Pretty Stories Make Graves

|

Author Chuck Palahniuk writes (gloomily, of course) in the Guardian about the healing power of death and murder in horror movies. According to the author of Fight Club, stories where relatable characters die and the narrative suggests more will die the same way are as calm and soothing as a Brian Eno-Penguin Cafe Orchestra mixtape.

If nothing else, there's comfort in recognising that no matter how much we fail and sin, death will limit our suffering. Even if it's just the death of our innocence—the petty, vain, plotting person we've always been—just seeing that ego destroyed provides a kind of relief.

TGIF! All right!

NEXT: We're Here, We're Queer, And We're Perfect

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. What a psycho. He sounds like he belongs in a cult or a religious sect.

    In other news, I really like the Smiths.

  2. I assume a flesh-bound Necronomicon is on the way from Palahniuk? What could be more peaceful than a whole book about dead people? And Yog-Sothoth…

  3. That was uplifting. Does anybody know how to fashion a noose out of cat5e cable?

  4. He reminds me of a character from Woody Allen’s Love and Death:

    Boris: Nothingness. . .non-existence. . . black emptiness. . . .
    Sonja: What did you say?
    Boris: Oh, I was just planning my future.

  5. Clearly someone who believes the only point of the journey is to arrive somewhere. What a poor, pitiful jelly sack.

  6. Digging kind of deep for your similes, aren’t you David?

  7. Todd Fletcher,

    It’s dark humor. Shrouded in the black evil that is our baneful existence. Why, it’s hard to even summon up the will to continue typ

  8. Todd,

    Not really, I just happened to be running some lines for our network today.

  9. Erm, I like movie deaths for other reasons. From a purely practical standpoint, it heightens suspense, since a story that is willing to break with convention and knock off a couple of main characters is anything but predictable.

    From a philosophical standpoint, it’s also good to show that even the good guys die, and death does not erase the good (or evil) they’ve done. This is especially important, given the fact that each member of the audience is living a story that will end with their own death.

  10. I’ve got an exciting new show premiering on ABC this fall! It’s the brainchild of Chuck Palahniuk, and it’s called, “The Death Boat”.

    As a special preview for Reason, here are the lyrics for the first stanza of our theme song:

    Death,
    Exciting and new.
    Come aboard,
    And cease to exist.

  11. Palahniuk and his middle class, conformist, bourgeois optimism sicken me as I endure torrents of onyx agony.

  12. GothicPenguin,

    Yeah, what’s up with Palahniuk and all his happiness and light? The very idea that having the ego destroyed would provide some sort of relief–Ha! There is no escape from the ebon despair of nonexistence. Suffering is eternal, bleak, and certain. Death is pointless. As is life.

  13. Palahniuk and his middle class, conformist, bourgeois optimism sicken me as I endure torrents of onyx agony.

    I think Palahniuk just got served. Goth-served.

  14. Pro Negation – good to see someone understands. Fountains of affirmation like Palahniuk, Plath, Sartre, Robert Smith, et al. do nothing but make the torment more agonizing as they raise the hope that the eternal desolation of existence can even be questioned.

  15. Smacky it’s also a band name. I don’t know them but they are doing some shows with Giant Drag, who I like.

  16. GothicPenguin, I’m disappointed at your sunny optimism. Like failing to read these sickeningly sweet authors would make our despondence any less miserable.

    Hope is a curse. If you can summon the motivation to rise from your deathbed to read, examine the myth of Pandora’s Box. Her box had all the miseries of the world it in, right? (Though the very idea that all of the evils could be contained in a box is clearly mythological). She let them all out but hope, correct? Well, what does that make hope? Right! A misery!

    I’m going to go contemplate the futility of suicide now.

  17. You can’t call yourself a goth and disparage Robert Smith. In fact, I’m lobbying for a Senate resolution to that effect.

  18. zach – “Friday I’m in Love”

  19. I assume a flesh-bound Necronomicon is on the way from Palahniuk? What could be more peaceful than a whole book about dead people? And Yog-Sothoth…

    Comment by: Randolph Carter

    Is that your whole, er, statement on the matter?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.