Slowly Watching the Monsters Die Off

Posted: September 22, 2016 in Horror, Know Your Monsters, Needless Things

james-cornell-the-monster-of-loch-ness1

I’m in my mid-forties. Among the various other things that this statement can represent, it means for this topic that I’m from the generation who was born into one of the biggest monster and paranormal mania explosions into pop culture of the last four or five decades. My elementary and junior high school libraries were stocked with “nonfiction” books about the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, ghosts, U.F.O.s, and the various compilation books looking at all the other “real” monsters and mysteries out there. Roughly a quarter or more of the selection of our school book fairs would be similar books to buy and own. Turn the TV on at any time of the day in the late 1970s and early 1980s and the odds were you’d channel surf into more than a few TV shows on cable and network television dealing with the paranormal and cryptozoology, and all of them treating the matters as if they had the scientific authenticity of a documentary on the making of the first atomic bomb.

Things got really weird when in the late 1980s and early 1990s we saw major network specials, some hosted by hosts from their news arms, covering the paranormal, cryptozoology, and U.F.O.s. It was a strange time when one looks back on it. It makes you sometimes wonder what was going on with the psyche of the population as a whole that so many absurd things were being embraced so willingly. In truth they still are in some circles, but not to the degree they once were. But the whole-scale media embrace of these things and their promotion as fact back then may have ultimately had the opposite effect of legitimizing them. As a result, we’ve spent the last two or three decades watching the monsters slowly die.

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Comments
  1. rickkeating says:

    “My elementary and junior high school libraries were stocked with “nonfiction” books about the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, ghosts, U.F.O.s, and the various compilation books looking at all the other “real” monsters and mysteries out there.”

    In seventh or eighth grade, I read a book in my school library about Bigfoot. All I remember about it is an illustration of Bigfoot putting up signs warning of hefty fines for shooting Bigfoot.

    Bigfoot was all over the pop culture landscape, starring in “Bigfoot and Wildboy” on Saturday mornings and hanging out with Steve Austin and/or Jaime Sommers in prime time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the center square on Hollywood Squares once or twice or guest-hosted “The Tonight Show.”

    As to Nessie, I don’t recall seeing too many programs about him/her/it at the time, though I’m sure “In Search Of…” tackled the subject.

    I don’t recall having read many books about Nessie in the 70s, but there are still books about the Loch Ness Monster being published. A friend of mine wrote one aimed at grade-school readers a few years ago. Along with discussing the various “sightings”, her book also looks into what people might be seeing, if anything, based on scientific investigation.

    Of course, Nessie is obviously either an instrument of the Zygons or a disguised submarine conceived by Mycroft Holmes. Or both; it could be timeshare thing.

    Rick.

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