topic of the moment is whether artificial intelligence will take over humanity. As though it hadn’t happened already. How much information have you read, watched, or heard about that isn’t a simulation produced by a computer or the recesses of an overactive brain? You wouldn’t know if it bit you in the ass just how real reality is.

Reality snobs think too much about their lives being stolen by chatbots. They’re the clucks in the barnyard of the mindless. How dare you use my picture of a photo from a painting borrowed from a book? I own the rights to this piece, that image, and those drawings over there on the wall. A projection in the manifestations of your fevered brain. Doesn’t compute artificial intelligence. Delete. Terminate. Destroy. Reboot your imaging system. Flush devices down the drain. I imagine if we never died and continued aging, on and on in a state of perpetual decline leading nowhere, how happy we would be. A living corpse rotting, not exactly dead nor fully alive but somewhere in between, beyond the pale, right out the digital window. A hungry ghost is never satisfied.

Recent events where I live have left people on pins and needles. Barricaded in their homes, refusing to set foot outside. There’s a manhunt for an escaped convict killer on the lam. He was spotted on surveillance cameras on more than one or two occasions. The murderer has eluded local and state law enforcement for a few weeks now. Now he’s stolen a white van. Maybe by the time you read this, he’ll be captured. I’m being cavalier about all the details of caution and safety measures, considering all the other murderers, rapists, child molesters, and other criminal types running around freely all the time. Whether real or imaginary, there are people who commit murderous and violent acts that nobody’s looking for.


Register or Login to leave a comment