Thursday, May 31, 2012

Noir: Florida, The Zombie State

5/16: McArthur High School HazMat Situation
Students, Teachers Decontaminated After Breaking Out In Rash
5/19: No confirmation on chemical at Fort Lauderdale International Airport

5/23: I-285 reopens after hazmat incident
5/24: Second Broward school reports mystery rash
5/25: Hazmat Called After Kids Exposed To Pesticide On Bus: Hazmat, EMS Respond To Lake County, FL School

5/25: Disoriented’ passenger subdued on flight in Miami
5/26: Naked Man Allegedly Eating Victim’s Face Shot And Killed By Miami Police

5/26: Florida Doctor Spits Blood at Highway Patrolmen After DUI Arrest

Noir: So Deep In The Dark with david goodis

June 21, 2012
Goodis gets his due!

New York Review of Books

New York Review of Books

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Noir: Kid Lit or Bad to the Bone: The Worst Children in Literature

The children from The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
The children from The Midwich Cuckoos 
by John Wyndham 
Children can be innocent, inquisitive and the embodiment of hope.   But those characteristics make for boring stories.  Sometimes authors enjoy creating a fictional child that is just plain nasty. Draco Malfoy might be a bigot and a bully, but he’s rarely dull and is a vital ingredient in the Harry Potter novels. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would not be such a tasty read without greedy Augustus Gloop, bratty Violet Beauregarde and the spoiled Veruca Salt.
Draco, Augustus, Violet and Veruca are actually mild-mannered compared to some of the horrible children on this list. Authors have not restrained themselves from portraying children as utterly evil. And while these books are fiction, and human evil-doing is prevalent in literature, there is something especially unnatural and disturbing when the perpetrator is a child, as if it represents the perversion of innocence itself. Be warned, some of these books have the potential to be distressing, particularly for parents. Some of the young characters in this selection abuse, torture, murder and commit demonic acts with barely a second thought. David Seltzer even gave us a youthful antichrist, Damien from The Omen.
Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock and Frank from The Wasp Factory are two examples of how evil characters can also be portrayed as extremely complex. Skilled authors can make the reader ponder the key question of why a child has become bad to the bone, while being so young. 
The 25 Worst Children in Literature
Veda from Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain
Veda from Mildred Pierce 
by James M. Cain

This daughter is the queen of blackmail and deceit.
Frank from The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Frank from The Wasp Factory
by Iain Banks

It’s hard to describe Frank and his rituals – he’s very, very twisted.
The Baby in Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
The Baby in Rosemary’s Baby 
by Ira Levin

This infamous child is every parent’s worst nightmare.
Rosalind from The Woods by Tana French
Rosalind from In The Woods 
by Tana French

As the older sister of a murder victim, Rosalind becomes entwined in the investigation.
Vernon Little from Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
Vernon Little from Vernon God Little 
by DBC Pierre

While not evil like some on the list, this foul-mouthed reprobate has few virtues.

Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist
by William Peter Blatty

It wasn’t Regan’s fault that a demonic spirit possessed her.
Rhoda from The Bad Seed by William March
Rhoda from The Bad Seed 
by William March

It’s nearly impossible for a parent to see that their child was born bad.
Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Pinkie Brown from Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

The 17-year-old Pinkie is a merciless thug in this classic.
Rynn Jacobs from The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane by Laird Koenig
Rynn Jacobs from The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane 
by Laird Koenig

Rynn is a mysterious child with an absent poet of a father and a nose for trouble.
Christine Hargensen from Carrie by Stephen King
Christine Hargensen from Carrie 
by Stephen King

‘Chris’ is the mean-spirited snobbish teenage girl who leads the torment of Carrie.

Leading William from All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury (Found in The Stories of Ray Bradbury)
Leading William from All Summer in a Day 
by Ray Bradbury (Found in The Stories of Ray Bradbury)

He enacts terrible psychological punishment on classmate Margot.
Matilda from The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
Matilda from The Monk 
by Matthew Gregory Lewis

Coleridge said Matilda was “superior in wickedness to the most wicked of men.”
One of the Twins in The Other by Tom Tryon
One of the Twins in The Other
by Tom Tryon

A boy whose twin brother is intertwined with a series of deaths in a rural community.
Ben from The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
Ben from The Fifth Child 
by Doris Lessing

This grotesque, violent and hateful child is tearing a family apart.
Kevin from We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Kevin from We Need to Talk About Kevin 
by Lionel Shriver

Kevin is a sociopath who murders several classmates in a school massacre.

Jack from Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Jack from Lord of the Flies 
by William Golding

He epitomizes the worst aspects of human nature in this must-read.
Damien from The Omen by David Seltzer
Damien from The Omen 
by David Seltzer

This child from hell turns out to be the antichrist.
Regina Afton from Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Regina Afton from Some Girls Are 
by Courtney Summers 

After terrorizing others she is cast out of her clique to become the victim of her own bullying. 
Gage Creed from Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Gage Creed from Pet Sematary 
by Stephen King

Another example of demonic possession ruining a childhood.
Nick from Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Nick from Hate List 
by Jennifer Brown

In order to impress his high school sweetheart, Nick goes off the rails.

Jacob from Before and After by Rosellen Brown
Jacob from Before and After
by Rosellen Brown

A family struggles after their teenage son murders his girlfriend.
The boys from Boy A by Jonathan Trigell
The boys from Boy A
by Jonathan Trigell

Boy A and Boy B were both convicted of murdering a young girl. 
The Children in Let’s Go Play at The Adams by Mendal W. Johnson
The Children in Let’s Go Play at The Adams 
by Mendal W. Johnson

A group of children are left alone and run amok in ways you would never imagine.
Mary Katherine ‘Merricat’ Blackwood from We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Mary Katherine ‘Merricat’ Blackwood from We Have Always Lived in the Castle 
by Shirley Jackson

She cares for her sister Constance but something is not right with this 18-year-old.
Andy Evans from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Andy Evans from Speak 
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Andy rapes a classmate at a school party with long-running, serious consequences for the victim.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



The author comments on his most famous book, in 1973.

by JUNE 4, 2012

about the writer’s novel, “A Clockwork Orange.” The writer first published the book “A Clockwork Orange” in 1962. Nearly ten years after its publication, its title and content became known to millions because of Stanley Kubrick’s very close film interpretation. The writer first heard the expression “as queer as a clockwork orange” in a London pub before the Second World War. It’s an old Cockney slang phrase, implying a queerness or madness so extreme as to subvert nature. In 1961, the writer began to write a novel about curing juvenile delinquency. He had read somewhere that it would be a good idea to liquidate the criminal impulse through aversion therapy; he was appalled. He began to work out the implications of this notion in a brief work of fiction. The hero of both the book and the film is a young thug called Alex. He rejoices in articulate language and even invents a new form of it; he loves beauty, which he finds in Beethoven’s music above everything; he is aggressive. With his companions, he terrorizes the streets of a great city at night. The young antihero is arrested, and the Home Office or Ministry of the Interior introduces a form of aversion therapy guaranteed to eliminate criminal propensities forever. Alex is injected with a substance that brings on extreme nausea, and the onset of nausea is deliberately associated with the enforced viewing of films about violence. Soon he cannot contemplate violence without feeling desperately sick. He is forced to walk a tightrope of imposed “goodness.” The state has gone too far: it has entered a region beyond its covenant with the citizen; it has closed to its victim a whole world of non-moral goodness. What the writer was trying to say was that it is better to be bad of one’s free will than to be good through scientific brainwashing. B. F. Skinner’s book “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” came out at the very time that “A Clockwork Orange” first appeared on the screen, ready to demonstrate the advantages of what we may call beneficent brainwashing. Given the right positive inducements, Skinner argues, we shall all become better citizens, submissive to a state that has the good of the community at heart. That the writer considers any kind of conditioning wrong must be accounted, he supposes, to the strength of Catholic tradition in which he was reared. The maintenance of a complex society depends increasingly on routine work, work with no zest or creativity. One of the slogans of George Orwell’s superstate in “1984” is “Freedom is slavery.” This can be taken to mean that the burden of making one’s own choices is, for many people, intolerable. Perhaps there is something to be said for conformity in social life when our working lives have so little room for rugged individualism. But when patterns of conformity are imposed by the state, then one has a right to be frightened. It is significant that the nightmare books of our age have not been about new Draculas and Frankensteins but about what may be termed dystopias—inverted utopias, in which an imagined megalithic government brings human life to an exquisite pitch of misery. Mentions Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” It would seem that enforced conditioning of the mind, however good the social intention, has to be evil.
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Noir: The Loves and Lusts of a Horticulturalist

Flowers are flirts.  Like strippers in a church, they will not be overlooked.  They can’t help it.  They were born that way, sex organs on their sleeves.  Kind of like Lady Gaga.  Both invite us to speculate about appearances and time.
For poets, roses once reported life is short. Heat cools. But poets are cowards, and lazy to boot.  They sang roses—span’s forever to a lily, whose biological clock chimes with the sun.
 Flowers bring us to our eyes, yet their implications vary by latitude.  For northerners, they signal easy raptures and loose sprawls.  In the evergreen south, they mediate the sheer fecundity of being.
Like lips tricked with rouge or breasts empowered by implants, flowers use strategies unnatural as only nature can be: the lilies’ petals pout and spill with sweet disorder, far beyond what’s called for…but then, we made them too—bred them for our pleasure, groomed them like cheerleaders buffed for daddy in the bleachers.
What we see gives little clue to what we get, in time.
But, flies on an orchid of offal?  Certainly.  I mean, why not?
Hatry’s bedeviling constructs are artful as nature.
A Tibetan lama once described the bardo—that state we enter after death, before the next round—as being like Paris at rush hour.  Lights scream by, flying at you, better duck or you’ll get hit.  Guy can spend forty days in such a state before finding the next life.  The problem, the lama explained, is that most people don’t know how to choose.  They see an image—a certain kind of man, a pretty woman, a sexy house—and run toward it, et voila: they awaken as bedbugs.  In death, as in life, appearances deceive.  That little we know.
The coexistence of beauty and ferocity in Heide Hatry's new work reveals there is holism in transforming the opposites

Essay by Askold Melnyczuk and Photograph by Heide Hatry
from the forthcoming book Not a Rose

The book will be published in January 2012 by Charta Art Books

Monday, May 28, 2012

Noir: R.I.P. Johnny Tapia

Featherweight boxer Johnny Tapia of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was upgraded from critical to serious condition at a Las Vegas hospital after falling at his home and losing consciousness early January 12, 2003 (Reuters/Steve Marcus/Files)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Johnny Tapia, the five-time boxing champion whose turbulent career was marked by cocaine addiction, alcohol, depression and run-ins with the law, was found dead Sunday at his Albuquerque home. He was 45. 

Authorities were called to the house at about 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, spokesman Robert Gibbs said. The death didn’t appear to be suspicious, he said. 

Tapia won five championships in three weight classes, winning the WBA bantamweight title, the IBF and WBO junior bantamweight titles and the IBF featherweight belt. 

He was regarded as the consummate underdog by his fans. The more trouble he found outside the ring — including several stints in jail — the more they rallied around him. 

In a 1990s-era feud with fellow Albuquerque boxer and former world champion Danny Romero, Tapia’s fans anointed him with the slang Spanish title of “Burque’s Best.” 

But his life was also marked by tragedy. He was orphaned at 8, his mother stabbed 26 times with a screwdriver and left to die. 

In 2007, he was hospitalized after an apparent cocaine overdose. Several days later, his brother-in-law and his nephew were killed in car accident on their way to Albuquerque to see the ailing boxer. 

Tapia was banned from boxing for 3 1/2 years in the early ‘90s because of his cocaine addiction. But he knocked out Henry Martinez to win the WBO bantamweight title in 1994, and won four more championships over the next eight years. 

He last fought in June, outpointing Mauricio Pastrana in an eight-round decision. He finished with a 59-5-2 record. 

Gibbs said an autopsy will be performed in the next few days. 
photo Johnny Tapia

Noir: MacGyver meets Mad-Max in the Sahara

Real-Life MacGyver Builds Working Motorcycle Out of Car That Broke Down in the Desert

The story has a Mad-Max-style motorcycle apparently built out of the parts of a broken-down Citroen 2CV, by a man stranded in the Sahara Desert. Pretty unbelievable stuff, only it turned out to be absolutely 100% true. It all happened back in 1993, when Frenchman was on a solo trip in Northern Africa, driving his specially prepared Citroen 2CV. His car broke down in the middle of the desert, tens of kilometers from the nearest settlement. To survive, the French MacGyver created a motorcycle out of parts of his broken down car.
Emile Leray motorcycle 550x370 Real Life MacGyver Builds Working Motorcycle Out of Car That Broke Down in the Desert
So here’s how it all happened: Emile had left the city of Tan Tan, in Morocco, and was driving his Citroen 2CV across the Sahara. Upon reaching a military outpost, he is informed by the Royal Gendermerie that he cannot continue further, due to new developments in the conflict between Morocco and Western Sahara, in the area beyond Tilemsem. Left with the option to go back to Tan Tan and asked to take a passenger back with him, the Frenchman refuses invoking an insurance problem that doesn’t allow him to take any passengers. He turns his car around driving at high speed, to make sure he isn’t followed by the military, and decides to by-bass their post by circling around and returning on the original trail later. After venturing off road, on rocky and bumpy terrain, it doesn’t take too long for his car to break down, after brutally hitting a rock. Emile is now stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Emile Leray motorcycle2 Real Life MacGyver Builds Working Motorcycle Out of Car That Broke Down in the Desert
The Citroen’s swing arm and wheel axle were broken, and Leray knew he wasn’t going to be driving it anywhere, anytime soon. He had food and water to last him about ten days, but the nearest human settlement was tens of kilometers away, too far for him to reach on foot. The French adventurer decided his only chance of survival was to construct a working vehicle from the parts of his broken-down Citroen 2CV. 
Emile Leray motorcycle3 Real Life MacGyver Builds Working Motorcycle Out of Car That Broke Down in the Desert
After carefully considering all the mechanical barriers he would have to surmount, Emile starts work on his DIY motorcycle, the next morning. He starts dismantling his Citroen, by removing the body, which he then uses as shelter against the sandstorms. Working under the scorching sun in a shirt with short sleeves, he makes his own sleeves out of a pair of socks, and keeps tinkering on his Mad Max-style creation. He fits the wheel arm upside down on a smaller chassis, adding the engine and gearbox in the middle. The French adventurer does all this knowing he needs to reserve some space for the battery, gas tank and his luggage, and without neglecting the arrangement of the steering system. But it’s the 2CV transmission that’s truly surprising – a drum drives the rear wheel by friction, and the laws of physics force Emile to drive it only in reverse.
Emile Leray motorcycle4 Real Life MacGyver Builds Working Motorcycle Out of Car That Broke Down in the Desert
It seems almost impossible for someone to build a motorcycle in the middle of the desert, with just a few basic tools, and no drills, blowtorches or welding equipment. But Emile Leray created his two-wheeler only by screwing the parts together. To make the needed holes, he bent the pieces of metal to a 90 degree angle and weakened the thinner areas using a hacksaw or a round file, puncturing them with the hammer and punch.
Emile Leray motorcycle5 550x380 Real Life MacGyver Builds Working Motorcycle Out of Car That Broke Down in the Desert
 Emile in classic desert wear. If you look closely at his right hand, you can see the string he uses to operate the camera
The adventurer began work on his unique project thinking he would complete it in three days time, but he only succeeded after twelve days of hard work. With only 1/2 liter of water left, he managed to ride his motorcycle (called Desert Camel) out of the desert. On his way to civilization, Leray was actually pulled over by the Gendermerie, for driving an illegal vehicle. 

Noir: WTF Holy Hannibal Lecter

Naked man killed by Police near MacArthur Causeway was ‘eating’ face off victim

This surveillance video from a camera on the Miami Herald building shows a police officer shooting the suspect, as well as the aftermath, when many more patrol cars arrived.

Read more here:
It was a scene as creepy as a Hannibal Lecter movie.
One man was shot to death by Miami police, and another man is fighting for his life after he was attacked, and his face allegedly half eaten, by a naked man on the MacArthur Causeway off ramp Saturday, police said.
The horror began about 2 p.m. when a series of gunshots were heard on the ramp, which is along NE 13th Street, just south of The Miami Herald building.
According to police sources, a road ranger saw a naked man chewing on another man’s face and shouted on his loud speaker for him to back away.Meanwhile, a woman also saw the incident and flagged down a police officer who was in the area.
The officer, who has not been identified, approached and, seeing what was happening, also ordered the naked man to back away. When he continued the assault, the officer shot him, police sources said. The attacker failed to stop after being shot, forcing the officer to continue firing. Witnesses said they heard at least a half dozen shots.
Miami police were on the scene, which was just south of The Miami Herald building on Biscayne Boulevard. The naked man who was killed lay face down on the pedestrian walkway just below the newspaper’s two-story parking garage. Police have requested The Herald’s video surveillance tapes.
The other man was transported to the hospital with critical injuries, according to police. Their identities were not released.
The incident, which came as crowds descended upon South Beach for the annual Urban Beach Week hip-hop festival, snarled traffic on the causeway for several hours.
In a text message, Javier Ortiz, spokesman for Miami police’s Fraternal Order of Police, said the officer who fired the fatal shots was “a hero.”
“Based on the information provided, our Miami police officer is a hero and saved a life,’’ he said.
Sergeant Altarr Williams, supervisor of Miami police’s Homicide Unit, said a man doesn’t have to be armed to be dangerous.
“There are other ways to injure people,’’ Williams said. “Some people know martial arts, others are very strong and can kill you with their hands.’’
Investigators believe the victim may have been homeless and laying down when the crazed man pounced.
Police theorize the attacker might have been suffering from "cocaine psychosis," a drug-induced craze that bakes the body internally and often leads the affected to strip naked to try and cool off.
Miami Herald writers Alexandra Leon and Curtis Morgan contributed to this report.

Read more here:

d more here:

Sunday, May 27, 2012


The Approval Matrix: Week of May 28, 2012
Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.

Woods, Jonathan. A Death in Mexico. New Pulp Pr., dist. by Ingram. May 2012. 218p. ISBN 9780982843680. pap. $14.95. F
Woods (Bad Juju & Other Tales of Madness and Mayhem) spins a gritty noir tale set in San Miguel de Allende and filled with sex and a cynical detective, Insp. Hector Diaz. A gringo model working at an art school is found brutally murdered and mutilated, and Diaz suspects the well-known erotic artist Gregory Gregorovich is involved. When the dead girl’s father arrives in San Miguel to retrieve her body and then goes missing, the case turns from a random act of violence to sinister conspiracy. Diaz battles his own alcoholic tendencies, political pressure from the mayor’s office, and the (sometimes) unwanted sexual advances of female witnesses and suspects.