Friday, May 16, 2008

Heyyy spiderface

Which is "worse"? A person with the head of a spider? Or a spider with a tiny head of a person?

Having a full-sized spider head would certainly be alarming, but I think a spider with a tiny person-head would creep the crap out of me. Especially if it could talk in a creaky little spider-voice, thanks to its human mouth, but still said spidery things like "hungry waiting hungry waiting waiting so hungry hungry want fly fly fly want fly come closer, come closer, closer, closerclosercloser, pounce, squeeze and wrap and squeeze and wrap wrap wrap then bite juicy juicy juicy juicy..."

On the other hand, having a full-sized spider head would be handy at work, where you could sit with a wig on and your back to the door, and then when somebody came into your office to talk to you, you could slowly wheel around.

"Hey buddy, whassup? Good weekend? Catch some golf? Yeah, just thought I'd touch baseOH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU!?"

[switch to more somber, thinking tone]

Freud (among others) stipulated a theory he called "Das Unheimliche" -- the uncanny. Basic idea is that things which are wildly different -- spiders -- may not be that alarming. But when they look very nearly familiar except for one or two odd things, they become extremely alarming.

For example, scientists have to be careful not to make robots look too much like humans, otherwise there's a very visceral discomfort. Or imagine that you're hiding in the woods at night, and people come shambling toward you. It's too dark to see their faces, but as they approach you realize they're all much taller than they should be and oh help me they are not human.

I don't know about all that, but I know what scares me, and the things that are almost normal are the worst. I doubt sour milk would be so disgusting if we didn't drink so much real milk.

Wikipedia on the uncanny:


Samantha said...

That's why they cover up the hands (and feet and face) of cadavers, so we don't remember what we're actually doing..
More! Why are there only 4 entries for March?

Samantha said...

I mean May.

Peter S said...

I like the idea of having a bulbous spider head and a very fake wig of curly brown hair. Sitting in my work chair with a white shirt and plain red tie, I'd be quite a looker.