Pediophobia

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Remember Chucky the scary clown? In the 1988 movie Child’s Play, film producers took advantage of a particular phobia that more than a few people have. It’s known as Pediophobia and it is the fear of dolls, or more generally, a fear of things most people find normal.

What the film producers did was to exaggerate a doll’s features, so they went from cutsie to horrific (the nasty teeth and smile). This is a spin-off of a similar device used in the movie The Exorcist. Remember Regan (played by Linda Blair)? A cute girl who eventually spits green fluids and has her head spinning (literally). It’s the exaggeration of normal that fascinates us.

The point of all this is that when we choose to take something “normal” and exaggerate its features, there are typically two reactions: acceptance or rejection.

I have seen more than a few people walk into Music Room Two and put their hand over their mouth in a combination of horror and astonishment. (and the opposite)

“That’s a stereo system?”

And I have seen my share of audiophiles reel backwards when faced with a gargantuan exaggeration of normal. Remember Magico’s giant assemblage of horns that engulfed the entire room? It was fascinating to watch people’s reactions. Some were drawn to the spectacle like flies to molasses. Others shook their heads in disapproval.

I, for one, love the extremes—not so much as a potential customer, but because I love to be presented with the new and extraordinary.

Bring on the clowns!