Anonymous asked you:
im so sorry but i don’t understand the don’t thing what does it mean
Anonymous asked you:
So it’s governmental brainwashing to make sure you don’t think?? I’m confused, as well.
alright brace yourselves I’m gonna talk about things I love
Scarfolk is a strange fictional English village, looping infinitely through the 1970s. It has something in common with Welcome to Night Vale, Twin Peaks, the SCP Foundation (to a certain extent), Dunwich and other Lovecraft towns (also to a certain extent), some China Mieville books, some Terry Pratchett books, Rozancrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and a bunch of other things I really like. And that thing is the Bizarre Mundane.
The “bizarre mundane” is similar to TV Tropes’ Mundane Fantastic, though ramped up to another level (which is why I call it something different). I’ll use Scarfolk as an example, but my definition really applies to anything in this genre, including Night Vale:
Things are Weird in Scarfolk. There are different rules than our universe, although they might be somewhat similar.
The inhabitants find nothing weird about this, and go on trying to live normal lives. Weirdness is normalized.
But it is surreal and strange enough that we, as viewers, can’t quite ignore it. Often there is parody or satire of real events, situations or places, but the satire bounces between humorous and disturbing.
This genre is interesting because, while we as viewers acknowledge and sometimes can not ignore the “bizarre”, the people living there, for the most part, consider it the “mundane”. We get to see strange, strange things unfolded as normal routine, what happens before and after the normal window into Strange Events. How someone has to deal with conspiracy-governments and a monster on the lawn while getting their kid to school on time.
It wraps the unexpectedness of irony, surrealism, absurdism, satire and horror with day-to-day realism into one neat package.
The "Don’t" poster, continuing the example, parodies Public-Service-Announcement-type posters from the 70s, but with a bizarre and somewhat disturbing twist. On first look, it’s familar - a public service campaign with a family-friendly mascot. But look closer, and you find a shadowy council pushing a mysterious and cryptic message that (this is the important part) the public follows just like any other PSA. Taught in schools, hints to parents, laws, an ad campaign. About not doing, which taken at surface value really does means nothing.
This kinda picture would rightly confuse someone who wasn’t expecting it.
It also introduces an additional element, that occurs in the things I really love, and that’s telling a story without an actual narrative. You’re forced to piece together a place or story with clues and fragments. In the same way that not showing a monster produces extremely good horror (because your mind fills in something much more horrifying), fiction like this is awesome because your mind is free to fill in the gaps with whatever fits best. It makes a game out of the story, and you get exactly what you want because your imagination makes up a good part of it. That’s a topic for a different post though.
These elements can make it harder to work your way through this type of fiction, but it also makes it pretty dang rewarding. The surrealism is fascinating, as is watching human (or near-human) nature work around bizarre elements. In the same way that humor is largely about an unexpected result, bizarre mundane fiction uses the unexpected to amuse, fascinate and disturb you.
The weirdness is part of the reading as much as the fiction.
And that’s why I absolutely love it.