RARA-AVIS: willie noir

From: Frederick Zackel ( fzackel@wcnet.org)
Date: 03 Oct 2007

Geez, you Americans are such prudes. Noir is about thinking with your willie, and that's what dooms you.

Thinking with your willie? Man, you're demanding your own downfall.

The femme fatale knows noir is about thinking with your willie. She counts on it. Breathes there a noir hero who isn't stupid when it comes to breathing up close to women?

I bet you take every great noir tale and make it supernatural, you know, spooky, and the femme fatale can be a real live (or maybe dead) succubus. Succubus comes from the Latin succuba, or strumpet, and means "to lie beneath."

Spade knows his problem. Hey, he sleeps with his partner's wife. How smart is that? The guy can't help himself; he thinks with his willie. but knowing you get foolish at the drop of a hanky and staying clean is two different actions.

His partner Archer is no better. Licking his lips, he'd walk up any dark alley after a femme. Spade wants no part of that, but he can't help himself; he's just as hooked. When it comes to thinking with his willie, Spade is regular as Sisyphus. Up and down the frigging hill, hey, he can't change. Up and down the frigging Burritt Alley, yeah, same diff. Yeah, what the hell, I'll drive you to Seattle, lady. I got no brains.

So the only way to stay alive, knowing how stupid a guy can be when his willie thinks for him, Spade lowers his head and just does his job. Uhhh, stay the course.

Hammett's joke with his name. Sam Spade ain't Sam Spayed.

Othello & Iago both think with their willies; they become murderers.

Frank and Cora in Postman? How many steps does he take at the train station before his willie is chasing some new femme? He just put Cora on a train, and he cannot wait to get to his car? Frank has a serious willie problem.

Double Indemnity? Walter and Phyllis? Thinking with his willie again.

The Devil in the Blue Dress? Aw, that's Easy.

Of Mice and Men? Thinking with his willie because he was dumb as grass. And Curley's Wife don't even got her own first name? She don't need a first name.

Hey, the Great Gatsby thinks with his willie. "You just run over that woman, so I'll claim I was driving." Aw, the chick AIMED the car; it was deliberate. You think Dumbo Gatsby would have done that for some GUY behind the wheel in that car?

As Mark says,
"In fact, he ends up exactly where he started, cowering in his office trying to avoid Archer's wife. In fact, he's worse off (but again, not noir screwed), because she's now single and sure to want more from him than he wants to give."

Look at the last line of the Falcon. His partner's widow is waiting to come in. Spade is so willie-whipped, he shudders, saying, send her in. He shudders because Spade knows how weak he is. He still says, let her in. Me, I'd be out the window and on the fire escape before I'd let her in again.

When he says to Brigid, "I won't play the sap for you," he is saying, I won't let my willie think for me. How many times does he have to say it before she gets it? Does he love her? Naw. But he cannot help lusting after her. And she has been counting on him being that lusted for her.

That's why Brigid thinks he is so wild and unpredictable. She expects men to be tame and predictable, i.e., to think with their willies around her.

That's the Flitcraft Parable. The guy can't help himself. He can't even run away good. He wants it steady, so he marries the same kind of woman as before. Sheesh.

Does Spade ever NOT listen and follow his secretary Effie's advice? How come she is safe around him? Hammett says she is built like a boy!

The Falcon is all about sexual menace. Gutman is a pedophile. Or what do you think Wilmer is? And Brigid and Joel both shared (or fought over) a boy in Istanbul. All this stuff, yeah, it's all about being screwedness.

You want to write a great noir, then your main character thinks with his willie.

Wishing all the best for Columbus Day.

Fred Zackel

P.S. Some shameless self-promotion. I got a story "White Man Sings the Blues" in the new edition of Demolition magazine. As the Temple of Aphrodite in ancient Corinth said, Enter and Enjoy.


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