Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I Can't Believe It's Not Meta (It Is)

#1) And, of course, Gogol Bordello was a huge show on Monday, wasn't it? According to E, Eugene Hutz was screaming into a mike while stomping all over E's table. M said it was the benchmark for all time. NOT FOR ME, IT WASN'T! I spent Monday either at other people's houses or homework, I honestly can't remember. And it better have been homework, I'll tell you that. Wasting my time with people and school when I should have been wasting it at The Sidetrack. Godsake.

#2) I really want to rent Dick Tracy for tonight, where Madonna plays The Blank. I used to have the glossy movie cards with Littleface and Flattop and The Kid. Haf-n-Haf is a way better Two Face than Harvey Dent, you don't even know. Or maybe you do.

#3) Five O'Clock Charlie is playing at The Track on February 16, doing the GMCC H.O.P.E thing for building schools in SA. Tickets are ten, so why not come?

"Every Day I Love You Less And Less (Boys Noize Remix)" + Kaiser Chiefs/Boys Noize This monster will cut your milk teeth out. I listened to it eleven times in a row, straight from Moebius Rex, which is, of course, a tres tops blog. Anyways: the drop at 0:59 is HUGE. I love love love the way the narrative lyrics match the loop. They're, like, symbols of each other, see? So meta. Look out for the beginning of the song, though; those kindervox are so annoying (so neccessary), and they just don't stop, BUT I have a theory about that, which is—the bad makes the good sound better. And the better sounds so bright and heavy and shining and bitter and having-fun-being-nasty, well, those tintinitis vocals just get me all jumping and Pavlovian over what's coming up next. Eleven times in a row? Twelve, now.

Book update this afternoon. More Raymond, more excellence.

The Simple Art Of Murder + Raymond Chandler "Spanish Blood", one of seven short stories in this book, is masterful. Look at Chandler's construction, he's like a careful cabinet-maker, strong pieces of quality furniture appearing to grow like plants, without effort, of their own accord. This—THIS—is how you begin a story, this is how you introduce a character:

Big John Masters was large, fat, oily. He had sleek blue jowls and very thick fingers on which the knuckles were dimples.His brown hair was combed back straight from his forhead and he wore a wine-coloured suit with patch pockets, a wine-coloured tie, a tan silk shirt. There was a lot of red and gold band around the thick brown cigar between his lips.

There is no messing about with objectively illuminating a character by his actions and reactions here. The reader is not meant to like this man. This man is to be a bad man. There is no compromise, no responsibility shirked, no, "Oh, but the discerning reader should be able to figure it out", none of that business. The second section begins the same, quick description of a man's appearance, little details gleaming brilliant off the page, but things are different, we just don't know it yet, because, all of a sudden, the words take a sharp turn:

Blood had soaked the left side of [Marr's] vest, made the grey flannel almost black. He was quite dead, had been dead for some time.

Some people might kill me on this, but Chandler, to me, is practically Beethoven. He takes two notes—da-da-da-dum—and works up these desperate stories around them, not only the same themes and plots ad infinitum, but the same situational writing (I'm sorry, I can't think of a better way to phrase that) over and over. And it works. He's a master of repetition, and his plots can't be trusted. Just as the reader is spotting the pattern, something else happens to shake the pattern up, the pattern doubles back on itself, and the reader has to do a double-take. This lends an atmosphere of menace to Chandler's books quite apart from the plots they contain, and give his novels a dense air of authenticity. Phrased another way, well, similarly, really, the dangerous atmosphere of Chandler's novels lends credence to the convoluted plot; the atmosphere is the product of the unpredictable repetition of the sentences and paragraphs which make up the book. Wonderful.

[Edit: Yes, I cleaned up the spelling, it was too horrible to let lie.]

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