RARA-AVIS: Re: Philosophise This 101

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 05 Sep 2005

On Sep 4, 2005, at 1:16 AM, rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com wrote:

> evin Burton Smith wrote:
> But assuming one would want to "be" noir, what would
> a noir philosophy consist of? We're all fucked and
> we're all gonna die so the hell with everything? In
> practice, it would seem like pretentious...
> *************
> Pretentious and gratuitous. Two words I've come to
> love. They're like a sawed-off shotgun in a
> mini-mart. Don't aim. Just pull the trigger. You'll
> hit everything.

But miker, dear, I don't need a sawed-off. -- my aim is already true. Heck, I can probably pick off morally hollow cynicism at fifty paces with a peashooter.

And Mark, it's true a lot of "punks" profess to a sort of "noir" philosophy, but in the light of day do they seriously believe in it, or is it more just a trendy FTW cop-out, leave me alone and buy me a drink sorta affectation, a Saturday afternoon impulse buy at the moral kiosk?

Somehow I can't see grown-ups using Sid or Kurt as role models for one's personal philosophy. Wouldn't it be pretty hard to maintain a prolonged noir attitude without eventually admitting that some things must matter. Otherwise, why get out of bed?

Or maybe it's just me, Little Miss Merry Fucking Sunshine, who still thinks of noir as more of a condition or situation than a thought out belief system, and who probably has read Chandler's SIMPLE ART OF MURDER far too often. After all, if nothing matters, why go down those mean streets at all?

Kerry, your explanation of a noir philosophy, incorporating dogged perseverance strikes me as more hard-boiled than noir, a practical approach to an often impractical world. Or maybe we're tackling the concept of noir from different angles. I see noir as total black, but you let a bit of grey (and maybe even a little hope) creep in to your definition. I see hard-boiled as a way to view life; noir as what happens when people's lives -- no matter what they may believe -- get screwed.

Or is it possible that being hard-boiled is simply the way to deal with a noirish world? One could conceivably think we're all doomed, but not be noir themselves, couldn't they? A true noir believer would just let it happen; a hard-boiled believer would fight.

And then, the question wouldn't be why Marg would put up with you
(surely one of life's great mysteries :-) but why, if you honestly believe nothing matters, you're still there for her to put up with.

I mean, would a truly noir guy ever admit he has a thing for Otis Redding's TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS?


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Sep 2005 EDT