By George Goner (The Haunted Cabaret)
"Here There Be Monsters..."
...words inscribed at the edge of ancient maps, before the World's oceans were charted, and earth stopped being a place of endless mystery. In those long-ago days, travelers believed that once they sailed beyond sight of land into unknown waters, a horrible fate awaited them. Hungry sea serpents lurked in the abyss beyond the rim of the flat earth. Now, centuries later, science assures us that nothing lives in the sea more fearsome than whales, sharks, and the occasional large squid- impressive creatures in their way, perhaps, but hardly the monsters of folklore.
How do we react to this knowledge? Do we breathe a sigh of relief, and settle into civilized activities like sailing and tennis and gardening? Of course not. We love our monsters! There is a part of the human soul that needs dark wonders. As the businessman said in "King Kong vs Godzilla"- "Find me a genuine monster, whether he exists or not."
In the 21st century, we have learned to create our own.
According to recent news stories, the Iranian Navy recently discovered a bizarre 30-40 foot creature floating in their waters. Photos show the thing resembles in equal parts a stingray, a diseased alligator, and the infant form of Hedorah the Smog Monster. Pretty clearly a mutant. Self-improvement books teach that, "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." We help the process of creation along, dumping enormous quantities of toxic waste and nuclear materials into our air and water, burning petrochemicals, and conducting nuclear tests to create the proper environment for accelerated mutation to take place.
"Here there be monsters..." We already enjoy monsters of the human variety, with their automatic weapons and suicide bombs, acting like comic book villains come to life. Soon they will be joined by city-destroying horrors stalking with deadly intent across the drought-plagued, storm-plagued, carbon-warmed surface of our planet. It doesn't matter if this Iranian sea beast is a hoax or not, because the next one won't be.
Or the one after that.
We will learn the ultimate effect of the radioactive Japanese tsunami debris that washed into the Pacific Ocean during the aftermath of that nation's major earthquake. The legacy of Chernobyl continues, and the unsettling fact that 25 percent of the land area of the old Soviet Union is highly radioactive. Meanwhile, Monsanto subjects the world's food supply to genetic manipulation, and calls it good. Change is in the air. And in the water. And in us. Join crazy Doctor Pretorius in his graveyard toast from "The Bride of Frankenstein..." Raise your glass: "To a new world of Gods and Monsters!"
Here at The Haunted Cabaret, we live for every minute of it.
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