I'm sure this was riveting and very convincing in the court of public opinion back when it came out, which must've suuuuuucked for the accused. I'll aI'm sure this was riveting and very convincing in the court of public opinion back when it came out, which must've suuuuuucked for the accused. I'll admit I have the benefit of things like hindsight and DNA testing and whatnot, but Graysmith just seemed so stuck on his Arthur Leigh Allen theory that it was almost like he wasn't willing to entertain any suspects or scenarios outside of it, at least at the time. Circumstantial evidence is so dangerous, and that is essentially all this is. Maybe A.L.A. was the Zodiac? If so, that fact is not as obvious as this book pretends it is.
I dunno, A.L.A. just seems to me like he was a total putz. I mean, it wouldn't shock me in the least if he wanked it to extra rough MaleDom (because you're all bitches and jezebels!), but I think that's probably more common than I want to even begin processing. Anyhooo, I'd almost be more willing to accept that George Hodel was the Zodiac, which I also don't think at all. I am, however, inclined to think he killed Elizabeth Short and some other gals back in the days when LA was all in black n' white, and ladies were "dames" with hose on their "gams," and murrrder was some super theatrical, macabre tableau featuring Joker-smile-cutties, and all this all over the damned dusky noir landscape of bombshell blondes and Big Band and lots of cigarette smoke and stuff. At least Hodel mildly resembled the witness sketch, rather than carrying twice the weight and having different hair and basically everything else possible being inconsistent.
Oh, so it is a liiiiitle weird that they both (A.L.A. and Zodiac) used the same intentional (?) misspellings (e.g. Christ-mass) and that Allen liked code books, but meh, it's just not enough to justify ruining a dude's life so bad that he ends up sticking sale tags on staple guns at some Ace Hardware forever. I had a fucking decoder and coded "important papers" as a child, I mean, c'mon. Sane, non-murdery people like puzzles, too. It got to the point where I couldn't even read my journals a year later (probably for the best, those things are embarrassing after two days) because I had no idea how I even came up with all those code words and symbols and shit, let alone what they meant.
The movie that was built from this book is one of my top five-ish crime dramas, though. Recommended for lazy days or depression days or hangover days or fuck moving at all-y days, but definitely not for answers to the Zodiac case days. Those aren't days that are real. Oh, to be clear, I'm major plugging the movie, but not so much the book. (Every time I hear "Hurdy Gurdy Man" now, it freaks me tha fuck out. How do you make such a creepy song somehow creepier? Like Fincher did. Like that.) The book is fine, but only just. They both end with the same question mark, despite the fact that decades separate them. Sooo that's frustrating, of course.
In closing: I will eat my shoe if Allen turns out to be the keeeler...because he won't. That guy was a total putz....more
So, a dirty little secret of mine is that I love true crime. Ever since, at nine years old, I found a book about Jeffrey Dahmer in a drawer in my granSo, a dirty little secret of mine is that I love true crime. Ever since, at nine years old, I found a book about Jeffrey Dahmer in a drawer in my grandmother's guest bedroom and read it all the way through in one sitting, I have been stuck on the idea of people who can be revoltingly awful without remorse. I have always been a person who overkills (no pun intended) on the guilt when I do something shitty (which is often, hence: nagging depression and anxiety), so the idea that there are people in the world who not only don't feel remorse for their actions in normal society, but also don't feel remorse for actions fifty zillion times worse than anything I could ever manage in even my worst state of mind, is fascinating to me. Like aliens. Basically, to a self-flagellating person such as myself, sociopaths and psychopaths are aliens. Wow, I bet they aren't to you, though, huh? Durr. I mean, the reason they are weird is that I feel guilt/remorse more than any other emotion. Fine, that's not special. Lord, I hope that's not special...
I always had this idea about Japan that violent crimes aren't really committed there because, well, violent crime is rude? Of course, there's always the yakuza and such, but that seems like more of a fiscal/power thing, and less about just indiscriminate bloodshed for ultraviolence's sake. It just never struck me as a place where random women get murdered for the sake of getting randomly murdered. Japan is my go-to when people start spouting some shit about the influence of violent films of violent video games or violent bleeblop. I'm like, look at Japan! They have way more fucked up movies and anime and _____ than just about anywhere, and, like, nobody gets murdered for pleasure there! I mean, just about nobody!
But they do. And the case covered in this book was apparently a huuuuge deal at the time. An attractive British woman goes missing after moving to Tokyo to make big, fast money as a hostess in the Roppongi district. You know, like that girl in The Sea Came in at Midnight. Hang out at the bar with dudes, talk to them, flirt, no fucking. Unfortunately, a requirement of this hostess job was that you occasionally went off-site with these dudes on "dates." Again, hang out, talk, flirt, no fucking. I mean, in theory.
Lucie Blackman went on one of these dates, and disappeared. It would take months--and TONS of media coverage--for her body to be discovered, or what was left of it: dismembered parts, her head shaved and encased in concrete, all buried on the beach. Sick.
Her killer was, it turns out, one of those less common cases of murderous sexual sadism in Japan. Because this stuff happens to women everywhere. I was reading this book in the same week that I heard about Junko Furuta (and DO NOT look that up unless you want to hate everything and everyone, forever), and it made me realize: there is no better place for ladies. Carry a knife, learn how to use it without cutting your hand (try a watermelon, a spaghetti squash, whatev), and wield it as you walk your dog. Drink out of bottles instead of glasses at bars, and never accept a drink you didn't mix/purchase/accept from the bartender yourself. Use the CopWatch app for your own purposes, recording if someone is getting weird. Write down license plates and send them to your friends before you go ANYWHERE. Let him know you are doing all of these things. If he can't accept that or thinks you are weird, then just assume he is a serial killer. It is never the victim's fault, but let's ladies school each other in planning, just in case. SSDGM. <3...more
Holy hell. Swoony Tunes over here. Even people who wanted to assassinate Rushdie for being kind of an asshole(?) had to acknowledge that he is so absuHoly hell. Swoony Tunes over here. Even people who wanted to assassinate Rushdie for being kind of an asshole(?) had to acknowledge that he is so absurdly good at fiction-craft, it leaves you flabbergasted at the end of each sentence. Problem is, I can't really quote it for you, because it's one of those books that is incredible when taken in its nesting-doll-ness, in how the most moving and/or (mostly and) funny quotes sort of echo and expand upon and curl inside and crawl on top of previous quotes/events in such a way that I would basically have to tell you half of that scene's action and several actions before it in order to express why such and such is such a great line, and even then it would fall flat like a "you just had to be there" style joke. A stacking, ever-running, ever-evolving joke inside an insight box that I can't even figure out how to show you. I am totally not prepared to even be Summary Salman Rushie. Not at all.
When people write (orchestrate?) like this and make it look so effortless, so inevitable and yet illuminating and necessary and titillating, it makes me sad for most of the other writers. Sorry, guys. Jeesh, maaaaybe it's Maybelline, but it seems more likely that he was born with it. Thankfully, that happened. Him being born, not Maybelline. What? Whatever, this is totally a draft of a review. Maybe. Probably it will sit here making me look stupid for all time.
Fury was apparently a bad place to meet Rushdie fifteen years ago. Hence the gap of fifteen years between Rushdie novels. That novel was OK, if I remember correctly? Forgettable. This, on the other hand, is just dizzying. I'm getting the reader tinglies! Staying up too late for more word-fix. I know this is probably not the best time to be reading a book so harshly critical of religion (and one in particular), but MAN it is good. It's sincerely been, so far, an experience akin to (at least my) first readings of Wallace or Pynchon. Neurons a-firin'! I had no idea, because I suck at listening.
All right, this is all getting pretty indecent...I will place a pillow over my boner, post-haste, and stop the dopey cooing and the slobber. Please accept my apology, elegant sir/mam. Also, read this....more
Here's a crazy fact: "In the United States as a whole in 2009, more than 400,000 individuals were incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses--more thanHere's a crazy fact: "In the United States as a whole in 2009, more than 400,000 individuals were incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses--more than the total number in prison for all offenses in all the prisons of the twenty-seven nations in the European Union, whose population is over 400 million." (There are approximately 320 million people in the U.S., if that even matters in this context. I think it just makes it worse.)
And another crazy fact: "The state of Texas...has criminalized so many different activities that [it] now has 2,324 separate felonies on the books, including 11 involving oysters."
And yet another crazy fact: "An estimated 5.3 million Americans, or one in forty-one adults, have currently or permanently lost their voting rights as a result of a felony conviction. Among African-American men, 1.4 million, or 13 percent, are disenfranchised, a rate seven times the national average...Given current rates of incarceration, three in ten of the next generation of black men can expect to be disenfranchised at some point in their lifetime. In states that disenfranchise ex-offenders, as many as 40 percent of black men may permanently lose their right to vote."
Our culture is sick. Would someone please take America to the Emergency Room?...more
I would like to see an updated version of this, considering this edition came out shortly before Osama bin Laden made his date with Poseidon. Then agaI would like to see an updated version of this, considering this edition came out shortly before Osama bin Laden made his date with Poseidon. Then again, that very fact would only further press the case presented in this book: that al-Qaeda was the alleged mission, and could have been dealt with in a relatively swift fashion if that were the actual totality of American interests in Afghanistan. Nobody still believes that though, right?
Soberingly, however, the fact that this collection is seven years old and still mostly accurate/relevant only serves to highlight how little has actually changed for "the graveyard of empires." Yep, depressing....more