The horror genre, editorial and cinematographic, borns with the aim to defuse the fear of death because it’s the only element on which we haven’t control. It’s inevitable. It’s the only event that we could never desert. Besides it makes us equal and humble. But recent news events show that we have defused it excessively.
It may happen to be caught by a sudden illness at sea, in the water, and leave the quills. The current or a swimmer bring the body back to shore. It alerts the security force and on the corpse is laid a white cloth. What happens around? That we didn’t expect. The press reports tragedies (drownings) occurred in different places, but they have the same post–mortem scenery: the swimmers continued to sunbathe, play on the sand, swim, play with a ball or with rackets… have continued to live and enjoy just a few meters away from those bodies covered by sheet. It’s regular: a lifeless body lying on the shore and it doesn’t unsettle and doesn’t raise other feeling that indifference, sometimes accompanied by the desire to take some gruesome photographs. Not silence or meditation, but dips, laughter and the usual marine chatter, because a cadaver on the beach is an irrelevant event. It can be horror vacui? In physics this Latin phrase indicates that nature abhors the vacuum, and therefore it constantly filling it (in fact, Torricelli’s experiment debunked Aristotle’s theory). Perhaps, like the nature we want to compensate the emptiness of the end of a life? No, we aren’t so deep, at least not deeper than a puddle.
The general indifference was cut only after the exhortation by members of the public rescue and civil defense to assume a dignified behavior.
Why all this should concern us? Maybe it’s a way to pause reflecting on a phenomenon that has already produced in us habit. Every day we perform many different activities, walking (but here it would be better the ambivalent word “wandering”) between a long series of already dead and rotting values. And faced with this scenery of death we are and remain indifferent.
Source “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno”, an italian newspaper, June 22, 2013, p. 16.