Space Invaders…

10 Jul

So I haven’t written an entry for some time, months in fact. This is for a good reason; I have been busy enjoying the sights of Midwestern America, applying for jobs, volunteering, making friends and all kinds of important self-building stuff.

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This represents me being all fulfilled and stuff…

So what is my comeback article about? Something profound about the political system here? A comment on attitudes to gay marriage in America? Obamacare? Turkey and Syria? Well… I considered writing a little something about all of these things but you know what? I just couldn’t muster the energy nor the inclination to write something that has been written 10 million times before by people who don’t use Wikipedia as a major source of factual information! So instead, I’m going to tell you a little about my strange rather screwed-up 20 year long relationship with a certain Spielberg creation.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, covered in perspiration and with my heart racing. I couldn’t remember much about the dream other than the fact that it had terrified me. Slowly, I lay back down and let myself fall back asleep. It was already there waiting for me…. Two long gnarled fingers flutter spastically towards me as a bright witchy red light pulsed rhythmically beneath its membranous chest. A rattling intake of breath down that long tubular neck as it leans forward into a single beam of moonlight. Now I can see the light of cold distant stars reflect in its eyes, eyes staring out of the tight hairless face of some starving nightmare child. Nope, sadly this was not the deformed baby from Eraserhead, nor a Stephen King Horror or some other acceptably scary Lovecraftian monstrosity… Say hello to the loveable 80’s family film creation E.T. AKA everyones favourite extraterrestrial AKA the main character in my nightmares for roughly 22 years!

How shameful to be having nightmares about E.T. and at my age?! I mean seriously, I spent a lot of this morning wondering if I was losing my mind. I mean I haven’t dreamt about the little bugger for many years now but the fact is, this isn’t a new occurrence; From the age of 3 to 12 I used to have a frequently recurring nightmare which my parents knew only as ‘the hand’. Even at this young age I never admitted that the hand actually belonged to everyone’s favorite cuddly alien, I knew it was stupid. All the same that film terrified me, I mean seriously terrified me! And now, at the tender age of 25, worldwise and all grow’d up, he’s back…

So I did what any normal (albeit slightly neurotic) 21st century person would do, I googled it. And people, especially those of you sniggering, I am not alone! There is an entire community of people out there who were disturbed by E.T.. People who as children found the freakish bald monkey with a telescopic neck waiting for them night after night and who, to this day, are still occasionally visited by him.

So where does the irrational fear come from? True many people are terrified of spiders and snakes, but at least that makes sense… What is it about E.T. That scared me so badly that even now I am haunted by his presence? Well let’s go back to where it all began, Christmas 1989, I remember receiving the VHS from my parents. I had never heard nor seen the film before but apparently my misguided hippy parents thought it would be a heartwarming film that would teach me about friendship and racial harmony during post-Cold War 90’s paranoia. FAIL. Even the box scared me, I mean look at it!

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That is not a nice child-friendly hand it’s clearly the cold probing reptilian appendage of some horrific space-pedophile… clearly. *cough*

So anyway the film starts with some sinister warbling wind instrument as our ‘hero’ scurries around with his other interstellar-abortions fondling plants and scaring rabbits with his clammy fingers. The next hour is full of such things as a mystery shadow in a creepy shed, a set of swings moving by themselves and a scene in a corn field where E.T. appears and screams like some demented tongueless banshee (see clip below).

And don’t start me on the scene with the sleeping bag and the skittles… Jon Carpenter eat your heart out! So all in all my impressionable 3 year old brain blew a fuse. I remember fleeing the room and my older sister trying (and failing) to console me. I never actually saw the second half of the film until I was well into my teens, and even to this day I have this vague sense of uneasiness, as if my inner child somewhere deep in my subconscious, is screaming its head off!

Right so I got that off my chest, sort of. I’m none the wiser as to WHY E.T. freaked me out, he just did. But safe to say, those strange things that scared you as a child; that episode of Thomas the Tank Engine or the faceless puppets in Play Days, they stay with you! You have been warned, also feel free to share any things that used to freak you out as a child so that I feel less ridiculous. Thanks.

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P.S. You see, someone else gets me!

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3 Responses to “Space Invaders…”

  1. Amy July 25, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    I love this! While I fall into the Thomas the Tank engine school of nightmares (DON’T MENTION THE SNOW TRAIN EPISODE), I watched ET in it’s entirety for the first time a few years ago and was shocked that anyone would call it child-appropriate. Shame on your parents! (sorry parents, if you see this)

    Love you X

    • commandpluszed August 6, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Amy!!!! Yeah well I’m incredibly proud to say I survived E.T. on the big screen! (Go me) Oh liberal parents… you do not know the therapist-requiring pain you cause…

  2. Tessa May 11, 2017 at 4:43 am #

    above that we don’t know if film as a medium will even exist or be cared about in two hundred years. That is true, and the same goes for television. The Twilight Zone and The Simpsons might deserve to be remembered, but will anyone understand the concept of what television was?3. Yes, Marlowe is great, and if any age was an age of “many talented writers,” it was the Elaiebethan/Jzcobaan era. I don’t mean to be rude, but that was an ignorant comment.4. Anonymous 4:28 is unfair but still funny.

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