A woman living in St. Louis and going to school for part of the year in Kirksville, MO. I write about horror and horror stories.
There is a slogan of the American Civil Liberties Union: "Dissent is Democratic." I find myself in awe of this quote. In the United States, dissent is supposed to mean something; it is important. Americans think that they have a voice that acts in their interest. Of course they do. We live in a liberal democracy. Of course, nobody thinks about what exactly that means. What is a liberal democracy?
Nationalism or Patriotism?
During many conversations on the United States and its problems, I hear the phrase "I'm not a nationalist, but I am a patriot." This phrase has inspired me to write on whether there is any appreciable difference between the two. As a student of the humanities, I'm down to debate useful definitions of nationalism, the meanings of particular words and their contextual or colloquial definitions. However, when I come across the words nationalism and patriotism, I find them to be rather similar. Is there any healthy difference between nationalism and patriotism? Does support for your country make you a patriot? Does any support for your country make you a patriot, or does it require a gradient? What fraction of supportiveness do we require for nationalism? What fraction of supportiveness do we require for patriotism?
Fear and Fiction
When we discuss horror in literature, there are several things to keep in mind. What are the cultural currents of the time? What is its era? What characterizes the fear which might be felt by those special few who vie for terror? It is with the mind towards these questions that we should look at horror, viewing it with the strong views that Lovecraft did. He attached horror to several themes present within his own time—in particular eugenics, quantum mechanics, and theosophy. These different themes influenced the way he viewed horror and the way his society would receive his horror. The difficulty of modern times is analyzing how horror should go forwards. We have seen the H. P. Lovecrafts, and Edgar Allan Poes, and Stephen Kings.