Time has brought us to a new age of knowledge. The idealists are hanging from the ceiling fans as the realists march on with frowns on their faces into tomorrow. Good does not always triumph over evil, we finally understand it. The roses wilt as the autumn of enlightenment sets upon us, killing away the false promises that hung from the trees. While there is a promise of spring, winter is of our immediate concern. Our understanding of positive and negative has reached a new peak where the darkness, instead of scaring us, ensures us that there is light out there somewhere. The change is visible in our entertainment, our knowledge, and our media.
While our world frees from the dreams of super heroes, and relatable feelings seem to reduce with them, villains and antiheroes are now taking the spotlight. People finally say it out loud that it feels good to be bad. The Joker is suddenly one of the most cosplayed character in the DC universe; Deadpool is running the Marvel express. Not to forget Bane, Walter White, or even Hannibal. More subtly, we can see darker shades in every movie that comes with darker story lines, openness to sex, violence, and coarse language - it’s a revolution of understanding the darker side of our personalities and acceptance of its existence. This change first appeared in music, eventually in writing (*cough* screw you George R. R. Martin) and now in film. Not just the big screen (they made Ultron a total badass, didn’t they?) but also the small (explains the popularity of all these detective series and dark comedies). We love it, we know it, and we hate knowing it.
This rebirth can be accredited to the spread of knowledge. As we gain more knowledge, we have finally started calling bullshit on the idealistic thoughts and tales of God and religion (which teach us that there is always a happy ending and that good always triumphs over evil).It is better to know that there is no escape to our actions and their consequences, so that we are prepared to face them when they come. The sooner we forget ideas of fate and destiny, of birthrights and bloodlines, and of divinity and demonisation, the sooner we will take off the filters and see the world for what it is (like the fact that women don’t poop rainbows and unicorns, and can be really diabolical). The thirst for understanding is making us clear about the times that we are faring. The media is more direct and free, and the people are now more in power than they ever were in history. We know that leaders can be flawed and heroes can be corrupted.
But there is a soft hope in those who dream. One has to take into consideration that idealists work harder than realists in times of shit odds. They are more open to dreaming and creativity and thus tend to make something that nobody else ever thought of. Killing idealism is not necessarily a good thing in every aspect of life. Kids should still believe in Santa Claus and following their dreams. We have to lay the truth down like a feather, instead of dropping it like an iron block onto their hearts and ruining their innocence (as tempting as that is to do). Innocence breeds morals, a conscience (God knows we need that in people these days), and a will to help others. Yes we know that it’s dark outside, but that doesn’t mean that you should keep the lights off in your home to prepare for it.
The idea is to nurture just the right amount of positivity that one can move forward with a smile, and overcome odds through hope and dedication. At the same time we need to make sure that there is no illusion of idealism. The people need to be street smart and goal oriented, and they need to see when to shut up and run forward instead of whining about lost hopes and dreams. We are not here to kill the teenage musicians and the arts majors working at McDonald’s. We are here to let them work overnight and make it big when the opportunity arises.
Sketch By: Ashna Panesar