Genre Pollution, Part One


Hardened, gun-toting psychopaths do moral battle in Eastern Europe and in Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union and during the fragmentation of the Balkans. All the tropes and archetypes of the Wild West are up for grabs: civil war veterans, robber barons, dangerous political criminals, government operatives trying to create stability through torture and extortion, naked capitalism, private security, Eurotrash dandies, and decent folk who have a rough-hewn, raw love of the land. Instead of cheap whiskey -- cheap cocaine. Instead of gunfights in the street -- helicopter duels over dense urban centers.


Multinational corporations are here to stay. They are going to be around for a long time, and since they cannot be dismantled or destroyed, they must be humanized. The rigid hierarchical caste systems and soul-washed cutthroat maneuvers are perfect for torrid sexual speculation. "He managed a franchise KFC in Beijing. She was a corporate KFC efficiency expert sent to audit him. He did things his own way. All she knew was her three-ring binder full of rules and procedures. Their love was a violation of the company code of conduct and was probably actionable. But it was as hot, fiery, and bad for them as spicy Cajun popcorn chicken."


Who builds the castles and feeds the gryphon? Who forges the magic swords and travels to the ends of the earth to bury them in an ice cave guarded by a giant frost worm? Who teaches the fair maiden to be fair and who teaches the barbarian to fight? What is the economy like in a command economy without class mobility? What joys are there in the life of a peasant born to pointless toil in a land of blooded, beautiful aristocrats who can ACTUALLY WIELD MAGIC and who the gods ACTUALLY SEEM TO PREFER? Is it possible to unionize a group of trolls?


Gripping anecdotes about elves murdered in their beds by evil wizards and the ways in which the wizards cover their tracks and then use the blood and bones of their victims to summon evil familiars. Stories about serial-killing witches, and mass-murdering dragons -- all without heroes or "narrative." What kind of sicko would want to learn to wield magic? What gruesome rituals occur to the mind of a magus, and how can they be stopped? What breeds crime and lust for occult power in magical society, and how can society prevent and redirect these urges?


The classic witness narrative of Christian fundamentalism, except the gods being witnessed are the Elder Gods and demon deities. "I was lost. I was out there in bars, looking for salvation. I'd drink anything, do any drug, go home with anyone. I was destroying my mind. They took my kids away. And then, in a Denny's bathroom in Foghat, Missouri, I had a vision of the Harkanch, which lives underneath the Great Lakes and has possessed me as his servitor. He has eleven heads and vomits zombie dogs who then lay eggs in people dreams. The eggs generate invisible wraiths who can pass through sheetrock and who eat despair harvested from prisoners and small children. Harkanch has a plan for us all. Hail Harkanch!" Lovecraft = Old Testament. NWR = New Testament!


The problem with old fashioned detective stories is that the detectives bother to solve the case. The detective is always good at their job and they always manages to track down the bad guys. Noirpunk will be about detectives who are really awful at their jobs. Who take the money, can't figure anything out, get in lots of fights, do a lot of drugs, and ultimately fail to do a goddamn thing. They will spend a lot of time dodging their creditors and surfing the internet. They will make sure their client gets satisfaction one way or the other, though. They will either tell them an interesting lie or "produce" the photos they want to see. This is an age of Photoshop after all, right?


There is nothing hotter than debased Christianity. Not "fallen Christians," mind you, but the strange, sweltering passion of people who are consciously using the symbols and stricture of a closed moral universe to whip themselves into a white-hot sexual panic. The Bible is twisted, dirty, and seething with all kinds of scenarios that puff up the libido. And we all know how hot suburban people are. They are strong, healthy, pampered, and looking for answers. Their homes make for great scenery. Their desires are intense and strange. Plus, with erotic suburban Christian novels, you get both markets: those who fetishize Christianity and those who fetishize Christians! Wolves and sheep, both reaching for their wallets!

more "Genre Pollution"...

Posted by miracle on Wed, 05 May 2010 17:34:53 -0500 -- permanent link

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