So it might be cliché but I'm going to walk this path regardless. I was at a party recently and several of us were discussing television shows we either really dug or were currently watching. After listing off my newest obsession: The Killing, followed by my girlfriend's and mine new joint show: The Man in the High Castle, we both said how much we loved How to Get Away With Murder. (p.s. while we were discussing this, I was wearing a shirt that read: 'Ryan Hardy Lies'. (Special thanks to my wonderfully dark-minded girlfriend for introducing me to The Following). Anyways, one of the girls we were talking with made the comment, 'Wow, The Killing and High Castle? You like some dark stuff.'
Now, if you know me fairly well or if you have read any of my stuff this is no secret. But the fact that a friend who I don't normally hang around with a lot noticed it made me kick around the notion more than usual. Ignoring the fact that to some degree everything can be considered dark. As in there is always a challenge or a tragedy for the hero to overcome. Let's instead focus on the darker side of human behavior and the darker side of the world (I know just watch the news right? But for sanity's sake let's focus on fiction). I'm sure there's some kind of psychological test that can tell where on the narcissistic-pessimistic-socio/psychopathic scale you are, my brother isn't here to administer that pseudo-science (just kidding big guy) exam.
Se7en, Fight Club, Disconnect, Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck, etc. are all depictions of either despicable people or absolute shit situations where awful choices need to be made. Oh, let's not forget Gone Girl, Dark Places, Sharp Objects, or Game of Thrones. Anyways, with such an abundance of dark fiction (apparently I'm not alone in my infatuation) out there it begs the question: Why are we so drawn to darkness? Is it because, to some degree, we all have darkness in our lives and to witness through media people who have it worse than us provides a little bit of comfort? Has the era of instant news subjugated us to so many bad things that we now have inadvertently become addicted to tragedy? Or do we all just place somewhere on the 'mentally fucked up' scale?
While I want to blame the news or our addiction to violence (after all, graphic violence is OK but if you see a topless chick everyone loses their minds) I'm not talking strictly about violence and gore. The first season of The Killing has very little violence in it by mainstream media standards and yet it is one of the darkest series I have ever seen. So, maybe we are drawn to the darkness to mentally determine how we would act if we were placed in a similar situation. Though while we all would like to think of ourselves as fully capable badasses something tells me that's not the case a hundred percent of the time.
And maybe you're one of the few readers who like happy things all the time. If that's the case.... You probable shouldn't read anything I've written. Speaking of: Spark Chaser is now available on theme of Absence. So click here to get your horror fix. And if dark fantasy is more of your thing then click here and check out the fantasy anthology put out by Dark Warrior Press featuring When You Deal in Death & Dragon Scales. For the post-apocolypse fans, hang tight. The final edits for Among Wolves has been submitted and it's looking like Winter Tales Anthology will be out in February.
Till next time, don't worry, in the words of Joe Carroll:
I WILL BE. . . . YOUR FRIEND.