SSo that new picture of the Montauk Monster, you know the one from Newsday that makes it look a lot more like a dog? We say it's bunk. The thing is in a completely different position, its little front legs aren't bound, plus they claim the photo was taken on the same day as the original. And I'm no Bill Nye, but I'm pretty sure things don't decompose that fast. So yeah, it's fake! Or it really is a dead dog. But ours is still a monster. The bigger question, though, really, is why are we and many other people so interested? What is it about the Montauk Monster that intrigues us so? I'll try to provide some answers-in listicle form because it's a fucking Friday-after the jump. 1) We are fascinated by dead things What did this creature know, where has it been? The odd thing is that, though we are still living, it knows more than us. It's been somewhere we can only imagine. People are poking at this thing with e-sticks because we both fear and are fascinated by its morbid secrets. If we can discover the true history of this ruined life, maybe some tiny piece of life's long puzzle will snap into place for us, for our silly existences. 2) Monsters are the world's troubles made manifest What with the economy and all. And gas prices the way they are. And no one can sell their house or pay their rent and everyone's dying of cancer or their teeth are falling out or their plane got delayed or a kid they knew just got blown up in the desert. We walk around with these little walnuts of fear and worry and anger pitted in our chests all day, every day. And a monster-a terrible, gnashing, fleshy and physical thing-lets us release that valve in our hearts. Its little leathery paws pry that Pandora's box open just a bit, just to relieve the pressure. It's why we feel giddy and silly when we see it. Because something awful is just staring us right in the face, not shadowy and vague like the wretched and grim ideas of this modern world. 3) Everyone hates rich people Montauk and its surrounding Long Island environs have long been the playground of summer wealth, of cold corn salads and hay-blonde hair and Thatchers and Kittys and twinges of gin sadness on sprawling porches. It's the stuff of blousy green July dreams and most of us quietly hate it because we have never and probably will never have it. So a monster! A hideous hell beast washing up on their precious, opal-sanded shores? Hah! Serves you right, you twill-wearing, Saab-driving, piece of shit Andover alumni! I hope its family comes and eats your town and the last person left is a crazed Ina Garten wielding a shotgun she made from scratch, cackling into the humming, purple August evening sky. 4) We all love to share something The world is a terribly lonely place. New York City especially, with its gray, echo-y corners and menacing towers sticking up like knife blades, piercing our beloved blue sky. Who among us hasn't felt bewildered and lost in the rambling metropolis, in need of some sort of Poltergeist-like lifeline to scrape and crawl and pull ourselves back into the world of other people? And something like this, a funny monster mystery, is the perfect way to giggle and theorize with people, to send "WTF???" emails and joke at a bar on Smith street with a long lost friend from college. People are best at relating with one another, really, when there is nothing at stake. All we risk with Montauk Monster Mania is offending, perhaps, some avid dog lovers. And that's not so bad. 5) Because we all knew, deep inside all along, that monsters were real That creak in your closet? That strange thud and bump coming from the crawlspace when you were but a blankets-up-to-the-chin child? Monster. Totally a monster. Those strange shadow figures you see out of the corner of your eye? Monsters. Or, at least, Shadow People. We knew the real truth, somewhere in the mysterious and rarely-used rooms of our mind, long before the documentary Cloverfield made a noble effort to definitively prove it to the world: monsters are real and are everywhere. When we first saw Monty something just clicked on in our brains, a small switch flipped. There it was, all along, that ominous wicked knowledge. Whether we like it or not, monsters exist. And they're coming for us.