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 The Slenderblogverse, depressing?

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Packfong
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:22 am

A lot of people have taken to take horror and Lovecraftian fiction (from which the Slenderman descends) to a sort of extreme. I think Cthulhu and his ilk have become like Batman, who can for some reason breathe in space or beat Superman in a fight.

In Lovecraft's stories, it was not at all unusual for the character to escape with their life--only their life, maybe, but they still lived. Sometimes they even endured. Cthulhu was not forever defeated in his story, but he was sent back into the depths, and humanity was spared. Lovecraft wrote similar endings in his other works. There were even some actual honest-to-goodness victories in his stories, even if a price had to be paid.

All stories exist to teach and communicate important ideas. If the world view a story espouses is "lol life suckz bai" then it doesn't really validate itself. It doesn't do anyone any good. So life sucks. So now what?

To me, pessimistic endings don't make sense because why would a pessimist bother? Nihilistic endings don't make sense because why would a nihilist inform everyone about how pointless this character's life was?
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:21 pm

Packfong wrote:
A lot of people have taken to take horror and Lovecraftian fiction (from which the Slenderman descends) to a sort of extreme. I think Cthulhu and his ilk have become like Batman, who can for some reason breathe in space or beat Superman in a fight.

...y-you mean Batman can't...?

*runs off sobbing*

No, but seriously. I understand the point here, but it all goes back to "original intent", and how much hogwash that idea is. Which I will get to here shortly.

Packfong wrote:
In Lovecraft's stories, it was not at all unusual for the character to escape with their life--only their life, maybe, but they still lived. Sometimes they even endured. Cthulhu was not forever defeated in his story, but he was sent back into the depths, and humanity was spared. Lovecraft wrote similar endings in his other works. There were even some actual honest-to-goodness victories in his stories, even if a price had to be paid.

Correct, but Lovecraft also had never heard of a cellular telephone or the internet. This is the problem with holding derivations of a work up against the original work (a similar problem occurs when dealing with the United States Constitution, but as I'm not laughably insane yet I won't go into detail publicly). It doesn't really matter how good ol' H.P. himself ended his stories, as his world was different than ours. His world was a world of casual racism, hard living, cruel parents, and the most minor of personality disorders cause for institution and chemical lobotomies. Our world is infinitely different. (Except for the casual racism bit. That's still a major thing today, sadly.)

Also, saying that Cthulhu himself was always defeated? Not true at all. In the very first story, The Call of Cthulhu, the beast was rammed by a fucking ship and walked-er, scuttled away. At the end of the story, as far as the narrator (who is now a fugitive from the cult that killed the original protagonist) is aware, Cthulhu still walks the earth after at least 7x10^52 times the estimated universe. Basically, this is far, far from a victory. It's a "we got the fuck away", sure, but remember that the narrator only got his hands on the manuscript because the protagonist who got the fuck away died. So, again, not a victory in the slightest.

Put simply, most of Lovecraft's stories weren't about victory, they were about survival. They were about how we, when confronted with the ethereal Other, are truly irrelevant. And again, our world is different. The things Lovecraft "intended" for Cthulhu aren't really relevant anymore. But please, if you want to return to that, then leave things as they are. An existential nihilistic ending is truer to the spirit of the forebear than anything else.

Packfong wrote:
All stories exist to teach and communicate important ideas. If the world view a story espouses is "lol life suckz bai" then it doesn't really validate itself. It doesn't do anyone any good. So life sucks. So now what?

But that's not the worldview. Or, at least, it shouldn't be. That is the entire point of existential nihilism. The worldview is that you, the reader, yes you, you don't matter. None of us matter, we are all just here. And in that moment, it is up to you to decide what it means. If that means angst, and despair, and giving up on existence, well, that's your choice. If you choose to fight back, even against the ethereal Other that you have no hope to defeat, that is also your choice. It is not about which is the better choice, but merely that a choice must be made. And that's the validation in and of itself. Stories exist to teach and communicate ideas, yes, but they exist to teach people to think, not how to think.

Packfong wrote:
To me, pessimistic endings don't make sense because why would a pessimist bother? Nihilistic endings don't make sense because why would a nihilist inform everyone about how pointless this character's life was?

I could easily stop at "To me" because you're admitting straight out that this is opinion, and everyone is free to form their own. But I won't do that, because your opinion is founded upon the predication that any character that ends a story a nihilist began the story that way.

To wit. I'm fairly certain that at this point, Jay is probably verging on nihilism. He has spent the better part of three years watching every one of his friends succumb to that ever-present ethereal Other. It would not be remiss to suggest that he is at his wit's end, and probably expects to be subverted and overcome sooner, rather than later. And yet he continues recording and posting videos, not because he still has hope, but because maybe this will help someone who is not him. Or possibly just because it's the only thing he still has of himself. Both of these are plausible outcomes of an existential nihilist coming to terms with the fact that he doesn't matter, and deciding to continue his work anyway.

Basically your concepts of pessimism and nihilism are flawed and incomplete.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:11 pm

Okay, I apologize if this sounds a bit ranty, but I need to say it.

You're both ignoring the fact that there's no full canon in this Mythos. The canon's literally whatever the author wants. If the author wants to go all nihilistic and Lovecraftian, then they do. If the author wants the protagonist to have some small victory, however great the cost, then they do. From what I've seen (which is, admittedly, probably not as much as either of you two), the mythos isn't based 100% on nihilism 100% of the time, and certainly every Slenderblogger and vlogger doesn't decide they're going to go the Lovecraftian route. The blog H(a)unting, love it or hate it, did NOT go that route; in fact, it wasn't even about the struggle of Man vs. the Other, it was more about finding little spots of humor in a very dark, depressing, and bleak world. I enjoyed it for that, even if it did jump the shark and get Sueish at times.

My main point is this - even though I feel a Mythos story should not end 100% happily by any means, not every Mythos story HAS to be one where the protagonist fails miserably 100%. Whether or not failure is more likely than a small victory depends greatly on what the blog is doing, what Slendy behaves like in it, who the protagonist is and how good the author can tell the story. There's no reason we can't have small victories in this Universe, they can even make sense in context and in the greater context of the Mythos at large. But there will never be a truely happy sunshine-and-lollipops ending in the Mythos because that is not what horror is about.

That said, I need to agree with Cougar here, Packfong, even though you make some compelling points to think about. Lovecraft's overarching theme in his works (besides the casual racism - foreign tribes worshiping horrible creatures and fish-human hybrids as a metaphor for interracial marriage, anyone?) was the concept that, when faced with the true possibilities of the Universe, especially the horrible ones, we mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. We're not important to the beings in question because really, we're just little specks of dust on a little blue marble in the middle of a single galaxy in the entire freaking universe. The horror Lovecraft most often used was not just about the big awful scary monster, it was about existential horror combined with the big awful scary monster. Now, you can use that in the Slenderverse, and should, because it's awesome and scary and I love Lovecraftian horror stories, but that's not the only horror the Slenderverse works with. There's the horror that comes from feeling like you are never alone, the psychological horror that comes with insanity and being mentally tortured, the horror of losing all control over your life (which is part of the appeal of Proxies, I think), the horror of losing your life and nobody knowing or being able to help, the horror a child protagonist might have encountering the (literal) bogeyman, the horror an adult might have upon knowing that their child was taken and they will never get them back or their child's hurting from fear and they can't do anything about it. And there's also the fear of the unknown, the horror of literally coming up against something you can't comprehend, which is a bit more Lovecraftian.

Also Cougar's correct about the plot of The Call of Cthulhu - Cthulhu itself isn't defeated, the protagonist just manages to escape. And in a similar vein, if a Slenderman interpretation has a Lovecraftian bent in a given universe, then the most a protagonist should be able to do is get the hell away from him. It might not always be permanent, or it may end with the reminder that even if s/he did escape, Slendy isn't going to just forget about that character and could return at some point in the future to haunt them again. But it also doesn't always have to end with, "Protagonist is dead/insane/a Proxy now etc." What a good Slenderblogger (and horror author in general!) should do if they want a less depressing ending is make a tradeoff - you can have your character die sane/whole/relatively unscathed, or live insane/injured/horribly scarred in some way, but you can't have them live without any consequences, because stalking of any kind has those consequences - it doesn't matter if it's a tall faceless tentacle monster or a human being doing it, being stalked is traumatic. Similarly, you can have your protagonist end up as a Proxy forever and have lost themselves as a result, or you can have them somehow break out of it, but with great difficulty and at a horrible cost to themselves or to others, but you can't have them escape without any sort of cost whatsoever.

A lot of the resolution of a Slenderblog comes from the protagonist having grown as a character by the end. Even the most depressing of (good!) Slenderblogs has the character go through some sort of emotional change. Whether that spurs a drive to power through despite the horrors they face and their inevitable death or causes the complete loss of all hope as they become a broken shell of a human being, it's still an emotional change and growth, and it is going to differ with every Slenderblog out there.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:03 am

Cougar Draven wrote:


Correct, but Lovecraft also had never heard of a cellular telephone or the internet. This is the problem with holding derivations of a work up against the original work (a similar problem occurs when dealing with the United States Constitution, but as I'm not laughably insane yet I won't go into detail publicly). It doesn't really matter how good ol' H.P. himself ended his stories, as his world was different than ours. His world was a world of casual racism, hard living, cruel parents, and the most minor of personality disorders cause for institution and chemical lobotomies. Our world is infinitely different. (Except for the casual racism bit. That's still a major thing today, sadly.)

I think our world as a whole is actually still very much the same, looking at your list.

Technology can change things but if a story taps into the human element it's going to do so regardless if I read it in a book or on a computer. Otherwise Lovecraft's stories, despite their racism, their oldness, would not still be selling. Something at the core is unchanging.

To address multiple points: I never said Cthulhu was always defeated, I said he was sent back. Of course he still was planning on rising up again but that doesn't rob the characters of what they did and survived (well what one survived, and he died eventually but not without at least a small victory). Maybe I shouldn't have said "defeated" at all but unless my memory is faulty when they rammed him he burst like a balloon. That's still not enough to make him run home crying but for a huan being it's kind of a victory.

I know Lovecraft was pessimistic but sometimes his works really weren't overall. "The Silver Key," "The Dreams in the Witch-House," and others had uplifting endings or they were probably intended to be in some aspect. Sometimes there was no twist where the baddie won, or where the world was doomed forever. I know the "canon" was against a pessimistic backdrop. But he still couldn't help but give the characters a bit of a way out sometimes.

As for nihilism, Miriam-Webster states: "a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless"

Wikipedia: "the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or metaphysical/ontological forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist."

I don't see how one can really justify a story that claims such a worldview (I'm not saying that these stories can't be enjoyable I'm just saying I find them rather counter-intuitive). The act of writing the story is, I would think, anti-nihilst. If I were nihilistic I wouldn't bother telling anyone the world was meaningless, especially not via a story which requires the self, hard work, and creativity to be poured into at a very fundamental level (at least if it's going to be worth reding), because it would be meaningless if I did that.

I would read a story about a nihilistic character but a story that espouses nihilism seems to be a head-scratcher. For me. Not projecting on anyone else, here.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:46 am

@Packfong

Quote :
The worldview is that you, the reader, yes you, you don't matter. None of us matter, we are all just here. And in that moment, it is up to you to decide what it means. If that means angst, and despair, and giving up on existence, well, that's your choice. If you choose to fight back, even against the ethereal Other that you have no hope to defeat, that is also your choice. It is not about which is the better choice, but merely that a choice must be made.

So, pretty much... It's how you interpret the whole concept of "You're meaningless."

Just think of it like this: Cthulhu was pushed back into the depths, but the 'victory' could be considered meaningless because Cthulhu is still alive, and it's not like the ship gravely injured it. Cthulhu will still rise.

Or, think about the numerous Slenderbloggers. They manage to kill a human antagonist - but big deal, they still have Slender Man to deal with.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Packfong wrote:
Cougar Draven wrote:
Correct, but Lovecraft also had never heard of a cellular telephone or the internet. This is the problem with holding derivations of a work up against the original work (a similar problem occurs when dealing with the United States Constitution, but as I'm not laughably insane yet I won't go into detail publicly). It doesn't really matter how good ol' H.P. himself ended his stories, as his world was different than ours. His world was a world of casual racism, hard living, cruel parents, and the most minor of personality disorders cause for institution and chemical lobotomies. Our world is infinitely different. (Except for the casual racism bit. That's still a major thing today, sadly.)

I think our world as a whole is actually still very much the same, looking at your list.

Technology can change things but if a story taps into the human element it's going to do so regardless if I read it in a book or on a computer. Otherwise Lovecraft's stories, despite their racism, their oldness, would not still be selling. Something at the core is unchanging.

I think you're missing the point. We've been using The Call of Cthulhu for now, so I'll continue to. In this context, under no circumstances should the protagonist, Johansen, have gone alone. It was a condition of reputations and solitary exploration, without so much as a telephone to contact people, let alone the binding influence of the internet. It was a pre-globalized world. The Call of Cthulhu could not happen in a world bound together by the near-constant tether of satellite-capable phones, which any sane person (and it is suggested that Johansen, the protagonist, is still sane when he leaves on his journey) should bring with them when exploring a mysterious island.

Sure, the human element may never change, but the setting itself must.

Packfong wrote:
To address multiple points: I never said Cthulhu was always defeated, I said he was sent back. Of course he still was planning on rising up again but that doesn't rob the characters of what they did and survived (well what one survived, and he died eventually but not without at least a small victory). Maybe I shouldn't have said "defeated" at all but unless my memory is faulty when they rammed him he burst like a balloon. That's still not enough to make him run home crying but for a huan being it's kind of a victory.

"There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand open graves, and a sound that the chronicler would not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where—God in heaven!—the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form, whilst its distance widened every second as the Alert gained impetus from its mounting steam."

That would be the paragraph in which Cthulhu is rammed by the Alert, in which it is made plainly clear that he does explode, yes, but immediately begins reforming. There is no context in which the case can be made that it's a victory. Johansen runs the fuck away and dies not long after, and the narrator admits that Cthulhu is probably still alive, and he himself will not remain alive very longer. It is the perfect example of a Downer Ending, a trope I'll be bringing up again.

Packfong wrote:
I know Lovecraft was pessimistic but sometimes his works really weren't overall. "The Silver Key," "The Dreams in the Witch-House," and others had uplifting endings or they were probably intended to be in some aspect. Sometimes there was no twist where the baddie won, or where the world was doomed forever. I know the "canon" was against a pessimistic backdrop. But he still couldn't help but give the characters a bit of a way out sometimes.

Okay, The Silver Key is one of the few works Lovecraft wrote that did not have an unquestionably depressing ending. And yet its sequel, Through the Gates of the Silver Key, did. Go figure.

Also, I'm trying to figure out how the ending to The Dreams in the Witch-House is in any way intended to be uplifting. At all. In any way.

I just flipped through a hard copy of The Best of[i], which contains [i]The Call of Cthulhu, The Dreams in the Witch-House, The Silver Key, and a bunch of other tales we haven't yet talked about. And, predictably, The Silver Key is the only story that doesn't end on a down note, and The Dunwich Horror is the only one that actually ends with a final defeat of any (a minor) antagonist.

Packfong wrote:
As for nihilism, Miriam-Webster states: "a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless"

Wikipedia: "the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological or metaphysical/ontological forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist."

Right, and I directly talked about existential nihilism, which is mentioned, so you could have done well to quote from that wiki page:

"The theory purports to describe the human situation to create a life outlook and create meaning, which has been summarized as, 'Strut, fret, and delude ourselves as we may, our lives are of no significance, and it is futile to seek or to affirm meaning where none can be found.' Existential nihilists claim that, to be honest, one must face the absurdity of existence, that he/she will eventually die, and that both religion and metaphysics are simply results of the fear of death."

So, let's continue.

Packfong wrote:
I don't see how one can really justify a story that claims such a worldview (I'm not saying that these stories can't be enjoyable I'm just saying I find them rather counter-intuitive). The act of writing the story is, I would think, anti-nihilst. If I were nihilistic I wouldn't bother telling anyone the world was meaningless, especially not via a story which requires the self, hard work, and creativity to be poured into at a very fundamental level (at least if it's going to be worth reding), because it would be meaningless if I did that.

You're operating from a faulty premise, whether that's intentional or not. Everything is meaningless on a cosmic scale, and that is the thing which gives actions meaning. The entire point of existential nihilism, which you seem to be missing, is that nothing gives you meaning. That is your job—to make it so that you yourself have the meaning not handed to you on a silver platter. It means that life is work; it takes effort.

I'm seriously having trouble not getting angry at this paragraph. I want to use one of Kyle's stop sign images to respond to your insistence that you can't justify a story, any story. That is the entire fucking point of telling stories. They are their own justification. And again, you as a nihilist may not bother, but that sounds a lot more like crippling depression than nihilism. Nihilism is an acceptance that things have no significance, not a child kicking things over to express their angst.

Packfong wrote:
I would read a story about a nihilistic character but a story that espouses nihilism seems to be a head-scratcher. For me. Not projecting on anyone else, here.

And now it's time for me to go back to my favorite time-waster.

Stories that espouse nihilism, stories that have downer endings, are "headscratchers", as you say.

Have a list, not in any way exhaustive.

  • Brave New World
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The Road
  • Mostly Harmless (fifth H2G2 book)
  • 1984
  • Animal Farm
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Othello
  • The Goblet of Fire
  • The Order of the Phoenix
  • The Half-Blood Prince (yes that is three Harry Potter books in a fucking row)
  • The Green Mile
  • The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
  • Dark Force Rising


And those are just books. (Books you should read if you haven't, by the way.) I can continue with movies, television, comics, and video games (I know your tricksy games, Red Dead Redemption) if you like.

Nothing is true.
Everything is permitted.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:48 pm

Whoa, I never said stories were meaningless! That's anti- everything I believe. I thing nihilistic ones are.

Maybe I'm more optimistic than I tend to think, because apparentlyI can find the brightest sliver of hope in anything, even Lovecraft. Which is probably what I'm trying to say about his work.

I'm getting a better view of nihilism by talking to you and reading your posts, and apparently I didn't get it as much as I thought, but understanding it a little better, that still doesn't help, because even getting it, I still don't want it. So a story that is intended to give a nihilistic viewpoint is either something I don't want, or something I'll interpret differently. That's just my view. I also don't get how Harry Potter or Animal Farm is nihilistic (existentially) because both imply goodness or code of conduct which exists without human beings actively deciding it does. If making life what you want is good, why are the pigs considered bad by the book's end? The Harry Potter books state very clearly Voldemort is bad, and he's just asserting that there is no good or bad, just what you decide, is he not? In order to make a value judgment like that there must be a foundation of assumed intrinsic value of morality.

To sum up everything, because I didn't mean to start anything this long and if you want to have the last word go ahead, I'll just say simply what I should have said at the beginning:

I don't care for stories that end with "And then he died, and that's it, that's life, you'll die too," because as a human being it doesn't help me, personally. It doesn't improve my life or compel me to change, think, grow, or anything. This is what I was originally trying to convey and if I failed that's all on me.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:04 pm

Nihilistic /= Depressing. The blog I wrote a while back, Smiting the Gods, all but cheered on nihilism throughout it, and it was part of one of the extremely rare blogs to end on a positive note. Because the nihilistic character in StG went, "Hey, I'm going to die no matter what happens, and none of this will really matter to me after that. Guess that means there's nothing stopping me from seeing what happens if I try to kick Slendy in the nads."

It's the same with any nihilistic story or world view. Yeah, we're all going to die someday. Yeah, there's no objective morality or justice out there which makes everything we do worthwhile in the end. That doesn't mean we just give up and wait to die. Lovecraft's stories made it explicit that the human race was going to eventually be wiped out by whatever nasty beasty of his happened to kill us off first, and several of his characters were aware of that. But they still kept trying to delay the inevitable. Just because it's inevitable doesn't mean you have to give up. Sure, Cthulhu will eat us all one day, but if we keep ramming him in the face with ships we may be able to hold him off a little while before he does so.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:07 am

Thank you for speaking reason, Omega. (Also I seriously think you're the coolest; Encyclopedia Slenderia is where I learned a lot about the Mythos and you're an awesome Slenderblog writer! Oh God my fangirl is showing... )

You can write a Slendy story without it being horribly depressing, Hell, it can even be funny if done right. It won't be entirely a horror story in that case, but it will still be a good story IF you can write it correctly. I won't beat a dead horse by saying what I said previously again, but seriously... just because it's horror doesn't mean it has to have a 100% downer ending, or even be a series that completely has depressing aspects all the time. The theme of human hope and the need to continue moving on even in the face of incredibly unwinnable odds is one that multiple literary works have used, and it can and should be used in this Mythos, too.

However, if you start with a horrific tone, you need to end with a horrific tone. If you begin the blog or series by setting the tone as bleak, then keep it bleak. I hate asspull endings, including the "It was all just a dream" one, that one in particular REALLY makes me rage.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:32 am

DarkShadows wrote:
You can write a Slendy story without it being horribly depressing, Hell, it can even be funny if done right. It won't be entirely a horror story in that case,
Let me just stop you right there compadre. Jebediah don't like being manhandled, giant! Someone has clearly never read (Or tried, because I haven't either. They are so LOOONG!) OH GOD THE RAPTURE IS BURNING. The Rapture Logs are supremely horrific, and at times deeply disturbing but sweet Jesus did they make me laugh. They are incredibly funny, worth reading without a shadow of a doubt.

I know that the Rapture logs are Fear Mythos based, but the principle is the same. It would be no more depressing if it was just the Slenderman destroying the world than it is with all the fears, giant ones and spider people.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:46 pm

Packfong wrote:
Whoa, I never said stories were meaningless! That's anti- everything I believe. I thing nihilistic ones are.

Maybe I'm more optimistic than I tend to think, because apparentlyI can find the brightest sliver of hope in anything, even Lovecraft. Which is probably what I'm trying to say about his work.

I'm getting a better view of nihilism by talking to you and reading your posts, and apparently I didn't get it as much as I thought, but understanding it a little better, that still doesn't help, because even getting it, I still don't want it. So a story that is intended to give a nihilistic viewpoint is either something I don't want, or something I'll interpret differently. That's just my view. I also don't get how Harry Potter or Animal Farm is nihilistic (existentially) because both imply goodness or code of conduct which exists without human beings actively deciding it does. If making life what you want is good, why are the pigs considered bad by the book's end? The Harry Potter books state very clearly Voldemort is bad, and he's just asserting that there is no good or bad, just what you decide, is he not? In order to make a value judgment like that there must be a foundation of assumed intrinsic value of morality.

To sum up everything, because I didn't mean to start anything this long and if you want to have the last word go ahead, I'll just say simply what I should have said at the beginning:

I don't care for stories that end with "And then he died, and that's it, that's life, you'll die too," because as a human being it doesn't help me, personally. It doesn't improve my life or compel me to change, think, grow, or anything. This is what I was originally trying to convey and if I failed that's all on me.

I think, as Omega pointed out, you're misconstruing what the word "nihilism" means. You're interpreting things as "things are meaningless, so there's no reason to do anything", when "things are meaningless, so there's every reason to do something" is just as valid a reason. Nihilistic thoughts are acceptance that meaning is not something that is intrinsic to life, it is something you find yourself. If you find yourself hiding away from the world and doing nothing, that's your choice. As it deciding to make up for the lack of inherent meaning by doing whatever you can to make your own. And maybe find squirrels. Who knows. Life can suck, but it can also be an adventure.

Specific examples:


  • Animal Farm ends on a significant down note, seeing as how the entire book was a lesson that, basically, nothing changes. At the end, the situation was no better than it was at the beginning. The animals are still basically being treated horribly.
  • The Harry Potter series as a whole ends on an upper note, but the fourth, fifth, and sixth books are all about how majorly difficult life is going to be, how hard choices are, and each one ends with the death of a character central to either the book or Harry's life. At the end of Year Three he was still mostly a decent, somewhat innocent child. By the beginning of Year Seven (which he never actually completes) he is a hardened man who is willing to sacrifice friendships to accomplish a quest which he was never prepared for.


Finally, you were saying that you think nihilistic stories are meaningless. (Operating from, as you admitted, a faulty understand of nihilism.) The problem I have with that is that I don't think it can be said that any story is meaningless. That sentence just does not make sense to me. Stories all have meaning. If it's a meaning you don't like, that's your opinion, not mine or anyone else's.

And with that, I think I'm done discussing philosophy.


Last edited by Cougar Draven on Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : why was there a phantom 't' in my post)
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:28 pm

Etreo wrote:
Someone has clearly never read (Or tried, because I haven't either. They are so LOOONG!) OH GOD THE RAPTURE IS BURNING. The Rapture Logs are supremely horrific, and at times deeply disturbing but sweet Jesus did they make me laugh. They are incredibly funny, worth reading without a shadow of a doubt.

I'll take that as a recommendation to read 'em, then, probably when I have a bit more time (college sucks sometimes).

Please don't take my quote to mean that I think a horror story shouldn't have humor to break up tension. That's completely alright and even encouraged, because it makes the horrific WHAM! moments even more frightening and rough. What I meant is that if your tone overall is horror and you aren't eventually going to go in a different direction with it, it shouldn't suddenly change mid-story into a humor fic. A story that starts as one tone should not suddenly have an ending with a completely different tone from what it was, because that annoys people and that's how we get what we like to call Horrible Troll Creepypasta. XD That's all I meant. I'm all for humorous moments in Slenderblogging and in horror stories in general; there was one blog where the protagonist got ambushed by Slendy, so he started playing Yakety Sax on his MP3 player to make his situation seem more bearable. Like I said above, a well-planned joke in the middle of two tense moments can make the second tense moment seem even worse than the first.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:18 pm

Well, I couldn't help but laugh through half of The Blair Witch Project, but I imagine that's not the mood they wanted, so I don't think that's what you're looking for.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:27 am

there are a few victories out there. I wrote one...wow it's been so long ago I can barely remember the names. didn't Jean make it out okay? Yes most people die, that's half the point, but every now and then, someone survives, and they just know that its over. Whatever shadow that smothered them has passed, at least for now.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:07 pm

Holy crap it's Zero whoa
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:47 am

a happy ending in and of itself perhaps? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:13 pm

First off, I think having someone "beat" the Slender Man is a bad idea. The point is, above all, that he's this mysterious implacable force of nature. Without that, he loses his scariness.

I do think, however, that there's a way to make this work. You could get a happy ending out of the b or c stories ending well, so that when Slendy comes for them, they have no regrets.

To give an example, I recently read a manga series called Bokurano. It's about a group of friends who are called up by alien forces to pilot a mysterious mecha against otherworldly attackers. The kicker, which comes early in the comic's run, is that the main pilot of the robot, which they take turns to be, powers the robot with their life force, and, win or lose, that pilot inevitably dies. From there, the big mech battles essentially become ticking clocks which turn the series into a character study, finding out how these thirteen characters deal with their last days before an inevitable demise. I'm not going to lie, this series is basically a mix of Neon Genesis Evangelion and Madoka Magica, and if you thought those series were depressing you have seen NOTHING until you've read Bokurano, but by the end, it's less downbeat than it is bittersweet. The children all die, bar one whose death is still inevitable, having done terrible things in the name of war, but they do so having saved the lives of their loved ones, resolved their personal issues and ultimately dying having made the most of their situation.

So no, I don't think you should be able to stop the Slender Man killing your characters. The simple fact is that to this community the Slender Man isn't expendable, and your characters are. I think a "happy" ending is out of the question, personally - certainly, I'd never write one, it's completely incongruous with the parts of the Slender Man which most inspire me - but a blog could absolutely have a bittersweet ending. The Slender Man should be a ticking clock, pressing in more and more until it becomes inevitable, but the stuff around the chase, the human drama, that can bring in more positivity.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:26 pm

Anyways, this is my advice (and this should be no surprise that this type of advice is coming from the original Fearblogger):

Fuck what everyone else says. Do what you want with the Slender Man. He's an open source creature, use him however you want.

However, whatever you use him for, please make sure that you put all your effort into making it work. Even if I don't like or agree with what you've come up with, I can at least admire that you put your own spin on on this creature instead of the tired, old eldritch approach.

If it fits in the story, sure, kill off the fucking slender man! Why the hell not? Who said he was of eldritch origin anyways? What if he was a more humble creature than that? Just don't stop putting yourself into him.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:16 pm

Cute, if you don't mind me calling you that, which Fears did you create? I believe that DJay created Jimmy the Eye, EAT, Archangel and the Smiling Man, and I know Alli made the Cold Boy. Which did you invent?
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:36 pm

No sir, Djay did not create those Fears! It's understandable that you're confused though, so let me give you a quck summary of the creation of most of the Fears.

I had four ideas that I wanted to build a Mythos around; the Dying Man, the Wooden Girl, The Convocation, and The Manufactured Newborn. I made a thread on TV Tropes asking for people to contribute, to build up a mythos; or more specifically, a group of creepypasta-based monsters.

Alliterator was one of the first, if not the first, contributor. He created the Cold Boy, a creepypasta creature he had coincidentally been thinking about using before I even begun the Fear Mythos.

Then there was Lizard Bite. He had the idea of the Archangel, a creature he had also been thinking about using.

Another person, who would become one of our most influential members, the Visitor, created the Choir.

Djay was having a rough time, so I asked him if he wanted to contribute. Back then, the Fear Mythos wasn't based off of Fears, but "elementals", so I specifically told him to create a water elemental. He kept on coming up with cool ideas but ultimately EAT was the only one that seemed to stick. So, Djay created EAT.

From there, my memory becomes a bit foggy. But, I do generally have an idea of who created which Fear.

Cute = The Dying Man, the Wooden Girl, the Convocation, The M. Newborn
Alliterator = The Cold Boy, The Blind Man (I think so, anyways), The Quiet
Visitor = The Choir, The Black Dog
Lizard Bite = The Archangel, The Intrusion, The Empty City, The Eye
Djay = EAT

The Smiling Man was created separately from the Fear Mythos by one of my best friends named Gracious Victory. We kind of just adopted Smiley into the Mythos.

Also, it should be noted that a lot of the Fears are made up from different ideas from everyone. Hardly any of the Fears have unique elements that were created by one specific person. Every Fear has a little bit of everyone in it. Like how I'm partially responsible for EAT, Alliterator came up with the name "The Dying Man."

Thanks for being interested!
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:39 pm

Hey Cute didn't Vis create The Choir and The Nightlanders not The Choir and The Black Dog. I thought the black dog was created by some guy who's not part of the mythos anymore. I remember there was a thing about whether we could use The Black Dog in the anthology because we couldn't contact it's creator anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:40 pm

Oh yeah shoot, you're right, sorry. Vis did say he "adopted" the Black Dog from its original owner... he might have been joking though.

And yeah, I forgot about the Nightlanders! Vis created them.
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:42 pm

Also who created The Plague Doctor?
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:43 pm

I think the Plague Doctor was way too general of an idea for any one person to claim. I'll go check and see who did though. I haven't been in that thread for a while so I should, I guess.

Edit: IT WAS ALLITERATOR IN THE SECOND POST OF THE THREAD. xD
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PostSubject: Re: The Slenderblogverse, depressing?   Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:48 pm

I see where I went wrong, I read a thread on the Fear Mythos forums about creating fears. I thought it was written by DJay and not LizardBite. I only connected EAT with DJay because 'Jordan Eats normally now' and the main character from Rapture have the same name. Ah, noobiness... XD
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