There are times when it’s fun to run a horror blog. Like Halloween, or around the release of the latest horror film everyone’s talking about. Other times, though, it feels painfully incongruous.
A few days ago I was writing a “month in horror” round-up post where I talked about a controversy involving a horror TV host – a controversy which, I suspect, most people had already forgotten about. That same day, the news was filled with protests and civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police less than a week beforehand. Even as I finished off my post, I thought to myself, “who cares about this stuff?”
I planned to post a review of a horror book today, but somehow, I don’t really feel up to proofreading it. I had a post scheduled for tomorrow – just a load of self-promotion, really – but again I ask: who cares? Every time I head to Twitter and see the latest photographs of mace-sprayed demonstrators or videos of reporters being attacked by police, I lose the will to write about ghosties and ghoulies.
I’m fortunate in that the current events aren’t affecting me directly, leaving me in a position to write about frivolous nonsense as much as I like. This was never really a blog about politics or current affairs; I’ve sometimes written on those topics, but only if they’re relevant to some controversy or another happening in the horror/fantasy/sci-fi scene. My role is to offer escapism, really. That’s about it.
Some people are saying that, in the current situation, any escapism is morally wrong. I don’t really agree with that: if a person’s faced with stress or anxiety, then the occasional distraction is a perfectly valid way for them to get through the day. If that distraction is playing a video game, dancing to your favourite CD, cooking a treat in the kitchen or chatting about a TV show on Twitter, then go for it, I say.
I plan to get back to my horror reviews tomorrow. I won’t pretend that, by running this blog, I’m somehow striking a blow against institutional racism or police brutality. I certainly won’t be bringing back any of the people who have been killed. But if I can help a few people escape from their troubles for a minute or two, well, that’s a little something, I suppose.