Today we will discuss the manner in which watching films can instruct catastrophytes in the art of cultivating fearful anticipation.

You know The Moment Before. A woman comes home from work. She drops her keys on the table. She changes into more comfortable clothes and starts preparing dinner. LITTLE DOES SHE KNOW (actually, that's another possible name for what I'm talking about: LITTLE DID THEY KNOW) that in her closet, determined and evil, is a psychotic killer. But WE know. The audience knows. We know that there is someone waiting, lurking, planning. And we know that she has absolutely no idea what life has in store for her. 

There is another kind of Moment Before that has more to do with sudden and unexpected tragedy than it does with a psychotic individual bent on murder. A family sits down together at dinner. They are laughing, making fun of one another, waiting for the older brother to get there. They make fun of him, too, because they are a relaxed and happy family who know how to have a little fun. Then there is a knock on the door, the policeman at the door, the horror on their faces, etc... The audience knows what is going to happen, either because the film has cut to scenes of the older brother driving on a slick, icy road, or because the film has been marketed as a tear-jerker primarily to female movie-goers . 

Watch as many of these kinds of film as is possible, eager catastrophyte. If you watch enough of them, and watch them in a responsive enough state, your life will be forever changed. Terribly, wonderfully changed. 

Every time you get home, take off your shoes, throw your keys on the table, you will suspect that there is someone in your closet. 

Every time you have a delightful meal with your family (which should be an impossibility, because your constant catastrophizing should be a blight on all such get-togethers), even if you have no older brother, you should be waiting for The Phone Call. Or the Knock on the Door. Anything really that sounds as though it could begin with capital letters. 

If you learn to dread The Moment Before, you will in effect become both the character in one of these films (because you are the one who will be attacked and/or emotionally devastated) and the viewer of one of these films (because you, like the viewer, possess the knowledge that an attack and/or emotionally devastating revelation is imminent).

You will never arrive home or eat a meal the same way again. 

Knowing that something is about to happen changes this from a LITTLE DID I KNOW moment to a I TOTALLY DID KNOW moment, which will be something to hold on to when that man bursts from the closet or the knock comes on your door.
Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough.

1/12/2010 01:35:02 am

Hm. You just made me lock the front door against a statistically-remote-but-still-technically-possible home invasion.


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