Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The truth is out there. Or is it?

Note: Forgive me for the cheesy post title. Also, I was thinking about not posting this. It's about a lot of weird things, it isn't a story or anything (though maybe I'll post a preview of something later to make up for this weird ass post), and it might be a tad bit too reflective about me personally, but it's been on my mind and it's what I feel like talking about. Plus I wrote it all out. Seems a bit wasteful to just delete it, no?

Today we're going dark and deep, and then possibly light later... (God, doesn't that sound like something a rakish villain would say to a quivering, pale virgin?). But it's interesting, at least to me. We're also traversing over a couple of different topics and source materials. Basically I'm talking about the concept of happiness, what we don't know about life (a fuckton) and what the hell happens to us when we die. Clearly I don't know the answers, or I'd be a fucking millionaire, but it's fun to think about and it's been on my mind. I want to write a story involving this soon, but for now I can only tinker around with the concepts of these movies until a great plot smacks me over the head.

I've seen the movie The Mothman Prophesies before, but it's on Netflix so I gave it another watch. Maybe I didn't love it as much as the first time, but something has stuck with me since seeing it again--and it's not really the Mothman.

(And okay, I never watched The X-Files. You might have thought that considering this post's title. Well, I mislead you! I probably should've watched considering the following it still has twelve years after its final episode. Apparently they have a few more slogans I like... "Trust No One", "Everything Dies" and "They're Watching".  I particularly like "Everything Dies".)

I'm not a conspiracy theorist. At least, I don't spend my time thinking about conspiracy theories. If I happen to come across one that's interesting, I certainly won't look away. I remember coming across the Fake Moon Landing Conspiracy for the first time and what a mindfuck! Seriously, I still get upset thinking about it sometimes. DID THEY LAND ON THE MOON OR NOT OH MY GOD DON'T GET ME STARTED WHAT HAPPENED AHHHH!!!!!!!! So I don't know if the Mothman exists or not. I hope not, because he (it) doesn't seem very nice.

There is "real" documentation, according to some sites, and there really was some freaky shit happening in WV in the early '60s. If you want to read further about it, here are a few links I quickly found:

Maybe I should get to the point. Let's talk about what my re-watch of The Mothman Prophesies did to me (and the movie Hereafter... after). I was struck by the concept of what is life and what is the afterlife, and also whether or not we're allowed to know. If we should know

Quick summary- Richard Gere's character, John, happens upon all this crazy supernatural shit going on in this tiny town in West Virginia, and a being of some sort is hanging out there and kinda acting like a troll. His wife, who'd died two years before, had seen the same "thing" the people were describing shortly before she died. This thing is messing their shit up--making weird phone calls, making people's . So he does his research (he's conveniently a reporter) and he approaches this character named Leek who is an "expert" with published books on the topic. John's shit out of luck, though, because Leek is like "Fuck you, I'm fucking done with that shit. Leave me alone." But John presses and Leek feels sorry for him. He tells John that he's abandoned his research, his interest in the Mothman, because it really fucked up his life. They have a few very interesting exchanges.
John: I think we can assume that these entities are more advanced than us. Why don't they just come right out and tell us what's on their minds?
LeekYou're more advanced than a cockroach, have you ever tried explaining yourself to one of them?

Later, John continues to question Leek.

Leek: ...I turned away years ago, and I've never looked back.
John: Didn't you need to know? 
Leek: We're not allowed to know.

And that's fundamentally the question of life, or at least the question of this film. The Mothman Prophesies isn't completely about the Mothman. It's about death. It's about mourning, and letting go. Spoiler: the Mothman promises John that Mary, his deceased wife, will call him at the end of the film. His friend, Connie, talks him out of waiting for that call:

ConnieNo one can stop it, John. Listen to me. Planes are gonna crash. Earthquakes are going to happen. People you know and love are going to die. And no matter what that voice tells you, there's nothing you can do about it.

So it's John's process (transformation? moth to butterfly? am I digging too deep? I know there really IS a Mothman but the whole story of the film is a fabrication so fuck it) of coming to terms with the loss of his wife and then turning the corner to go on living. 

Another movie that I thought of after watching the above is Clint Eastwood's Hereafter. It's not a horror film, however. It was a bit of a sleeper film (I think it suffered by taking the position there is an afterlife, which is a very polarizing concept... check the boards on IMDB, whew) but I thought it was wonderful.

It focuses on a lot of the same themes as The Mothman Prophesies, minus some supernatural being lurking around, being a dick. The story centers on three different characters-- a British kid who has lost his twin, a French woman who survived a tsunami and a psychic medium (IMDB refers to him a blue-collar American. Let's get to the point here, right? Like, they show him doing psychic medium stuff right away, it's not a spoiler... Psychic medium sounds a lot more interesting).

The French woman also happens to be a reporter! Her name is Marie (I should probably stop calling her the French woman) and she goes on a hunt to understand her near-death experience. She heads to Switzerland and has this deep conversation with a doctor who is a specialist in NDEs. The doctor works as the director of a hospice center, and she tells Marie that she used to be a nonbeliever atheist. Then after working with the patients for some time, she's convinced. She persuades her to write a book so that the scientific community might take the concept more seriously (lazy asshole).

Here is a link to one of many NDE websites dedicated to the idea:

Many people like to tie it to their belief of the afterlife. Many suggest it's just simply our brain fucking with us. I don't know what to think.

The British boy--Marcus--struggles to live day-to-day without his twin, Jason. He pulls up frauds on YouTube, seeks answers in books and feels more and more lost with every day that passes. Not to fucking mention he's living with foster parents because his mom was a drunk and a druggie and is kinda the whole reason Jason's dead... I don't even want to get into that.

And George is just fucked, because he sees things people shouldn't see. He has this "gift" he doesnt want, and he has no desire to make money off of his "talent". Later, he's on a date and the girl finds out he's a medium, and presses him for a reading. Um, it does not go well. Relationship over, George is forever alone, fuck it all.

It's fascinating to watch the three as they scramble for answers in a world where, I think, there never will be answers. I think that's one of the points of life--we bump here and there for reasons we can't understand.

At one point, George is quoted as saying, "A life that's all about death is no life at all."

Again, this movie is about choosing life.  The three of them come to terms with their losses in different ways. And then they all take big breaths and dive back into life.

We're always looking for more. What if there is more? What if there is an afterlife, and we go on in harmony for the rest of time? What if there isn't? What should we do? 
I like Leek's quote that we're not allowed to know [their motivations... "their" could be spirits, God, whatever], and I love George's quote that life should be about life.

As for knowing about what comes after death, perhaps there is a very good reason we don't know.  That we're not "allowed" to know. It reminds me of spoilers to a TV show, movie or book. I love spoilers, man. There's always a moment when I'm faced with a spoiler and I deliberate, asking myself if I really want to know. I'm not sure I've walked away from a spoiler yet. I need to know. If I had the chance to peek behind the curtain, I might. But I might not live my life the same way.

So maybe we really aren't allowed to know... but it's only human to be curious. To search. To want and to need to know something. Fucking Eve couldn't help herself. I can't think of other examples but there are trillions of fables and of real people who just had to know and got punished for it. Curiosity killed the cat, etc. Isn't it interesting we have all these stories and examples warning us away from probing too far into things?

What I'm trying to say is maybe we shouldn't be so concerned with the Mothman, with conspiracies, with ghosts, with the hereafter. How important is it that we know? We're here right now. The sun is shining today. I just had a really good cup of coffee. There is a bee trapped in my kitchen.

Okay, I'm still curious. I still want to know. I've been to psychics and I love myself a good horror movie. Nothing fascinates me like a good ghost story or an old mystery. Some days I really do believe in ghosts, and there are times I'm 76% convinced there is a Heaven of some kind. I like believing in that. In the end, however, it doesn't matter. WE have to keep telling ourselves that; it grounds us. We're here for a short time. And thank God there are a trillion of pleasurable ways we can spend our time on this planet.*

*if Oberyn on Game of Thrones has taught me nothing, it's that.

P.S. If anyone does have the answers, please clue us in below :)


  1. Now I am pretty sure that its Heaven, but if its not my other vote is for the Island of Lost Toys, or possibly where the sock go when they get lost in the dryer. Noooo, it has to be Heaven!

    1. I've got it!!! Oz! I'm gonna dance with the Tin Man!

  2. I hope the Mothman doesn't exist because that movie was freaky! But at the same time, what about the giant squid?

    1. Okay, how did you know the giant squid also freaks me out? Thanks a lot! :)