Bipolar Thoughts

Dark Roast

Red, Black and Purple have been my favorite colors for most of my life.

When I was a kid, I primarily wore black clothes, much to the chagrin of my stepmother who was constantly asking me to wear more colors. I finally came around to wearing red in late middle school. And due to some serious peer-pressure I switched to a much more colorful wardrobe by senior year. But if I had my druthers, even today, I would happily wear all black all the time.

When I was a kid, the only music I listened to was heavy metal and hard rock. Metallica, Pantera, Guns and Roses, Megadeath, Motely Crue, Black Sabbath, Kiss, ACDC, Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains, Tool, Dreamtheater, Rush, Soundgarden, just to name a few of my favorites. I even hated the ballads that those bands put on their albums. If it wasn’t all blistering electric guitar, fast paced drums, and balls to the wall vocals, I didn’t listen to it. Once I got into a band in high school my tastes opened up to include my favorite genres of today, R&B and Jazz.

I remember watching my first dark comedy, Death Becomes Her, as a little kid and really being delighted by the humor and the themes in the movie. The Cable Guy was the next one to really tickle me. As I got older, I really got into watching more movies like this. Harold and Maude, Dr. Strangelove, Throw Momma From the Train, Evil Dead Trilogy, Fargo, American Beauty, American Psycho, Death to Smoochy, Fight Club and Delicatessen are most of my favorites in this genre.

I have stated on here before that my favorite genre of fiction is Sci-fi. But within that genre I gravitate towards a very specific sub-genre, which is either post-apocalyptic or dystopian future. I connect with the idea that mankind has messed everything up because they didn’t think enough about the future. I also like the typical hero adventure where one man rages against everything and wins despite his flaws. I also really enjoy books by PK Dick, which are primarily the same, except the hero rarely ever fixes things or gets out alive. His endings almost always reveal that the main character is still within an even larger system oppressing him.

All of my favorite comedians have a dark side to their persona and those are the jokes that make me laugh the hardest. Louis CK, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Bill Burr, Daniel Tosh are all artists willing to turn anything into a joke. Nothing makes me laugh harder than taboo humor. Hearing a joke that I never thought I would hear about a subject I never thought would be joked about makes me cry laughing.

The only reason I don’t wallow in all of this stuff all day every day is because I actively choose to extend myself beyond those things. But, if I am being perfectly honest, I would be perfectly happy only delighting in the darker side of these subjects. It is just who I am I guess.

I cannot really explain my attraction to dark subject matter. I know I’m certainly not alone; there is a big market out there for this stuff. But I am curious as to why. Why can’t we figure out why we have the interests we have?

I am very interested in the relationship between my interests and my bipolar. Suicidal thinking is almost ever-present in my life. I have been thinking about death since I was a very little kid. Is that why I got into that music and those bands and those movies and comedians? Or, did my consumption of darker media drive the dark thoughts running through my mind? Or, neither?

Then I like to wonder that if I found out that my interests were making my illness worse, would I stop consuming it to make me feel better. I doubt this is the case, but it is an interesting thought-experiment. Generally I think, no, I would rather get depressed, even insanely depressed, then stop enjoying the things I enjoy the most.