This weekend was Minneapolis' infamous Zombie Pub Crawl. It's the first event kicking off the Halloween season. There are already plenty of houses in my neighborhood with Halloween decorations and stores have had Halloween supplies for weeks now. So, I wonder why it is that we are so obsessed with death. It's not just Halloween, though, there are so many examples of the human obsession with death, vampires, scary movies, cemeteries, wakes, ghost stories, etc. Why do we want these signs of death all around us?
Recently, I went to go see a movie, "Restless," where the main character goes to funerals of strangers and ends up falling in love with a girl he meets there who has terminal cancer. He was obsessed with death and even had a ghost as a best friend. This boy sort of takes human obsession with death to a new extreme because he actively seeks it out rather than just having it passively around. Why would this person do all of this? What is it reminding him of? And, since he stands as an extreme version of all humans, what does his obsession with death tell us about humans and the way we think?
I think that we like having death all around us because we don't understand it, and that's why we come up with all of these characters, movies, and holidays. We have them around because as humans we want to know everything. That's why we explore space, try to find extinct cultures, learn how language works, but we can't do that to death. That's why we are so obsessed with it. Death shows us, humans, that we are humans because we cannot know everything. In the case of the boy, his parents had been killed in an accident, so he went and actively seeked out death because he truly couldn't understand it. Thus, his actions and our actions make sense.