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London, United Kingdom
Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Cloverfield Effect By Holly Searle




I'll be honest with you, something has really been playing on my mind recently, and I can't help but think, that it is going to get worse.

Although I have adopted a more positive mindset in the last few years, I feel as though there are changes taking place that may see more worrying times ahead for us all.

No, I haven't gone bonkers, I am just worried about the state of humanity in general and the consequences of the recession and the affects that the welfare changes may bring.

I was thinking back to the riots. Remember those? How can we all forget that they ever took place and the detrimental affect that they had on all of us.

It was pretty scary stuff.

I was sat at home on that night on my own crying, because I couldn't believe what was actually going on a few miles from my own home. A place, like Dorothy, I have always felt safe and secure in.

I wasn't crying because I was scared. I was crying because I was shocked at how quickly it gathered momentum and span all that we knew, and relied upon and recognised, out of control so quickly.

It kind of reminded me of that film Cloverfield.

In that movie, the monster is an ubiquitous force that decimates the city it attacks during the course of a single night

Initially, the monster isn't the main focus of the film, but its actions are. It is only later that we get to see the monster, and even then, the narrative, becomes more about the devastation of the norm and how to try and deal with it, rather than concentrating its attention on the recognised let's kill the monster and save the city plot line.

I found it a really odd and unsatisfactory film to watch from that perspective, but now, something about its narrative structure has started to resonate with me especially in post riot London.

I have a theory that if you believe that your life is less fulfilled because you aren't able to furnish it with items that you are continuing being sold and told will make your life more complete: then you are more likely to be of the opinion, that you are socially inept.

If you are made to feel like that, you will no doubt harvest feelings of frustration and failure.

To feel like that, is a social status bête noir of the worse kind for those who need to be objectified by such trinkets.

The reaction to which, is, or could be, yet another ironic social backlash of biting the hand that unashamedly fed the desire that fuelled it in the first place.

Thus resulting in more social disharmony and quite possibly, I am sad to say, more rioting.

And that is what has been worrying me.

Times are pretty hard. For some, they are almost Dickensian.

And then there are those that the masses have placed their trust in, who have demonstrated their power in an almost abstract expressionist style not that dissimilar to the one attributed to Jackson Pollock in his dripping, pouring, and spattering of paint on a canvas.

It has all been a bit all over the place if you ask me, and a bit messy to look at.

When I think about the riots now, I realise that although it was a herd of humanity that ravished the localities and communities in which it lived, in actuality it was the unseen Cloverfield monster that drove them to do it in the first place.

It isn't an excuse for their behaviour, but it is the truth as I see it.

And it all just reminds me of James Baldwin’s extensive essay The Fire Next Time, which he wrote as a warning as to what the social implications might be, should the civil rights movement not be taken seriously.

Cloverfield ends on a nihilistic note when the military destroy what the monster hasn't, by bombing what remains of the civilised metropolis in order to remove its presence forever.

But then the camcord on which the entire episodic narrative has been recorded, starts to play a previously recorded happier event in the lives of those that have been lost.

So before the monster arrives, maybe there is a chance if we all realise what is important, and what isn't.


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