Continued from Terrible Monsters Baba Yaga
Series began in: Terrible Monsters: Loch Ness, Banshee, Chupacabra
Reclusive proto human? Gigantic hermit with a thrift shop fur coat? Mountain gorilla with a poor sense of direction and a commitment to walking upright? Bigfoot exists as more of a simian J.D. Salinger than a monster proper. A brief, immense, presence made significant by his refusal to be known.
Stalked by friendless A.V. Clubbers, like a pretty girl who once retrieved their inhaler from a of huddle mean jocks, the lore around Bigfoot is that of our pursuit, with little attention paid to his purpose or nature. He is what we need of him. The sum of our knowledge could serve as the tagline of a match.com profile:
Large, bipedal, creature enjoys long walks on the tundra, startling hikers, and thwarting the ambitions of fourth rate documentarians. Looking for fellow recluse to share lightly furnished cave and dour silences.
Country of origin: U.S.A
Is it scary:
At worst Bigfoot is accused of occasionally trampling men who’d managed to corner him in his woodland lair. This is on par with a frustrated celebrity smashing a paparazzi’s camera. Hell, if this went down in Florida he’d be well within his rights to gun the lot of them down without fear of prosecution, the events immortalized in a NRA financed remake of “Harry and the Hendersons” where the family doesn’t make it out of the first act.
There are nightmarish elements around our obsession with him, but the monster is a source of pathos, not terror. .
What does this say about America:
Bigfoot was the first reality star. He is famous for being famous, a cypher that allows us to project narrative. His lore is more cryptozooilogical cold case file than a mystery proper, his hair and footprints fetishzied as proof against the finders mundanity. Bigfoot is special only to the extent that those who capture him will become special. There is no fear or delight, just the acquisitive desire of weary capitalist. Damn, it got a little Marxist in here.
What is the lesson:
Introversion will not be tolerated. No matter how remote your exile, intrusive weirdoes will never leave you alone. At some point you will be cornered and forced to explain how your need for solitude is really about others. How your quiet is a mystery for them to solve.
“Bigfoot exists as more of a simian J.D. Salinger than a monster proper. ” This quote is pure gold! Harry and the Hendersons was one of my favorite movies growing up. I’m pretty sure if I watched it now it’d be ruined.
Roy Sexton (Reel Roy Reviews) said:
Your blog is a consistent delight! Keep up the great work!
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I have now read all of the monsters…. And I could pull hilarious, pointed, and interesting pieces from all of them (and may do so yet – The Alp and Selkie stand out at the moment). And, frankly, I think the teenager is getting quite sick of my garbled attempts to read him sections through delighted hysteria – though he does laugh and enjoy when I can manage coherence or just shove the laptop in front of him … but this:
“Introversion will not be tolerated. No matter how remote your exile, intrusive weirdoes will never leave you alone. At some point you will be cornered and forced to explain how your need for solitude is really about others. How your quiet is a mystery for them to solve.”
…is just plain stunning.
Elegant and achey with truth.
Truths that easily start when a school-aged child is labelled “shy” by an adult and then spends the rest of their days living some version of what you have described in every classroom, office, room of every home they try to share with others…
I feel like this is both “lesson” and *also* says a lot about America???
(And, possibly, the consistent maligning of Yin energies by the West in favour of Yang ones to the detriment of all Nature’s balance, but I digress…)
Anyway. Thank you for those words. They hit soft places with accuracy and leave a warm sigh of connective tissues made of “Yes. That.” in their wake.
A.J. Valliant said:
I was hoping you’d read the monster stuff. They can be hit or miss, and there are few exiled to draft, but they are the most fun to write.
Also, that fact that your son is now 14 make realize just how long it’s been since we make blog acquaintance, Our correspondence has almost outlived the medium itself. It’s inspiring enough I’ll get off my butt and put something new up.
For reasons passing understanding because I absolutely checked the appropriate box, lol, I never got a notification that you had responded to me about this… BOO INTERWEBS. I have been distracted by far too much pedestrian and adult-related nonsense over the last few weeks but am in total agreement that there is something inspiring about reacquaintance with someone who has inspired me a great deal in this medium and how damn old the connection now is. I have a bunch of “drafts” myself, a fierce desire to *do* and *create* more and will be back very soon to see about new material at your end. Promise.
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