Friday, March 4, 2011


Fear is an interesting emotion, isn't it?  It can run the gamut from being suddenly startled to a deep-seeded angst that can change one's outlook on life.  It is where anger takes root.  It often leads to sadness.

And it's a fantastic tool for keeping people "informed"!  Think about it - TV news uses fear all the time (Is your child in grave danger?  Find out at 11!)!  And before TV, it was radio and newspapers (Newspapers simply don't have the room anymore, and radio is only a news outlet if you lean WAY right, usually).  If you search those scary corners of the Interwebs, you'll find some really frightening things - conspiracy theories, end times predictions, terrorist threats (real or imagined), etc.

This is precisely why I don't bother much with TV news and limit myself to the amount of news I read online.  I want to be informed, but that's about it.  I get infested with the Fear Fever easily, so why subject myself to the root of it more than I have to?  Here's how bad it is for me:  In the early Nineties, we had to sit through "Cops" before Letterman came on.  So the TV would be on and even though I never actively watched the show, I became convinced that someone was going to break into our house.  The whole time I lived in that particular house (which was in a VERY safe part of town, mind you) I didn't sleep through the night once, until I stopped watching "Cops".  I didn't even realize how it was affecting me until I changed my habit (and "Cops" is so stupid!  I can't believe I let it affect me that way!).
The collection of stuff I have today is from the mid-Sixties, when the fear of nuclear holocaust was very real.  It was the early-middle of the Cold War, and the Russians were the enemy (funny how our enemies have changed over the years, isn't it?  Doesn't it seem odd that we once were at war with Germany and Japan?).  These CD (Civil Defense) items are a reminder of how fearful the whole country was that the Reds could  push that button any minute.

I remember seeing that CD logo as a kid - our elementary school was a fallout shelter.  There was something so menacing about that logo - did any of you reading this feel the same?  Something about its angularity or sharpness, I guess - it scared me, but I couldn't stop looking at it.

My artwork is usually tinged with humor, or it's just plain abstract, so there aren't many examples of "fear" in my work.  The lima beans one is my own personal fear.  :D


  1. Lima beans ain't nothin' compared to brussel sprouts!! Yech!

  2. Yes, I remember the same kind of fear when I looked at the CD and fall-out shelter signs. I too felt that paralyzing terror. Our Scout troop met in the basement of a church that was a designated neighborhood shelter. It was stocked with emergency supplies in scary canisters, each stamped with that CD triangle. Not far from there was a CD siren--two yellow horns that spun and warbled horrifically during drills. You really capture the disturbing nature of those CD symbols. For all the fear in the world today, I am glad that we survived the atomic era. The only thing to be said for it, though, is that there was a sense of shared danger and duty, quite gone from America today.

  3. How interesting that the nuclear threat has been thrusted back into the news for a completely different reason this week! How much worse can it get for the poor people of Japan?