Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Darker is Always Cooler.

When I think of Cool Darkness two pop culture references specifically come to my mind. The first is the movie Donnie Darko, and the second is pure, unadulterated, evil, Metal!!! The two pop culture influences are particularly influential to me because they represent something more than what the surface attempts to depict. The delve into the darker portion of the human psyche to inspire those who are willing to think beyond the lighter more innocent side of life.

Donnie Darko represents Cool Darkness. Throughout the movie Donnie wrestles with the idea of the validity of life. To me this is cool because he didn’t accept the social standard that was thrust upon him to accept what is assumed to be called right. However, in order to achieve the cool that Donnie achieved he had to venture into the darkness of our world questioning the ideas of everyone else in order to find the true answer. This brings significant darkness to Donnie’s character because he is portrayed as a troubled youth in the beginning. Add to it the fact that he sees a personified bunny suit that talks to him in his dreams further reinforces the idea the questioning of his mental stability. Eventually after searching for quite a while Donnie finds his answer to the truth. With his answer to the truth he is his able to sacrifice himself for the well-being of his family. Donnie Darko is cool because he found his truth at the opposition of every other person. He defied them all to reach beyond the scope of their reality to find the truth, and he ultimately died with his truth in order to save everyone else.

Metal music is also a wonderful source of Cool Darkness. The reason metal is looked down upon as dark is because it has always been synonymous with the Devil because of the dark roots of the music. The black attire, the metal and chains, the lyrical interpretation, all point to demonic or dark thoughts. However, many people have come to escape the societal stereotypes of the music in order to truly enjoy what they have found. To me metal is about loud guitars, extreme vocals, and drummers that can absolutely blow your mind. To break it down into simpler terms the musicians that play metal are the best of the best. They play bigger, louder, faster, and harder than anyone else to inspire to others the way that they feel inside. As music is designed to be it helps people connect on a primeval level. The basic instinct of human nature that inspires our bodies to sway and follow the rhythm lends to the metal following. It helps people to understand that there are other people out there who feel just like they do. Whether or not it truly makes you a part of something more than just being a listener is debatable, but the fact that it does make you feel that way is what has made metal so successful on a large scale. Metal helps kids find common ground. Ultimately it is this common ground that makes metal as cool and as dark as it truly is.


  1. I really liked your post! I've never really appreciated metal music--I thought it was just a reason to scream and beat someone up at a concert. I didn't know about the depth.

    At the end of Donnie Darko, do you think that he really traveled back in time or do you think it was something else, like some sort of crazy psychological trip. Zagurski thinks the former and I think the latter.

  2. I have never seen Donnie Darko, but I really want to check it out now! Do you think that Donnie had a darkness cool, sacrificial cool, or both? Is it possible to have both?

  3. 1) It was definitely the latter. I agree with Mr. Zagurski.

    2) It's an awesome movie!! It's definitely both. To me that makes it much more epic than most other movies.

  4. I honestly went through the entirety of Donnie Darko thinking that it was simply the imaginings of a horribly disturbed person as he looked at reality through his own insane eyes. I really don't think he was cool at all, simply a mentally unbalanced teenager who couldn't hope to form any meaningful relationships.

  5. That's why he saved everyone. Good, Jason. Good.

  6. There's going to be a sequel to Donnie Darko, it's straight to DVD. Yeah...

    Why is it that darkness is connected with the idea of being primal? Are we all just scared of the dark still?