Essay Sample on Delving Into David Bowie's Scary Monsters

Published: 2022-12-30
Essay Sample on Delving Into David Bowie's Scary Monsters
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Music
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1795 words
15 min read

She had a horror of rooms she was tired you can't hide beat, When I looked in her eyes they were blue but nobody home, She could've been a killer if she didn't walk the way she does, and she does, She opened strange doors that we'd never close again, She began to wail jealousies scream, Waiting at the lights know what I mean, Scary monsters, super creeps, Keep me running, running scared, Scary monsters, super creeps, Keep me running, running scared.

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From the above song, the question that arises is, "what is a monster?" The word monster is derived from a Latin word, monstrare, to warn. If you look at early uses of the term and concept, particularly in Greek and Roman cultures, it was applied to something like a baby born as a conjoined twin or missing a limb or with extra limbs. These were thought to be monsters. The Greeks called them teratos. They thought they were horrifying punishments for immoral activity-a theme the medieval Christians jumped on and articulated (Sharpe 236). It was a sign that things were going to be bad for the state, or this particular emperor, or this specific battle. It is a mix of natural calamity and spiritual significance. Therefore, due to various actions which are conducted by people in the society, this paper will focus on the monsters among us and what they say about us.

How monsters have been created over the centuries is much more indicative of the moral and existential challenges faced by societies than the realities that they have encountered Monster is a large, ugly, and frightening imaginary creature which can denote an inhumanly or wicked person. Philosophically, the word conjures up figures or creatures from gothic horror, in essence, Dracula or classical images of exotic peoples with no heads or exaggerated features, and the kinds of impossible beasts. According to Cinque (205), personhood can be viewed in two different ways where it can be defined existentially thus meaning that it is a state of being inherent and essential to the human species. Secondly, it can be defined relationally thus indicating that it is a conditional state of value determined by society.

I believe that a monster still does excellent work. One of the things about the beast is that it is not someone you can negotiate with rationally. You might find common ground with an enemy. Maybe your enemy hates you. Perhaps it is economically based. Monster is a term reserved for people who cannot be negotiated with. It is almost impossible, if not impossible, to understand their behavior, their motives, their mind. The regular theory of mind doesn't work on these people (Cinque 198). In the society that we live in, a lot of people think that "Well, a monster is an old word that needs to go away entirely, and what you have to do is understand people and what makes them tick." A Monster has negative connotations, and that has to be talked about. But in this case, it is entirely appropriate to use it just as defined above.

Ideally, every person is capable of committing monstrous acts, but real monsters are quite rare. Our Darwinian inheritance provides all of us with adaptive forms of aggression, but the nurture of caregivers and cultural education tempers and domesticates our predatory tendencies. Failures of parenting and cultural education, together with brain anomalies, are usually in the background of psychopathic personalities. Certain ideologies like jihadism or imperialism can re-educate an otherwise compassionate person into a monster (O'Hara 256). Bad ideas can redirect our pro-social emotions, and create a malignant heart. In my perception, I certainly believe that the monsters in us are the fears that live inside us. Be that as it may, it could be one is afraid of deep waters or scary insects or even fears that come with doing certain things that us extreme sports. It's almost a paralyzing fear because I fear sea monsters, which is an utterly irrational and ridiculous fear. It's made me wonder what's going on.

Monsters that scare us that is vampires, zombies, and witches help us cope with what we dread most in life. Fear of the monstrous has brought communities and cultures together over the centuries and serves us as well today. It is evident that enlightened people seem to need monsters still so much. This can be seen from the things that are popular in society when it comes to the movie industry or the music world where you find scary content has attracted big audiences (O'Hara 254). This is as a result of the appetite for content associated with the undead has only grown more pronounced since.

Looking into various TV Series such as the Game of Thrones, Twilight Saga, Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, it is outright that our current obsession with monsters seems to be at an all-time high as we binge on hit movies and TV series dedicated to vampires and zombies. In today's youth-obsessed culture in which we are reluctant even to acknowledge our mortality, much less discuss it, does this fascination with monsters signal a need to confront our fear of death? It is true that there is nothing new in the love of monsters, according to Leo Braudy, University Professor and holder of the Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature (Thompson 2010). "We have told each other scary stories since the beginning of time. Ghosts, for instance, have been around since the start of civilization," he said.

It is believed that our fascination with monsters, begins in childhood with the fairy tales we hear at our mother's knee. Children love fairy tales for the same reasons we all love scary stories because they allow us a kind of mastery," he said. They're comforting, but also titillating, certainly for adults. The fictional monsters created during this period can be categorized into four types. Each corresponds to deep-seated anxiety about progress, the future and the human ability to achieve anything like control over the world. "The monster from nature" represents a power that humans only think they have harnessed, but haven't. The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, King Kong and Godzilla are all examples of this type (Sharpe 232). An awesome abnormality that we can't predict and scramble to understand, it strikes without warning - like the shark in "Jaws." While the apparent inspiration is real ferocious animals, they could also be thought of as embodied versions of natural disasters - hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

"The created monster," like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, is the monster we have built and believe we can control - until it turns against us. His descendants are the robots, androids and cyborgs of today, with their potential to become all too human - and threatening. "The monster from within" is the monster generated by our repressed dark psychology, the other side of our otherwise bland and blameless human nature (think Mr. Hyde to our Dr. Jekyll). When nondescript and seemingly harmless young men turn into mass-murdering killers or suicide bombers, the "monster from within" has shown his face. "The monster from the past," like Dracula, comes out of a pagan world and offers an alternative to ordinary Christianity with his promise of a blood feast that will confer immortality (Cinque 210-211). Like a Nietzschean superman, he represents the fear that the usual consolations of religion are bankrupt and that the only answer to the chaos of modern life is the securing of power.

Our modern-day enthusiasm for vampires stems from our desire to avoid confronting our mortality. Vampires have lived for thousands of years, have survived history, so they are simultaneously feared but admired, because they represent, for the moment, a liberation from mortality." Another example is the current zombie craze, reflects our present-day fear of groups. This is an era where we're less afraid of James Bond-type villains, those descendants of Hitler and Mussolini who want to rule the world and more fearful of the faceless, shadowy, anonymous groups we can't pin down. What's different about the zombie and what separates it from most of the classic monsters is that it's part of a collective, while other monsters are individuals. There's no hierarchy in the zombie world, no 'king zombie,' so the fear of zombies represents a common fear of groups (O'Hara 254). They might be Islamic fundamentalists, immigrants, politicians you name it, whatever group frightens you.

Our love of monsters is revealing, showing us how preoccupied we are with death and mortality. Our obsession with monsters provides the counterbalance to our change in funerary practices as described in Jessica Mitford's remarkable book The American Way of Death medicalized, sanitized death that now takes place mostly in hospitals, far removed from our daily lives.

"What does horror do? "Does is it keep our mortality squarely in front of us."

Popular culture, essentially allows us to indulge our fears and desires without penalty, and that explains the pleasure we currently derive from watching films or TV shows featuring monsters, including zombies and vampires. Popular culture is, to a certain extent, emotionally compensatory. It allows us to indulge those fears and desires that medical science has deprived us of by de-sentimentalizing or de-emotionalizing death. It should be understood that emerging technology and media has played an important role when it comes to fear and the monsters living in us. In the early times, enlightenment proclaimed that reason had the power to change the world. According to O'Hara (249), humans have always been afraid, but while the fears of the demonic and the diabolical characterized medieval times, the changes wrought by the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution created a whole new set of concerns tied to advancements in science and technology and an increasingly crowded and complex world.


Therefore, I agree that monsters are there and they possess lots of information about individuals. In 1918, German sociologist Max Weber announced the triumph of the reason that, "There are no mysterious incalculable forces that come into play and one can, in principle, master all things by calculation. Yes, we are committed, in many ways, to reason and analytic thinking but it seems that we need our monsters and our sense of enchantment as well since the story of fear, phobia, and horror has to be rooted in ancient emotional systems. It can as well be said that our fascination with monsters is perpetual.

Works Cited

Cinque, Toija. "Semantic Shock: David Bowie!" Enchanting David Bowie: Space/Time/Body/Memory. New York: Bloomsbury (2015): 197-214.

O'Hara, Shannon. "Monsters, playboys, virgins and whores: Rape myths in the news media's coverage of sexual violence." Language and Literature 21.3 (2012): 247-259.

Sharpe, Alex. "Scary monsters: the hopeful undecidability of David Bowie (1947-2016)." Law and Humanities 11.2 (2017): 228-244.

Thompson, Dave. Hallo Spaceboy: The Rebirth of David Bowie. Ecw Press, 2010.

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