I’ve always wanted to research and write a piece, a joke, a poem or thesis on universal paranoia and its manifestations in popular culture.
“Wha?” you might be thinking.
Well, it’s based on the not-so-pivotal moment in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when Arthur Dent declares that he had always felt as if he was being watched and Slarty Bardfarst tells him that this had nothing to do with the fact the human race was being manipulated by mice, but that it was merely something everyone felt.
For years I had thought Slarty had mentioned the phrase ‘Universal Paranoia’ but on reviewing the films, series and books, I think it must be a term I came up with or perhaps I just read it somewhere else. Whatever!
Why am I fascinated with paranoia and its universality? Perhaps a definition would sit well right here.
Good ol’ Wikipedia says it’s a thought process heavily influenced by fear and anxiety often to the point of irrationality. Does this sound fair enough?
I can’t help but wonder if Slarty Bardfarst was in fact correct and that everyone is paranoid. It’s all a matter of degrees I suppose, but when you think about it, popular culture is filled with it and a conspiracy theorist might have us believing that someone is behind all media, shaping how we view the world and keeping us in a state of perpetual fear. Too far fetched? Perhaps I should be using some popular culture examples, ah but where to start. What about music?
I’m not up-to-date with music so please forgive me if the following is a bit bleurrr.
According to Billboard, a top rater last year was Bruno Mars’ “Locked out of Heaven”. He says your sex takes him to paradise but the implication is that as a consequence his sin prevents him from entering the divine state. What’s the message here? Choose between great sex or heaven? That surely would inspire extreme anxiety … well, for some.
Pink! I love Pink. My daughter loves pink but she means the colour. “So What”? Fantastic song although I don’t interpret as affirmation as much as I do someone trying so hard not to be alone! I’ve seen lots of women go through this … suddenly their whole world has crumbled through loss and so they go just a little bit (a lot) crazy with life to prove they’re okay. I guess that’s something they must go through. I think I did. It was driven by fear of a whole stack of things including being alone – until you realise being alone is okay.
Books! Books, books, books. “Twilight” – fear of not having a boyfriend. “Harry Potter and the xxx” fear of evil and making the right choices. “50 shades …” well, can’t comment on that because I haven’t read it yet, but my fear is that pulp is making a comeback and what the hell do you call it if it’s electronic instead of made from ‘pulp’.
Television: urrgghhh. Big Bang Theory? Fear of never having sex again. 3.5 Mysoginists? Fear of never having sex again. Biggest Loser: fear that you will never have sex unless you lose 50 kilos.
Do you see the trend here? Universal paranoia is all about sex and not having any. I guess UP does not apply to the celibate.
Somehow my treatise on universal paranoia hasn’t quite panned out to what I expected. I might have to look at it some more. Or perhaps I’m …
Just thinking about sex.
Just thought I’d write about sex.
Just the ponderings on sex that flash through my mind every few seconds.