What creeped you out?

Continuing the discussion from Whatcha Watchin'?:

So what did you watch thats creepy to you.

Linking some posts to try and have it make sense.


Probably a good idea.

For reading I loooooooove the creepy things kids say subs


It probably sounds like snark, but people asking “watcha watchin’” instead of asking me “What are you watching?” deeply creeps me out. Not unlike when people refer to them as 'em (shudders).

I don’t get creeped out easily.

The first season of Legion creeped me out in a good way, in the sense of integrating unsettling techniques into a narrative which involves questioning self and reality.

The Indonesian movie Empire on Fire creeped me out in a bad way. It’s rare that I won’t let myself finish watching a movie even for critical purposes, but I stopped about 30 minutes in. Cinema from the pacific often contrasts strong woman gods, queens, pirates, etc with much weaker damsel in distress tropes. Sometimes I will express distaste when some media throws in a rape for cheap drama. But this movie was shaping up to be OTT rapey so I got angry and switched it off.

The plot summary on IMDB says:

Villain Bogart and his army of pirates invade a village and kill all the men and women they come across. They cap off the invasion by decapitating the village leader Gundala in front of everyone while Bogart proclaims himself “King Bogart”. Those villagers who are not killed are sold as slaves at auctions populated by rich Dutch Imperialists. Years later, Panji and his mother, who were the son and wife of the decapitated village leader, break-up a slave auction and save Mira from a life of servitude. The only problem is that Mira’s cure may be worse than the disease, as Mira is believed to be the only girl that can bring down the brutal Bogart, as long as she is trained right.

  • Written by Fadelman

That doesn’t sound too bad. Many Indonesian movies are about liberation from occupation, torture, slavery, and corruption. Like the Jaka Sembung films, The Stabilizer, The Devil’s Sword. But this one seemed to indulge far too much in misery for me to make it past the setup.

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I even omit the apostrophe.

Cue theremin


Now why would lazy grammar, both spoken and written, creep you out?


I can handle a bit of lazy grammar or lazy elocution, but I think I get creeped out when they form a tight feedback loop. Partly because since I often lack much shared cultural context, I rely upon the formal basis of language in order to be able to communicate. And partly because as a word/language geek of sorts, I savor enunciating and hearing the various parts of words. So avoiding many of the more interesting bits seems analogous to having a nice meal drowned in a whole bottle of ketchup, so that the detail is lost. Or watching a movie with glasses that blur the visuals. I don’t think less of anyone who prefers that, but if they confront me with it, I throw up in my brain a little.


Why do you lack much shared cultural context? And is it by choice or not?


The lack of shared context is more something which others inform me of. Honestly, I doubt that most people have as much in common as they presume, but they find it more comforting to act as if they do. It is probably in part related to my autism, and partly that I am an eccentric git.

I remember my family had always been into a shared Boston-area identity and non-rhotic dialect, and from long before school I wondered why there were so many discrepancies between it and the written language I encountered. This feeling was exacerbated when I was in kindergarten and was interacting more with those outside of my immediate family, as well as enjoying media from around the world. So I was legitimately creeped out a bit, feeling as if my parents had deformed me somewhat with their flavor of provincialism.

My feeling at the time was that language was more universal, having some canonical idealized form, so that’s how I raised myself. I no longer subscribe to that model, and now think of all language as being comprised of dialects, the “canonical” forms only having been given some political/classist advantage which promoted them as more legitimate, for no especially good reason. But the problem with this is that if all language is thousands of dialects, this ideally suggests some process by which we can explicate our respective protocols, and it is generally not done (except by linguists.) So like any other language acquisition, it seems to function best by immersion and connecting the dots of meaning oneself. But without a lot of shared conceptual framework, there are difficulties when one does not connect those dots in quite the same way as others might suppose.


Y’know, you’re lucky I comprehend your verbosity. Not everyone would, or would care to try.


I am grateful that you do. Having grown up hyperlexically has often been an experience of profound alienation.


Canonical forms are promoted by power (to advance in ‘society’ you need to fit in) as well as signalling to your peers (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English).

Alternatively, dominant forms can be the result of cultural cachet and signalling (you want to sound ‘cool’), hence all the white kids trying to sound like they’re from the ghetto (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_G)

You get the shared conceptual framework from being immersed. You’re constantly getting subtle feedback as to whether you’re using language correctly for the given situation, even if this isn’t verbalised (although harder to pick up if you struggle with social cues)


I’m so happy my daughter only claims there are monsters from There’s a Wocket in my Pocket! everywhere. It was much worse when everything was a scary shadow.

She did get my wife with a convincing whisper that there was a man hiding outside in the middle of the night.


I get what you are saying. Much of my efforts are spent in trying to un-gamify expectations of social role playing. One model is fundamentally turned inward, with its content being about what people think of each other. Another is fundamentally turned outward, with the basic function of society being to learn about the world itself. They don’t seem to have much in common, and the former appears to me to be destroying itself. Sooo… it is not the life I intended to live, but I am still here, doing “whatever”.


I went to a pretty rough high school in year seven, and learned that I stood less chance of getting beat up if I spoke like a yobbo.

Problem is, it stuck, and I suck at tweaking my speech to fit the audience. OTOH, I like the effect of juxtaposing that with a large vocabulary; it keeps folks on their toes.


Krispy Kreme

Cream should not be crispy, and especially not Krispy.

That creeps me out every time I see it


Words completely mauled to make alliterative brand names.


Ronald fucking McDonald.

Kiddy-fiddler par excellence.


Hearing the sounds of small animals trapped in a chimney late at night.