Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why I Like Dark!

Recently, I was asked why I like "dark." As in dark humor, dark movies. I thought about how to articulate an answer, and realized that this was a feeling thing, not a thinking thing.

I've always liked dark. Robert Mitchum (Night of the Hunter, Cape Fear). More recently, Tarantino (Pulp Fiction).

The thing about dark is that it stands in such startling contrast to light. Well, duh! But, seriously, in light discernment comes with ease, while the dark holds more than is readily visible; you have to feel around, and touch things/thoughts without seeing them beforehand. Sometimes, you never know what you will come up with.

Dark has no easy answers, no platitudes, no gimmicky endings. Dark is thoughtful, dark is dangerous. Dark has a bottom that you can't see and try to feel with your feet, like swimming in a lake. And, like in a lake, you'll likely encounter hidden slimy things with your legs, and sometimes live moving things brush by with a cold touch and disappear.

In dark, good men are bad, and bad men are even badder; women can't be trusted, motives are suspect, and truth is variable.

In dark, creatures move about, looking for something to eat. Early hominids must have been terrified of the dark, knowing that the black veil beyond their campfires was filled with large teeth, sharp claws, and, worse, suckers of souls.

Yet, to venture into the carbon black is to embrace your fears, to know that even thought justice is relative, there is such a thing as right and wrong, and even the good-with-parts-of-bad man or woman will try to swim up to the light one more time...sometimes for personal salvation, sometimes to save others, but always for redemption.

I guess I like dark because I believe in the devil (though certainly not the fallen angel of traditional biblical schools), and the devil lives in the blackness that is always pulled away in a dark story or movie, if only for a little, and we see bad for what it is, and good for what it tries to be.

Mike S.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sneaking a Peek at His/Her Kindle!

When first considering spending time with another person in a dating situation, we all have ways of making an initial assessment of future possibilities. For instance, when I lived in Boulder, CO, many women would put something like this in their on-line profiles: "If you even THOUGHT about voting Republican (Bush, especially), don't even THINK about contacting me."

But, once over the initial meeting or two and we've ascertained that we won't be arguing over the Stimulus Package and a real date ensues, what other clues are there to use?

For me, when I pick the lady up at her house, my eyes can't help but search her bookcases. If they are full of Nora Roberts or Clancy, then she'd better be really sexy and have a great body. If they have some Camus, Saramago, Updike, McCarthy, or other notable writers, then my mind is definitely involved.

But, now, with Kindle becoming every more popular (I love my Kindle DX), what's a single, avid reader to do? I can't just say, "Hey, honey, I'd like to see your Kindle!" Or, "I'll show you my Kindle if you show me yours!" Or, "Would you like to synch our Kindles?"

Now, I really can't give the woman's perspective on judging a date ahead of time. I mean, I've heard women say, "If he has a job and isn't in jail, he's a good prospect," and I wouldn't be able to comment if a woman cared what a man's Kindle looked like, but I would imagine a full Kindle might be a good sign, maybe especially the newer and bigger model.

Perhaps Amazon (the seller of Kindle), can offer its OWN date site, where you can search for possibilities by books downloaded? Oh, yeah, then I know I'll have a lot of luck. Some of my recent downloads are: Sex, Time, and Power, Beowulf, The Epic of Gilgamesh, books sure to really bring 'em in. (Ironically, there is ONE woman I know who would LOVE my choices: my EX-WIFE!)

Mike Sledge