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.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

This could not have been better stated. It makes a lot of sense and is provocative. Thanks.