Monsters-A A +A
By Rene Lizada
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I FIND it interesting that the words monster and demonstrate have the same origin. Both literally mean to show off. We can understand showing off in terms of demonstrating because when you demonstrate, you show off how something is done or made. In demonstrating, to show off takes a good meaning.
However in the case of monsters, to show off has an entirely different color. Monsters are hideous creatures, large and greedy and noisy. They are loud and they attract attention to themselves. Some are gaudy, not pleasant to look at.
They are taut, tight and tense. They scream a lot, they act like bullies and they rampage over neighborhoods, cities and destroy lives. They do it with a lot of noise, a lot of screaming and mayhem. They destroy. I have yet to meet a monster that creates.
A monster likes to show off. A dragon breathes fire. Godzilla likes to trample buildings. And yet Godzilla, like most monsters, are creatures that need something, that want something. Godzilla was a product of man's nuclear experiments. Godzilla was not a monster; he/she was a victim.
As most monsters are. The creature that Dr. Frankenstein is a classic example. Here, he was made up of hastily gathered body parts. He was the product of the rather strange ambition of a doctor.
Medusa, the woman who had serpents as hair, was originally a beautiful woman; she had a lot of suitors. Her only fault was that Poseidon made love to her at the temple of Athena. She probably did not have a choice with the matter but it was futile.
When Athena found out about it, she was enraged that she transformed the beautiful hair of Medusa to snakes. She also changed Medusa's face. From a woman of immense beauty she became a horrid creature. She was a victim, as most monsters are.
But most people cannot see beyond that. We only see the horror and the madness. We only see the anger and the fury. We do not see the pain, the despair. We only see the snakes. The body parts. Godzilla. And thus we get scared of them.
By their mere appearance they are menacing and hungry. They yield so much power that we cringe and get terrified by their presence. We turn to stone, we are helpless. We are afraid of monsters.
But monsters show off their ferocity because of their fear. Monsters show their fangs because they are afraid. Monsters are terrified creatures that hide behind their monstrous faces. They are lonely beings, which they reject because of their fear and anger.
What does your monster look like? Is your monster some terrifying creature that lurks in the darkness of your home or of your soul? Is your monster huge or is it something so small that it overwhelms you? Does it have thorns? Snakes? Tails? What color is it? How does it look when it is most furious, most scared?
Does it smell like dreary marshes? Or does it smell like blooming gardens?
Where do your monsters live? In caves? In mansions? In the deep ocean? In your heart? Does it come out at night like some lonely vampire? Can it live in the light? Is your monster beside you when you sleep? Is it there when you awake? What feeds your monster?
What are its powers? Can it kill you with its talons and fangs? Does it spit venom and poison? Does it suck your blood? Do you fall under its spell? Do you become like it?
How old is your monster? Has it lived with you your whole life? Or has it just emerged from nowhere? Can you stand against your monster? Can you fight it? Can you love it?
Is your monster immortal? Invincible? Invisible? Can you see it? Do you sense it? Can you hold it? Does it hold you in its embrace? Does it take many forms?
In the end we create our monsters. In the end we realize that these monsters are themselves victims of our own choices. In the end, we either conquer the monster or it destroys us completely.
What is your monster? Or are you already the monster you have created?
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 04, 2010.