Friday, February 19, 2010



I realize I'm saying nothing new, but I want to voice my inner-certainty that the reason the snake is widely seen as one of the world's most creepy animals, if not the most creepy, is because it appears to be a partial object. Its singular elemental shape is key here, the most basic unit of all vertebrae, which are an interlinked mass of tubes and bones with nerve ganglia. The snake is a singular tube with the eyes on one end, that moves on its own, without legs, filia, or wings. It's almost as if it broke free from something larger than itself and became autonomous. This is truly why snakes are depicted as shape-shifters as far back as the bible.

This led me to think of John Carpenter's The Thing (1980), whose monster's scariness owed precisely to the partial object. I was surprised it was not brought up to illustrate the idea of the partial object in Cinema for Perverts, narrated by Slavoj Zizek.
It's streaming on Netflix if you haven't seen it. People should make films more like that one. I could watch hours and hours of it.

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