Posts Tagged ‘murder’

Liberated negative space o’ the day: Art of the cover, Convenience edition with bonus Jessica Fletcher

October 19, 2011

For when you really, really want to murder someone but don’t want the spontaneity to be eclipsed by hassle!

    “We found this book in your possession.”
    “You must agree it’s rather suspicious.”
    “Didn’t you say that the victim was drug behind a horse and buggy through a cornfield and then flensed like a whale?”
    “Doesn’t sound convenient, does it?”
    “Sold. You’re free to go.”

…but what does Jessica Fletcher think?

Whoa. The plot thickens.

Auden October: Last gasp and secret source of lapses in to silence

November 6, 2010

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.

(W.H. Auden. Complete Works of Auden Prose, Volume 2; Volumes 1939-1948. University Press: Princeton, 2002. p. 263.)

It’s not going at all how I thought. This trial. I am shell-shocked because I thought it was all done, that there would be some kind of comeuppance or resolution, and now with how things are progressing, I think my friend’s murderer will go free, for a panoply of reasons.

I understand why the justice system is in place. I know the unfortunate opportunities for innocent people to slip through the cracks and be forced unjustly to face the penal system put in place by their peers. I get that completely, and my friend “got it” even more than me. All the way back to Mock Trial and debates in high school, she was a brilliant and tireless advocate for justice across the board; a voice of compassion, tempered by informed reason. Her quick mind could easily separate cases of mettle from the dross. I aspired then, and even more desperately now, to reach her clearheaded level of examining a situation. But, god help me, I cannot brook how those same avenues of help for the innocent conversely work to free the guilty.

The comments are closed on this one. The way things are going in this so-called “trial,” I’m simply way too sick of seeing someone to whom I so totally and always looked up be dragged through the mud — again — to handle sifting through outside opinions. Sorry, guys. This’ll probably get deleted later in the day.

Take-two Tuesday — Daily Batman: Advice, The Dark Knight edition

October 5, 2010

This post originally appeared on November 28, 2009 at 3:07PM.

This picture from The Dark Knight brings up two pieces of advice.

First, it is very important that you look at the Joker when he talks to you. Do not forget.

Second, you must accept that sometimes a thing is a foregone conclusion. Friend, he is wearing an apron fashioned of a garbage bag. There is no scenario in which this ends well for you.

Questions for discussion:

  • This scene is one of two in which the Joker gives a very detailed origin story about his scars. He is not asked about his scars by the people to whom he tells the stories, and the stories do not match. Why do you think this is?

  • Why do you think is it so important to the Joker that people look at him when he speaks to them?
  • Would you feel nervous if you had to talk to the Joker? (Suppose in this case he were not wearing a garbage bag and rather was just in his de rigeur violet and puce duds.) Why or why not?
  • Yesterday’s News and Burroughs Month: Double inaugural editions and an introduction

    September 9, 2010

    Mexico, September 8, 1951 — The Daily News reports that, in a drinking game which turned tragic, writer William S. Burroughs accidentally shot wife Joan Vollmer fatally in the head. He was aiming for the glass of gin on top of her head.

    William Seward Burroughs, 37, first admitted, then denied today that he was playing William Tell when his gun killed his pretty, young wife during a drinking party last night.

    via Le Revérénd Docteur right here on the wordpress.

    Apparently William S. Burroughs was also a heroin addict and later threw out being bi and went whole-hog homosexual, being one of the first to identify as “queer” and reclaim the word as positive. The latter I’m way down for and think is great, the former …? — I don’t get how people can be addicted to heroin and still live long and functioning lives. Heroin addicts, clue me in on how this is possible? Seems so inescapably destructive a drug that it kind of puzzles me. I suppose having a lot of money helps. Then you don’t engage in all the risky behaviors poorer addicts do in order to acquire money to buy the drug. This is speculation: I am neither well-off nor a heroin addict. I like to try and take a “never say never” approach to life but I feel safe asserting that I will probably never be either.

    I’ve used this picture before, but I cannot get enough of Burroughs’ delightfully priggish and pedantic expression. Looking straight down his nose at Kerouac and no doubt both laced to the gills. 1953, Greenwich Village.

    I say “apparently,” about those factoids from his life story because, you guys, it’s super embarassing and inexplicable, but I know pretty much zip about William S. Burroughs. I don’t know how it happened, but seriously — virtually zip. I don’t even know if I’ll like all that I plan to read by him, but I was idly flipping through my millions of pictures and run across the scan of the newspaper clipping. I decided that the coincidence of a) searching for someone new to focus on this month; b) toying with an idea for a feature called Yesterday’s News that would be news out of history that had also literally been printed the day before the present date, rather than the more hackneyed “on this date in history…” etc, and c) finding something on Burroughs that’d been published yesterday in history* was too much synchronicity to ignore. So today marks the beginning of Burroughs Month. Welcome!

    To be clear: Joan Vollmer was killed September 7. The article is dated September 8, and is the “yesterday’s news” to which the category will henceforth refer. This is partly a “how good am I at searching archives” challenge as well.

    edit: Please read the comments, where DaveW takes us to school in re: heroin and Ms. Vollmer. Thanks for the info and insights, Dave!

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Breaking news — this time it’s personal, “Tiki Bob’s” edition

    August 2, 2010

    She did warn him.

    Daily Batman: Why? … Why?

    June 21, 2010

    In Batman’s nightmares, he is not well-liked and he doesn’t understand why.

    I had troubling, thickly plotted nightmares last night but too much was going on immediately after I woke that I didn’t have time to make a note of them. The last dreams like that I can remember happened while I was subbing for the Scamps, and I told them about it the next day:

    I dreamt that my daughter was being held in this large industrial building and I was using the stairs to get to a certain floor before the elevator, and a dude started pursuing me and I turned around and first wrestled him, then kicked him down a short flight of stairs, then ran briefly down after him for, you know, “suresies” and threw him over the edge and heard him come down all wet and broken on a landing several flights below. I totally did not even lean over the rails to check on him after that because I was only focused on getting the kidlet and getting out.

    Scamps in bio class action, but I chose a blurry picture for privacy.

    The kids were shocked and exhilarated by this vivid story of unmerciful ass-kicking and I said it was all on their heads because they’d asked me anxiously the day before during Social Studies what would happen if the President’s daughters were ever to be kidnapped. I’d reassured them and theorized that not only would the Secret Service prevent such a godforsaken thing from ever happening, but that my guess was Michelle and Barack Obama, besides being loving parents, are pretty hardcore and good at taking things in their own hands, and that I definitely would not want to be in the shoes of an attempted kidnapper of their girls were he to be caught.

    In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have told a classroom of ten-year-olds that I dreamt I straight up dropped a motherfucker, but, on the other hand, it could be part of why I had practically zero discipline problems in that class.

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: The Shining edition

    June 18, 2010

    All due respect, little dude, but your dad is in kind of a “mood” and I’m pretty sure now is hella not the time to start writing on the walls.

    Danny isn’t here, Mrs. Torrance. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980).

    William Blake Month: Fathers and Friends; Mothers & Infants; Kings & Warriors

    June 16, 2010

    Photographed by Giasco Bertoli. Ladies’ Gun Club. The term is “Firearms enthusiast.” Never “Gun Nut.”

    Forth from the dead dust rattling bones to bones
    Join: shaking convuls’d the shivering clay breathes
    And all flesh naked stands; Fathers and Friends;
    Mothers & Infants; Kings & Warriors;

    The Grave is a woman in Blake’s vision. cf: Kali, Shiva, Sekhmet, feral cats who eat their kittens, bathtub ladies from Texas making little angels to be the stars in their hellbound crowns — the Mother/Destroyer, yes? Just like Earth. Just like life.

    The Grave shrieks with delight, & shakes
    Her hollow womb, & clasps the solid stem;
    Her bosom swells with wild desire;
    And milk & blood & glandous wine,
    In rivers rush & shout & dance,
    On mountain, dale and plain.
    The SONG of LOS is Ended

    (William Blake, excerpt from “The Song of Los.”)

    “The Song of Los” is the last of Blake’s so-called Continental Prophesies, where he shared his visions of the future for America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The excerpt just quoted concludes his prophecy for Asia and Africa.

    Golly, good thing Blake was wrong, am I right. Agony and apocalypse, with naked children and flames and howls and shivering clay? In Africa and Asia? What a nut. How off base.

    Ugh. Sorry, but as much as I enjoyed putting together DeDe Lind’s post, her comments about the Vietnam War and my subsequent reflections on those words with the ramifications of her centerfold’s popularity has resulted in a chain of thought about the twentieth century and where we’ll go next that has put me in kind of a foul mood. I will try to improve.

    Catholic Charities donations for aid to orphans in Asia, wherein if you click through you can specifically target children in Vietnam. (It is very difficult to provide accounted-for aid there due to the corruption of many alleged non-profits run-roughshod-over by the government in their headquarters of what is now called Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — but I know from long interactions that this branch of this particular outfit is trustworthy.)

    The International Red Cross/Red Crescent, click through to see about making donations to help efforts to feed the starving children in the Sudan.

    Is your guilt assuaged? Mine’s not. Not just yet.

    William Blake Month: “A Poison Tree”

    June 8, 2010

    I was angry with my friend:
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe;
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    And I water’d it in fears,
    Night & morning with my tears;
    And I sunned it with my smiles
    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    And it grew both day and night,
    Till it bore an apple bright;
    And my foe beheld it shine,
    And he knew that it was mine,

    And into my garden stole
    When the night had veil’d the pole:
    In the morning, glad I see
    My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree.

    (William Blake, “A Poison Tree.”)

    (I was concerned that the photo credits would break up the rhythm and impact of the poem, so I’m putting them down here.)

    top: Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme…, aka Female Don Juan, aka If Don Juan Was A Woman (Roger Vadim, 1973).

    second from top: Jacqueline Sassard and Stéphane Audran, Les Biches (Claude Chabrol, 1968). Spoiler: one is about to stab the other in the back. Interpret freely and watch for yourself.

    third: “Grand Apple Face” by patron saint Sam Haskins. In-camera photo montage before the age of photoshop. Amazing. RIP.

    last: “Poisoned with love” by miss- alienation on the d.a.

    Langston Hughes Month: “To Artina”

    May 27, 2010

    I will take your heart.
    I will take your soul out of your body
    As though I were God.
    I will not be satisfied
    With the touch of your hand
    Nor the sweet of your lips alone.
    I will take your heart for mine.
    I will take your soul.
    I will be God when it comes to you.

    (Langston Hughes, “To Artina.”)

    Synecdoche and possession in the eye of the male observer — murdering the Object: it is a Thing.

    Photographer unknown, picture comes from a vintage Pirelli calendar shoot. Kind of a Jane Birkin Inspiration Station thing happening. I approve.

    Movie Moment: A story in stills — I Tre volti della paura, aka The Three Faces of Fear, aka Black Sabbath

    April 21, 2010

    A touch of giallo and genuine fear in the rainy April. In honor of the upcoming thirtieth anniversary of his death, I declare this Mario Bava Movie Moment Week. He was a really terrific director of plenty of genres, though he is best known for his work in horror, with a good sense of fun AND fear, and a truly great gift for cinematic expression. His colors, lighting, and cinematographic choices are amazing. I look forward to highlighting some of my faves from him over the next seven days!

    Bava big pimpin’! image via Thizz Face Disco right here on the wordpress.

    Thought I’d start with I Tre volti della paura, aka The Three Faces of Fear, aka Black Sabbath (1963). It’s a story in stills edition, folks, so skip to the bottom if you don’t want spoilers!

    (stills via proximity seamstress in the Nostalgia Party community on the lj. YOU ARE SO COOL!)

    Arguably Bava’s masterpiece, Black Sabbath is broken in to three segments. I feel that each of the three segments explores a various type of terror: from the psychological, to the monstrous, to the uncanny. The only element of continuity between the three stories is a cinematic one: Boris Karloff, one of the kings of classic horror, comes out to introduce each segment in the version with which I’m familiar (though I’m told this is not the case with the original U.S. release), and plays a vampire in the second of the segments.

    These screencaps are exclusively from what I’d term the strictly psychological thriller segment, “Part I: The Telephone,” a noirish story about wicked people with ulterior motives couched in deceit, coupled with the dramatic sexy violence and twists characteristic of giallo films. Set in Paris, the short is familiar pulp territory, with the titillating added thrill of bisexuality, but it’s shot with a Hitchcockian tension to the angles and edited with sustained, lingering frames interrupted by abrupt cuts that really ratchet up the anxiety level.

    The story takes place in pretty much one location over a single evening, almost in real time, which contributes considerably — along with the short length of the segment — to a swiftly rising pitch in suspense.

    This hot ticket is Rosy, played by mega-hottie Michèle Mercier. Rosy is a call girl whose boyfriend and former pimp, Frank, has just escaped from prison. As she testified against him in his trial, she’s understandably concerned after hearing the dramatic news of his escape that he is going to seek her out soon for reprisals.

    (And you thought nervous girls getting all naked and wet was a trope that was invented for seventies slasher flicks. Silly you. Friday the 13th ain’t got nothin’ on Sgr. Bava!)

    It seems Rosy’s concerns are well-placed, because she begins receiving mysterious, threatening phone messages from a gruff caller who says he is Frank and warns that he is coming to get her.

    Rosy calls a girlfriend, Mary, to confide her fears. Over the course of the conversation, you realize, oh, snap! This is a girlfriend-girlfriend! And Rosy is now even hotter. A high-femme damsel in distress, she is relieved when her more strong, slightly domineering and weirdly “off” ex promises to hurry over to the apartment and help Rosy relax.

    Mary’s “offness” is explained when she turns right back around and calls Rosy back, disguising her voice and pretending to be Frank — she is the one who’s been making the threatening phone calls that have Rosy so shaken up. Also, she is a very smart dresser, as you can see in the following still.

    Look at you, girl! All a dominant and crafty lipstick sixties lesbian, all suited up and catty in your emerald green, all situated in the bed looking cosmopolitan with your little sherry glass — I said goddamn, Lidia Alfonso: haters to the left. She’s looking mighty good. That shit would sooo work on me.

    Mary is just full of good counsel and reassurance for her frightened former lover. As an example, she suggests that Rosy put a carving knife under her pillow …

    and take a nutritious, delicious tranquilizer. Those are two things that always go together really, really well, especially in a film called The Three Faces of Fear.

    Man. The trustworthy Miss Mary’s lifestyle tips are practically gold. She should start a magazine. How to Put Your Ladytimes Lover in Serious Danger: Accessories and Cocktail Suggestions for the Scheming Butch on the Go!

    To Mary’s credit, once Rosy drops off, Mary pens her a letter which explains her motivations (something we’ve been curious about, too, since making prank calls saying you plan to end your lover’s life is kind of a sketchy thing to do).

    Mary writes that she had missed Rosy terribly since their breakup and, when she heard about Frank the scary pimp’s prison break, she decided to use the opportunity to invent a scenario where Frank was threatening to murder Rosy so that Rosy would call Mary for help. After being around Mary again, the plan went, Rosy would realize the mistake of their separation and invite her back in to her life. Mary’s sorry it had to be done in a deceitful and scary way (which it didn’t, actually — that kind of convolution is pretty much strictly the logical provenance of giallo), but she writes that she loves Rosy and hopes to make it up to her.

    Stop — Boris Karloff time! (Please, Boris Karloff, don’t hurt ’em.) I have inserted this interruption completely out of sequence. I just really wanted to throw it out there. Back to the story. Are you ready for the twisty turn of the screw?

    While Mary is busy writing her love letter to the tranqued out Rosy, a man steals in to the apartment, clearly intent on murder. It is Frank, the pimp, now a genuine threat even though thirty seconds ago we thought he was not! He didn’t call but he was actually coming all along.

    Crap! Mary, with whom we have just become totally sympathetic due to her big reveal of being a lover not a murderer, does not hear him because she is wrapped up in her lovey-dovey explanatory note-writing, and Rosy is asleep in the arms of Prince Valium in the other room.

    He grabs the silk stocking off of the chair where Rosy discarded it earlier before her steamy I’m-scared-so-I’ll-strip bath and subsequent frightened call to Mary.

    He sees the back of Mary’s dark head and, oh, no!, without seeing her face, begins to strangle her with the stocking. He assumes she is Rosy, his intended target.

    The muffled thumps of Mary and Frank’s struggle Rosy slept straight through, but her lover’s death rattle finally wakes Rosy.

    Maybe some kind of sympatico mental thing. She knows she has just heard something bad. She realizes it was Frank and deduces that he killed Mary. She is frozen in fear, looking at his face.

    Suddenly, Rosy remembers the knife that poor dead Mary suggested that she stash beneath the pillow back when we still half-thought Mary might end up using it on Rosy herself.

    Rosy stabs Frank with the knife, killing him, then breaks down sobbing and freaking out and crying, surrounded by the corpses of people she used to have sex with. I assume someone found her and stopped her screaming eventually. In any case, that knife sure ended up being a danged good idea. Why did you say it wasn’t? Sheesh.

    Bava at work.

    Mario Bava said repeatedly that this was the best of all his directorial work, placing it even above the classic La Maschera del Demonio/The Mask of Satan/The Black Mask (it is in Italian horror directors’ contracts that all their movie titles have at least three crazy names. Did You Know?). The man — Quentin Tarantino — has cited the narrative structure of Black Sabbath as his inspiration for the disjointed cinematic discourse in Pulp Fiction.

    Why did I choose the least-flattering picture of QT ever? Answer: So that he will look at it and think I’m the best he can do and we can get married.

    Seeing this motion picture on its release in Great Britain also inspired one Mister Ozzy Osbourne and his associate, a Mister Geezer Butler to change the name of their heavy blues/rock ensemble Earth to the film’s U.K. title: “Black Sabbath.” Previous band names included Mythology and effing Polka Tuck (I have a really hard time with that), so you may thank Sgr. Bava for inspiring one of the badassicalest band names in the history of rock-and-or-roll*, chosen by a group that would go on to become the Greatest Metal Band of All Time. Grazie!

    *The worst band names ever are “Green Jellÿ”** and “The Alan Parsons Project.” Documented fact.

    The first instance is the most idiotic use of an umlaut in recorded human history, and the second name sounds like a public access show about whittling that you watch by accident in a hospital because the batteries in the clicker have died and the only magazine in the deserted waiting room is a copy of People featuring Kathie Lee Gifford. Which you have already read since arriving. Cover to cover. Twice. (“Former ‘Brady Bunch’ star’s new lease on life — thanks to gem meditation!” “Dr. Mehmet Oz lists the surprising holiday foods that you can load up on!”)

    image via the smart and sexy towleroad on the typepad.

    Agree with me that the second cover story on that phantom hospital waiting room’s phantom Kathie Lee issue of People is: “Plus — Mario López: Why hasn’t TV’s most eligible (and ripped!) bachelor found a lady?” Oh, such a head-scratcher. Poor Mario! Sigh. Just like Liberace.

    **In Green Jellÿ’s defense, they actively set out from the moment of their inception to be literally the worst band ever, beginning with their name. To my knowledge, the Alan Parsons Project was titled in earnest and has no such excuse.

    Super-sorry: Asia Argento violent and NSFW edition

    December 10, 2009

    I’ve been pretty lazy about posting shit up the last few days. The thing is this…

    La Madre Terza Italian trailer. Daria e Asia — Dario Argento’s ladies. In Mother of Tears, the final chapter of the trilogy begun in Suspiria, the ladies’ male figure, director, father, former partner Dario, has written a script which has them chased, stabbed, raped, beaten, and threatened with cannibalism. And you thought your family had issues.

    I got this cracked version of a new program that does sequential screencaps on a timer. For those who do not know what that means, it means it takes a still digital photograph of whatever video you are watching on your computer. It’s basically an amazing program that is better than any other I’ve ever used, and I’ve spent the last two days obsessively watching and screencapping Dario Argento movies, specifically ones with his special ladies in them (Nicolodi, his longtime partner, and Argento, their daughter). Mainly Stendhal Syndrome, which I for some reason rewatched again in the middle of the night and recapped because I found a higher quality version.

    Also, somehow between yesterday and today, I’m pretty sure all I’ve eaten is a box of reduced fat Cheez-its. I don’t know why I was incapable of stopping, either the movies or the crackers, but I am relieved that I finally put a lid on it. Actually, come to think of it, I’d probably still be doing it, honestly, (I haven’t even done Profundo Rosso except for the trailer!, and I have a box of Triscuits in the pantry that isn’t even open yet) but life intervened and I’ve had obligations this morning.

    Rapist and murderer Alfredo regards Detective Anna Manni, whom he has raped and kidnapped and forced to watch him do the same to another young woman, through the hole he just blew through the victim’s jaw. She is trapped in a snow globe with a statue of the David, rendered helpless by her Stendhal Syndrome, the overpowering physical reaction to art. Yeah, I watched this twice yesterday. What the fucking fuck is the matter with me? Do I just never want to sleep again?

    But if you ever need pretty much every single frame of The Stendhal Syndrome, well, you know who to hit up.

    Pretty slick, eh?

    I’d like to talk a lot more about The Stendhal Syndrome another day, so stay tuned … eventually.

    Fret not because Anna has her day — until …. ?? You don’t know giallo if you think when the killer dies the movie is over.

    And it wouldn’t be an Asia post without boobies. Duh.

    Asia in Boarding Gate.

    Movie Moment: Badlands (Terence Malick, 1973)

    December 4, 2009

    Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen as Holly and Kit in Malick’s masterwork Badlands (1973). Warren Oates as her father.

    Holly practices her clarinet on a bench, waiting for her father. Her father pulls up. They go home. Holly goes upstairs. Her boyfriend Kit comes over. He and her father have words. Kit shoots Holly’s father.

    Having come down the stairs, Holly goes to her father’s side.

    Kit watches and lights a cigarette.

    She knows her father is going to die and that Kit has shot him, and she is not really shocked or reproachful, per se. It’s difficult to judge whether Holly is an unthinking person or if she is a person who just floats — don’t be fooled by her voice-over narration; Malick plays with contrasts between what’s reported and what we actually observe — through her life, someone who expects nothing and accepts everything.

    Either way her father’s death is not a surprise. But because she expects nothing, she isn’t sure what Kit will do next. She is only slightly afraid that he might do something to her. You can read that here.

    What Kit does next is he goes to a service station to get a can of gasoline. There is a coin-operated game there, a voice-recorder. He punches through the glass of the game. This act of time-consuming vandalism when he is trying to quickly throw together a plan to conceal a crime is open to interpretation: Kit either makes his own fun, or he cannot brook the bourgeois notion that some witless rube, some fool who has wandered a million years afield from the purpose of man as a hunter, might pay to have his own voice recorded, then, by hearing it played back, feel delight worth the coin he paid. Or maybe Kit has different ideas of how to make a mark, and what ought be recorded. I don’t know. I’m not Kit, and I don’t know Malick and his mind. This is guesswork. Kit leaves with his gas.

    He uses the gas to douse Holly’s house, with her father’s corpse still inside.

    Holly watches. Darkness is all around her and she is only lit by the lights from within the house. She is getting ready to turn her back on that light, and go in to the dark completely. She’ll go with Kit now.

    The fire that began in Holly’s bed is about to consume their entire house. It was a choice that started there and now she has no choice but to go forward with Kit.

    Malick handles the destruction of Holly’s house and her father’s body by focusing on the doll and the dollhouse as they burn. This is important. The end of small-minded, cast-mold imitations of real life, the end of modeled and scaled efforts at simulated perfection, leaving innocence behind in ashes. What now, Holly?

    I will tell you what now. They leave Fort Dupree, South Dakota, and embark on a several-state killing spree before being captured. Really disturbing, incredibly-acted, understated film, almost totally perfect, and very gorgeous from the compositional perspective. A mixed bag. You very much need to be in the right mood.

    The film drew inspiration from the real story of mass killer Charles Starkweather and his teenaged accomplice, Caril Ann Fugate, who killed eleven people in Nebraska and Wyoming in January, 1958. Besides Malick’s Badlands, the pair of jerkwad murderers also inspired Natural Born Killers, the 1993 Tim Roth and Fairuza Balk TV mini-series Murders in the Heartland and, though I have never heard it confirmed, rather obviously and less seriously The Frighteners. Starkweather also pops up in works by Stephen King. That’s all I want to say about it. Go look it up if you want more.

    I don’t feel like going in to all that partner-killer, famous-murder-spree, monstrous fucking shit right now. I will just say I have not grown into an adult who — nor an adult with the patience to tolerate another adult who — makes a huge to-do over killers. Exceedingly not. It’s why I didn’t even link you up with a wiki hook to that asshole Starkweather and his girl. So please don’t start in on me with factoids or comments about them, thinking we’re buddies-in-kink, if searching for killers because that’s how you get your kicks is how you found this post.

    I’m not saying it’s not worth talking or thinking about — anyone with a stake in the success of society as a cooperative effort needs to worry and think and talk about people who break the rules, how they do it, why, and how we deal with it. But glorification and gory gushing on the intricacies of those transgressor’s little personal details? Making them celebrities while forgetting their victims’ names? Not interested.

    Daily Batman: Advice, The Dark Knight edition

    November 28, 2009

    This picture from The Dark Knight brings up two pieces of advice.

    First, it is very important that you look at the Joker when he talks to you. Do not forget.

    Second, you must accept that sometimes a thing is a foregone conclusion. Friend, he is wearing an apron fashioned of a garbage bag. There is no scenario in which this ends well for you.

    Questions for discussion:

  • This scene is one of two in which the Joker gives a very detailed origin story about his scars. He is not asked about his scars by the people to whom he tells the stories, and the stories do not match. Why do you think this is?

  • Why do you think is it so important to the Joker that people look at him when he speaks to them?
  • Would you feel nervous if you had to talk to the Joker? (Suppose in this case he were not wearing a garbage bag and rather was just in his de rigeur violet and puce duds.) Why or why not?
  • Oh, PS, this is a precursor to forthcoming The Dark Knight December. Between that and Sam Haskins, we got us quite the month shapin’ up.