Hi Arthur and Gregory,
Interesting what you say about how people are interested in effect, which fits well with your example of the animals in your Do animals have rhythm post
, but what would you say about freaks in the circus? The bearded lady, people with long fingernails, the giant, and so on. There is nothing having to do with effect there, it seems to me. Maybe one could say it has to do with possibilities - seeing possibilities of bodies, possibilities of what the body could become? Maybe, actually, you could say the effect which is interesting there is the effect on the crowd, the effect of the disfigured body on oneself, which is what people want to feel? Perhaps.
Or maybe, the effect they are interested in is simply being disgusted, like in horror films, feeling scared, horrified?
I must say about myself that though I find the figure of the monster very interesting philosophically, as I am too, as you describe, very interested in effects and hence the effect of the monster on people, I'll admit that myself, I am not at all interested in seeing monsters. Disfiguration, outside of Francis Bacon which I would more describe as a disfuguration of the world than of the person, has very little appeal to me. Why is that then?
To summerize: what you describe answers part of the question, but not really the fascination with looking at extremely fat people, circus freaks, and accident injured people. I think feeling the possiblities of the body, and the (horrific) effect of the image on the person looking is also part of the answer (as is the wish to feel one's own body which is so hard for many people nowadays), but not all of it. I think there is much deeper psychology going on here. (or, if not deeper, at least another facet of people's psychology.)