The Redundancy of the Horror Genre

I’m in the middle of reading a horror story, and it struck me that the whole horror genre has been made redundant by the insanity of this year. The Bob, dehumanizing masks, the reorganization of businesses and schools, double hurricanes, riots, wildfires, defunding the police. How insane would an author have to be to come up with such a mélange? But there was no author writing the story of the past few months.

A quote from Dean Koontz, who is talking about fairy tales: “Instead of stealing the queen’s newborn daughter, Rumpelstiltskin was foiled, and in his rage, tore himself apart. In real life during the last decade of the twentieth century, Rumpelstiltskin would probably get the queen’s daughter. He would no doubt addict her to heroin, turn her out as a prostitute, confiscate her earnings, beat her for pleasure, hack her to pieces, and escape justice by claiming that society’s intolerance for bad-tempered, evil-minded trolls had driven him temporarily insane.”

Now we come to the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, and the difference is that people want to defund the police so that . . . what? Rumpelstiltskin won’t even be arrested? They’ll send a social worker to talk to him to see if he’ll release the poor girl? Maybe try to educate him away from his vileness? Let the poor girl continue to suffer while they pamper the co-called victim of intolerance?

Of all the insanities of this year, the vast criminality that is going along with the defund the police movement seems to show that we are in no shape to ease up on restrictions. (And yes, when there are billions of dollars of damage done plus many millions of dollars of merchandise looted plus lives lost plus untold injuries, the perpetrators have gone way beyond protesting to committing crimes.) Although there might need to be some sort of change (if nothing else, to take the cops with a bias off the streets) it seems that the defund the police movement favors the wrongdoers more than the victims.

If they don’t disband the police departments entirely, but instead divide the funds among various quality-of-life programs, how is that going to work? The various groups fight among themselves in a sort of bureaucratic triage to see who answers the call while the poor victim is left helpless? If someone is being mugged by a person high on drugs, do they send a cop for the victim or a counselor for the perpetrator?

It seems that defunding the police should come in a time of self-discipline and responsibility rather than a period of license and licentiousness.

But I could be wrong.

I live in a town that is trying to reestablish their police force, which could be a good thing since the local cops would ideally be more cognizant of the problems in town than the county sheriffs would be. Still, from what little contact I’ve had with the sheriff’s department, they seem to know the usual suspects quite well.

All I know is that I don’t commit crimes. I don’t disrespect the police even if they don’t respect me. (Which has happened.) Unfortunately, not everyone is like me or the people I know. If they were, then there wouldn’t be any issue of defunding the police because there wouldn’t be any police because there wouldn’t be any crime or drugs or abuse. There wouldn’t be any talk of man-made viruses escaping from laboratories because people like us don’t create such monsters. Nor would there be riots or burning or looting or killing or maiming.

And the horror genre could go back to being horrific in comparison.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Protesting the Protesting

Really, people? Protesting? Rioting? Looting? What the heck are you doing? How do think this is going to change anything? It’s not as if the instigating event was a case of social or systematic injustice — it was a single case of a one man committing a crime that everyone seems to agree was egregious. He has been arrested and charged. So what’s the point of protest? It’s done.

If the protests were focused on the use of a particular means of subduing a person, then that makes sense. Kneeling on someone’s neck should never have been acceptable police procedure.

But that isn’t what people are protesting.

I can see that people want to express their overwhelming feelings toward the event, so why not a candlelight memorial for the victim to show they care? Why not some sort of benefit to offer support? But a protest? Someone needs to rewrite the narrative. Cops kill as many unarmed whites as black. (According to FBI statistics, of all the unarmed folks cops have killed, only 6% involved a white cop/unarmed black.) So what’s to protest? All deaths by cop? That makes sense since there really shouldn’t be any at all.

But that isn’t what people are protesting. If it were, race wouldn’t be an issue in this current conflagration.

Still, a quiet protest, no matter how illogical is one thing. Rioting is another.

People are still not allowed in church in groups of more than fifty in order to stop the spread of a disease, but apparently, if huge numbers are going on a spree of violence, the disease can’t catch up with them, so mobs are okay. (Does anyone else see the irony of rioters and looters wearing surgical masks to keep from accidentally spreading a disease when they are purposely doing harm to others? It sure boggles my mind.)

It seems that people are taking for granted that peaceful protests can spontaneously combust into violence. Fisticuffs, sure, but more than that is simply not possible. If one is planning on going to a peaceful gathering, one does not fill a backpack with spray paint cans, weapons, bricks, large rocks, incendiary devices. (The chance of a simple match or lighter burning down a building without any sort of flammable materials being involved is just about nil.) So if people are carrying such things, then the protest almost by definition, can’t be peaceful. And if people aren’t carrying such things, they had to come from somewhere. Which means that someone purposely instigated the riots. They didn’t just “happen.”

And looting? Oh, yeah, nothing says “solidarity” like destroying the businesses in one’s neighborhood, and nothing shows one’s sterling character like theft. To say nothing of the irony of stealing liquor and televisions and Huggies to protest crime.

Silly me. I really thought we were better than this.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.