On The Need For A New Popular Monster

>First, it was vampires, everywhere ― in books, in movies, on television, in the cellar, and so on. Then it was zombies, and perhaps it still is.

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On The Need For A New Popular Monster

First, it was vampires, everywhere ― in books, in movies, on television, in the cellar, and so on. Then it was zombies, and perhaps it still is.

I’m tired of them. I think it’s time for a new immensely popular horrific creature.

Of course, it will have to be a dead, partially dead, or oddly transformed human. It is the human element that makes a monster appealing. Something that is one hundred percent monster ― an ogre, a goblin, or a basilisk ― just won’t do.

A ghost, for all of its irregularities (the washed-out appearance, the walking through walls, the moaning), was once one of us. The werewolf, after its full-moon ravagings, returns to human form and feels remorse for ― or perhaps has fond memories of ― its carnage. Victor Frankenstein’s creation was stitched together from parts of formerly alive people, perhaps your great, great, great, great, great aunt or uncle.

I suggest that the next popular monster should be the swistenk.

Swistenks are humans who have spent too much time following politics.

It begins with excessive attention to political writings and current events, in newspapers and magazines, on television, and on the radio. They then move on to blogs, strident, fact-filled, and incomprehensible to most people. Then they discover Twitter, and their transformation is near complete.

Friends try to warn them, but it is no use. And then friends shun them, for the near-swistenk talks of nothing but politics, politics, politics.

With no one left to talk to, they tweet incessantly, at the dinner table, in the bedroom, travelling, shopping, working…

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When they are let go from their jobs, as they must be, they quickly become bitter and vilely tempered. They are now full swistenks, with glazed and inward-looking eyes, no manners, and poor hygiene.

They wander the streets, haranguing strangers about the BNA Act, prorogation, and the urgent need for reform.

They make prank phone calls, asking people to name their favourite Prime Minister ― Tupper, Bowell, or Campbell?

Their victims are left drained, apathetic, uninterested in life.

Unlike vampires, swistenks come out only in the daytime. Darkness confuses them, as does rhythmic music and the colour yellow.

Beware the swistenk. Remember ― you heard it here first.

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