Testing, testing, 1,2,3.
There is something about counting up that is far less terrifying than its counterpart: ‘3,2,1.’ Counting up presumes a continuation, an extension and accumulation, while counting down anticipates an end or a beginning.
The ‘3,2,1’ trick, has potentially, been used by every parent ever, anywhere, as a tool to get their child to stop misbehaving. What happens after the countdown ends, is of course unknown, but it is that unspecified ending that invokes a sense of fear in the pits of children’s stomachs worldwide. When I was younger, this simple utterance would work wonders. My parents would calmly count down, and I would pause whatever I was doing and calculate whether it was worth it. In that space of the unknown numerous outcomes would be
They won every time. However, at a certain age, it ceases to be as effective, and eventually becomes useless, with the realisation that the parent rarely actually has a consequence figured out already.
However, counting down continues to be a fantastic tool in building tension. It appears at the beginning of films; the start of a race, a song; the build up to take off.
It ends in an exhale.
We expect a beginning. This is mine