PDA

View Full Version : Why did the pet cemetary turn dead things evil?


Incubus
02-12-2006, 07:29 PM
I saw a parody of Pet Cemitary on South Park, and it made me wonder....

In Stephen King's original story...what was it exactly that turned things evil in the pet cemitary? Is this something obvious that I'm overlooking, or did King never mention?

Lumpy
02-12-2006, 07:53 PM
Haven't read the book so I'm just guessing. Probably something hackneyed along the lines of "only God can bestow life, the cemetary can only create an evil undead parody of life", etc. etc.

Silentgoldfish
02-12-2006, 07:54 PM
King never mentioned. IIRC it was evil for the Indians who used it too so it wasn't a dig at white man intrusion.

Evil dirt, I guess.

Larry Borgia
02-12-2006, 08:00 PM
Something about the Wendigo (an evil Native demon), if I recall, though it's been years since I've read the book.

Guinastasia
02-12-2006, 08:04 PM
IIRC, in the book, not EVERYTHING buried there turned evil, just...kind of brainless, if that makes sense. Like the neighbor's dog, when he came back, he was just sort of stupid and dull, and not very affectionate.

He was breathing, eating, all those things, but he didn't have a personality.

Linty Fresh
02-12-2006, 08:12 PM
I also seem to remember Victor Pascow's ghost telling Louis Creed that the ground had "gone sour." Maybe the Micmacs overused the place or pissed off the powers that be?

It's Pet Sematary, btw.

Revtim
02-12-2006, 08:30 PM
I assumed that it was just an animated shell that came back, with a demon instead of a soul.

Sort of like the Buffy vampires, I suppose.

Qadgop the Mercotan
02-12-2006, 08:45 PM
Because if they'd come back all nice and friendly, King wouldn't have had much of a book now, would he? ;)

Askia
02-12-2006, 08:50 PM
Trust Qadgop to cut right through the bullshit premise and get to the real reason.

Paul in Qatar
02-12-2006, 09:04 PM
But cats are evil to begin with, right?

lissener
02-12-2006, 09:15 PM
Cuz Stephen King's such a friggin genius he doesn't HAVE to make sense. Plus, hello? What part of "ancient Indian burial ground" don't you understand? I mean, does the word "duh" mean anything to you?

Sheez, people, some things are just obvious, and some things are just obvious.

malkavia
02-12-2006, 09:20 PM
I also seem to remember Victor Pascow's ghost telling Louis Creed that the ground had "gone sour." Maybe the Micmacs overused the place or pissed off the powers that be?

It's Pet Sematary, btw.

I also remember the warning that the ground had "gone sour". Presumably it used to work just fine, but now.. not so much.

lissener
02-12-2006, 09:21 PM
Um, I would think it was obvious, but since some people think it's only a joke if it's got smileys, and I don't really use smileys, the above was brought to you by the American Society for Affectionately Ironic and/or Satirical Answers to Questions About Stephen King Plot Points.







duh.

Terrifel
02-12-2006, 10:05 PM
I seem to recall that Jud Crandall made some sort of roundabout allusion that the original human tenants of the Micmac burying ground had been cannibalized. He suggested that perhaps the original tribes in the area had resorted to cannibalism in times of famine, blamed it on the Wendigo spirit, then declared the ground had "gone sour" as a result. Since we later discover that the Wendigo is in fact a living, breathing, peeper-freaking reality, it seems equally likely that the Micmacs' version of the story is the correct one after all, and the ground is sour because the Wendigo uses it as its marking post or something. Either way, I'm guessing that none of this ties in too closely with the genuine theology of the actual Micmac people.

Or maybe the ground is just sour because the Micmacs forgot and left it out on the kitchen counter all night, instead of putting it back in the fridge like they should have.

Whatever the specific reason behind it, however, the story aptly illustrates one undeniable fact: Native Americans should never be allowed to bury anything, ever. In the Eternal Lexicon of Imminent Bad News, "Native American burial ground" ranks right up there alongside "British cuisine" and "U.S. foreign policy."

Diceman
02-12-2006, 10:15 PM
Whatever the specific reason behind it, however, the story aptly illustrates one undeniable fact: Native Americans should never be allowed to bury anything, ever. In the Eternal Lexicon of Imminent Bad News, "Native American burial ground" ranks right up there alongside "British cuisine" and "U.S. foreign policy."
LMAO! I'm copying this comment so I won't forget it. :D

Dr. Rieux
02-12-2006, 11:25 PM
But cats are evil to begin with, right?
No, that would be people who don't appreciate cats. ;)

Lynn Bodoni
02-13-2006, 12:05 AM
But cats are evil to begin with, right? Not all of them. Just the best ones.

Mangetout
02-13-2006, 04:19 AM
QTM nailed it; it's precisely the same reason Prodigy didn't have a hit singing "I'm a firestarter; kindly firestarter"

Silentgoldfish
02-13-2006, 04:38 AM
Because if they'd come back all nice and friendly, King wouldn't have had much of a book now, would he? ;)

Just cause you're an established poster and you used a smiley doesn't mean that this isn't thread shitting. You're doing exactly the same thing as the people who go into Star Wars threads threads and post "It's just a movie!"

Mangetout
02-13-2006, 04:45 AM
Just cause you're an established poster and you used a smiley doesn't mean that this isn't thread shitting. You're doing exactly the same thing as the people who go into Star Wars threads threads and post "It's just a movie!"Why so? Is it unreasonable to suggest that authors include things in their stories simply because the story doesn't work without them and that, sometimes, those elements may not have any foundation beneath that of their simple necessity?

Silentgoldfish
02-13-2006, 05:30 AM
Why so? Is it unreasonable to suggest that authors include things in their stories simply because the story doesn't work without them and that, sometimes, those elements may not have any foundation beneath that of their simple necessity?

In a thread like this, I think it is. "Because the author said so" is such an obvious non-answer it should be dismissed out of hand as being counter to discussion. I know Stephen King made it up, you know it, the thread starter knows it, so why bother bringing it up as an answer?

Mangetout
02-13-2006, 05:32 AM
In a thread like this, I think it is. "Because the author said so" is such an obvious non-answer it should be dismissed out of hand as being counter to discussion. I know Stephen King made it up, you know it, the thread starter knows it, so why bother bringing it up as an answer?
Because it is an answer; if something is deliberately unexplained in a book or movie, it is very often the answer.

Silentgoldfish
02-13-2006, 05:38 AM
Because it is an answer; if something is deliberately unexplained in a book or movie, it is very often the answer.

But he didn't say it was deliberatly unexplained, which is a fair answer -- I actually give it above -- he said it was cause King said so. Which is a complete non-answer as far as threads like these go.

Mangetout
02-13-2006, 05:56 AM
But he didn't say it was deliberatly unexplained, which is a fair answer -- I actually give it above -- he said it was cause King said so. The distinction eludes me, but whatever.

Silentgoldfish
02-13-2006, 06:03 AM
The distinction eludes me, but whatever.

le sigh.

"It's unexplained" = it's unexplained
"It's only a book" = it could have an explanation in the book but you don't need to know it because it's only fiction

One answers the OP's question. The other doesn't.

Martiju
02-13-2006, 06:07 AM
le sigh.

"It's only a book" = it could have an explanation in the book but you don't need to know it because it's only fiction

One answers the OP's question. The other doesn't.

Funny, I didn't read the comment as 'it's only fiction' - I read it as there wouldn't be much of a story if evil wasn't involved, it's not really relevant why and how that situation came about.

Y(incredibly serious)MMV, obviously.

Mangetout
02-13-2006, 06:12 AM
le sigh.

"It's unexplained" = it's unexplained
"It's only a book" = it could have an explanation in the book but you don't need to know it because it's only fiction

One answers the OP's question. The other doesn't.
Anything could have an explanation; anything at all.

lissener
02-13-2006, 08:39 AM
le sigh.

"It's unexplained" = it's unexplained
"It's only a book" = it could have an explanation in the book but you don't need to know it because it's only fiction

One answers the OP's question. The other doesn't.Except, seriously, it's Stephen Fucking King. Not many people know this, but he got the "King" part of his name because he's the "King" of just pulling shit out of his, um, imagination for the sole purpose of keeping the plot rolling.

When you're talking about the creator of a fictional world--especially when fantasy and the supernatural evolved--"because the author says so" is often the only possible answer. Times a gajillion when it's King.

Sometimes the author pulls some background out of his, um, imagination, by way of setup or justification. But sometimes he doesn't. Times a gajillion when it's King.

Even if you trace the "reason" asked for in the OP back, eventually you reach a point where the ONLY answer left is "because King said so."

Finagle
02-13-2006, 08:53 AM
Just cause you're an established poster and you used a smiley doesn't mean that this isn't thread shitting. You're doing exactly the same thing as the people who go into Star Wars threads threads and post "It's just a movie!"

Well, does it help any that "Zombie == bad, flesh-eating horror" is a fantasy cliche and King was just being unoriginal?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
02-13-2006, 08:59 AM
Just cause you're an established poster and you used a smiley doesn't mean that this isn't thread shitting. You're doing exactly the same thing as the people who go into Star Wars threads threads and post "It's just a movie!"

Ahem.

Professor Farnsworth: He may have ocean madness but that's no excuse for ocean rudeness. :dubious:

Ensign Edison
02-13-2006, 09:15 AM
I seem to recall that Jud Crandall made some sort of roundabout allusion that the original human tenants of the Micmac burying ground had been cannibalized. He suggested that perhaps the original tribes in the area had resorted to cannibalism in times of famine, blamed it on the Wendigo spirit, then declared the ground had "gone sour" as a result. Since we later discover that the Wendigo is in fact a living, breathing, peeper-freaking reality, it seems equally likely that the Micmacs' version of the story is the correct one after all, and the ground is sour because the Wendigo uses it as its marking post or something. Either way, I'm guessing that none of this ties in too closely with the genuine theology of the actual Micmac people.


There is the factual, actual answer that really exists, despite the cries of those in this thread who feel it doesn't have to. :D And to take it another level, the sour ground of the Pet Sematary/Micmac burial ground is more a metaphor for the "soil of men's hearts" which is "stonier", as the ghost Victor Pascow repeats a few times in the book. Louis Creed has planted a family and he's not sure if he's truly connected to it, if his heart is not perhaps just a little too hard to fully integrate with them. Not until he begins to lose them does he learn that his heart is indeed tougher, capable of more terrible things, but he also learns, too late, how full of love it is.

The story is about a normal man who must face the ugliest parts of his own soul, which have been exposed by a horrible tragedy, and it's also about the human ability, or lack thereof, to come to terms with mortality. All the stuff about Indians and zombies and so on is there to represent aspects of this long human struggle with the finality of death (which symbolism hardly new, of course).

And if anybody wants to know anything about the symbolism and theme of Tommyknockers, I'm definitely your man.

Qadgop the Mercotan
02-13-2006, 09:20 AM
Just cause you're an established poster and you used a smiley doesn't mean that this isn't thread shitting. You're doing exactly the same thing as the people who go into Star Wars threads threads and post "It's just a movie!"
Oh good grief. It's a King story. He does this all the time. I should know, I've read 99% of his works. No explanations as to why. It just is. In his universe. If recognizing that is "thread-shitting", then truly the fight against ignorance is lost.

Guinastasia
02-13-2006, 09:24 AM
Just cause you're an established poster and you used a smiley doesn't mean that this isn't thread shitting. You're doing exactly the same thing as the people who go into Star Wars threads threads and post "It's just a movie!"


Oh, he was just kidding around-lighten up, wouldya?

Besides, King has said on occassion that he finds it more interesting to make things happen "just because." That sometimes explanations spoil the story.

DocCathode
02-13-2006, 10:17 AM
I also remember the warning that the ground had "gone sour". Presumably it used to work just fine, but now.. not so much.

Disclaimer-I haven't read the book

Could it be that as the Micmac were wiped out by settlers (deliberately, and through accidental disease, and just by being displaced by the sheer volume of honkeys) their sacred ground became poisoned by their rage and despair?

Or, could it be that all the centuries of burial have just altered the soil ph? The ground is sour now, but some alkaline chemicals will fix it right up.

Or, could it be that after the destruction of the One Ring, some dark spirits were still able to cling to this world by the barest of margins. After millenia of waiting, they at last have the strength to reassert their presence in burial grounds, like the barrows of old.

Ensign Edison
02-13-2006, 10:35 AM
Disclaimer-I haven't read the book

Could it be that as the Micmac were wiped out by settlers (deliberately, and through accidental disease, and just by being displaced by the sheer volume of honkeys) their sacred ground became poisoned by their rage and despair?



I believe there is a definite undercurrent of this in the book, though the above thing about cannibalism is true. While there are spirits in the woods beyond the Pet Sematary (so called because the sign for the place was written by a child; an important point of the story is that there is a 'good' Sematary in front of the old, bad one, and it's a place where many children come comfortably to terms with natural death for the first time), why they walk the earth is one of those Kingian mysteries others have alluded to in this thread. There are strange things in his world because his world is a strange place where monsters are real and magic works. God, too, exists in this world, though God is curiously absent in Pet Sematary.

I'm rambling. Perhaps I should stick this in an MMP. :p Anyhow, my point is that while some of King's critters do just exist of their own accord, many, many of them - in Cujo, in The Shining, in Firestarter more literally - are absolutely the creation of human minds/emotions/fears/sins. Very often the latter, as King is full of tremendously Judeo-Christian moral lessons. Cheat on your husband, and your son will die of dehydration while you're trapped in a car by a rabid dog. Drink and wallow too much in your own self-pity, and you'll kill your own family with an axe.

I've drifted again. The point is, sometimes the monsters are more or less born directly from the evils of humanity, and I think there's more than a hint in Pet Sematary (with the ever-recurring image of The Road and the speeding, crushing machine Truck ripping up the landscape and taking cats and babies with it) that the whole evil Indian spirit business rose out of the rage and misery and terror stemming from the American Indian near-genocide.

Scumpup
02-13-2006, 10:45 AM
It's been 10 years or so since I read the book, so I may be wrong...but I got the impression that the dead came back evil because the corpse was inhabited by a malevolent spirit and that the same thing had happened even when the Indians had used the place.

Ensign Edison
02-13-2006, 10:54 AM
It's been 10 years or so since I read the book, so I may be wrong...but I got the impression that the dead came back evil because the corpse was inhabited by a malevolent spirit and that the same thing had happened even when the Indians had used the place.

Second part yes, and I want to address something about that in a moment, first part...maybe. There's a hint of that, but there's also a suggestion that death and return simply 'sours' the soul beyond all recognition. One point I think is very important is that it's not the evil that comes from the ground that matters, in the story: it's that it is evil to bury things there. It's the sin of the person trying to thwart death that King is focused on.

As for the Indians: it is clear in the book that they bear at least part of the 'responsibility' for the souring of the burial ground where victims of famine-based cannibalism were laid to rest. But it's possible this was caused by the evil in the first place, or just made what already existed more powerful, as the extinction of the Micmac would also do.

Knowed Out
02-13-2006, 11:03 AM
The animals weren't so much evil as they were extremely irritated. You'd be pissed too if worms constantly burrowed through your flesh.

Snickers
02-13-2006, 12:16 PM
It's been a while since I read the book as well, but it seems to me (and I doubt this is supported at all by the text; it's really just my impression) that intelligence mattered. That is, the dog that came back came back as something soulless and empty, but not necessarily evil. It was just more of a lump. The cat that came back was mean, but again, it didn't seem evilly so - it just seemed to do the things that cats do, with perhaps more malice, but I don't remember it setting out to do harm. However, when people were buried up there, they came back vastly worse, and my guess is because they had more intelligence when alive than your average household pet. You could call it my "residual intelligence" theory - the more intelligence the creature has to start with, the more chance they'll come back with the intent to do evil.

Marley23
02-13-2006, 12:31 PM
Perhaps King was just saying that animals can't really be evil - that's a property unique to people. I don't recall Cujo being evil either; he's just rabid. But it's been long enough that I may be way off there.

furryman
02-13-2006, 03:14 PM
1. It seems to me that King is merely following literary/ mythological/ legendary precedences. The dead have been placated since ancient Egyptian times and probably before.
2. Doesn't the story mention one of the Elder Gods being involved? I think that would explain any type of evil. "Elder Gods" being number two on the list of Things To Avoid just after Ancient Indian Burial Grounds.

jsc1953
02-13-2006, 03:58 PM
Off on a slight tangent: I recall in the foreword, Stephen King says that his wife read the manuscript, and told him to throw the book in a drawer -- it was too creepy to publish. I think she was on the right track; but I think a parent will have a very different reaction to the book than a non-parent. I read it when my kids were toddlers, and thought it the most disturbing thing of his I've ever read.

Trillionaire
02-13-2006, 04:53 PM
King has said on occassion that he finds it more interesting to make things happen "just because." That sometimes explanations spoil the story.
Exactly. This discussion is probably more suited to another thread but, since it's come this far, here's a quote from King on the subject:
My favorite sort of short story has always been the kind where things happen just because they happen. In novels and movies... you are supposed to explain why things happen. Let me tell you something, friends and neighbors: I hate explaining why things happen, and my efforts in that direction (such as the doctored LSD and resultant DNA changes which create Charlie McGee's pyrokinetic talents in Firestarter) aren't very good.

jsc1953
02-13-2006, 05:09 PM
Exactly. This discussion is probably more suited to another thread but, since it's come this far, here's a quote from King on the subject:

King may have his faults, but he certainly seems to have some self-awareness. :)He has a similar quote about that short story about FTL travel, where he says that the underlying scientific explanation was less-than-satisfactory. I think he said it was "kinda wonky".

Snooooopy
02-13-2006, 05:18 PM
Because if they'd come back all nice and friendly, King wouldn't have had much of a book now, would he? ;)

You obviously didn't read King's gripping novel, The People Whose Dead Pet Came Back To Life And Everything Was Completely Cool Because It Acted Just Like It Did Before It Died.

AncientHumanoid
02-13-2006, 06:00 PM
Except, seriously, it's Stephen Fucking King. Not many people know this, but he got the "King" part of his name because he's the "King" of just pulling shit out of his, um, imagination for the sole purpose of keeping the plot rolling.

When you're talking about the creator of a fictional world--especially when fantasy and the supernatural evolved--"because the author says so" is often the only possible answer. Times a gajillion when it's King.

Sometimes the author pulls some background out of his, um, imagination, by way of setup or justification. But sometimes he doesn't. Times a gajillion when it's King.

Even if you trace the "reason" asked for in the OP back, eventually you reach a point where the ONLY answer left is "because King said so."



Satire.

Corii
02-13-2006, 06:08 PM
You obviously didn't read King's gripping novel, The People Whose Dead Pet Came Back To Life And Everything Was Completely Cool Because It Acted Just Like It Did Before It Died.

King wrote "The 6th Day"? ;)

CateAyo
02-13-2006, 06:44 PM
Second part yes, and I want to address something about that in a moment, first part...maybe. There's a hint of that, but there's also a suggestion that death and return simply 'sours' the soul beyond all recognition. One point I think is very important is that it's not the evil that comes from the ground that matters, in the story: it's that it is evil to bury things there. It's the sin of the person trying to thwart death that King is focused on.

As for the Indians: it is clear in the book that they bear at least part of the 'responsibility' for the souring of the burial ground where victims of famine-based cannibalism were laid to rest. But it's possible this was caused by the evil in the first place, or just made what already existed more powerful, as the extinction of the Micmac would also do.


The Micmac (more properly Mi'kmaq) are not extinct as a people.

Miller
02-13-2006, 06:56 PM
Big ass spoilers for the end of the novel follow:

It's been years since I read the book, too, but one thing that stuck with me was the protagonists assumption, at the end, that his kid came back evil because he "waited too long" before burying him, and that if he buried his wife fast enough, she'd come back okay. This always struck me as kinda creepy, because I think the events of the story point to just the opposite: the longer you wait to bury the body, the closer to normal the returnee is, although it never gets all the way there. The kid who comes back is entirely malevolent. The cat's actually pretty evil, too, as I recall, but limited in what it can do because it's just a cat. Doesn't it help the kid murder the wife somehow? But there's the story of the guy whose son died in WWI and somehow got the body shipped back to him - which must have been months later - and buried him in the Semetary. When he came back, he was just "off," not actually evil. Mean, uncomfortable to be around, generally creepy, but not monstrous. The end of the book was, in many ways, the scariest thing I'd ever read by King. The protagonist's mind has snapped, he's sitting in his kitchen with his ruined hands, waiting for his wife to come back, convinced that she's going to be the same she used to be, but what's actually going to stumble through his door is going to be the most twisted, depraved thing to claw its way out of that sour ground in the town's history.

Xploder
02-13-2006, 07:17 PM
Except, seriously, it's Stephen Fucking King. Not many people know this, but he got the "King" part of his name because he's the "King" of just pulling shit out of his, um, imagination for the sole purpose of keeping the plot rolling.

When you're talking about the creator of a fictional world--especially when fantasy and the supernatural evolved--"because the author says so" is often the only possible answer. Times a gajillion when it's King.

Sometimes the author pulls some background out of his, um, imagination, by way of setup or justification. But sometimes he doesn't. Times a gajillion when it's King.

Even if you trace the "reason" asked for in the OP back, eventually you reach a point where the ONLY answer left is "because King said so."

So does that explain why you think that Showgirls is such a WONDERFUL movie? Because you said so? Your answer is a non-answer.

Terrifel
02-13-2006, 09:12 PM
Big ass spoilers for the end of the novel follow:

It's been years since I read the book, too, but one thing that stuck with me was the protagonists assumption, at the end, that his kid came back evil because he "waited too long" before burying him, and that if he buried his wife fast enough, she'd come back okay. This always struck me as kinda creepy, because I think the events of the story point to just the opposite: the longer you wait to bury the body, the closer to normal the returnee is, although it never gets all the way there. The kid who comes back is entirely malevolent. The cat's actually pretty evil, too, as I recall, but limited in what it can do because it's just a cat. Doesn't it help the kid murder the wife somehow? If I recall aright, it was ol' Jud who got double-teamed, not the wife. Gage came at him with the scalpel, and Church got between his ankles and tripped him. When Rachel arrived later, the cat was hanging around outside with blood on its lips. ("Foreshadowing-- your key to quality literature.")But there's the story of the guy whose son died in WWI and somehow got the body shipped back to him - which must have been months later - and buried him in the Semetary. When he came back, he was just "off," not actually evil. Mean, uncomfortable to be around, generally creepy, but not monstrous. Unless there's another version of the book floating around (always a possibility with King), I tend to disagree with this interpretation. The whole point of Jud telling Louis the story of Timmy Baterman was to emphasize just how horribly wrong the resurrection process can turn out. It seemed pretty clear from Jud's account that whatever returned from the Micmac burial ground wasn't really "Timmy" at all, but something else entirely. Whereas Timmy Baterman was described as an amiable if none-too-bright boy in life, the thing that came back wearing his body was a sly, cruel entity which somehow knew the darkest secrets of everyone in town. Eventually Timmy's dad was driven to kill himself along with whatever demon he'd called up. I submit that this is not the best anecdote to share if you're trying to establish that the Micmac burying ground doesn't turn you evil.

Both Jud and Victor both cling to the belief that the Pet Sematary's power only rarely leads to evil, and Victor later convinces himself that he can avoid the worst consequences if he can only resuscitate the dead quickly enough-- as if possession by supernatural evil were somehow comparable to oxygen deprivation. However, there's actually nothing in the book to support these ideas, and it seems that King is making a point about the lies we tell ourselves in order to cope with truths too monstrous to bear. Even though Church was resurrected almost immediately, it's fairly obvious that he still came back with an uncharacteristically bloodthirsty streak. Similarly Jud tries to convince Victor that his dog Spot, at least, was still a "good dog" after being resurrected, but the details of his account only serve to underscore how wrong the animal was -- weirdly passive, cold to the touch, and reeking of grave dirt-- not to mention the terror the dog inspired in his parents. And this is the most "normal" of the returned animals we ever hear about. Yet, even knowing about the burying ground's malign influence, Jud still shares the secret with Victor; in fact, he manages to justify his action by claiming that the inherent "wrongness" of the process will subtly teach Victor's daughter to be more comfortable with the idea of death.

Yes, that sounds like such a good plan, Jud; teach the neighbor kid that "sometimes, dead is better" by secretly resurrecting her cat using blasphemous pagan magicks. I, for one, can't imagine how such a scheme could possibly go wrong.

Guinastasia
02-13-2006, 10:02 PM
Terrifel, you mean LOUIS, not Victor. Victor was the kid who died on the operating table, who came back to warn Louis not to fuck around with the burial ground.


Damn, now I have to read that book again. Dammit, it scared the SHIT out of me and the movie still does. Especially the wife's older sister, Zelda.

monster
02-13-2006, 10:09 PM
So does that explain why you think that Showgirls is such a WONDERFUL movie? Because you said so? Your answer is a non-answer.

Please say this is a joke. There is no way anybody could think Showgirls was a WONDERFUL movie.

Scylla
02-13-2006, 10:25 PM
King doesn't specifically say in the book, but there are clues that lead us to beleive that the revived dead are reanimated with evil spirits rather than the souls of the departed.

We hear the story of the kid who was brought back to life and would "say things" about other people that were true, facts that nobody could know, bad things.

Later when Gabe is brought back he tells the old man that his wife had affairs with other people and liked to have anal sex with his friends, and that now she was in hell having anal sex.

Sounds like demons to me.


I once had a bad experience with a demon named "Fuckrot," but that's another story.

devilsknew
02-13-2006, 10:31 PM
It's been a while since I read the book as well, but it seems to me (and I doubt this is supported at all by the text; it's really just my impression) that intelligence mattered. That is, the dog that came back came back as something soulless and empty, but not necessarily evil. It was just more of a lump. The cat that came back was mean, but again, it didn't seem evilly so - it just seemed to do the things that cats do, with perhaps more malice, but I don't remember it setting out to do harm. However, when people were buried up there, they came back vastly worse, and my guess is because they had more intelligence when alive than your average household pet. You could call it my "residual intelligence" theory - the more intelligence the creature has to start with, the more chance they'll come back with the intent to do evil.

In King's new book, Cell he presents a diametrically opposite theory... mindless malevolence.

In the book there is a "pulse" (origins unknown- some speculation that it was a terrorist act.) broadcast to all cellphones, that in effect wipes the brain clean like a magnet to a harddrive. It is theorized that the zombie-like, mindlessly violent, "phoners" revert to the base, primitive, "kernel" that remains. Revealing our evolutionary success, not as intelligence, but a revelatory fact; that under all of the layers, at our core, we are the most instinctual and unhesitant killers.

However, Cell is an entirely different beast than Pet Sematary. It is a much starker, less nuanced, less moralistic, and less supernatural book. This is King in Unabomber mode. Not exactly anti-technology, but a horrific exposition of technology as a double edged sword.

Pretty good book, I recommend it. But in truth, it wasn't quite as satisfying as I had hoped. As carnivorous as this book is, it left me wanting- it felt like a vegetarian meal... I kept wondering, "Where's the MEAT!? (and NO DESSERT??)"

C K Dexter Haven
02-13-2006, 10:56 PM
::: Moderator coughs for attention :::

First, there's a very thin line here, and let's be sure we stay on the correct side of it. It's perfectly OK to be critical of an author (like King) and his work, that's what Cafe Society is all about. It is not OK to be critical of another poster because of her/his taste about that work. The fine line is that criticizing an author (in an insulting way) can easily be viewed as insulting posters who like him. It is a fine line, and I want to be sure we stay on the correct side of it: no personal insults allowed in Cafe Society forum.

Second, on the question of "shitting on" a thread, again, I think there's a fine line between saying, "It's only fiction, and therefore doesn't necessarily have an explanation" (acceptable) and saying, "It's only fiction, why are you losers wasting time trying to think up an explanation" (unacceptable.) The former is a reasonable comment, especially when dealing with an author like Steven King who is on record as saying he doesn't really care. I think that the line would be drawn at a different point for Tolkien (say) who is known to have spent lots and lots of time and effort at making his universe consistent. At a third level altogether is George Lucas, who obviously doesn't care but pretends he does. Anyhow, it's not necessarily shitting on a thread to comment that a particular author has made a statement about his work that implies that internal consistency is not on his agenda.

C K Dexter Haven
02-13-2006, 11:03 PM
By the way, as I think about this more, I guess there's very fuzzy patches. With Sherlock Holmes, for instance, Arthur Conan Doyle (as author) clearly didn't care about internal consistency; but for Dr Watson (as author), inconsistencies indicate deliberate disguising the reality.

If anyone wants to open a thread in CS to discuss the question of when saying "it's only fiction" is a fair comment and when it's shitting on a thread, that'd probably be interesting.

Purd Werfect
02-14-2006, 12:47 AM
I always just assumed it's because they got woken up unexpectedly. That pisses me off too.

lissener
02-14-2006, 02:54 AM
So does that explain why you think that Showgirls is such a WONDERFUL movie? Because you said so? Your answer is a non-answer.
Sorry for the misapprehension: I didn't write Showgirls, any more than I wrote Pet Sematary. The vastness of the differences between King vis-a-vis Pet Sematary and me vis-a-vis Showgirls is so, well, vast, that your question achieves a surreal level of nonsequitur that almost makes me dizzy. I kind of like it.

You, on the other hand, seem to be hunkered over Pet Sematary like a mother badger defending her young. Perhaps you think that you are Stephen King?

lissener
02-14-2006, 02:58 AM
On preview, with CKDH's posts in mind, I apologize for the tone of my previous post.

But seriously. How nonsequitur and personal and just bizarrely, surreally irrelevant was Xploder's post?

Wait, don't answer that. I'll sleep on it, and see if I can find any sense in it at all. If I can, I'll respond. If I don't respond, you'll know that the boggling continues.

lissener
02-14-2006, 03:02 AM
Please say this is a joke. There is no way anybody could think Showgirls was a WONDERFUL movie.

See? This kind of presumption of the truth of the bandwagon is precisely why I, for one, felt it necessary to take another Doper to task for judging a movie without having seen it. In that other thread. Or two.

lissener
02-14-2006, 03:07 AM
Please say this is a joke. There is no way anybody could think Showgirls was a WONDERFUL movie.
Oh and, monster, here (http://slantmagazine.com/film/film_review.asp?ID=1171)'s a good overview of the case for Showgirls. A lot of critics are coming out of the woodwork to acknowledge that there's a lot more going on in this movie than anyone was willing to admit when it was new.

Equipoise
02-14-2006, 03:15 AM
So does that explain why you think that Showgirls is such a WONDERFUL movie? Because you said so? Your answer is a non-answer.

Thread after thread after thread exists that explains why Showgirls is at the very least an interesting exercise in satire, and those explanations aren't always written by lissener. Lots of respected critics think so, and lots of respected Dopers think so. lissener is hardly alone in his regard for the movie. Unless someone hasn't been paying attention at ALL, it's obvious that Showgirls isn't considered a wonderful movie by many just because lissener says so. This just seems like blatant lissener-baiting.

C K Dexter Haven
02-14-2006, 03:45 AM
This thread, however, is about Stephen King.

Hijacking is NOT good. Yes, sometimes our threads do wander a bit, but we're taking this one back to Stephen King and the undead.

Terrifel
02-14-2006, 06:47 AM
Terrifel, you mean LOUIS, not Victor. Victor was the kid who died on the operating table, who came back to warn Louis not to fuck around with the burial ground. Gah... and here I was so thrilled with myself for being able to remember the names of the wife and cat. Thanks for the correction... LOUIS Creed is the dad from Pet Sematary, whereas VICTOR Creed is "Sabretooth" from the X-Men comic books. I always get those two confused.

I wonder what would happen if Sabretooth were buried in the Pet Sematary.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
02-14-2006, 08:15 AM
I wonder what would happen if Sabretooth were buried in the Pet Sematary.

He gets a future in US politics.

Ensign Edison
02-14-2006, 09:12 AM
I don't understand why people keep returning to this "there is no answer" point anyway, when not only is there one, it's been cited, and then there are other 'reasons' as well being explored. Just because Stephen King once said that there are creatures in his world that simply exist on their own accord doesn't mean that everything he ever writes is given no backstory.

Scumpup
02-14-2006, 09:17 AM
I don't understand why people keep returning to this "there is no answer" point anyway, when not only is there one, it's been cited, and then there are other 'reasons' as well being explored. Just because Stephen King once said that there are creatures in his world that simply exist on their own accord doesn't mean that everything he ever writes is given no backstory.

I don't understand either. Since in any fictional story, everything that happens does so because the author decided it would, giving that as an answer is a non-answer.
BTW, I agree with your earlier analysis of the symbolism of the events in the novel.

Interrobang!?
02-14-2006, 12:54 PM
Even if you trace the "reason" asked for in the OP back, eventually you reach a point where the ONLY answer left is "because King said so." I can't tell from the tone of your posts if you think this is a fault in King's work, or if it's just one of the many things you hate about him.

I mean, I'm aware that you hate King, and lord knows I'm not trying to paint him as a contemporary Dickens or anything, but I guess I'm not particularly swayed by efforts to make me think "because he said so" is a flawed reason. Yeah, a lot of the stuff in his books happens because he said it happens. So what?

lissener
02-14-2006, 04:05 PM
I can't tell from the tone of your posts if you think this is a fault in King's work, or if it's just one of the many things you hate about him.

I mean, I'm aware that you hate King, and lord knows I'm not trying to paint him as a contemporary Dickens or anything, but I guess I'm not particularly swayed by efforts to make me think "because he said so" is a flawed reason. Yeah, a lot of the stuff in his books happens because he said it happens. So what?
No, as I meant to suggest, that's inevitable in any fantasy work. My problems with King are not that he writes fantasy.

Interrobang!?
02-14-2006, 04:31 PM
No, as I meant to suggest, that's inevitable in any fantasy work. Ah. When your dissatisfaction with King collided with your quite right answer to the question, I thought maybe you were extending your dissatisfaction to all such authors.

Tone problem, probably mine.

Xploder
02-14-2006, 04:37 PM
Please disregard my comments vis-a-vis Showgirls. I apparently read something into Liberal's response that wasn't there.

Now back to bashing Stephen King. Or not. Hey, whatever turns you on.

BrainGlutton
02-14-2006, 04:55 PM
So does that explain why you think that Showgirls is such a WONDERFUL movie? Because you said so?

No . . . Showgirls is a wonderful movie because of boobs. Any more questions? :)

BrainGlutton
02-14-2006, 04:57 PM
I mean, I'm aware that you hate King, and lord knows I'm not trying to paint him as a contemporary Dickens or anything . . .

Hold it right there! King at his worst is a much better writer than Dickens!

DocCathode
02-14-2006, 05:04 PM
Hold it right there! King at his worst is a much better writer than Dickens!

I meant to comment on that as well. The only writer I'd paint as a contemporary Charles Dickens is Danielle Steele.

lissener
02-14-2006, 05:43 PM
Ah. When your dissatisfaction with King collided with your quite right answer to the question, I thought maybe you were extending your dissatisfaction to all such authors.

Tone problem, probably mine.
Yeah, I'm usually blameless when it comes to tone problems.

What?

lissener
02-14-2006, 05:46 PM
Please disregard my comments vis-a-vis Showgirls. I apparently read something into Liberal's response that wasn't there.

Now back to bashing Stephen King. Or not. Hey, whatever turns you on.
Liberal has not participated in this thread.

Scylla
02-14-2006, 09:29 PM
Oh and, monster, here (http://slantmagazine.com/film/film_review.asp?ID=1171)'s a good overview of the case for Showgirls. A lot of critics are coming out of the woodwork to acknowledge that there's a lot more going on in this movie than anyone was willing to admit when it was new.

In all fairness, that's because it wasn't in there when the movie was new. It was only after the movie was panned that Verrhoeven took it and buried it in the Pet Sematary that people realized something evil was going on.

What came back was Showgirls: The Directors Cut DVD



I'm..... sorry. I tried not to. I really did.

lissener
02-14-2006, 09:35 PM
In all fairness, that's because it wasn't in there when the movie was new. It was only after the movie was panned that Verrhoeven took it and buried it in the Pet Sematary that people realized something evil was going on.

What came back was Showgirls: The Directors Cut DVD



I'm..... sorry. I tried not to. I really did.
FYI, there is no "director's cut" of Showgirls, only the original released version. It's also the only Verhoeven movie on DVD without a director's commentary.

Scylla
02-14-2006, 09:38 PM
FYI, there is no "director's cut" of Showgirls, only the original released version. It's also the only Verhoeven movie on DVD without a director's commentary.

I was just kidding.

AncientHumanoid
02-14-2006, 11:36 PM
In all fairness, that's because it wasn't in there when the movie was new. It was only after the movie was panned that Verrhoeven took it and buried it in the Pet Sematary that people realized something evil was going on.

What came back was Showgirls: The Directors Cut DVD



I'm..... sorry. I tried not to. I really did.


I don't care who you are, that's funny.

C K Dexter Haven
02-15-2006, 12:31 AM
:::: Moderator grumbles ::::

HEY!! This thread is about Stephen King. Didn't I just say that? ... maybe an answer to the OP is that zombies are like some posters, they can't hear well.

Sleel
02-15-2006, 09:34 AM
It's been a while since I read the book as well, but it seems to me (and I doubt this is supported at all by the text; it's really just my impression) that intelligence mattered.

That was my take on it too. Where my interpretation is slightly different from yours is that I saw the bodies as a tool that the wendigo (sp?) used. Giving it humans to work with was giving it too good of a tool. Too much of it was able to manifest itself. I don't think Gage, the cat, or the dog wanted to or intended to do harm--I think there was nothing left of them from the moment they died--I think it was the wendigo using their left-over bodies like waldoes.

AncientHumanoid
02-15-2006, 11:41 AM
:::: Moderator grumbles ::::

HEY!! This thread is about Stephen King. Didn't I just say that? ... maybe an answer to the OP is that zombies are like some posters, they can't hear well.




Lord, I apologize...

Please feed the starving pygmies in New Guinea.







From what I remember (over 10 years ago, at least), Sleel has hit the jackpot. Plus, I must add: it seems like the reanimating force/demon/whatever is somewhat moody, making the windigos sometimes extremely violent, othertimes making them simply odd and disgusting.



I like Butters.

BrainGlutton
02-15-2006, 02:23 PM
I like Butters.

It . . . must . . . FEED!

Lemur866
02-15-2006, 04:10 PM
Why did the pet sematary turn resurrected corpses evil? Well, that's just what you get when you go around ressurecting corpses. It doesn't matter much why or how, there's no good way to do it. The zombies from Pet Sematary are evil for the same reason the resurrected dead from Herbert West ReAnimator are evil--someone peppered in God's lo mein. You do that, you better expect a heaping helping of evil. It doesn't matter whether you bring them back using an ancient indian burial ground or long distance electrodes shot into the pituitary and pineal glands of the recent dead, you bring back the dead they they're gonna be evil.

DocCathode
02-15-2006, 04:26 PM
Lemur86 You disgust me. Ignorant, uninformed, opinions like yours are exactly what holds back science.

'But, Og, we have always lived in caves. This hut you plan can only bring trouble.'

'We have stone and bone and copper. Your foolish plan to make bronze will doom us all.'

'By the gods, we have bronze! If you attempt to make steel, you will surely destroy us all!'

'Chocolate has always been a liquid. Your theories about powdered cocoa are the ravings of a lunatic!'

'You can't take the heart of a deadman and sew it into a living body! You call it a transplant. I call it the mad science of Frankenstein!'

'Fools! Detonate the atomic bomb, and it will burn away the atmosphere of the earth!'

'No machine can be made to think or calculate. This blasphemous idea is doomed to failure.'


Well, Lemur86, you can cower in your cave whimpering that scientists are doomed. Some of us are busy learning, experimenting, testing, and building a better future. You can tell yourself that there are some things man was not meant to know. I'll keep working on a world of Dymaxion houses, hover cars, and friendly robots.

Try As I Might...
02-15-2006, 04:40 PM
Well, Lemur86, you can cower in your cave whimpering that scientists are doomed. Some of us are busy learning, experimenting, testing, and building a better future. You can tell yourself that there are some things man was not meant to know. I'll keep working on a world of Dymaxion houses, hover cars, and friendly robots.
Yeah, but you also know that ALLL robots are inherently evil and will kill us if we give them any loophole. This is well documented.

DocCathode
02-15-2006, 04:42 PM
Yeah, but you also know that ALLL robots are inherently evil and will kill us if we give them any loophole. This is well documented.
That was long considered to be the case. However, Professor Asimov disproved it as thoroughly as Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation.

Anne Neville
02-15-2006, 04:59 PM
someone peppered in God's lo mein.

Everyone knows you use soy sauce to season lo mein, not pepper! ;)

devilsknew
02-15-2006, 07:24 PM
To those that have read Cell:
I can't help but think that Cell is part of the Dark Tower Universe. An origins prequel, maybe? What do you think?

(Not to hijack, but since this is the current King thread...)

devilsknew
02-15-2006, 07:39 PM
...and Cell has to be part of a series, right? This isn't the last Cell book is it? There has got to be a part II?

If not, the ending that King chose as an easy out is unpardonable.

AncientHumanoid
02-15-2006, 07:45 PM
Sometimes I think he just gets tired of the book and wants to get some sleep. His endings many times suck major nelson.

Lemur866
02-15-2006, 08:22 PM
They laughed at Galileo when he said the earth revolved around the sun. They laughed at the Wright brothers when they tried to build a flying machine. They laughed at Professor Brutallus when he tried to create an army of unstoppable robotic killing machines. They laughed at Doctor Destroyer when he tried to build a laser capable of blasting the Earth into microscopic dust particles. They laughed at Doctor Cyclops when he attempted to crossbreed humans and orangutans to create a subhuman servitor race. And now they're laughing at me and my attempts to revive rotting corpses into a shuffling semblance of un-life. Fools, I'll destroy them all! Seize them! Seize them!

C K Dexter Haven
02-15-2006, 10:56 PM
Lemur86 You disgust me. Ignorant, uninformed, opinions like yours are exactly what holds back science.
Excuse me? This is Cafe Society, and personal insults are NOT permitted. You've been around long enough to know better, Doc, you should be ashamed of yourself. You need to do penance: go give some money to charity, and write "I will not cast personal insults in Cafe Society" 10 times on your blackboard. Handwritten, too, no cut-and-paste on the computer.

DocCathode
02-15-2006, 11:04 PM
Excuse me? This is Cafe Society, and personal insults are NOT permitted. You've been around long enough to know better, Doc, you should be ashamed of yourself. You need to do penance: go give some money to charity, and write "I will not cast personal insults in Cafe Society" 10 times on your blackboard. Handwritten, too, no cut-and-paste on the computer.

Either I've been whooshed, or I've missed a rule change.

If the first, well it won't be the first time.

If the second, I thought that while actual insults were allowed only in the Pit, insults obviously made in jest and insults comprised of catchphrases from relevant material were allowed in Cafe Society.

Does this mean that when discussing Saturday Night Live, we can no longer post a dissenting opinion starting with "Screenname, you ignorant slut."?

No more telling other posters in Monty Python threads that their father reeks of elderberries, and that we fart in their general direction?

lissener
02-15-2006, 11:25 PM
Either I've been whooshed, or I've missed a rule change.

If the first, well it won't be the first time.

If the second, I thought that while actual insults were allowed only in the Pit, insults obviously made in jest and insults comprised of catchphrases from relevant material were allowed in Cafe Society.

Does this mean that when discussing Saturday Night Live, we can no longer post a dissenting opinion starting with "Screenname, you ignorant slut."?

No more telling other posters in Monty Python threads that their father reeks of elderberries, and that we fart in their general direction?
Your references are not universal; I was totally whooshed too. Your rant read like pretty serious insults, to me at least. If you're making an obscure reference that allows you to break a forum rule and call it satire, it would probably be safer to bracket it with [obscure reference]___[/obscure reference]. Just a suggestion.

Miller
02-15-2006, 11:44 PM
I dunno. The fact that his whole post was in response to the idea that it's a bad idea to make zombies was a pretty good clue that DocCathode wasn't being serious. It did take me a second to catch on, though.

lissener
02-16-2006, 12:16 AM
I dunno. The fact that his whole post was in response to the idea that it's a bad idea to make zombies was a pretty good clue that DocCathode wasn't being serious. It did take me a second to catch on, though.
I thought that he was A) overreacting, and B) implying an anti-stemcell-research agenda, or something along those lines. But mostly overreacting. I considered the possibility that he was joking, but then I realized that if *I* had offered up such an extended deadpan insulting-attack-as-satire post, I'd have had my entire ass torn out and handed back to me as a hat. So there's that.

lissener
02-16-2006, 12:26 AM
Although, on reflection, I apologize for hijacking; I should've just let CK's post stand and not put my two cents in.

Askia
02-16-2006, 12:26 AM
I think DocCathode whooshed a good many people with his post, which was just a toe over surreal enough to fool you into thinking his "insults" were genuine; I think C K Dexter Haven's response is mild enough to be considered a sort of whoosh of a whoosh, like "I better say something in case this was serious." I mean, it's not like he wore his moderator hat or anything.

It's enough to make me suspect these bastards purposely conspired together.

I. AM. WHOOSH. PROOF. Begone!

C K Dexter Haven
02-16-2006, 12:34 AM
Doc, if it was a joke reference, then you whooshed me. "Joke insults" are OK, as long as it's clear they're a joke, but I've been having enough problems with this thread already. I thought it might be a joke (especially given the response), so I was deliberately pretty light about it (and I didn't mark it in the secret Mod file).

I also apologize to all and sundry if I'm a little terse or short, I'm travelling internationally and not in a particularly friendy clime.

And lissener, quite correct, you do not need to play "junior mod," thanks very much.

Ogre
02-16-2006, 12:48 AM
FTR, I thought it was extremely obvious that Doc was joking.

Larry Borgia
02-16-2006, 01:10 AM
So what happens if you bury the director's cut of Showgirls in an ancient Native American Micmac burial ground?

Superdude
02-16-2006, 01:26 AM
Yeah, but you also know that ALLL robots are inherently evil and will kill us if we give them any loophole. This is well documented.

And that is why I have Robot Insurance, from Old Glory.

C K Dexter Haven
02-16-2006, 06:31 AM
Larry Borgia, haven't I said, like two or three times now, that this is a thread about Stephen King? Is there any point to your comment other than baiting?

OK, when I have to interfere this many times in a thread, that thread is done.

Best Topics: blacklight cum yellow jacket repellent prominent collar bone ceramic cartridge turntable nudist period laundry chutes illegal enormous pussies chick chicka chicka tanned leather skin fiona apple 1995 sawhorse home depot bruising gin ear wax test lending tree girl economy mail chromatic aberration eyeglasses ambidextrous safety pistols laptop form factor transvestite names buying cyanide pills glitter boat roatan message board lidocaine benzocaine ali g catchphrase pato spanish slang circus flea loaded questions online little girl footjob pinheads disorder masked the gash heart flatline 357-38 can i counter sue for a frivolous lawsuit does enterprise charge for mileage what is the opposite of a libertarian my cat pees alot auto computer memory saver can i cash a check made out to a business netflix fiddler on the roof caught! stranger films me masturbating why do dogs eat pine cones dragon age is the maker real can a monkey get a woman pregnant bag of weed family guy song wisconsin civil service exam study guide car wash spot free rinse depend upon or depend on post it glue stick staples how to harden poop cat weight gain food is shrimp a meat product two cheers for colonialism average number of christmas presents per child ear stopped up and ringing beta gamma sigma honor society on resume buy gold from pawn shops why are some atoms unstable book in lieu of card gift ideas for a music teacher what is captain jack does california have fireflies can i put drano in dishwasher what color does blue green and yellow make how to do invisible chair trick