Sodom and Gomorrah and Explosions
Everyone knows that "Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions"-- including my favorite "cool guys," the silent and scary Mexican cartel assassins from Breaking Bad-- but I have a hypothesis as to why this trope is so common: it is actually a subtle Biblical allusion to the the story of Sodom and Gomorrah; Lot and his wife are commanded by the angels NOT to look back at Yahweh's explosive destruction of the depraved cities but Lot's wife disobeys the angel's instructions and looks back and she is turned into a pillar of salt . . . and so not looking back isn't just about being cool, it's also about obeying God's will and showing humility when something is justly and purposefully destroyed-- and I had this epiphany while showing my children the story of Sodom and Gomorrah on a site called The Brick Testament, which is an illustrated Bible depicted with Legos . . . it is comprehensive and incredible; on the other hand, if something is being randomly destroyed in a movie, then people watch it in fascination (such as the colossal train derailment in Super 8).