Traditional fear - Modern fear

Which is more frightening ?

  • Total voters

The Fisher King

Professor of Cannibalism
Almost universally cited as the creator of the detective fiction genre, Edgar Allan Poe was pivotal in the emergence of horror, and gore, in the literature of the 1800's. I do not doubt that many of you are familiar with his work, but I must wonder, do you believe we have become desensitized to traditional gore? Is it your belief that we have seen so much in this past century, that we can no longer enjoy, or gain any sort of satisfaction from what was once considered as terrifying as some may consider this website? I think so - It is my most earnest belief that traditional fear, and traditional methods of evoking, what I call, "Fear in practice", have been altogether altered, and not for the better.

Surely, there can be no disputing the fact that, as we together advance in a Social context, so do the things which we find frightening. My only concern is that, the things which we now find fright in, have become so derivative, so, diluted in nature, that fear itself is an all together disjointed concept.


social outcast

karma can be expected
This desensitization you speak of runs the gamut from shock/gore to pornography. With the advent of the internet and media outlets, our brains sizzle with information overload. I remember finding a stash of porn in a dilapidated barn and was that ever the treasured find! But a kid that same age in today's society can be privy to whatever floats his dingy (no pun intended).

So that being said, I can look at this sites content and be amazed, enthralled, curiosity piqued but I know for a fact that put in the same situation in a real world setting, my natural body reactions come to the surface. Case in point, a co-worker and I both saw a newscaster standing on the corner of a street and so naturally we rubber-necked. What we saw was a tractor trailer that had a bicycle all crumbled underneath its wheel well. There was a smear of orangish colored body matter, no discernible human body parts, just a fifty yard smear. We were aghast and soon we talked of being queasy and being nearly sick to our stomachs. This was from seeing the scene from a vehicle and only for a short window of opportunity.

So, I think this peek we are allowed (web, tv, movies) does give us a sense of distance that makes viewing and therefore accepting/believing that we are OK with seeing the macabre, that we can handle life's most disturbing and atrocious peculiarities. Yet put us in a dimly lit hall, in a basement, we hear footsteps overhead. Then the door to said basement opens up and all at once the lights to the basement go off and the same footsteps heard are now descending the stairwell, we shit our pants like we're supposed to. No doubt about that. Our intrinsic human wiring is still in place despite the numbing effect we succumb to daily, hourly, second by second...

Weeping Tom

Avant garde art & food critic extraordinaire
I've always thought that Daniel, as starred in the story of Susanna of the Apocrypha, was the first detective in fiction. I'd call it fiction not merely because I am no believer in the apocrypha but also because it is, in that setting, a fable.
As to whether shocking images and/or events become less shocking the more you witness them, well, I'd say of course this is so, look at soldiers in serious wars, nurses, abattoir workers and so on, they all get quite desensitised.
The difference is, what we're looking at are photos and movies, I think our reactions would be utterly different if we were watching it as it happened while we were on hand.