lunes, 9 de noviembre de 2015

Midget Murderer Throws Girl Off Cliff (after She Refuses to Dance with Him)

"Keeps His Mom-in-Law in Chains, meet Kills Son and Feeds Corpse to Pigs"
"Pleased to meet you"
"Teenager Twists Off Corpse´s Head... to Get Gold Teeth, meet Strangles Girl Friend, Then Chops Her to Pieces"
"How you doing?"
"Nurse´s Aide Sees Fingers Chopped Off in Meat Grinder, meet I Left My Babies in the Deep Freeze""It´s a pleasure"
It´s a pleasure! No doubt about that! In all these years of journalism I have covered more conventions than I care to remember. Podiatrists, theosophists, Professional Budget Finance dentists, oyster farmers, mathematicians, truckers, dry cleaners, stamp collectors, Esperantists, nudists, and newspaper editors -I have seen them all, together, in vast assemblies, sloughing through the wall-to-wall of a thousand hotel lobbies (the nudists excepted) in their shimmering gray-metal suits and pajama-stripe shirts with white Plasti-Coat name cards on their chests, and I have sat through their speeches and seminars (the nudists included) and attentively endured ear baths such as you wouldn´t believe. And yet none has ever been quite like the convention of the stringers for The National Enquirer.
The Enquirer is a weekly newspaper that is probably known by sight to millions more than know it by name. No one who ever came face-to-face with the Enquirer on a newsstand in its wildest days is likely to have forgotten the sight: a tabloid with great inky shocks of type all over the front page saying something on the order of Gouges Out Wife´s Eyes to Make Her Ugly, Dad Hurls Hot Grease in Daughter´s Face, Wife Commits Suicide After 2 Years of Poisoning Fail to Kill Husband...The stories themselves were supplied largely by stringers, i.e., corespondents, from all over the country, the world, for that matter, mostly copy editors and reporters on local newspapers. Every so often they would come upon a story, usually via the police beat, that was so grotesque the local sheet would discard it or run it in a highly glossed form rather than offend or perplex its readers. The stringers would preserve them for The Enquirer, which always rewarded them well and respectfully.
One year The Enquirer convened and feted them at a hotel in Manhattan. This convention was a success in every way. The only awkward moment was at the outset when the stringers all pulled in. None of them knew each other. Their hosts got around the problem by introducing them by the stories they had supplied. The introductions were like this:
"Harry, I want you to meet Frank here. Frank did that story, you remember that story, Midget Murderer Throws Girl Off Cliff after She Refuses to Dance with Him"
"Pleased to meet you. That was some story"
"And Harry did the one about I Spent Three Days Trapped at Bottom of Forty-Foot-Deep Mine Shaft and Was Saved by a Swarm of Flies".
"Likewise, I´m sure"
And Midget Murderer Throws Girl Off Cliff shakes hands with I Spent Three Days Trapped at Bottom of Forty-Foot-Deep Mine Shaft, and Buries Her Baby Alive shakes hands with Boy, Twelve, Strangles Two-Year-Old Girl, and Kills Son and Feeds Corpse to Pigs shakes hands with He Strangles Old Woman and Smears Corpse with Syrup, Ketchup, and Oatmeal... and...
...There was a great deal of esprit about the whole thing. These men were in fact the avant-garde of a new genre that since then has become institutionalized throughout the nation without anyone knowing its proper name. I speak of the new pornography, the pornography of violence.
(...) The success of The Enquirer prompted many imitators to enter the field, Midnight, The Star Chronicle, The National Insider, Inside News, The National Close-up, The National Tattler, The National Examiner. A truly competitive free press evolved, and soon a reader could go to the newspaper of his choice for Kill the Retarded! (Won´t You Join My Movement?) and Unfaithful Wife? Burn Her Bed!, Harem Master´s Mistress Chops HIm with Machete, Babe Bites Off Boy´s Tongue, and Cuts Buddy´s Face to Pieces for Stealing His Business and Fiancée.
And yet the last time I surveyed the Violence press, I noticed a curious thing. These pioneering journals seem to have pulled back. They seem to be regressing to what is by now the Redi-Mix staple of literate Americans, mere sex. Ectasy and Me (by Hedy Lamarr), says The National Enquirer. I Run a Sex Art Gallery, says The National Insider. What has happened, I think, is something that has happened to avant-gardes in many fields, from William Morris and the Craftsmen to the Bauhaus group. Namely, their discoveries have been preempted by the Establishment and so thoroughly dissolved into the mainstream thy no longer look original.

Tom Wolfe, Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine

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