History repeats itself. For centuries horrifying atrocities have occurred repeatedly. In the aftermath we ask ourselves why? How? We absolve ourselves and our responsibility in these atrocities by offering prayers, but do we ever take action to end the destruction? The answer is no or else it wouldn’t happen again. During the holocaust innocent families were ripped apart; adults and children were tortured and killed because of their religious belief. For decades, African Americans in the south were raped, tortured, or lynched because of the color of their skin. Today, crowds of unarmed civilians are gunned down by a single man wielding a gun, sometimes there’s a motive, sometimes there’s not. In any case, it’s tragic, senseless and destructive.
So how do we explain this? Maybe we call it racism, hate crimes, or mental illness. Maybe we invent a demon who causes all these things and we blame it on the demon. That’s where the Demogorgon comes into play. The Demogorgon is a demon, it is the worst of the worst, the Prince of Demons. This demon is responsible for all the destruction, murder, chaos, rage and evil in the world. In the game Dungeons and Dragons, the Demogorgon is described as “a rampaging monster, said to be “the embodiment of chaos, madness, and destruction.” Can you imagine a single being causing a massive amount of pain in one sitting?
I chose this monster because I believe it is a fictional representation of something, we see every day but can’t face. Like the Demogorgon, Mass shooters can cause a severe amount of pain and destruction on a small-time frame. With the time it takes to blow out a candle a mass shooter could have already sprayed down a group of unarmed civilians with and automatic rifle. “The shooting, which is being called the worst of its kind in modern U.S. history, occurred at an outdoor concert close to the Mandalay Bay Resort, the New York Times reports. The suspected gunman – Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite. Nev., — fired for 10 to 15 minutes on concert goers from a room at the resort using what were thought to be fully automatic weapons, according to NBC News”(Axelrod). The Demogorgon is strong, fast and an unarmed human does not stand a chance against this demon. The mass shooter himself is not particularly a strong or fast being but equipped with a weapon made for mass destruction and a lack of conscience he creates destruction, madness, and chaos swiftly. In reference to the shooting in Las Vegas on October 1 2017 it was said that “It was a deadlier day than American soldiers have ever suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the worst mass shooting in modern US history.” The shooter causes destruction by killing and wounding civilians. The shooter destroys families by ripping their loved ones away from their family. Along with one person’s death dies their future, their hopes, their dreams. What they could have become and what they could have provided their family and the world also dies. The Demogorgon does not care about the death toll and neither does a mass shooter. The mass shooter causes madness and chaos from the sound of gun shots. The Demogorgon is silent and stealth, it’s hard to detect his presence before an attack but once he lets loose a guttural screech, you are made aware of his presence and proximity to yourself. A mass shooter could go unnoticed in a crowd of people but once the sound of gun shots rings out, people start screaming and running. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear where the shots are coming from so people run in all directions. Sometimes people trip and fall and get trampled by a stampede of scared and panicked people.
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is the writer of Monster Culture (Seven These) where he breaks down the different aspects of monsters and helps explain what purpose they serve. The first monster theory that applies to the Demogorgon is Thesis II: the monster always escapes. “We see the damage that the monster wreaks, the material remains, but the monster itself turns immaterial and vanishes to reappear someplace else”. The Demogorgon lives in another dimension referred to as the upside down in the Netflix show Stranger Things. This dimension is similar to one that humans live in with the only difference being death and dark magic exist there (Stranger Things, season one, episode 8). The Demogorgon is able to open a portal into the human dimension where it kills without prejudice and then goes back through the portal to its own world. A mass shooter could be anyone with an arsenal of firearms. A mass shooter lives among us, they have jobs, families and hobbies. They seem like one of us until the day comes that they pack up their guns head to a crowded event and shoot down every man, woman, or child. Then the shooter kills himself or is killed by someone else in hopes of preventing further damage. On October 1, 2017 at the route 91 harvest music festival in Las Vegas Stephen Paddock gunned down a crowd of concertgoers, 58 people were killed and 515 were wounded by gunfire. Before police could apprehend Paddock, he killed himself. He didn’t have to answer to anyone for his crime, he didn’t have to face the aftermath of what he caused, he escaped. As the Demogorgon reappears through its portal, a mass shooter isn’t one single person but a title that can be obtained by anyone who guns down a group of unarmed civilians. So just because one mass shooter kills himself another one will pop up in his place to kill again.
Thesis V: the monster polices the borders of the possible applies to the Demogorgon. “Curiosity is more often punished than rewarded” (Cohen 12). This proves to be true for the faction of the government seeking to extend the boundaries of the human mind. In season one of Stranger Things, a little girl with telekinetic and telepathic powers is used to make contact with the Demogorgon, by doing this she creates a bridge between its dimension and ours. This makes it possible for the Demogorgon to wreak havoc on the human dimension. In an article in the New York Times, author Camilla Schick explained that Stephen Paddock was able to gun down so many people in such a short period of time not only because he had 14 AR-15 rifles, 8 AR-10 rifles, a bolt-action rifle, and a revolver but also his AR-15 rifles were equipped with bump stocks with 100 round magazines. Bump stocks modify semi-automatic weapons so that they can shoot rapidly without pause. All these weapons and accessories were purchased lawfully in broad daylight. Why do citizens living in a civilized society need automatic rifles? And why do they need bump stocks that make an already dangerous weapon more dangerous and faster? The government made automatic rifles legal, they made bump stocks legal and in doing so they made these atrocities possible. What is the government trying to explore by providing clear and easy access to weapons of mass destruction? It is our American born right to bear arms but at what body count does this access and exploration of weaponry end? After Paddocks rampage in Las Vegas the bump stock was banned in December 2018 with the regulation in effect as of March 2019. That did not put an end to mass shootings.
The Demogorgon is a demon, out of all the demons it is the evilest. It is one creature and causes a severe amount of pain and death with no remorse. I believe the Demogorgon is meant to represent mass shooters. A mass shooter is a single person who severely wounds or kills a crowd of strangers with no remorse. They gun down people so effortlessly it’s almost like its instinct for them. We created these monsters by giving them access to guns and telling them it’s their natural born right. We continue to strengthen mass shooters by legalizing more types of guns and more types of accessories that enhance already enhanced weapons. The Demogorgon is scary but it is a creation of our imaginations, we can give it weaknesses, find an “Achilles heel” and then it’s not so scary because we stand a chance of fighting back. Whenever I would misbehave, my mom would tell me “I brought you into this world and I can take you out”; The American government has brought to life the possibility of mass shootings and we all stand dumbfounded and heart broken when another mass shooting happens. We forget that government is for the people and the American government can end that possibility of mass shootings.
“Article Demogorgon: Prince of Demons.” Demogorgon: Prince of Demons | Dungeons & Dragons, dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/demogorgon-prince-demons.
Axelrod, Jason. “Las Vegas Officials Respond to Shooting, Others across Country Voice Support.” American City & County Exclusive Insight, Oct. 2017, p. 2. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=125531940&site=ehost-live.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. Monster Theory: Reading Culture. Chapter one Monster Culture (Seven Theses). Univ of Minnesota Press.1996.
Schick, Camilla; Horn, Dave; Cirillo, Chris (October 2, 2017). “Las Vegas Shooting Live Updates: Multiple Weapons Found in Las Vegas Gunman’s Hotel Room”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
Stranger Things: Season One. Written by Ross Duffer, Matt Duffer, Justin Doble, Jessie Nickson-Lopez, Paul Ditcher, Kate Trefty, Netflix, 2016. ZORNICK, GEORGE. “WMDs in Las Vegas. (Cover Story).” Nation, vol. 305, no. 10, Oct. 2017, p. 3. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=125509282&site=ehost-live.