Evidently I have developed a reputation for generating macabre imagery. I suppose that this shouldn’t surprise me considering I have done fan art for Michael Slade (a horror/mystery author) and I like to provoke certain psychological responses with my other work. Yet it does surprise me; I’m not a fan of most horror films and, in films, I tend to gravitate toward comedy, sci-fi, or adventure. Even in books I drift more toward mystery and intrigue, not horror. So I now find myself in an odd position of feeling the need to live up to a reputation that, while amusing, I’m not sure I want.
But how can I dispense with something I wasn’t even aware I had? Maybe I can’t dispense with it; maybe I really do have a dark sensibility seething beneath the surface that I’m in denial about. What does that mean to me as a person and a father? Maybe everyone has a dark sensibility but not outlet to release it.
I like to consider myself a relatively happy and funny person but I will admit that I have a temper and I get depressed once in a while. Isn’t that part of being human; having emotions? I know the current societal trend is toward suppressing all emotions into a prozac-like malaise but that isn’t natural. People are supposed to feel; highs, lows, and in-betweens. Instead society has become so muted in its ability to experience emotion that any strong emotion or emotional response seem out of the ordinary.
That kind of emotional suppression can’t be good for the mental health of the nation. When I became enraged at my neighbors for letting their dogs out without leashes I didn’t hold it in. But I didn’t let it out on my neighbors either, I went inside my house and vented my spleen on all the horrible things I wanted to do to the damn dogs and when I was done I went calmly (and rather cheerily, I might add) went over and talked to them. Had I attempted to talk to them before I privately exploded I don’t think I could have pleasant with them. Imagine if everyone stopped suppressing their emotions and just found a private space to vent them all. Once a week you could let everything out of your system; rage, sadness, fear, terror, hate, what-have-you, and start with a clean emotional slate the next day. Don’t you think people would be happier?
What I’m getting at in my usual, round-about, rambling fashion is this; if my work skews toward the macabre it’s probably because I am quietly releasing the steam that has been building behind the calm facade that I show the world. Not because I’m trying to shock or surprise… But that can be fun too. 🙂