The Daily Illini

True crime: Remember to laugh at a senseless world

Colleen Romano

Colleen Romano

By Skylar Bouchard, Columnist

This past Saturday, the popular true crime podcast, the “Last Podcast On the Left,” performed a sold-out show at The Canopy Club. For those who don’t know what the podcast is about, it’s basically three men in their 30s talking about killers, cryptids and aliens for two hours.

It got me thinking about why people are so attracted to true crime. Some people think that it’s because of the adrenaline rush associated with being scared, but being a true crime buff myself, I seem to think quite the opposite. By researching and poking fun at the darkest aspects of humanity, it makes the world seem a lot less scary.

The podcast isn’t really in the horror genre, but rather a comedy at its core. When asked about the show, people kept bringing up two topics: one was a theory about the difference in packages between cult leaders and serial killers and another was that Casey Anthony is a member of the illuminati. No one thought of the podcast as a horror show in any capacity. Instead, you’d find kind girls in Charles Manson T-shirts listening to tales of the darkest aspects of humanity, ironically laughing and smiling through it all. The audience cared more about the research and time the podcasters put into the project, rather than the feeling of excitement associated with something like a horror movie.

In my brief discussion with the three podcasters, one thing stood out. Henry Zebrowski, one of the co-hosts, brought up something a librarian once told him: When something truly scares you,  you should research it thoroughly and then it won’t seem nearly as intimidating. Maybe this is why so many people are interested in true crime.

As a frequent listener, I can tell this is reflected in the content of the podcast. Most of the humor in the podcast comes from exposing how mankind’s greatest monsters are just narcissistic losers with a lack of consciousness, rather than the boogeymen we see them as. If you look deeply into a case like the Manson murders, you see that it wasn’t some large, meticulous plan to cause chaos in the world; rather, a comedy of errors started by an entitled, wannabe rockstar. When you look deeply at these monsters, they’re shown to be nothing more than pathetic, fame-hungry failures.

With everything that’s been coming out in the news lately, the world can seem like a scary place. It seems everyone, from comedians to judges, have been accused of some sort of sex crime. It’s becoming more difficult than ever to tell the difference between politics and reality TV, and polarization in this country feels like all time high.

Sometimes what I really need is the reminder that even the darkest of monsters are just nerds with too much time on their hands. So let’s all take a deep breath and laugh at the inferiority complex of the Golden State Killer.

Skylar is a freshman in ACES.

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