722. In appreciation of the Dark Arts

Darkness in the Arts

First off, this isn’t a defense of the dark arts Harry Potter sorta thing and this isn’t me trying to be intentionally edgy. I’m not a dark soul troubled by dark demons. But in art… literature, comedy, satire, movies, books, poetry, music… I enjoy exploring the grittier side of things. I think because it is so different from my life. I’m not some 52 year old ‘burb dad trying to come to goth-ness late in life. It isn’t that… but give me this….

Wish the Worst — Old 97’s & Rhett Miller

Over this any day….

Happy – Pharrell Williams

And in books, this…

Donna Tartt’s Secret History

Or this…

Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides

Over this any day…

Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette

Let’s look at Mr. Stuart Ramsom Miller, Old 97’s serial lady killer’s lyrics from Wish The Worst…

Why aren’t you here? It’s almost 4 a.m.
I finished up all of your beer, now I’m startin’ on your gin.
I went through your diary, flipped through your phone book.
Called all your friends, I just wanna know where you been.

I pulled back your sheets, now I’m crawlin’ in your bed.
Every drink’s one more defeat and every footstep hurts my head.
I don’t want excuses, I don’t wanna hear that you were out with your friends,

I hope you crash your momma’s car.
I hope you pass out in some bar.
I hope you catch some kinda flu.
Let’s say I wish the worst for you.

I hope you’re happy with yourself
I hope you found somebody else
‘Cause I ain’t askin’ you again
I just wanna know where you been

Why am I here? I’ve got better things to do.
I could hang out on the pier down by the Hudson, sniffin’ glue.
I guess I’m a loser, but I like being miserable, swimming in sin.

I hope you’re happy with yourself
I hope you found somebody else
‘Cause I ain’t askin’ you again
I just wanna know where you been.

Now that’s an interesting story. Dark stalker-ish love like The Police’s Don’t Stand So Close to Me or Every Breath You Take. I’ll never be those guys down by the Hudson sniffing glue. But their dark twisted version of desire is interesting. A life I’ll never live remotely but like a train crash about to happen, you can’t look away.

And this art…

Compared to this art…

Sure there is room for both and I understand how others want something uplifting. I do at times too. But since I tend to be an optimistic person, happy to be laughing through life, the darker things in art I find interesting, intriguing. I can explore it there where it’s safe so I don’t carry it around in life.

A little darkness in art. A good thing.

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