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Monday, November 26, 2007

The Occult: America's #1 Export

Supernatural (CW)
Supernatural (CW)
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've noticed the recent upswing in Occultism in popular culture and entertainment.

Comics, TV, movies, music, you name it -- shades of the Occult and Supernatural have entered it. And not just in the old, "This one's a vampire, that one's a werewolf -- but they're trying to be a good one!" way; nowadays, Occult investigators are everywhere and almost every form of the Occult is omnipresent. Even "straight" dramas and entertainment have "dabbled," if you will.

This is no "warning," nor am I crying "witch." I just wonder what the recent interest in this dark subject is? Whether or not you believe in the powers of the Occult, why has it suddenly become so mainstream?

To be sure, this has been true to some extent for a while now, and to various degrees throughout history. Satanism became fairly acceptable back in the 1960s-70s and, even though it met with severe consternation in the 1980s, it returned in the 1990s with a vengeance; comic books in particular were preoccupied with Satanic themes and characters in the 1970s, many of which returned in the 1990s. Further, the Occult and magic in general have been popular themes and subjects throughout Western society at various times over the years, such as the late 1800s. People held seances, consulted psychics/mediums, and believed in spirit photography.

Satanism is clearly divisible from the Occult, but only by those who know better; even in this day and age, mainstream society holds to the popular notion that the two are largely the same.

So how is it that Occult themes and ideas have taken hold to the extent they have and how long do you think it will last?

UPDATE:  In retrospect, TV shows like Supernatural, True Blood, and Ghost Hunters were big hits for an industry which was losing audience to the Internet.  Copycat programming proliferated. - 2018

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