Americans love to be scared. I have not done a worldwide study, but I believe, being rather nationalistic, that we are second to none in the literature of suspense, horror, and downright fear.
And I’m not talking Twilight or Carrie or Interview With a Vampire, friends. I’m talking nonfiction.
In my quarter century dealing with any and all donated books, I have seen volumes warning that we have too much fluoride in the water, that we do not have enough fluoride in the water, and that we don’t drink enough water. Why WOULD we drink water, as dangerous as it is? Anyway, you should see the books on how quickly the world is running out of water.
We have too much fat in our diet, we have too much sodium in our diet, we eat too many carbs, we eat too much protein, we eat too many vegetables, we eat our food cooked instead of raw, and we eat raw food filled with creepy crawlies. The left controls the media, the right controls the media, the media is out of control. The Japanese are plotting to take us over, the Chinese are plotting to take us over, the illegal immigrants are plotting to take us over, the humanists have taken over, the conservative Christians have taken over. Why do they all want us, do you suppose, when we’re all about to die while watching bad television?
Nothing will sell a book like the words “at risk”. We all want to know about unseen, unsuspected dangers. Authors, whose main danger is starving to death, are glad to oblige, explaining that our schools, our economy, our music, and our football rules are filled with creeping poison. Oh, and that book last year, that said something else? All lies, and part of the plot.
Honest! We have books which prove that civilization is in danger because of the flush toilet, that our population learned to swear through contact with the French during the two World Wars, and that divine vengeance is going to fall on us because women cut their hair short (you should see that one: make-up and short skirts are bad but not divinely forbidden, but women bobbing their hair is explicitly condemned in Scripture.) And we buy it every time, because in our hearts we know that anything really unpleasant has to be the truth.
No wonder vampire romance fiction has become so popular. At least with a vampire you know where you stand. (You may not be sure where to lie down, but I covered that in a previous blog.)