Why are there all these psychological deconstructions for why some people love dinosaurs? Maybe it applies to some dino-junkies, but personally I don't know what they're talking about.
I'm a much more face-value kind of guy, and I suspect all of these pretensions and dissections of the psyche are missing the point. These guesses about our fascination with the animals are so focused on the relentless search for Freudian slips that they're blind to other, deeper things. Some passions exist and blossom for reasons that deconstruction cannot reach. Reasons I wish I could articulate, so I don't sound like a gushing fanboy.
What I CAN explain is this: I don't see dinosaurs as "dragon substitutes," like I'll give up the T. rex as soon as a dragon shows up (I'll take BOTH, thank you very much). I don't see them as a tangible expression of the concept of power, or representative of our parents and the way they're bigger than us, or a primeval symbol of our simultaneous aversion and fascination with reptiles, or signals of our nostalgia and a fondness for the irretrievable past. I can throw around lots of fifty dollar words, too, and make them sound like they mean something.
Some people fall in love with classical music, or cars, or baseball, or horses, or Renaissance paintings, in the way I fell in love with dinosaurs: Because we caught sight of them and were immediately fascinated. Something we couldn't express in words latched onto us and wouldn't let go.
And since academia is all about big words, the academic, intelligent-sounding explanations for "saurian fever" will fall short of the truth. It's like trying to dissect a comedian's routine to see why people laugh at her jokes, then pontificating about the human condition. It's always irritating, ruins the humor, and usually the only right explanation for why you're laughing at a joke is "because it's funny."
When I look up at the arcing neck of a Brachiosaurus, my smile opens up. If I imagine the raw, violent power in a Tyrannosaurus, my pulse races. The unusual features of a Stegosaurus lend a taste of the exotic to my life.
I see dinosaurs as automatically beautiful. Their value is, to me, intrinsic. Majestic. Mysterious. They are holy creations of God Himself, without which He knew the universe would be incomplete (actually, the same can be said for every other animal, for every star in every galaxy; but I personally find dinosaurs even more fascinating than those aspects of creation). They enrapture us like no other animal can.
I couldn't give up the saurian fever if I tried. Dinosaurs are works of art and beauty, and I wouldn't trade anything for them.