The Grand Villain

Cancer:The  Grand (Vampire) Villain of the Modern Psyche

John Fraim

There are people like me out there who hate to go to the doctor. I build up anxiety each year before my annual check-up with my doctor. He is an absolutely wonderful guy but a great doctor who tells it like he sees it. I went in today for my annual check-up. I knew I was ready for my annual physical but continued to push it off. I needed to make an appointment to make it in within the next few weeks as it had been a year since I had seen him last. The event pushing me into the doctor was what looked like a skin cancer episode on my arm.

It turned out that the skin cancer was no more than a boil that needed draining. So, the event for getting me in to my doctor was not one that was all that medically significant. Still, I wonder how long I would have put this whole event off if it had not been for the strange growth on my arm. Perhaps there was a reason that boil on my arm got infected at this particular time? Something from my body to get me into my doctor?

I spent an hour and a half at his office getting all types of tests. The results, in a few days. I am fearful about the results as I have some high indicators for cancer. But, it is so good to get this done. I think it balances out the fear. The symbolism of this whole thing (in many ways) is knowledge against ignorance. And, what’s more important than knowledge about one’s health?

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Behind all the ridiculous back-and-forth each day about all the distractions of media and entertainment, there is the grand fear of cancer in the background of modern life. It is a fear that grows with age, so the villain gets larger as one grows older.

Hollywood has its spectrum of villains, but cancer is the general-purpose villain for all of us. It sees no distinction in the various hero or heroine protagonists it attacks. And because it is this grand villain, it occupies much of our thought today. We worry more and more about facing the villain of cancer as our medical tools for battling cancer continue to increase.

Have you ever thought about what part of your mind might be moved from thinking about this fearful villain cancer and moved to more positive areas if the villain was slain? In effect, the cancer villain might have a greater impact on minds than bodies. We know bodies are affected by cancer. But, what about minds?

Thompson Webb Home / Webb School – Claremont, California

Perhaps, the final benefit of cancer research will not be in body but rather in the mind. This is a very San Franciscan thing to say. But let me explain. By this I mean that removing the fear of cancer in the American mind might open up Americans to a grand space in the mind for other ideas and endeavors. Fear is a strange thing. Built on anxiety, in many ways it plays itself out, a type of vampire of sorts. Sucking life from those who believe in the anxiety of fear. Cancer and fear have such a close, symbiotic, relationship. Separating the two as we suggest, might have a huge impact on collective psychology.

In the end, the great disease of cancer occupies an overly large space in the modern American mind.  The space grows larger as American age. This space is not created just by a fear of this disease but also in the fear that the great enterprise of American science cannot solve a problem. After all, it has solved almost every other problem in the world.

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Ultimately, though, it seems that the great metaphor for cancer is of an invader from inside rather than an invader from outside. Think about this. From inside and not outside. It is certainly a type of symbolic metaphor Hollywood could never create.

The metaphor has such grand symbolism to modern politics with the current administration and its reports of problems inside the administration. In effect, cancerous spots might be detected inside the x-ray chart of the current administration. There are “foreign” substances inside the x-ray chart of the current administration. In fact, many more “foreign” substances than previous administrations.

More than anything, the symbol of this internal attack cancerous attack represents the current political administration.  It’s a very powerful symbol that dominates the subtext of modern political narrative. That is, cancer as the metaphor for the current administration:in effect, a body infected with cancer. The cure for cancer might possess a correspondence to the current administration. Who knows. But the theme of cancer is played out on our large 70″ inch wide screen television almost every minute of each day.

There is the extraction of certain “cancerous cells” that don’t work in the system.They are alien invaders, foreginers, in the embryonic fluid of the current administration. They are things that don’t belong in their old place because the current administration feels them to be cancerous to their overall vision. Sometimes, they can be removed from a particular adminstration with the precision of a surgeon in removing cancerous cells from a body. But more often, they linger like those fearful cancer villains we see in our own daily lives.

The most important thing, it seems to me, is that we see all ourselves as conspirators in creating our various stories and narratives in relation to the grand fear of modern culture … above. The current adminstration is such an incredible embodiment of this symbol as the nation sails towards the midterm pollitical elections. Much the same feeling, I think, as going to your doctor each year. A time of check-up.

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There will be some cancerous cells discovered in this process.

This is the symbolism of the current adminstration.

The relationship of the metaphor of the current administration to the collective psyche in American culture is open to debate, it seems to me.

The relationship seems to be one of confronting one’s great fears or not confronting these fears.


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