NIGHTMARES? It started off as an ice-breaker, “Had any nightmares recently?” The responses were astounding and the DailyNightmare.com launched originally as a way to share these nocturnal terrors.
A TERRORIZED SOCIETY – Nightmares are understandable even while awake. It’s down right unpatriotic not to be afraid of something: global climate change, religious extremists, impure foodstuffs, shoddy foreign merchandise, evaporating finances, fugitive jobs not to mention the same old everyday horror of mortality, insignificance, loneliness… Dailynightmare.com expanded to examine the place of fear in everyday life.
SNOB HORROR – Scary movies and creepy books are some of the best attempts we humans make to come to terms with fear. So naturally, the DailyNightmare.com examines horror-culture from a critical perspective. We are not shy about confessing our high-minded purpose. Horror-culture like any art must tell us something about the human condition, and to do so, ideally with a bit of suitable artistry.
MIDWESTERN HORROR – Different regions have special horrors. Some are already familiar, like New England with King and Lovecraft. Further South are Poe and the rich ookiness of Southern Gothic. Pittsburgh and Romero basically invented zombies… But what are the wonderful horrors of the Great Lakes Region? The DailyNightmare is an unapologetic champion of this region.
A Blog about Fear?
Fear is a basic response, a natural reaction to perceived threat, a survival warning mechanism like pain. Fear is an inescapable part of who we are as creatures living in this world.
Fear is Pervasive
Fear is a human response and lies near the core of so much that we do, not just of our baser actions but also our highest cultural achievements. Fear is a silent partner in most political discussions; other times, fear is explicitly used to manipulate political decisions. Through religion, we address our fear of death, our fear of judgment and worse, our fears of cosmic meaninglessness.
Fear is Significant
If fear is a response to perceived threat, it reveals both our perceptions and what we consider threatening. That is, fear reveals our worldview and our values, our actual values, not just the ones we pay lip service to. Our dreams for the future are sometimes the negative image of our worst fears about what might happen to us. We can learn about ourselves, and perhaps improve ourselves, if we honestly examine what we fear.
Fear is … Fun
When we are certain that we are safe, it is exciting to indulge in a little fear. From ghost stories told around campfires to Gothic novels to scary drive-in movies, fear provides us with thrilling entertainment. Fear in various guises has even been domesticated and enshrined in annual holidays like Hallowe’en which seems to grow bigger every year.
A nightmare is like a scary movie produced exclusively for you. Nightmares draw from your experiences, your values, your fears and so present you with a unique opportunity. It’s easy to discount a horror movie, say, about snakes if you really don’t mind snakes. But your nightmares won’t let you off the hook so easily. That “movie producer” who scripts our dreams KNOWS what scares us, what disturbs us personally and will from time to time present us with a nightmare that will give us a true shaking up. Nightmares are windows to self-discovery and provide us an avenue to face our fears and learn from them.
Write down your nightmares even if all you remember is a situation or an image. Because when they’re down in black and white, dreams that once were unimaginably terrifying often become quite understandable. Don’t be victimized by your fears; confront them. Write them down. Examine them. Hold them up to the light.
And send them into The Daily Nightmare!
Why? Because like scary movies, nightmares told during the day are kind of fun. They give a vicarious thrill. And further, it’s highly likely that a nightmare that has terrified you will also be something that scares someone else. With the commentary fields on nightmare posts, others can post their responses, not just verbal ones but also artistic responses like comics, illustrations, poems, possibly even short films.
Since dreams and nightmares ARE so personal, it’s often difficult to share them with others since we’re afraid that they might reveal a little bit TOO much. Relax. When you send your nightmares and weird dreams, your strange fears and odd aversions to grimgnome (a) dailynightmare.com I’ll repost them so there will be no trace that they came from you. The only thing that would be interesting to know is the age and gender of the dreamer. Consider The Daily Nightmare to be a more or less anonymous, shared dream journal focused on nightmares, whether they be whole storylines, situations, images, whatever you can recall and importantly, how and why the dream was scary. Never fear, I will not sell your e-mail address to the Dark Legions, though let me know if you’d like to subscribe to a nightmare newsletter. I reserve the right to standardize spelling and grammar, even to the point of “fictionalizing” the accounts a bit to punch them up stylistically. The horror, I hope, will remain intact.