Monday, May 2, 2011

Irrational Fear of the Month: May

One new thing I learned to fear this month for no apparent reason is something I never directly thought about until recently faced with it. For the longest time I just carried on with my life not noticing how secretly terrifying it is. I believe it to be a harbinger of doom and ask all Monpeeps who read this, if the moment presents itself, to put an end to this blight of goodness and all things considered awesome. Of course I'm talking about magnification.

This fear can easily be represented by the picture above, but I'm going to give credit where terrifying credit is due and also give some love fear to microscopes for being the cause of so many uneasy moments that have been wrought due to showing us things we have no business seing. Take a bow, motherfucker.

(Microscopes even look creepy. That thing is planning something!)

The only good thing that ever came from magnification was when it stopped Rick Moranis from eating his tiny kids that had been shrunken and were swimming in his cereal. Major assist goes to the dog as well for alerting him, otherwise....yeah. That is a journey I DO NOT want to follow those kids on in the sequel.

("Holy shit! I'm a terrible scientist AND father")

There are many things that we can't see with the naked eye. Scholars have tried to figure out why for centuries (probably). I know the answer. The reason we can't see those tiny tiny things is because they are fucking terrifying. It wouldn't be that big a deal if we didn't have a gateway into seeing such things due to microscopes. When was the last time a "microscopic view" of something was adorable? It's never happened. Ever. I have prepared some visual aids (by trolling google image search) to help illustrate my point on help people try and understand this irrational fear of mine. 

Here is a picture of a baby panda

(Don't ask me why it's in tupperware, that is another fear for another day)

Now let's take a look at a microscopic view of a baby panda:

(Horrors man was never meant to see)

I take a look at that picture up there and I think two things.

1. I wonder if anyone will know this is NOT a microscopic picture of a panda?
2. This looks like a monster.

Now as one who reads the blog regularly would know, I got a problem with a certain group of maverick renegades who roam around the fringe of acceptable behaviour and breed paranoia and fear among normal, happy go lucky, apathetic innocents. These culprits of caution? Scientists.

(Here they are not curing anything relevant)

I respect scientists and everything for many reasons. Chief among them is the fact that they are MUCH smarter than I am. I can also understand their desire to get to the bottom of lifes mysteries and unlock the secrets that hold the fabric of our entire planet together. Also, I'm very pro-beaker.

(If I could I would drink ONLY from beakers)

But if there is one thing scientists do that annoys me it's that they get all up in there microscopes and provide us with pictures from a strange and horrifying world that is happening all around us but we have no idea about. This isn't mearly a "ostrich head in the sand" type of complaint. I have no problems looking around the world and seeing things as I was meant to see them. However if I can't see something, perhaps there is a reason.

(I can't see why everyone LOVES "Boondock Saints". And I'm fine with that)

See, I truly believe the reason we can't see tiny things is because it could cause mass panic and fear. Imagine if you had microscopic vision. I can guarantee you wouldn't even wear socks twice. How could you? All that fucking...stuff milling about on them. Try sleeping anywhere when you travel. Beds are rife with unspeakable horrors that you can't see but are most definitely there. And I'm not talking about just hotel and motel and (ugh) hostel beds. Some of those unfortunately contain bed bugs that can be spotted with the naked eye, so that's okay (well not really) but what of dust mites? I say once more for emphasis: WHAT OF DUST MITES?! Without the invention of the microscope, we would never even know those things existed. And I'm much happier living in a world without the knowledge that these fuckers are just skulking around having the run of the place.

(Altogether now: ahhhhhhhhhhhh!)

Not ever rock has to be overturned. Red blood cells on a microscopic level look incredible comfortable. They look like a really nice couch you would find at a club on opening weekend (any subsequent weekend those couches become less nice/comfortable)

(Like thousands of tiny bagels)

The sense I get from that picture: blood is pretty goddamn cozy, and I wouldn't mind sitting on a couch made of it. But that is just another bait and switch done by microscopes. Only in reverse. Lets zoom out and show you what they look like without microscopes. Here to help illustrate my point, old school pro wrestler "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair.

(That....I would not want a couch made out of)

There are things going on inside me that I don't wanna know. I ate a dime once. It's probably still in there somewhere but I don't care. My life keeps chugging along because I'm not gripped by the need to know every tiny thing about my body. It's pale. It's tall. It allows me to play hockey. Boom! All I need to know for a happy life right there (well, as happy as pale people can be anyway)

(Pale people and sadness go together like PB & J)

Another reason magnification scares me? Whenever a movie character ISN'T a cop and needs to be implied to be unhinged or creepy or obsessive, what is the go-to prop they use? (aside from an unmarked windowless van filled with puppies)

(Bingo! A multitude of bad things are about to happen)

There is something that relates to this fear that is so legitimately terrifying to me that I almost dare not seek out any pictures of it. But sometimes in life you gotta man up to make a point. Sadly this is going to be one of those times. The MAJOR issue I have with microscopes is how they have shown me that monsters exist, they just got short changed a little. I'm not talking about invisible dust mites. No sir. Magnified insects are one of the scariest things I can think of. They are monsters. Real life goddamn spawned from evil, monsters. For example, think of ladybugs....

(Not quite, but I like where you head's at)

(There we go. Hey little fella)

Now I don't really find bugs cute (in my opinion only closeted serial killers do) but there is nothing offensive to me about that ladybug up there. If I saw a lady bug, my reaction would be perhaps a very manly "aww". However you introduce microscopes to the mix and look a little closer, you see something else entirely. Something that must be stopped.


That is some pretty sinister shit right there. I'm sure the bug means me no harm and harbours no ill will against humanity, but, c'mon. You almost can't take the chance that one day that ladybug might stumble upon some nuclear waste (thanks again, scientists) and then we won't need microscopes to get that kinda view. I am not an insect. I am a man. So why then must I be subjected to what the world would look like if I was an insect? I stand to gain nothing from seeing this kinda shit.

(Kinda looks like a black and white photo of "Teenage Punk Phase" Admiral Ackbar)

Eventually though Ackbar matured and set his sights on political gains. 

(This is only here because it made me giggle, and I haven't giggled in years)

In closing, I would like to show a few more non-horrifying pictures of mundane everyday things that microscopes cause us to turn on our heads as soon as we see them up close (which in my idiotic opinion, we never should)

("Mouse hippocampus". Looks like? Sideways vagina made of skittles)

("Guitar string". Looks like? Snake vs broom. Snake is winning)

("Plaque on dental floss". Looks like? Grimace suicide on suspension bridge)

So there you have it. Another month, another irrational fear that hopefully at this point you kinda agree with. If you don't that's okay. I will continue to live my life scared of pointless things and you can just hang out and be normal. I will pass along some helpful "anti-magnification" advice for you all: If you ever commit a crime, don't write your name in tiny letters. Old timey detectives will arrest you within minutes.

(If you can read this, you are dressed like a douche)

Thanks for Reading

- jB

I promise if you follow @jbowmancouver on twitter....I will do my best to follow you. And not in a creepy way. In a "I wouldn't mind finding out via computer whatever activities you are up to no matter how trivial" way. Wow, following is creepy no matter which way you slice it...


  1. every bit of this yes yes yes WE SHOULD NEVER SEE THIS SHIT IT IS TERRIFYING
    also i both love you and hate you for posting the images
    i just forced myself to scroll past them
    thanks for warning tho

  2. Haha thanks for agreeing with this one. I've been trapped in that weird in between zone of love & hate my whole life, so it's all good. Anonymous, thanks for reading - jB