DAVID GOODIS AND HORROR (“SHUTTER”) PULP Sometimes in the 30s, Harry Steeger, president of Popular Publications, organized a trip to Paris to see the Grand Guignol performances, in which scenes of horror fascinated and terrified audiences. On stage, blood flowed as eyes were gouged, entrails displayed, bodies danced like puppets, and famous literary figures (K in The Trial) were tortured and executed amid screams from both actor and audience. Eventually, Popular started the “shudder,” or “weird menace,” pulp genre. It was these that Mayor LaGuardia used to enflame public opinion so that he could get them removed from newsstand sale. The French theater productions often explored the madness and belligerence of the “apache” [underclass] of the city toward those who thought them to be without the reason and restraint needed for survival. The horror makes the reader think about how his response goes beyond fear of the alien apache to the reasons and consequences of that fear. In Goodis’ Street of the Lost (1951), the mob boss Matt Hagen rules Ruxton St by the knife and the gun. Cops and politicians cannot protect the citizens against him and his thugs. He is also infatuated with an Asian woman whom he is “breaking in” very painfully as his mistress. As the novel progresses, there is plenty of violence, from people getting heads bashed, throats cut, and bones smashed to drunken family bouts of rage. Goodis had incorporated the shutter pulp conventions into his novel. The final butchery of Hagan by the residents of Ruxton St. is revenge against a powerful tormentor. But it is also a further degeneration of his executioners-- knives, blunt instruments, and a can of lye are all used. As they turn against one of their own, their act is guaranteed to bind them in a tighter net of shame. Not only that, but readers are made to identify with the underdog Ruxton streeters, and yet at the end, they have to also feel shame at what they cannot help giving support to, which is a case of men into beasts. One of Goodis's favorite films. Not for the faint of heart!
PADGE-VICTORIA Windslowe, the self-proclaimed "Michelangelo of buttocks injections," testified yesterday on cross-examination that she had enhanced the butts of celebrities like model Amber Rose and had even been sought out by the likes of rapper Nicki Minaj. "Amber was like a walking billboard," she said. Windslowe, who goes by the stage name "Black Madam," explained that Philly-native Rose had come to see her for injections prior to her fame-days. She claimed that rapper Kanye West, who had dated the model, even once dropped Rose off for a procedure.
Minaj, however, never made it to their alleged appointment, Windslowe testified. When asked by Assistant District Attorney Carlos Vega why someone who was dating Kanye West wouldn't go to a licensed plastic surgeon, Windslowe responded: "I was the best, and I don't mean that to be cocky." Her customers, she said, also included the girlfriends of music artists Mario and Chris Brown. During cross-examination, Windslowe also testified that Rose brought her good business from "VH1 girls." Neither Rose nor her representatives could be reached for comment yesterday. Windslowe, 45, is on trial for third-degree murder in the 2011 death of Claudia Aderotimi, a 20-year-old British student. She is also charged with aggravated assault in relation to the alleged injuries suffered by Sherkeeia King, 23, as a result of receiving butt injections. Windslowe used low-grade industrial silicone with Aderotimi who originally wanted high-grade silicone but couldn't afford it after customs confiscated a portion of the cash she had brought with her to Philadelphia. "She wanted a really big butt," Windslowe testified yesterday. Aderotimi became ill after receiving the injections and later died at a local hospital. An autopsy revealed that the liquid silicon had traveled through her blood and into her brain, liver and lungs, causing her death. Earlier in the week, King testified that she had to be hospitalized for 15 days after coughing blood and experiencing a high fever after receiving the injections. During cross-examination, Vega asked Windslowe whether she was aware of the dangers of the silicon she used on her clients. She replied that she was told that it was "safe enough to drink." Windslowe testified that she had used the silicon on herself, injecting her face, butt, hips and labia. Medical experts have established that liquid silicon is no longer used for plastic surgery because of its risk of spreading away from the site of injection and into the bloodstream. During questioning, Windslowe admitted that she had no formal medical training, but said that she had been taught by a nurse in Washington Heights, N.Y. She told the court that she injected "thousands of girls" and that there had never been any problems. Windslowe said, while the money was good, her primary motivation for her injection business, was to make girls feel proud of themselves and their bodies. She explained that many of her transgender customers wanted butt and hip injections for a more feminine look. Windslowe, born Forrest Leon Gordon, said she had a sex-change operation in Ecuador, South America in 1994. She said that while she was there, she learned body sculpting techniques from the doctor who performed her surgery. Yesterday, she was questioned about her multiple names, addresses and business ventures, which included an escort service she ran from 1993 until 2003. When Vega asked what sort of services the escorts provided, she said, "It wasn't always sexual, some men just wanted companionship." "[One] customer just wanted a girl to step on Twinkies while she wore $1,200 high heels," she said. Windslowe said she halted her escort business after the death of her father in 2003, saying she didn't feel comfortable with it any longer. Vega persisted with his cross-examination asking Windslowe to clarify her numerous addresses and eight different phone numbers, which she allegedly kept for her different business operations. Visibly agitated, she stated, "You twist things, Mr. Vega." Yesterday was Windslowe's second day on the stand. The cross- examination will continue on Monday before Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150301_Black_Madam__Amber_was_like_a_walking_billboard.html#dA4XexLcCHlCSS6P.99
We are pleased to share with you that The Free has been shortlisted for the Ken Kesey Award! This award is presented each year by Literary Arts, a great champion of, well, literary arts. Making the shortlist also qualifies The Free for the Readers Choice Award, for which you can vote here(scroll down a bit to Readers Choice to find the link to vote).
It sounds like the plot of a bad horror film, but doctors are gearing up to do the world’s first head transplant.
Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero wants to take the head from someone with an incurable illness and graft it on to a healthy body.
He claims the first operation could be done in just two years’ time.
Sergio Canavero said his new body swap technique could help paralysed people such as Christopher Reeve
He claimed that even people such as Professor Stephen Hawking, pictured, could benefit from the technique
The £7.5million body swap would initially be used to give a new lease of life to paralysed people – including those with spinal cord injuries similar to those sustained by the late actor Christopher Reeve.
People with muscle-wasting diseases and those whose organs are riddled with cancer could also have their head put on a new body.
Those with motor neurone disease, the condition suffered by Stephen Hawking and portrayed by Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne in the film The Theory of Everything, might also benefit.
Eventually, the technique could be used to extend the life of healthy people in the ‘ultimate cosmetic surgery’.
Critics have described the plans as ‘pure fantasy’, but Dr Canavero claims all the necessary techniques exist and that he just needs to put them together. It is already more than 40 years since the first monkey head transplant and a basic operation on a mouse has just been done in China.
Dr Canavero already has a long list of potential patients, and will announce his plans at a top medical conference this summer in a bid to get the backing needed to do the first transplant in 2017.
The location has yet to be decided, but the surgeon, from the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, says he would love to do it in London.
The new body would come from a normal transplant donor who is brain dead. Both the donor and the patient would have their head severed from their spinal cord at the same time, using an ultra-sharp blade to give a clean cut. The patient’s head would then be moved on to the donor’s body and attached using a ‘glue’ called polyethylene glycol to fuse the two ends of the spinal cord together. The muscles and blood supply would be stitched up, before the patient is put in a coma for four weeks to stop them moving while the head and body heal together.
If that doesn’t sound bizarre enough, they would then be given small electric shocks to stimulate their spinal cord and strengthen the connections between their head and new body.
When the patient is brought out of their medically-induced coma, they should be able to move, feel their face and even speak with the same voice, this week’s New Scientist reports. Powerful immunosuppressant drugs should stop the new body from being rejected and intensive psychological support would also be provided.
Dr Canavero says he believes it would be ethically sound to carry out the procedure when people have no other hope of a cure.
However, the ethical arguments extend past the transplant itself.
For instance, if the patient went on to have children, they would biologically belong to the donor because the sperm or eggs would have come from the new body.
Initially, a shortage of donors means that the surgery would be limited to those with severe illness. But eventually, it could be used to allow healthy people to live longer.
Dr Canavero said that if science reaches the stage when human cloning is easy, a 60-year-old could make a copy of themselves.
They could then put their old head on a new, healthy body made from their own DNA – meaning they would keep their memories and personality.
William Matthews, chairman of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons, said: ‘I embrace the concept of spinal fusion and I think there are a lot of areas that a head transplant could be used but I disagree with Canavero on the timing.
‘He thinks it’s ready, I think it’s far into the future.’
But Harry Goldsmith, a California doctor who has carried out one of the few operations that has allowed someone with a spinal cord injury to walk again, said: ‘I don’t believe it will ever happen.’