Sunday, March 5, 2017

Confession

I confess that I knew exactly which of my trolls and off-site detractors would get their buttons pushed by saying what I did about Raymond Chandler and his alter-ego, Philip Marlowe last night.  I said it, their buttons were pushed and they wailed and gnashed their teeth as I knew they would. Their fury fills the "spam" file of my comment moderation.   It's not an exercise that has the fun of discovery in it, it confirmed no theory, they're as predictable as the rusting of iron in the rain.  But I admit, it was gratifying in a way.

Though, having read a lot about Chandler, I think my suspicions about his deeply denied sexual attraction to men is most likely true and that Marlowe's ultra-macho, tough guy stuff is exactly the kind of fantasy that such a man would have.  I've seen it in gay porn often enough to know it when I see it.  Such a man's fear of his own gay orientation can lead to a kind of depravity that a straight guy at ease with his own personality doesn't generally produce.  You can contrast the hostility of so many straight identifying actors homophobic rants with the very straight Lee Marvin's expressed acceptance of gay men and his stated willingness, long before it became something that straight male actors would do, to play a gay character.   As a gay man I'd much rather deal with a well adjusted straight guy than one who can't deal with his attraction to other men.

Raymond Chandler was a very good writer but his bizarre sex life, his horrific alcoholism and the giveaways in his writing tell a story, too.

If that upsets those who make up their own, internal fan fiction over Philip Marlowe, good.  It's not good to live in make-believe, it's dangerous.  That's the point of a piece I'm writing about the Trump phenomenon.

Update:  Oh, I do respect Chandler as a writer, especially The Long Goodbye, his masterpiece which has some of his least veiled self-revelation in it.   Not long ago I remembered a line from his novel Playback which I posted in the sidebar.  I realized it had something for me to learn about my detractors.

"I let him have that one. It wasn't worth topping."

I realized it applied to most of the stuff I get from my trolls, some of whom have never come up with anything worth topping, especially as they wouldn't get it.

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