Apathy Jack writes:
Will Storr vs The Supernatural, by Will Storr
I watch Dave creep up the track and, as the dangerous dark folds in around him, it strikes me that everybody needs a Satanist. Because knowing whose fault it is can be a great comfort. It helps define you, knowing who you're not. It's reassuring. Especially if you're an anti-Satan vigilante or, indeed, a Christian. And then it occurs to me that enemies can also be exciting. The thrill of having the spicy breath of the dark side prickling the skin on the back of your neck can be seductive and thrilling and vital. Isn't that one of the reasons why we want to believe in the supernatural, in the devil and in evil and in ghosts? Because their very presence in our days makes our lives feel less ordinary? And the fact that they never quite get you has the perverse effect of making you feel safer. Is this just another chimera, invented by the brain, to make us zombies feel alive and to stop us blowing our brains out? It's hard to deny that these diabolical enemies are an excellent ointment for the self-esteem. After all, if something that powerful and frightening and unconquerable can be after you... well, you must be pretty important. Not inadequate or small. You're obviously not just a zombie, living an automatic life. There's just no way that you're here for no reason at all. If for nothing else, you're here to do battle. It's a war, an epic fight against evil. And that makes you the hero.