Here it is October and I have hardly written about monsters. Apart from the US government, that is. I suspect that I could use a little escapism right about now, and most of the boxes are unpacked from the move. Perhaps it’s time to watch a little horror and feel better about the world. Monsters, you see, crop up in the most unexpected places. Yes, in October we expect them to be crouching in dark corners and in dismal swamps as the light begins to fail. Yet the trees are still mostly green around here and I think I might be in need of some new material. As with most people my age, I get lost on the internet—someone needs to offer a roadmap to it. Preferably on paper.
I admit being stuck in the past. As any music therapist will tell you, a person’s musical tastes often reflect the sounds of their youth, and some of us believe that rock hit its high point in the 1980s. My work doesn’t lend itself to background music, so I seldom listen to the radio, and I wouldn’t even know what station to try to hear contemporary offerings. Fortunately I know some people half my age who find their tunes on the internet, and I was recently introduced to Panic! At the Disco via YouTube. I’m old enough to remember when music videos first appeared, although I never saw them. We lived in a small town and, besides, we couldn’t afford cable. Kids at school, however, talked about MTV and other places—there was no world-wide web then, kids!—that they had seen the latest, coolest video that I could only imagine. When my contemporary young friends showed me “LA Devotee” by Panic! I was stunned.
If you haven’t seen it, just look up the official video on YouTube. You’ve got the whole internet at your fingertips! While the lyrics seem innocent enough—young person wants to make it big and so imitates the Los Angeles lifestyle—the video is horror show. Literally. Borrowing from M. Night Shyamalan the opening sequence is a cross between The Village and Signs. Then it becomes a torture chamber for a young boy (from Stranger Things, no less, a show I binge-watched when it came out on DVD). And Satanism. Yes, taking on the LA lifestyle is compared to selling your soul to the Devil. The stunning visuals kept me clicking the replay button. Even as I felt my age, I also felt October growing. And I was glad to see the monsters are still there. Too bad we can’t banish them from DC, however.