“I’m a monster / I’m a maven / I know this world is changing”
-Kanye West, Amazing
When we think about monsters, we usually think about their physical make-up. Do they have claws? How do they move? Are they humanoid or unrecognizable? Jeffrey Jerome Cohen examines the malformed fictional body in Monster Theory, and Daniel Punday believes we exist in a world of pure and “fragmented” monsters.
I think the most useful way to look at monsters is to consider what they mean to us. Monsters, from Frankenstein’s creation to the Son of Sam, can be emotionally engaging tools for ethical commentary. What threat does each monster pose, aside from the physical threat of being eaten, or possessed, or simply killed? Do they make us less sure of ourselves?
Further, what does a human monster look like? Can we rate monsters by their creepiness, by their threat level, or by their beauty?
For these reasons, I believe we all ought to spend some time in the dark, getting acquainted with the creatures we’ve created. Monsters are my favorite thing.