April 6, 2006, - 1:42 pm

Snakes on a Plane, Snakes in a Book

What’s up with pop culture’s current, weird obsession with snakes? No, we’re not talking about the inhabitants of Detroit’s U.S. Attorney’s Office or the lying leaders of America’s various Islamist groups, but actual slithering reptiles.
If you hate and/or fear snakes, you’re one of many Americans (and others) worldwide. Ophidiophobia, also known as snakephobia, is the most common fear–more than fear of flying, fear of heights, etc. Some medical experts say fear of snakes is an inherited condition, even though other phobias are mostly psychological and specific to the person. Perhaps it goes back to the original Biblical story of Adam, Eve, the apple, and the snake.
But snakes are apparently like a traffic accident. While many fear and hate them, everyone slows down to look. They elicit a huge gawker effect.

(Thanks to Reader Barry Popppingsly for erasing obscene language from this mock movie poster by a fan of the movie)

Take “Snakes on a Plane.” It is one of the most written about, blogged about movies right now–even though it will not be out until August, when studios run their dud movies. The movie, starring Samuel L. Jackson, is about a plane carrying a federal agent escorting a witness in a major criminal trial. The bad guys want him dead, so they unleash a bevy of highly-poisonous vipers on the plane, in mid-air over the ocean. The passengers must band together to save themselves from the adders.
Sounds charming.
Then, there’s “Rattled,” the much hyped fiction book by Debra Galant. It’s about a woman whose shiny new McMansion is built over an endangered rattlesnake habitat, and killing a snake gets her and her husband into hot water with environmentalists and animal rights activists.
Perhaps she was inspired by USA’s past TV movie, “Rattled,” also about a family whose shiny new McMansion (and entire neighborhood) was built over a rattlesnake nest.
All this snake stuff may give you the chills. But if you’re still reading, it’s because you, like a lot of America, has the gawker fascination with the slithering. After moviegoers see “Snakes on a Plane” in August, though, flying will never be the same again.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses

I like snakes as long as it’s in a controlled situation. When I was younger I used to attend nature/science camps where we had the chance to handle various types of animals. Often, they would bring out boa constrictors or pythons (younger ones, mind you) and let the kids hold them around their necks. It’s an odd feeling, but still a cool experience.
If I were to encounter a snake in nature, it would be a different story. I’m not qualified in identifying which types of snakes are poisonous, so I wouldn’t want to come across any in that situation.

Concerned Conservative on April 6, 2006 at 2:15 pm

Guess you never read Genesis…lol
“Perhaps it goes back to the original Biblical story of Adam, Eve, the apple, and the snake.”

EminemsRevenge on April 6, 2006 at 4:01 pm

I don’t hate snakes becasue they kill rats! I do have rodentophobia.

Ripper on April 7, 2006 at 9:28 am

OK — I have Ophidiophobia — or fear of snakes. I absolutely dread them.
However, I am fascinated by snakes — on the tv screen or behind glass or any VERY safe environment. I mean an environment where I believe there is no way I will come into contact with them!
I watch the documentaries and scary snake movies — and probably will watch the silly Samuel L. Jackson flick.
I am a confessed snake gawker.

Doug on April 8, 2006 at 12:24 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field