Back to the pb – ’cause it’s all about me really. Isn’t it? Pedro at your pleasure.
When I’m mascotting at Pats games I always find time (before I go in and give them my full showibiz-bendy-somersault-with-a-lemon-twist-at-the-end all), to chin-stroke and do some old-fashioned pontificating about life, the universe and everything . This week it was crime fiction.
I’ve never been interested in crime fiction at all and don’t really understand society’s fascination with it. Maybe I should give it one more chance. But maybe not. I think I did actually read one in the last few years but can’t put my finger on what it was, probably The Savage Detectives by Bolano, which was sublime, if that counts, probably not.
Anyway, as devil’s advocate, does reading crime fiction, with its constant focus on worse-case-scenarios, ultra-violence, grief and evil people discolour your view of humanity? Does it turn you into a pessimistic person, or a cynic? So much so that you can’t see anything good or decent in postmodern life as a direct result? A hater, a hitter, and a Hitler that doesn’t give anyone a second chance? Does it give you a false good impression of the policing of justice? Do you end up being afraid to go outside for fear of being hurt thus locking every door in front and behind you firmly shut, just in case like? Do you end up suspecting everyone you meet of evil intent? As it were, i.e. a swivel-eyed loon? where have all the flowers gone Howie?
(The loons that normally like crime fiction seemed to have all come crawling out of the woodwork recently regarding RTE’s Love/Hate television series. If I get this correct, the controversy being that they took issue with the working class characters therein being portrayed with intelligence – and they didn’t like it one bit. ‘Glorifying.’ Code-word. They wanted their ‘scumbags’ firmly in the stereotype mould or not at all. Bumbling and thick like in that Eircom Phonewatch ad. Personally, I’ve been on that page since I was 12 regarding equality, so it’s not disgusting for me in any way seeing ordinary people being portrayed fairly . But Martin Scorsese has covered this territory many, many, many, many times before in his oeuvre and so is there really any need to cover it again and again and again just for the hidebound of the population living in the past? Is there? Yet again crime fiction in television land still doesn’t seem to float my boat even in this Irish instance. But I suppose it was nice seeing the loons hyperventilate. Well worth it actually. Roll on the next twenty series. Only messing).
Or perhaps reading crime fiction does the exact opposite and it’s supremely cathartic. Thus, by reading about the dregs of humanity (murderers, the police, etc ), ultra-violence, torture, and evil on a constant basis, this actually makes you rejoice in all the kind and loving people you know in your life and re-doubles your appreciation of them and life itself so much so that the world becomes even more joyous and wonderful and brimming with wine, song and dance with every single bloody murder you read about as a result? Is that it? Is that it? So that when you accidentally bump into Mick Wallace on Capel Street of a damp Monday afternoon in August you end up forgiving him everything he’s done and kissing it all better (just on the cheeks like) – there there there – go now in peace my son – you meant well -all is forgiving – before going on your way with a exuberant click of the heels in the now blazing sunshine in the smug knowledge of a job well done. And all this loveliness because of some fictional serial killer in west Cork or New York with depraved new ways of torturing his victims with his own vomit. The darker you go down, the brighter the sun on your return. A Dantesque divine comedy. Is that it? Is that it? Please tell me? Please somebody shoot me out of my misery?– Is crime fiction swivel eyed loons or kissing Mick Wallace? Which is it? I just can’t decide.
Sorry folks, but I must dash now, for I’ve a Pats half-time kids under-7s match to referee. I can’t be late, they’ll kill me, those kids will. Paddy the Panther is still in hospital after the wrong offside decision he gave at the under 6s match two weeks ago – at the Shelbourne game I think it was. They’re still combing the lollipops out of his Panther hair as we speak. The got him at the burger van. It wasn’t nice. Maybe I’ll need one of those loony crime fiction dectectives after all. Adam – the finger with a brain! Where are you Adam when I need you! Macht Schnell!