Saturday, August 26, 2006
Sunday Scribblings: Monsters
I like monsters. Too bad they all don’t look like Taz. But there’s something about the physical representation of monsters that is comforting for me. So in thinking about this week’s Sunday Scribblings, I decided it would be helpful to define what a monster is.
According to Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary, a monster is:
Etymology: Middle English monstre, from Anglo-French, from Latin monstrum omen, monster, from monEre to warn -- more at MIND
1 a : an animal or plant of abnormal form or structure:
I do like that as a culture, we try to make monsters less scary, almost friendly, for children.
b : one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character
I'm not condoning her, but I understand the Mommy Dearest archetype. Never made the kids sit at the table for 12 hours until they finished their meal, but I understand the impulse.
2 : a threatening force
Hurricane Katrina was a monster created by Mother Nature. Just goes to show that even the most endearing images in modern folklore have their dark sides.
3 a : an animal of strange or terrifying shape b : one unusually large for its kind
I have to look no further than myself first thing in the morning. Most days, I have a healthy self-image of myself. But every once in a while, usually when I’m trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothing, I feel like a slow, lumbering beast.
4 : something monstrous; especially : a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty
Osama Bin Laden. Saddam Hussein. Insert favorite dictator/terrorist/evildoer here. Some could even make a case for our current leadership. But I’m not going to do that here.
5 : one that is highly successful
I happen to like Gordon Gekko and his signature line: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” While he was a ruthless character, I think he was right. Yet, the movie Wall Street and that now infamous speech influenced a whole generation of MBA students out to make a buck. Nothing worse than monsters with money.
In most cases, a monster is an entity that can be seen or heard. What’s the expression, "... the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t." Fear of failure is my monster. And even though I know what it looks like, it still scares me to death.