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Entertainment / movies / February 22, 2009

While many of the teen victims in Friday the 13th are deliberately portrayed as pricks, most aren’t. They’re simply adolescents who happen to be doing what you most wanted to do when you were sixteen, a thing that’s sat in your head and festered ever since, like that raisin in the sun. So let’s start with the bedrock premise: teenagers, without adult supervision, doing drugs and having sex in idyllic nature.

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Even Grandpa still uses the weekend getaway with the hottest chicks from high school as a wanking fantasy. He’s got the trees, the lake and everything!

I can still recall the nuclear erotic energy of visiting a campground or going on vacation when I was a teenager, the girls by the pool, the possibilities. Whether you got lucky a lot back then or not, adolescent sexuality produces some of the most intense emotional experiences of your life.

But as H.L. Mencken mentioned, Puritanism is “[t]he haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” Jason is this Puritan rage, the spite vote. He doesn’t speak to teenagers nervous about immorality. Jason speaks to everyone who wants teenage immorality for themselves, right now, and is thwarted. We wanted it more than anything when we were teenagers, and we still want it today. While we don’t admit it, those teenagers from the Friday the 13th movies represent a joy we may never have had, and likely never will have. Even if we were among the sexually Chosen Ones, we never had enough, and it’s too late now. Our strongest adolescent emotions, passions, and lusts are gone, never fully gratified. In the Saw series, the killer wants to help victims “appreciate” their lives, a goal that’s unstated but somehow also palpable in the Friday the 13th series. These teens are experiencing the only real-world heaven our minds have ever conjured for us, and they take it for granted. So they’ve gotta pay.

This little slasher-film hypothesis first took shape when I realized sexy movies like Y Tu Mamba Tambien or The Dreamers were intolerable to me. While foreign films depend on breasts to compete with the big budgets of Hollywood, the sex and intrigue just frustrated me. Either I was in a relationship and the sexuality reminded me of the erotic potential I was missing out on, or I wasn’t in a relationship and the sex reminded me of the erotic potential I was missing out on. Throw in a killer, and somehow it’s not so offensive to the fantasy parts of the brain.

While some people have wonderfully rewarding sex lives, most of us are getting older, paunchier and uglier, irreversibly. When most of us think about sex, we’re eternally adolescent. Men had endless lusts, and women didn’t have to worry about skin care. The kids in the Friday the 13th movies don’t sin by taking drugs and having sex. They sin in not knowing how fleeting that joy is. They’re ignorant of the danger lurking around them, the loss of looks, enthusiasm, and passion, the grinding dullness of the workplace, the sexual famine of marriage, the burden of children, the diminishing returns of friendship, the breakup of families. Of course, the audience isn’t consciously factoring that in; there’s a pit in their brain where all that pain eternally sits.

The kids are unaware of our horrible Western lives, where family, tribe, and clan are dissolved in an acid-bath and every potential relationship is too fraught with the stress of awkwardness, of not knowing your place in the hierarchy, to even be worth investing in.

No wonder we root for Jason!

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  • 1. mechagodzilla  |  February 22nd, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Hmm. As a young person, does this mean I should not be watching this movie when I could be out doing drugs and having sex?

  • 2. Nightmarer  |  February 22nd, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I also hated the Dreamers despite Eva Green’s full frontal nudity.

    Now I understand why. Burn Paris Burn!

    What’s your take on Into The Wild?

  • 3. captain america  |  February 22nd, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    my western life pretty much rules. i’m from the denver area and get it on with the help of this: i am never lonely, never want to kill people. because i’m always a happy go lucky bottom! it must suck to be an exiled staffer. you guys all sound so straight & miserable. :(

  • 4. Homer Erotic  |  February 22nd, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    [Pinhead from Hellraiser]Amen.[/PFH]

  • 5. Jason  |  February 23rd, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Mechagodzilla –
    To answer your question: Yes.

  • 6. captain america  |  February 23rd, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    i would not have suspected nagging doubts as to your heterosexuality as one of the sources of your misery, but there it is.

  • 7. Anonymous  |  February 23rd, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    My sex and drugs fantasies often take place in mansions and luxury condos, and in warehouse raves, and even in cheap punk rocker apartments, but only rarely outdoors. Maybe that’s just me. I’m also perfectly comfortable in tight spaces like elevators and submarine bunks, and a bit uncomfortable in big open areas outdoors, which is unusual.

    Cap’n, you’ll eventually be 50 or 60, and few tops will want you. Sometime before then, you may decide you’ve had enough wild sex for a lifetime, or that it’s time to die. But as long as you live, art, knowledge, and time spent with good friends should all still hold their allure, and they are the traditional pastimes of old queens everywhere. Politics and charity too, if you can accept how hard they are and how much they can’t do.

    As for me, I learn things all the time that make me happier and less depressed. Mostly from history about artists and builders and rebels and fighters who tried to make the world better and managed to score some hits here and there. And about fascinating and glorious wonders in biology and astronomy and geology.

    Rucker’s right that teenage lust, and righteous wrath, and ignorant fearlessness all fade over time, and it’s a shame. Even food stops tasting as good, and hot tubs and massages and fine fabrics don’t feel as good. So you have to seize what you can while you can, and then let go.

    But I expect my love of knowledge, art, and the company of good friends to last as long as my life does, and that I’ll get to enjoy a lot of those things.

  • 8. aleke  |  February 24th, 2009 at 3:25 am

    If learning about the machinations of the world, its bloody history and darwinist stink, makes you happier, you are a moron. The pithy saying rings true: ignorance is bliss.

  • 9. Spanky  |  February 24th, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Such insight, aleke!

    Feeling blissful yourself, are you?

    If you believe what you wrote, you’re an ignorant douchebag with all the depth of an angry ‘cynical’ teen.

    If your chocolate box aphorism was true, the majority of the world (and 98% of the US) would be blissfully happy. They ain’t.

  • 10. captain america  |  February 24th, 2009 at 6:38 am

    actually, being 50 or 60 and being hot (and having a great sex life) are not mutually exclusive. can’t speak for the rest of you, but i’m planning on continuing to have loads of great sex when i hit the big five oh.

    in fact, i was going to suggest hitting the gym hard four or five times a week as one thing that might help the exile guys get over their misery and self pity. that, and ditching the drugs.

    but then i realized that i’d probably be in for more kneejerk, middle-school homophobia if i did that…

  • 11. Homer Erotic  |  February 24th, 2009 at 10:47 am

    captain america:

    I think the main thrust of Anonymous’s point was that there is more to life than sex. You may well know that, but one could be forgiven for thinking that you don’t based on your posts in this thread.

    It is also worth noting that not all of us have the privelege of being highly attractive in the manner most of society favors (yes, this would include yours truly). On that same note, even if you do take care of yourself and age well (and good on you for not being seduced by the cult of substance abuse in which too much of the gay community is trapped), you do lose something as you get older. So I really hope for your sake (not to mention the people who have to personally deal with you every working day) that your sense of self-worth is not solely on your exterior person.

  • 12. aleke  |  February 24th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    hahaha categorizing your little moral outrage along the predictable lines of ‘typical angree teeenaaager’??? hahah, maybe you’ll be spouting homophobic slurs against `the emos` too? or are you just going to go with the time-tested routine of silly ad hom ad hom parry ad hom parry ad hom stop-hit. boring, beigist sod. nosh off with your asymmetrical, dumb face before you really get all huffed up in a hurry.

    it’s horrible how the dregs most oppressed by life defend its cruelty with their last, rancid, boring breath

  • 13. rick  |  February 24th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I was just looking through a family scrapbook. It’s not true sex is all there is in life. There were other things once, like families and clans. They still have them places like the materially-impoverished third world. Some consolation. Families are totally screwed up too–people are disgusting morons everywhere–but at least you feel like a valid human being, emotionally.

    It’s just that adolescent sexuality is all there is for us. Extended families are dead.

  • 14. captain america  |  February 25th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    you’re deeply, deeply sad people, exile staffers. just as i said, this is what happens to straight men. i suppose there’s little the modern leftist cynic prizes more than his misery, and little he resents more then having someone point it out.

    i’d say, do something about it, but then you’re not gay like me. so what coulld you do?

    you are damn talented and entertaining writers though, for what it’s worth.

  • 15. captain america  |  February 25th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    i have some good things to say, really!! but it’s hard to do because the exile censor continues to alter my posts with correct references to my sexuality that heavily distract from the rather salient points i’m making. gosh! i’m so mad right now! but not THAT mad, if you know what i mean. wink wink. 😉

    wrestling with several dicks tied behind my back,

    captain america

  • 16. captain america  |  February 26th, 2009 at 6:06 am

    ha! got in the phrase “the” at least. now, anyone following my posts could probably tell that I’m (rather pathetically) obsessing. they could likely also infer that i’m struggling in my own private hell of barely repressed homosexuality, not to mention the helplessness and impotence common to the western liberal.

    of course, my delusions of grandeur have attained a level almost approaching that of my sad repression and general misery.

  • 17. captain america  |  December 5th, 2011 at 1:00 am

    i let bucky die

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