Monsters

Staff writer Chris Wrenn shares some thoughts on monsters, Scooby-Doo, and Go Away Big Green Monster.  

I have worries. When I'm riding on my bike I worry that it will break down, or I'll get a flat tire, or get hit by a car. Throughout the day I worry my cat will get sick or that people I meet won't like me. I worry that there won't be enough time or money to do the things I need to do; I'll be late or left in a lurch. I worry that at a party one evening my partner will look at me and feel nothing. I worry the rice will stick. If I'm not careful, worries consume all of my mental energy, and I worry about that.

I worry. 

But sometimes we can find guides in surprising places if we look at them the right way, and for me, one of those is Scooby-Doo. In episodes we see Scooby and the gang get frightened by some monster or ghost and they spend most of the second act running from the Creeper, a mummy, or a phantom. They're spooked, and I would be too. 

But inevitably, in the third act, they confront the creature and the mask comes off. We find out that the monster was really only an old lady trying to make a real estate grab, some guy who found a treasure map, or a disgruntled employee  - there was never anything to fear. 

Sometimes, when I catch my mind running through my worries, I think of Scooby and the gang, and challenge myself to take the mask off. The thing is, those kids always faced their fears; sure, Daphne might get captured and Shaggy might run like the dickens, but ultimately they turned around and looked their fear in the eye.

We all can do that.

Go Away Big Green Monster also invites us to deconstruct our fears, to look them in the face. With this app, we see the thing we fear and take it apart piece by piece. This simple game is an invitation to become the Derrida of our own lives, and it teaches kids to take their worries apart and see that, like we learned from Scooby-Doo, most of our fears are only simplicities wearing a scary mask. 

Play along with us; we can all learn to have a good time by having one.