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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Humans versus Critters

As a Child, I was Terrified of Meeting a Giant Spider
I just saw a trailer for something called Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys.  Lampreys, in case you were unaware, are long snake-like fish with toothed, funnel-like mouth-parts for sucking blood from other fish.  They are moderately revolting to look at, but no lamprey has ever attacked a human.  The film, which will appear on Animal Planet, was produced by the same folks who brought us Sharknado, in which a town is laid waste to by a tornado which evidently picked up a school of understandably angry sharks.

All of us will naturally recall Piranha and Piranha Part II, about mutant flying piranha fish.

By no means is this sort of movie a new phenomenon - I still have occasional Jaws flashbacks when swimming in the ocean and have a need to swim to the beach as quickly as I can.  A movie about a giant spider living in a cave in New Mexico left me in intermittent terror as a child that I would make a similar find in Washington County, Georgia.  The list of scary critters in film goes back at least as far as King Kong, and in literature, at least as far back as Scylla and Charybdis in The Odyssey.   

Recently, I read that a woman is facing execution for having married a Christian.  Elsewhere, a woman was held prisoner for eighteen months by a sadistic crystal meth user.  Meanwhile, Russia is flexing its muscles in Crimea and Assad is committing atrocities in Syria; it seems odd we have to terrify ourselves with images of shark-infested tornadoes or flying piranha or even just plain old eighty-foot-tall gorillas.  

What we should be scared of is us.

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