Friday, June 24, 2011

Adolescence and transgression

This is a fascinating full length documentary about the infamous Norwegian black metal scene, which, beside the actual music, is a scene of church burnings, suicide, murder and prison sentences. What fascinates me most about all this is what can happen to a person during adolescence, this window of time in a person's development where he or she is not quite a child and not quite an adult, but still has the characteristics and abilities of both, and the possibilities to take life into any of millions of radical and transgressive directions.

For most people, this is a 'phase' that runs its course and then they enter the 'normality' of adult conformity. But some people stay there, way into their teens, their twenties, sometimes their whole life. I am fascinated by these people. These are the people who have the potential to become great artists -- or, just as easily, cult leaders, conspiracy theorists and mass murderers.

At the moment I kind of see adolescence as the transgressive and 'magical' (for better or worse) period in one's development where all windows and possibilities are open, when values are questioned and new values formed, when everything is possible and anything can happen. It is what drove two adolescent girls (portrayed in Peter Jackson's wonderful 1994 docudrama Heavenly Creatures) to both experience the most magical aspects of life but also to commit the horrible crime they did. I also think it is what transforms some well-off, well-bred Norwegian boys into what they become, as shown in this documentary.

Or maybe I'm just full of it. In any case, if you have the 90 minutes, this is an interesting documentary to watch.

via Coilhouse.


  1. Adolescence is a really interesting period. Apparently, due to hormonal changes, your body is never before or after that powerful and "invincible" as in this period. Not for nothing, in a lot of tribes, it's exactly the time were you have to do special things to become a full member of the community, surviving alone in the wilderness or so.
    In this article, that I read about it, it was said, that this point is totally missing in our modern society, and the theory is, that because of that a lot of teenagers are turning to extreme things and stuff, just to compensate this immense inner power, that's not really challenged...
    Just a thought...

  2. That's an interesting idea, would like to read the article!