RARA-AVIS: Re: Welcome to a whack of new subscribers

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 08:54:13 -0500 Another reason for the whack...evidently, DorothyL is on hiatus. Be
prepared for a possible increase in recipes and cat talk on this list (but,
alas, no cat recipes).

Sorry I missed out on all the America love/hate thread a while ago. Coulda
been fun...interesting that Hammer is one of the few openly patriotic
private eyes around (the last refuge, and all that). Most are more critical
of society (either from the left or right), rather than wrapping themselves
in a flag. The right (or is it more anti-left) is represented by Hammer
(sometimes), and M.V. Heberden's Desmond Shannon, both quite
anti-Communist, and, of course, that freedom-loving American P.I. of Cleve
Adams, Rex McBride, who opined that "An American Gestapo is godamned well
what we need."

Most hardboiled private eye fiction is political by inference, not
implication. The criticism of society is there in the fact that these men
and women are "private" investigators, not part of the police force or
other government agencies, and that their cases quite often reveal
corruption in places of authority and power, be it police forces
(Chandler's (Bay City), government agencies or the boardrooms of industry.
It seems the trail of corruption climbs up, not down in most private eye
fiction, and therefore more likely to adapt a "leftist" point of view,
since conservatism, and faith in the status quo seem to be more a tenet of
the right. Both sides find the law lacking; one side finds it too gutless
and weak (see McBride's quote above), and the other finds it too harsh and
unfair (ie: lefties such as Chandler, Hammett, MacDonald, Joseph Hansen,
Michael Collins, Sara Paretsky, etc.).

One more thought: Bogie refused to name names either.

Usually patriotism is used more as a plot device, than as a facet of the
hero. If I wanted "My country, right or wrong", I'd be reading spy novels,

By the way, how'd the crossword puzzle go? Did anyone have problems with it?

(Oh, and Bill, don't tell 'em how socialist we are up here....they might
get onto our plan on takin' over their little country....Agent Celine Dion
reports that she's already infiltrated the airwaves....they'll be begging
for mercy soon....)

Kevin Smith
The Thrilling Detective Web Site

It's summertime, and the living is cheesy...
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