Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 17 August 2016



I know.
I know that!
I know that she is.
I know that she is there.
I know that she is there for me
and I am coming.

25 July 1989
I’ve never really understood why darkness is a good thing. Marketers and reviewers use it all the time:
  • Dark Matter (season 2): This season of Dark Matter is darker. – Mike’s Film Talk, 6 August 2016
  • Game of Thrones (season 5): Season 5 was in many ways our darkest. – producer/writer Bryan Cogman talking to Entertainment Weekly, 20 April 2016
  • Mr. Robot (season 2): Mr. Robot Season 2 will go darker, if that’s even possible. – zap2it, 7 July 2016 referring to comments made by the show’s creator Sam Esmail to Rolling Stone
  • Orange is the New Black (Season 4): Orange Is the New Black returns, darker and more relevant than ever – tagline to an article in The Washington Post, 16 June 2016
  • Bloodline (season 2): The "binge-worthy" season gets "darker and darker", says Deadline Hollywood’s Dominic Patten. Quoted in The Week, 27 May 2016
I could go on and on and on. Black Mirror, Stranger Things, Gotham, Daredevil, The Last Man on Earth, Star Wars Rebels, Angie Tribeca, The Fosters, Louie, BoJack Horseman, Samurai Jack, Doctor Who, Happy Valley, True Detective, The Walking Dead, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, The Vampire Diaries, Downton Abbey, Community, Grimm, The Leftovers, American Horror Story, Teen Wolf, The Americans, The 100, Da Vinci's Demons, Catfish, Arrested Development, Covert Affairs, Bones, Sherlock, The Musketeers, In the Club, Wolf Hall… The list just goes on and on. Back in the day you’d never catch John Noakes saying, “Well this season’s going to be so dark we’re thinking of changing the name to Black Peter.” Seriously what is the fascination with whatever “dark” in this context is supposed to mean? and clearly it means many things to many people.

I don’t consider myself a dark writer. Serious, yes, indubitably, but I’ve never written anything you might classify as “horror.” I don’t have it in me. The list of horror films I’ve seen is embarrassingly short and it’s not a subject I can speak on with any authority or interest and yet all you have to do is look at the new releases to see how popular it is and I do have to ask why. Is it a sign of the times? Things are bad now but they’ve been bad before. Just look at America during the thirties:
From gangster films to musicals to screwball comedies, Depression films took on the responsibility of reinstating the mythical American values of individualism, classlessness, and progress. Americans might have come to these films in search of escape from their arduous and hopeless lives but that isn't to say the themes and motifs of these films appeared out of reach. Hollywood, while upholding American institutions such as government and family, also created characters and plot lines that stayed within the realm of possibilities. Had Americans not believed in and related to the drama, music, comedy, heartache, and successes displayed on screen they surely would find entertainment elsewhere. Film industries recognized this consumer power and carefully evaluated the types of films people responded to. – Hollywood in the Depression
We only had a Great Recession at the start of this century but, still, where were all the musicals and screwball comedies?

Not sure why the title to this poem was in lower case—as was the case with ‘another darkpoem’ (#796) in July 1996. I think I was aiming to distinguish it from my usual form of writing but looking back now it doesn’t seem that different or even that dark.

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