Jan 18, 2021Liked by Michael David Cobb Bowen

This could have been six or more different articles, so trying to comment on everything you touched upon would be like Alan Moore's footnotes to From Hell but not as interesting.

I'll just say that I appreciate the sardonic streak to your stoicism (are you a Baudelaire fan?: "Everything is for the best in this, the worst of all possible worlds") and that if I were to hang a sampler in my home, the: "People are stupid, and stupid people screw up everything. They don’t shut up, and they don’t go away." quote would be my choice,

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It's strange that I don't have the appetite for horror that I might. Perhaps it should be my next genre, replacing sci-fi. I'll start with Moore, as I only knew the Hughes Brother's film (and Watchmen of course). I know nothing of Baudelaire. Thanks for opening up this rabbit hole. Right now it is mainly expressed in my deep fondness for dark humor and my various skulls around the house. When you next see them in a photo atop one of my essays, it will be at this prompting - perhaps a review of my Lovecraftians...

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There was a lot of care put in the Hughes Brothers' From Hell but they went kind of silly at times at the expense of some really good stuff (an admittedly fraudulent psychic whose predictions nonetheless come too, handled in a way that made the character fresh and compelling in the comic/graphic novel becomes a police detective who gets psychic clues by smoking opium -wha?), and the tone of the Watchmen movie got everything wrong. (I did like the commentary on the extra scenes on the DVD, where one of the Hughes commented on what a shame it was that a scene got cut because an actress in it was displaying a really good naked butt, though. Oh, Hollywood!)

The footnotes in the collected From Hell are long but extremely interesting, as most of the characters throughout are historical figures whom Moore researched thoroughly.

Baudelaire's Petits Poèmes en Prose, especially the New Directions translation (Paris Spleen) has typically dark Baudelairean wisdom, such as:

'Come here, my dear, good, beautiful doggie, and smell this excellent perfume which comes from the best perfumer of Paris.

And the dog, wagging his tail, which, I believe, is that poor creature's way of laughing and smiling, came up and put his curious nose on the uncorked bottle. Then, suddenly, he backed away in terror, barking at me reproachfully.

"Ah miserable dog, if i had offered you a package of excrement you would have sniffed at it with delight and perhaps gobbled it up. In this you resemble the public, which should never be offered delicate perfumes that infuriate them, but only carefully selected garbage."'

I'll propose one more rabbit hole: the film A Dark Song, which didn't make a huge splash in the horror world because it was too restrained and intelligent. No real gross-out, not so creepy as to make it hard to sleep that night, and -best of all- a happy ending that doesn't feel like a cheap cop out, which always impresses me.

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I loved A DARK SONG! it has some pacing problems but a seriously good film, especially from a first time director. you spoiled the ending, though! as much as I love horror, I wouldn't classify it as a horror film.

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Sorry for the spoiler! I thought it was a general enough comment to avoid that.

True, it's more "psychological drama with supernatural terror overtones," but "Horror" has become a catch-all shorthand.

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I always appreciate your honesty. That cuts across all social layers. Thank you.

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