It has been noticed for a few thousand years that art imitates life. Art is supposed to entertain and educate you about life.
I've been a semi-fan of horror fiction for a few decades. What I have noticed, as have many others before me, that is all horror fiction follows the same pattern: evil attacking good, chaos attacking order. In other words, your basic horror writer is a "conservative."
Stephen King once wrote the average horror writer is as conservative as "a Republican in a three-piece suit."
When I have mentioned to some people that horror is Chaos attacking Order, they seem to think by Order I mean some kind of regimented society. I mean a natural, organic order, like this:
This was before my time but I am always stuck by the fact every one in the video looks like they are having the time of their lives. They are playing, but there is an order to that play. It's an organic, natural, spontaneous play, but there is still some order in that play. There has to be: all games have rules. But those rules are to maximize your eudaimonia, that is, flourishing/well-being.
I think the main reason Stephen King is so popular is because his Order is always about playing, partying, rock 'n' roll and having a good time.
I see Chaos attacking Order as the Machine State attacking the Natural State. The Machine State and the Natural State is another important theme in literature - and therefore life.
Here is the Machine State:
All horror stories follow the same pattern: Order-Chaos-Reintegration-Restoration of Order. The same thing happens to governments and societies: Order-Collapse-Reintegration-Restoration. That sequence is in fact the one eternal story. And it's always caused by the growth of government.
There are a few archetypes you always see in horror fiction. One is the Bad Father.
The curious thing about the Bad Father is that often he disguises himself as the Good Father.
Evil can be seductive, because it promises security and meaning but instead gives chaos and disorder.
Another theme is the Seductive, Destroying Mother.
Those are the two main villains to watch out for: the Bad Father and the Seductive, Destroying Mother. They always promise security, order and meaning but they deliver death and destruction. And they always want political power.
One of the more disturbing people about people is that many will give up their freedom for security. It's as if there is a fight in us between fascism and freedom. Between the Machine State and the Natural State.
Ben Franklin had something to say about that: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
What is happening now, obviously, is that our natural state of liberty is slowly being absorbed by the Machine. And, of course, it won't last.
There is at least the potential for love and peace and happiness in the natural and organic state. In the Machine State, forget it. Think 1984 or Brave New World.
The problem is that Collapse between Order and Reintegration and Restoration.
"The artist is the antenna of the race." - Erza Pound