I think a TV show that better encapsulates Horror Philosophy would be True Detective (at least the first season). — Maw
...And True Detective was effectively based on philosophical literature, like Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against the Human Race
, Ray Brassier's Nihil Unbound
, and David Benatar's Better Never To Have Been
I do think my negative outlook on life was "eventual" in some sense, as I have a disposition to see flaws and have always been skeptical. If it wasn't this it would have been that, but it was True Detective that formally introduced me to pessimistic philosophy. The show is edgy af but then again so is some of the pessimistic literature (also I agree with Maw that the first season is superior than the second).
I'm also in debt to True Detective for getting me into doom metal and psychedelic rock. For example, this song by The Black Angels:
In regards to "horror" philosophy in general, I do find it to be cathartic and revealing in some ways, but I am also fundamentally repelled by the idea of actually enjoying
horror if we're being philosophical. If you're enjoying
horror, it means you're still considering it entertainment. In my opinion, it's not truly
horror unless you actually legitimately wished you hadn't read that book or watched that movie.
That's what people like Nietzsche, Freud and Zapffe were going on about, how people can't handle too much truth, that truth isn't comfortable. I think Ligotti once said that truth will leave you empty handed on the side of the road wondering why you even pursued it in the first place. It destroys your beliefs, illusions, and securities and leaves you naked and afraid. This is ultimately why I am very hesitant to explain some of my philosophical beliefs to other people, as I don't know how they'll react. For all I know they might react in a very poor way, similar to how I reacted when I was initially introduced to pessimism (which is embarrassing looking back).
To be honest, valuing truth even when it's horrible is just a coping mechanism, I think. It's a transcendental (escape) "I'm holier than thou" attitude to make up for the fact that it's not exactly comfortable to believe these sorts of things about life. I know Cioran once said in The Book of Delusions
"A regret understood by no one: the regret to be a pessimist. It’s not easy to be on the wrong foot with life."
Now of course I will admit that modalities like horror can be cathartic, and that's fine. But if you go beyond catharsis and start glorifying
horror and pessimism (as shows like True Detective have the tendency to do), you end up leaving behind the essence of pessimism in favor of a shallow aesthetic.
It's telling, to me at least, that the ending of the first season of True Detective was the way it was. It ended on a "positive" and "hopeful" note. People were sucked into the show because of its novel pessimism and cathartic nature but ultimately there was an expectation that it would end in an affirmative vindication of life. And that's exactly what it did, and this is exactly why it's ultimately shallow. Without a good reason to affirm life and existence in general, the act of affirmation becomes a bitch-slap cop-out.
The other thing that tends to repel me from "horror" philosophy is that it almost seems like sometimes the writers are intentionally trying to construe things to be horrific. Which, if done for the sake of intellectual exploration, is fine. But certainly I think pessimism has been a marginalized philosophy that hasn't been taken seriously, and one of the consequences of this is that it hasn't been subjected to any serious
objections (perhaps there are none?) So I think if there's anything to criticize the "pessimists" for, it would be the tendency to exaggerate certain aspects of life. Pessimism has been going under the radar since practically its "inception" in literature like Ecclesiastes and hasn't been given the time is deserves, which means it's been marginalized but also means that there hasn't been any real opposition (except perhaps Nietzsche or Camus) to draw the line in the sand and say "that's pessimism enough
, now you're taking things too far". An example of this would be Zapffe's contemporary Herman Tønnesen who wanted to "out-Zapffe" Zapffe. Is this really the search for an unambiguous description of existence, or was Tønnesen just trying to compete with Zapffe and see who could be more pessimistic?