This week's story at Beat to a Pulp is worth a read. It's called The Sweetest Kind of Chaos and it was written by Copper Smith. You might listen to This Mortal Coil's version of "Song to the Siren" while you're reading it. I think underneath the brutality in the story there is a real sadness about nobody ever getting what they want in this world.
First of all, if you like westerns, head on over to The Western Online to check out Edward A. Grainger's Kid Eddie. Grainger is also known as David Cranmer, so you know it's gonna be worth your time.
Also, I checked my sales at Amazon on Manifesto Destination. It seems that one person asked for a refund. Now, my ego tells me to feel bad, as though maybe he or she didn't like the book, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's something worse. I think some cheap mutherfucker read the book and then asked for a refund. Four dollars? If you're that fucking poor, what the fuck are you doing with a kindle??? AND, if it was simply a case of your not liking the book, keep the goddamn thing and write a review telling people what you thought was wrong with it. Don't put money in my pocket with your right hand and then take it back out with your left. If I catch you, I'll cut both your fucking hands off!
Ruthless: An Extreme Shock Horror Collection is now available from Pill Hill Press in a hardcover edition. It contains my short story "Strength," which apparently shocked a woman who reviewed it. I know I plan on getting one. You should buy many and give them to all the sqeamish people you know to help them loosen up!
So a lot of people who are older than me go around talking about what a great movie The Godfather is. I don't buy it. Never did, never will. That's because my generation was given a gangster movie that knocks The Godfather's brains out sideways. Goodfellas is the greatest gangster movie ever made and it is damn near impossible to argue otherwise.
The Godfather is long and tedious. It's dressed up like the fanciest turkey at Sunday brunch with your rich cousins and speaks a language that resembles nothing you hear on the streets. The bigger sham is The Godfather part II, which people clammer on and on about being "the greatest sequel ever" and insist it's a better movie than even the almighyt first Godfather movie. Whatever...
Goodfellas is the real deal. It comes from a first-hand account of an Irish-Italian-American who, while never "made," was close enough to see the inner-workings of the mob. The film has a documentary style that successfully puts the audience right in the middle of the action, showing what the lives of these "wise guys" were like when they weren't doing "business." The language is real. The settings are real. Scorsese drives home the point that, despite these men having a lot of money, they were still blue collar. The use of music to put the movie in its time and place is the best since American Graffiti.
When I was a kid and I first started making movies with a big, clumsy VHS camera and editing by hooking up two VCR's, the film I studied most to learn camera techniques and tricks was Goodfellas. It's textbook. Every camera gag (with the exception of the Spike Lee gag, which he stole from Scorsese's earlier movie, Mean Streets) is in the book. And who can deny the audacity of the Copacabana entrance-- four minutes through the back entrance, down the stairs, through the hallway, through the kitchen, into the dining area, to the table with Henry Hill and his date, from the table to the stage... Scorsese demonstrated at that point that King Kong and Steven Spielberg didn't have shit on him!
Hard to believe this movie is twenty years old now. It makes me feel old until I catch it on cable tv (and please, folks, watch the uncut version-- What the fuck is a "mother-scratcher"?.,) and feel twenty all over again, seeing just how amazing the craft of motion picture storytelling can be.