Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: talking tough

Date: 02 Jun 2009

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    I'll go with the used-car salesman, though technically sales is a service industry. Sounds more lower-middle class than working class and the displacement, as you describe it, isn't economic either but why quibble when we can split spines instead?

    Medicine at the surgical level is definitely service industry upper-middle professional class, next thing to celebrity and royalty. Bounced from their hospital priviledges they can always patch punks on the lam and perform back room abortions to comfortably pay for their self-prescriptions. Or maybe join an Ivy League research dept. validating the big-pharma pills they need. Write noir about them? Man, haven't they suffered enough, already?

    As for your observation about the real working class, those loveable lunks who've nothing to lose and lose it like clockwork, too fuckin' right. But you'd think somebody'd kill to protect, or in revenge for the loss of, or to supplement their fucking pension.

    Fuckin' A man, Kerry

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Kevin Burton Smith
      Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:47 AM
      Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: talking tough

      Kerry wrote:

    > Narratives about the misdeeds of the commercially powerful are
    > perennially popular, but are there any new noir yarns that take
    > place in the milieu of low-skilled workers displaced in the shift
    > from an industrial to a service and information-based economy? Or
    > has noir been displaced by reality TV?

      Actually, I rather enjoyed FEAR THE WORST, our ol' pal Linwood
      Barclay's latest domestic noir (or whatever you call it).

      The protagonist is a used car salesman, circling the drain, whose
      seventeen year-old daughter disappears. Barclay doesn't quite hit all
      the noir buttons (he never gets quite thematically dark enough) but in
      the hands of a latter day Hitchcock or Dymytryk, this would make a
      really fine film noir. Maxing out your credit cards and possibly
      risking your job to fly across country to rescue your daughter?

      It's a welcome change from Harlan Coben's similarly themed domestics
      which seem to be taking place in an increasingly UMC world. HOLD
      TIGHT, for example, has a surgeon/lawyer couple at its core. Maybe we
      could call that Huxtable noir.

      One of the problems some neo-noir writers seem to have is this
      patronizing theme that being working class or unemployed means having
      no class. Being unemployed doesn't necessarily automatically make you
      start saying "Fuck" every two words, or suddenly want to take a belt
      sander to your wife.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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