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Gothness and Disneyfication

Whenever a person claims they have an overly morbid interest in things, it seems to instantly turn into a contest with those around them.

"Oh man, at least you're not as morbid as I am. I dunno; I'm just drawn to that stuff."

I'm not sure why this is a point of pride with people. Maybe it's the desire to seem different, or at the very least slightly odd -- especially since that's been praised by basically every movie ever over the past few decades. "Oh, you like dark, weird shit? You must be special."

When I was eleven years old, a decent number of people in my circle died within a short period of time. Couple that with a terrible English teacher who taught us that Disney endings were fake, and real stories did not end happily, and I was the kid who doodled pictures of stick figures dying in semi-creative ways and whose historical fiction stories for Social Studies all ended with everyone dying. Because that was "real."

I only noticed that this was a problem when our 6th grade teacher asked who wanted to read their story about the Pilgrims crossing to America in front of the class. I raised my hand, but another girl went up before I did. As she read her charming story about a young girl who, I don't know, lost her pet cat in the crossing, but then oh! the cat was hiding in a BARREL and all was well, I started to have a sense of foreboding.

I stood up in front the class. "Pa died today," I started, in somber tones. And thus went the approximately three pages I'd written, narrated by a young Pilgrim girl, all detailing the slow death of members of her family and ending with a postscript saying that the author died a day before reaching America. The class was silent when I ended, and I quietly sat back down at my desk and started rethinking my consistent use of plague and death in my school stories.

At some point in my teens, there was a total reversal of this, and I became very very invested in Disney and wanting to almost solely read hilarious things. I've found that that remains true to a large extent, but parts of my eleven year old self come forward when I do things like march in the Triangle Factory Fire remembrance ceremony or go to a musical about the Eastland disaster.

I'm not sure if I'm a cheerful person with a dash of morbidity, or a secret Goth who decided when she became a Christian that unpleasant things are best left in the Unpleasantness Drawer, and let's only pull that out when it feels necessary. I am, however, sure that I'm not invested enough to figure it out.

Basically, people like dark shit. It makes them feel cool. Everyone's interested in death. The only thing that matters is to what level you want to be a douchebag about it.

Get over yourself, Regina


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