Sunday, March 11, 2012

Depressing Shit: part of an ongoing series (though not too ongoing, Allah willing)

   This is an installment of an ongoing list I've been keeping for several years, and now I feel the need to share. I am only including things like movies, books, TV shows, and songs on here-- if I included actual events and phenomena from reality, this list would never end and I'd never stop thinking about depressing shit. Unavoidably, some of the items on this list touch on depressing stuff from reality, and that's part of what makes them so depressing. I am also not devaluing the quality of any of these artifacts; many of them are quite good, even great: touching, well-made, intelligent, and so on; but nonetheless, they bum me out. I'm sure it's at least partly because of the high quality that they depress me so.
   And these choices are all subjective, of course. If any of these things happen to not depress you, maybe you're just having a less depressing life than I (wink, wink). Lucky you! Also, some of the items on this list were suggested by friends (Thanks, Larry!).
   I've alphabetized the items in each sub-list. If I tried to rank them some other way, that would depress me further.
   Maybe this list will help you avoid some things that could depress you, too. Or maybe not. Enjoy.
Some depressing movies:

◦Darwin's Nightmare [didn't even see this, but just reading a review put me in a tailspin.]
◦Edge of Darkness [UK version-- I haven't seen the other]
◦Frozen River [sad, but a great movie-- no need to avoid this one!]
◦The Girl Next Door [2007 child abuse flick; my Netflix review: "An honest-to-God nightmare, and I don't mean the quality of the production or anything like that. This purports to be the true story of a mom who tortures young girls and teaches little boys to torture and rape the girls while a bunch of other kids watch. Maybe people who have no clue about the realities of child abuse should see this movie (or even just part of it) to get an understanding of the things people do. Having a mom who worked in juvenile court, I have heard countless stories about real cases of child abuse, so I REALLY didn't need to see this. If you have a shred of conscience, this movie will make you ill. My husband got angry that I picked this movie for us to see. But we both had a little brandy afterwards and now we're going to watch some light comedy, so maybe we can recover someday. You have been warned."]
◦Kids [had to turn it off after the first 5 minutes; was already at a low point in my view of male-female relations, and this just made it worse]
◦Letters from Iwo Jima [didn't make it through the whole thing here, either; made me too sad]
◦Heater [don't actually remember seeing this, but on rereading the Netflix description, figured it was on the list for a reason]
◦Panic in Needle Park [haven't seen this; a friend suggested it for the list]
◦Requiem for a Dream [This damaged me forever; or at least I haven't recovered yet, all these years later]
◦Savage Grace [Julinne Moore drama]
◦A Single Man [didn't see it; a friend warned me it was depressing]
◦Sneakers [maybe more irritating than depressing, but it brought me down one way or another]
◦The Squid and the Whale [great movie and even has some laughs, but still]
◦Tideland [like a nightmare with great production design]
◦A Time for Drunken Horses [my Netlfix review: "This movie is beautiful but VERY upsetting, especially if you have a soft spot for children or animals. After watching this, I'm going to have to stick to light comedies for a while."]
◦The Wrestler
Some depressing music:
◦Elliott Smith [a friend's suggestion; I personally don't know his music well]
◦Failure [a Larry suggestion; I don't know their stuff, either]
◦The Replacements and/or Paul Westerberg [not all their music, but a lot of it; I nominate "Here Comes a Regular" one of the most depressing songs ever]
◦a lot of 70s and 80s schlock [I'll post some specific examples later]
Some depressing TV shows:

◦Nancy Grace
◦Showbiz Tonight [on CNN; the commentary could kill a person or horse]
◦16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom
◦any show about storage units or pawn shops
To be continued and added to later! I welcome your suggestions, because I'm always looking to avoid other things that could depress me (instead of actively looking for things to make me more depressed, like I used to)... though I hope we won't find TOO many more depressing things. I hope.

EDIT: I thought of more depressing stuff! Read Part 2 here.