Horror Movie Morality

My wife and I were talking about horror movies the other day.

I used to not like horror movies, but when I started to work on my fears, especially the fear regarding dying on a bicycle, I have stopped being afraid of them. Also, I did a little research on them, and I realized that they are more than just random killing–though they often have that–but they also have some very cool and clear patterns such as the final girl, the one who lives to kill the killer.

Usually she is somewhat pure which enables her to survive.

This is when we got into the whole idea of US horror movies mirroring some of our inner anxieties regarding morality especially sex, but it includes all kinds of fun.

To paraphrase the video shop guy in _Scream_, “Don’t do drugs and don’t have sex because you will die.”

Of course, both topics have one thing in common, and it’s not that they are bad, but they are fun. They were also campaigned against relentlessly in my youth. I’m still a bit angry and resentful because I feel that I had been denied some harmless fun which delayed my personal growth quite a bit.

I think that this is related to cycling in that cycling is also fun, and like sex and drugs, it’s a kind of fun that’s seen as imposing a burden on society for the benefit of the few. The old Christian–and horror movie–morality goes that for every bit of fun we have, there’s a price to be paid which is why I feel that people are quick to blame a cyclist for their death even if the motorist is at fault.

I’d argue that with great power comes with responsibility, but that’s a separate discussion.

In fact, our rush to blame the bicyclist first or BBF, to me has actually become pretty much comedic. Life’s too short to be eternally outraged. We had our good rant and anger, and now we can move on.

It reminds of me Dave Chapelle’s routine where cops would kill blacks in DC where he was growing up and to absolve themselves of all blame and investigation, they’d just sprinkle crack on that person.

Now a days, they a cop could run someone over and they would not be held accountable if they just dropped a bicycle onto that person.

In fact, this morning, I noticed that they had orange cones and huge signs blocking the bike lane on my way to work. I thought, “cool”, because seldom do I have the opportunity to ride with so much protection.

I love the notion of us having care and gratitude for those who pave our streets because we owe it to them for a big luxury in our lives. I totally agree that fines should be double or quadruple for hitting a construction worker.

Then I thought, I ride up this hill everyday. There’s nobody looking out for me. I know that, as per horror movie morality, chose to cycle, but since we don’t live in Soviet Russia to a degree, the construction workers chose their jobs, too.

I am not thinking of NOT protecting the workers, but this thought gave me pause.

For most of the hill, I didn’t even ride behind the pretty orange force field because I had to hit the button and the button only works on the opposite side of the street and the light doesn’t activate for cyclists and there were no cars and this is one more way that San Diego says she loves me each time I cycle.

So I did the next best thing and tried to cut over when it was safe. But it was only safe on the near side so I got stuck in the–huge and safe–middle lane. For a while, everyone just rode on each other’s bumpers until some nice person let me in. I could tell because he honked sweetly and gave me room.

Once ensconced behind an orange wall of cones, I waved. He waved back and I saw that he was a co-worker who said he would hit me if he saw me in the street. He had changed for the better!

Miracles happen everyday.


2 Responses to “Horror Movie Morality”

  1. Aaron Says:

    WTF does cycling have to do with horror movies? Nothing. The title was completely misleading and this was a totally mindless post.

    • Fred Says:

      I don’t think I compared cycling to horror movies, but rather the morality used to justify the callousness of society towards people who die on their bicycles.

      Comparing things that have nothing in common is a literary device known as metaphor.

      For some reason there seems to be a decline of adults who get metaphors and other colorful and creative forms of expression.

      Or perhaps there was always a subset who have this difficulty.

      I believe that such people tend to be more concrete thinkers who do well with hands on work as well as literal written work, but have trouble with abstract thinking. I’m not sure, but it is interesting.

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