Hello all! A short post for today. I had plenty of time to pontificate on Slender Man yesterday as I waited for a tweet from Tribe Twelve, cursed Green Feathers for hanging out with the EverymanHYBRID crew, and anxiously speculated on whether that mysterious twitpic from Marble Hornets indeed translates to their return as soon as tomorrow, the 23rd. There is plenty of excitement to go around today, and so here is a brief adventure into one of many thoughts I had on the Slender Man mythos.
Except you, Green Feathers. :<
Observe the image above, and try not to think of a spider.
Try not to think of a tree.
We cannot assume to know what the Slender Man is.
All these conceptual designs of Slender Man have proven that we’ve grasped something larger than our imaginations. Each one obviously takes a different inspiration, but they are all unequivocally Slender Man. Admit it, it’s one of our favorite things about Him- getting to critique how “close” an artist has gotten to the “real Him”[i]. We unanimously agree that whatever it is- it’s not perfect even though we couldn’t do any better. It’s never enough, and though we don’t know what He is, we sort of know what he isn’t. Whatever is it, it’s always off and we are never satisfied.
And I believe you all to be intelligent folk, so I don’t need to explain why we enjoy this little “game”.
Even farther than that, this clear and universal knowledge of Slender Man which can never be truly defined unites our understanding, creating no “groups” or “factions” of the Slender Man mythos. What is true for one may not be true for all, but it is still regarded as truth. You take my meaning;
Slender Man is everything and nothing.
A Little Something More
While pondering this, I also came to wonder on the origin of fear. Slender Man, as Himself visually, does not exactly pose any reason to incur such terror in us. I know, right now you’re saying, “You just explained this last entry!” and yeah, I did. But I merely covered the fight, flight, or fright response, which inherently assumes clear understanding of the origin of fear.
That being said, a simple statement derived from the previous entry: though visually there is little to fear, per se, in Slender Man upon encounter, His presence is so powerful that his malevolence is instantly perceivable.
But let’s get into natural human fear and what usually causes it. Time to crack open our friendly Wikipedia for the simplest form of explanation.
“Fear can be widely classified into two general types: external fear and internal fear. External fear is caused by something outside of you which you are strongly motivated to avoid… Internal fear is something outside of you that you link to a negative emotion… [Fear] varies from mild caution[ii] to extreme phobia and paranoia[iii]… The experience of distrust can be explained as a feeling of mild fear or caution, usually in response to an unfamiliar or possibly dangerous person. Distrust may occur as a feeling of warning towards someone or something that is questionable or unknown. For example, one may distrust a stranger who acts in a way that is perceived as odd or unusual… Distrust may serve as an adaptive, early warning signal for situations that could lead to greater fear and danger…”
This does go nicely with the previous post.