It has long confused people on why the dark and the gory are considered fascinating. Like Thanatos-driven cannibals, we hunger after anything with a sadomasochistic association. It appears contrary to our most basic instincts of survival, as every day, science and technology comes up with innovative ways to extend life. Why is it that we are so obsessed with death and what lies beyond when we barely give a thought to our daily life? It seems the species is bent on self-destruction; no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves of the opposite, we know all too well that the end is near and some of us flow quite willingly with the tide.
News of war and images of graves filled with rotting bodies only give second-hand pleasure. If you are completely honest with yourself then you would accept how the idea of murdering someone can be most satisfying. Images of blood spurting from a slowly dying body, the darkness of the red against pale skin, the last breath softly escaping the cold lips: this is a fantasy that would really get the adrenaline going. The sights and sounds in your imagination enhanced by the sound of the blood rushing in your ears, your quickened breath, and the smell of the sweat on your skin.
Every one of us have thought of, and made detailed plans, of killing someone over the years. Made taboo by society, we are loath to allow ourselves this pleasure that doesn’t hurt anyone, guilty and ashamed at the idea that something may be wrong with us. It is not in our instincts to forgive or be self-sacrificial; that is a horrendous form of insanity taught to us through socialisation. Rather, like all beasts, we are driven by the craving to destroy and in our minds, as we take revenge and destroy our enemies, eliminating all signs of their existence, we are freed from the hold they have over us.
On the other hand, if your most beloved friends die a hundred gruesome deaths in your fantasies, this doesn’t mean you are going insane either. Instead, the depression spawned by these fantasies will cure you of the insane idea society has fed us that love can be felt without feelings of hatred. Love and hatred are not rival emotions on opposite ends of a spectrum but, like pain and pleasure, are bound together as one. We seek the annihilation of those we love, to experience pleasure through that anguish, in preparation for the day of separation that we know is inevitable.
The desire to destroy the one we love is a running theme in the world of art and literature. Perhaps, once you erase all the homosexual connotations from it, you will find that this was what happened to Alan Strang’s horses; destroyed by the deepest love and devotion.