athelind: (hoard potato)
Everyone has their quirks and aesthetic preferences, and I always strive not to, as they say, "yuck someone else's yum" -- but I must admit to a recurrent artistic theme in fan art that unsettles me. This is not to assert that artists and fans should avoid this theme, but, rather, to excuse myself in advance if my absence, lack of response, or sudden, shrieking departure might demand explanation.

I must confess that as a small child, I was deeply disturbed by the creepy surrealism of old cartoons of the "rubber hose and black bean nose" era -- the Fleischer Brothers were notorious repeat offenders, but the studios of Messrs. Disney, Warner, Goldwyn, et al., were by no means innocent. That style of art and animation has never been "cute" in my eyes; in fact, it is indelibly associated with a queasy frisson of eldritch horror that even the works of Mr. Lovecraft only seldom elicit.

As a result, when Sonic the Hedgehog resurrected the "rubber hose and black bean nose" style in 1991, my stomach lurched.

Thus, when I am browsing the various art sites I frequent and see Sonic-based art ... I never click the thumbnail. When, in my wanderings around the tawdry wastelands of Second Life, I happen across some hapless individual wearing an avatar in the Sonic style ... I go the other way. Very quickly.

It is, I assert, no reflection on the quality of either the art or the individual. It is wholly the style itself.

It is not so much an "Uncanny Valley" as an Unholy Abyss.

Oddly, the faux-retro stylings of the Animaniacs and their ilk don't disturb me at all. Despite their superficial resemblance to the antediluvian antecedents of animation's Golden Age, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are proportioned, rigged, and animated in the modern fashion.
athelind: (tell it like it IS)
I wonder how much of my disinterest in the zombie trend and its associated media and phenomena stems from having substantially more contact with dead things than most modern urbanites and suburbanites?

You want a lasting visceral reaction, spend some time working with a sea lion carcass so foul and decayed that seagulls won't eat it anymore.

That'll take some of the charm out of dressing up like a rotting corpse for a flash mob.

athelind: (ufo)
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Would you live in the perfect house or apartment rent-free if you found out a brutal murder had taken place there and it was rumored to be haunted? Why or why not?

Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the house, really—and not just the quality of the physical structure.

You see, I've done "haunted" before—at least twice.

One place was still one of the best places I've ever lived, even with the plainly-visible phantom who regularly walked through the front door and down the hall in the evenings.

No, seriously. My wife and I would both see the Walk-In at the same time; the living room sofa that faced the TV also had a clear view of the entrance hall. We were seeing the same thing, too; she caught clearer glimpses of him than I did, but we both saw Plaid Shirt.

I don't think the Plaid Man had any connection to the body that was found just down the road about six months after we moved in. That was a fairly recent occurrence, and the Plaid Man felt like he'd been Walking Through for a very long time. that whole area had something of a haunted air: former military family housing turned student housing, smack in the middle of a creepy oak forest full of gnarled, twisted trees. I don't know if any of our neighbors had similar experiences ... and it doesn't really matter: I'd move back into that apartment, or any of the near-identical ones in that neighborhood, in a snap.

On the other claw, I've also lived in a place that definitely wanted us Out Of There. I don't know what the previous tenants were up to before they got evicted, but it took four or five coats of paint to cover up the cryptic symbols and arcane writing on the walls of one room, and even after that, the house did everything short but whisper "GET OUT".

In fact, as we were packing up the moving truck, I made one last sweep through the house to make sure we didn't forget anything ... and on the way out the door, I said, "... and good [bleep]ing riddance."

And it definitely responded in kind. The low-level Bad Vibes that always plagued the place immediately cranked up to eleven. I moved very quickly out the door, jumped in the truck, and said, "Go. Now."

Really, I've watched enough movies to know better than that.

... damnation, now I get to to to sleep with this stuff fresh in my mind.

And so do you.

November 2016

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