america sucks and is a hellhole but i do appreciate … the loose mythology that has formed around how artificially weird everything outside of big cities is. where i think it’s safe to say most folktales worldwide tend to form around nature or at the very least older towns, in america the modern folktale is, from my very Californian observation, generally formed around things like 24 hour diners… beach boardwalks… giant metal sculptures of dinosaurs… static-y radio stations… government bases out in the desert.
am i saying other, more nature-centric folklore doesn’t exist or that this never happens in other places? of course not. am i saying that Welcome to Night Vale and Jordan Peele’s Us are the modern american fairy tales? that the setting of Hotel California, taken literally, is the Americana equivalent to the forests of medieval fairy tales? that claims of alien abduction is simply the modern, technologically reasoned form of being taken by the faeries ? fuck yeah my dudes and dudettes
That is at the very heart of the American Gothic.
And I’m tempted to say, honestly, that the reason these stories get told this way is because they are weird. Like, as someone who’s traveled throughout the country and lived in a great number of supremely strange towns, I can say without a doubt that rural America is weird.