Monsters From the 'id'
A fictional story that speaks to a post-modern culture, and our inner demons.
January 28, 2019
Have you noticed while going about your daily activities, people walking around with blindfolds on? Why, you might ask, would any sane and sensible person take such dangerous, reckless, and I believe unsafe measures while out and about?
In order to answer these questions, I must first explain what lead up to this ridiculous state of affairs. There was a movie recently shown on the Netflix channel called the “Bird Box.” Not having access to this pay channel, I did view a trailer and am familiar with the original novel of the same name by Josh Malerman.
For those who are not familiar with the book or the movie, the plot follows the movements of a woman, Malorie Hayes, played by the actress Sandra Bullock, who is caught up in dire and deadly circumstances. It seems that what would appear to be supernatural forces in the form of monstrous and malevolent entities have invaded the earth. Upon seeing these creatures, the person goes insane, and immediately on the spot, with whatever means at their disposal, takes their own life. And here’s a kicker, people who are already mentally unstable see something beautiful, and do not suffer any of the deadly consequences that befall the sane person.
What makes this even more unnerving and I would think for some disappointing, is that the creatures are invisible to the television viewer. In the midst of all the mayhem and death in the streets, Bullock's character, who happens to be pregnant, escapes and finds safety and shelter in a home with others. After covering all the windows, and having determined what may be causing this horrendous outbreak, they realize the only way to survive is they must wear blindfolds if they’re to venture outside to find food and necessities.
Several years pass, and Bullock and one of the original characters from the house she found refuge in, are out on their own, all the others have succumbed. Most of the story is told in flashbacks as Bullock and her two small children, one the child of another house member who is dead, are in a small skiff heading down a river to what may be a sanctuary; they are blindfolded; it seems these creatures are everywhere.
At this point I will conclude this synopsis of the story and speculate as to what the author’s thinking and intent are, which I believe are a metaphor for postmodern society. And this opinion, in a way, is analogous to another film. Briefly, many science fiction fans will recall a 1950’s classic film “The Forbidden Planet.” It tells the story of a spacecraft traveling to a planet in a distant galaxy to check up on a settlement colony that left earth years ago. Upon arrival, they make their way to the compound and find there are only two survivors, Dr. Mobius and his daughter.
When the captain of the spacecraft tries to determine what caused the deaths of the others, the doctor lies and makes up a reason. As the story unfolds however we come to learn it was Dr. Morbius who is the killer, indirectly. The planet's original inhabitants, the Krell, created a great machine, and when hooked up through a headphone-like device, it boosts the user's mind power and psychic energy to an extent where thoughts can be made manifest and given life. It was this device that brought about the destruction of the original inhabitants of the planet, and that Morbius used to kill the others. He created what I describe as a "Monster from the id," after the colonists complained and tried to stop his obsession with the machine. In psychoanalysis, the "id" is an unconscious division of the psyche and the source of psychic energy.
Now, friends, I will attempt to weave these different elements into a finished product, and how they relate to each other. It is my contention that the creatures in the Bird Box were not supernatural at all, as we understand the term. And yet they were also not natural, they were "Monsters from the id," manifestations out of the minds of the people in this fictional story.
They succumbed to their darkest and worst fears and hatreds. And the combined thoughts of the billions of people - for we learn this attack is worldwide - create a tremendous force and energy that gives life to the creatures. To support my contention, there are instances in the film and book where those still alive hear the voices of those who are dead calling out for help.
You have to admit in this postmodern culture, we live in a world on fire. Death, war, poverty, civil strife, hate, resentment, rage at the system - all the ingredients necessary for Monsters from the id to be made manifest and wreak havoc. And not out of some great machine or in the form of some monstrous entity, but our own inner demons that speak to us whenever we are angered and offended, or feel resentment toward others, wishing them harm, even death.
You have only to look at what the repercussions were when the Covington Catholic School students, attending the pro-life march in Washington D.C., were wrongly accused of intimidating and insulting a Native American. They were subjected to taunts, insults, and vulgarity from left-wing radical activists. As usual, the mainstream media jumped to conclusions, and the cascade of venom that followed was outrageous.
The students and their families, and the Covington School, have been raked over the coals in the mainstream media and political class; they have received death threats on social media from hateful, degenerate fools. The Covington School canceled classes for a day at the urging of local law enforcement. Monsters from the id - they’re all around us, in the streets, in cyberspace, and in and then out of our minds.
And what about the people today, in the real world and not some fictitious story, walking around with blindfolds on; it’s really quite simple, they’re unhinged. But they don’t need blindfolds anyway, as in the story, the mentally deranged are impervious to the Monsters from the id.
Visit Bob Pascarella's website at www.ShortStoriesInVerse.com