RARA-AVIS: Noir-noir (was: "bar noir")

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 20 Jul 2009

  • Next message: Ron Clinton: "RE: RARA-AVIS: more bar noir?"

    Ron (after Brian) wrote:

    > Whether or not it's ghoulish revelry, I'm afraid I don't get the
    > "noir"
    > aspect of the "bar noir" title, either -- no more than a bank
    > robbery that
    > left patrons and tellers wounded would be "bank noir," or a
    > convenience
    > market holdup that has the teller take a shot to the chest would be
    > "market
    > noir." Not only is there a world of difference, as Brian points out,
    > between fiction and reality, but also between noir and senseless
    > street
    > crime.

    Oh, you old farts! Tip your hat to the new noir revolution, and smile and grin at the change all around. The less empathy for actual human beings, the better.

    Yeah, right....

    Actually, I think this is the great divide between classic noir lit
    (and film) and neo-noir or or whatever it's called this week.

    When we stopped getting drawn into the protagonists' plights and realized only a falling beam separated them from us and started putting ourselves above these characters, laughing at how much they were being hurt and fucked.

    It used to be more about the human condition; now it's too often the equivalent of kids poking a dead dog with a stick behind the schoolyard to see the maggots dance. The humour isn't so much black as just mean.It used to be we were supposed to feel for the dog; now we're supposed to laugh like the kids.

    Anyway, in this case, I think Fred (whose COCAINE & BLUE EYES definitely falls into the classic category) was more bemused by the windbag politico's comments than by people actually being hurt. At least I hope so.

    Kevin Burton Smith Editor/Founder The Thrilling Detective Web Site
    "Wasting your time on the web since 1998."

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