SCP-C730
bluecurtains.jpg
The table, wall, and sofa have no anomalous properties.

Topic: SCP-C730

Object Class: See containment procedures

Special Containment Procedures: Care must be taken not to describe SCP-C730 in speech or writing. Only personnel trained in deliberate communications may be exposed to SCP-C730 or any representation thereof. Standard media suppression applies to any description of SCP-C730.

Containment Locker CV-8A is allotted for storage of SCP-C730.

Description: Any speech or writing that describes SCP-C730 is cognitohazardous. Subjects affected by this hazard lose their willingness to interpret statements in any non-literal fashion. While they retain knowledge of literary/rhetorical devices such as metaphor, hyperbole, symbolism, and themes, they refuse to believe that these devices are ever deployed intentionally. Subjects are still capable of unintentionally using figurative language themselves.

The following excerpts are from an interview with a subject affected by this cognitohazard.

Dr. Heller: So, you've just read The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.1

Subject G21: Yeah.

Dr. Heller: Could you summarize it here?

Subject G21: The narrator's taking a nap in his chamber, when he hears some tapping. He thinks it's a visitor, so he checks the door, but no-one's there. Then he realizes it's coming from his window, so he checks that, and it turns out it's a raven, and the raven starts saying "nevermore". And that's all it says for the rest of the poem.

I think in the next part the narrator guesses that it learned the word from its previous owner, who was saying it over and over because someone called Disaster was chasing him so much. Then the narrator goes crazy, calling the raven a bunch of names and saying it's some kind of omen, even though he just came up with a good explanation for it.

He starts totally flipping out at the raven, saying it's a prophet or a devil, yelling at it, asking it stuff about meeting Lenore, stuff like that. I didn't really follow that bit, honestly. Anyways, at the end of the poem the raven's still there, and the narrator has an out-of-body experience for some reason.

Dr. Heller: Alright, thank you. So, what do you think the poem was about?

Subject G21: I just told you what it was about. A guy flips out at a talking raven.

Dr. Heller: Well, yes, that's the plot, but what does the poem mean?

Subject G21: It doesn't mean anything. It's just a story. Things happen, which leads to other things happening, it all comes to a head, and then it resolves. You know, a narrative.

Dr. Heller: 'Things happen' in The Raven, yes, but there's more to a story than what literally happens.

Subject G21: Not in my experience.

Dr. Heller: I — okay. Can you make any inference about the poem?

Subject G21: I feel like I probably wouldn't lose my cool just from seeing a raven talk, so the narrator was probably messed up beforehand.

Dr. Heller: Yes, very good, that's a good observation. How do you think he was 'messed up'?

Subject G21: Syphilis, maybe? People went nuts for all kinds of reasons back then.

Dr. Heller: How about grief? For Lenore, I mean.

Subject G21: Yeah, I guess. It doesn't really address that in the poem. Honestly, Edgar Allen Poe seems like kind of a hack.


Dr. Heller: You mentioned earlier that you recently read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. What did you think of it?

Subject G21: It was fun. There were some plot holes, I guess, but I liked it.

Dr. Heller: Plot holes like what?

Subject G21: Mostly just some things here and there that didn't make sense, or seemed like non sequiturs. Plus, well, this all took place during the Blitz, right? But the kids never thought to bring Aslan over to help fight the Nazis.

Dr. Heller: Uh…

Subject G21: I mean, it's not explicitly addressed, but from what's in there, I think Aslan's magic could go up against the German air force. That should be at least worth a shot, right?

Dr. Heller: I don't think that was really the point of the book.

Subject G21: Well, maybe C. S. Lewis shouldn't have put them in the story. Like, okay, time clearly works weird there, so maybe if Aslan visited our world even for a little bit, he'd have to leave Narnia for a long time. But Earth is way more important than Narnia, obviously.

Dr. Heller: What makes you say that?

Subject G21: The way Lewis wrote about Narnia, there could only be what, ten thousand people there? There were millions of people just in Britain back then, and Hitler was a way bigger threat than the White Witch.

Dr. Heller: Sure, I suppose. What did you think of Aslan's sacrifice to save Edmund?

Subject G21: It's not really a sacrifice if he just came back right away. But still, if Aslan can use magic to spare a traitor's whole life by just spending some time dead, and if he thinks that's worthwhile, then you could do a lot of that on Earth.

Dr. Heller: Well, think of it this way — you're religious, right?

Subject G21: Yeah. Catholic.

Dr. Heller: Right, I remember your intake form now. If there had been a doorway from our world to another world which had even more people, would it have been right for Jesus to abandon Earth to go be a savior for them?

Subject G21: What's Jesus got to do with it?

Dr. Heller: Lewis said explicitly, at several points, that Aslan was meant to be Narnia's version of Jesus.

Subject G21: Maybe as an after-the-fact justification to fill in plot holes. If I had to explain why I forgot to make a supposed good guy not fight the Nazis, saying he had Jesus duties in his home dimension would be a pretty convenient excuse.

Outside of careful observation, this cognitohazard is difficult to discern from mundane anti-intellectualism and poor reading skills. Victims may be identified due to the abruptness of their change in attitude or by showing that they have been exposed to a description of SCP-C730.

Amnestics are ineffective at reversing this effect, though subjects regain some interpretive capacity over time; in particular, adolescents affected by descriptions of SCP-C730 are likely to make a near-full recovery by their mid-20's. Frequent exposure to symbolism-rich media seems to accelerate the process. Following recovery, subjects are no longer susceptible to SCP-C730.

History: A description of SCP-C730 was widely circulated on the social networking site Tumblr prior to the Foundation's involvement. The responsible post is reproduced below, with Foundation edits denoted by [brackets].

i! fucking!! hate!!! my!!!! english!!!!! teacher!!!!!!

what the book says: [Description of SCP-C730 in very generic terms]

what my teacher thinks: This represents his deep sadness and lack of passion.

what the author meant: [Same description of SCP-C730, with an expletive added for emphasis]

Several adaptations of this post (including screenshots and infographics) were shared to other humor and social media sites.

Investigation resulted in the acquisition of SCP-C730, upon which the author had based the above post. Available records did not indicate any anomalous events occurring prior to the creation of the post. Due to the popularity of the post and the difficulty of detecting victims, an unknown number of subjects remain affected by this description of SCP-C730.

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