Das Unheimliche

When I was a young boy, a Spider-Man poster hung on my closet door for a short time. My parents ended up having to take it down because it scared me, and by scared, I mean I stood on my bed for hours screaming “DEAR CHRIST! THIS GREAT RED BEAST IS TRYING TO DEVOUR ME WHOLE!”

What would happen is that at night, I would stare at it in the half-light and to my eyes his fingers would move very slightly. Small red fingers wriggling.

I am certain now, at this age, that the fingers of the Spider-Man poster were not actually moving, beckoning me into my closet for death’s embrace, but at the time I lacked reason, so every night I screamed a throat shredding scream until finally my mother had my father take the poster out and they started making me sleep in the basement.

‘Nothing can get you down here,’ my father said as he turned out the lights.

I don’t know why we are so afraid of things that we know we should clearly not be afraid of, like robots so life-like that they are unstylish. As humans, should we be afraid of anything with highlights and a Vandyck? I think reason compels us to answer in the negative. If anything, we should feel wonder and joy. Humanity has progressed to the point that we are creating robots to handle regional sales of farm equipment or marketing for a small hospital in the Midwest.

There is nothing scary about human progress (other than its tendency to reduce the world to nothing more than uninhabitable toxic-waste and to monetize every human interaction and every exhalation of the human soul and mind).

Nevertheless, I am a normal human, just like many of you, and to this day whenever I see Spider-Man, I scream and scream and then am asked to leave the theater.

(Thank you for the tip Werttrew and Loomings)