Also known as “Violence and double standards” or “Did you hear what you just said?”
On an escalator in the London Underground the other night, movie posters for Smokin’ Aces were posted every three feet. They had a cool edge, and quotes from reviews in blood-spatter red. We passed “Outrageous violence!” and then “Mayhem!”
I shook my head. “Is this what public entertainment is being reduced to? Ads now actually brag about a film’s gory violence?”
I don’t know whether I sounded more snarky or self-righteous. My husband gave me a look that said You have got to be kidding.
“Tell me again,” he said, “exactly what is the shout line on the front of Kill Chain? ‘Guns, hookers, money…'”
I couldn’t back up fast enough. I mean, hey, I was on an escalator, with my foot now jammed deep in my mouth. “No. ‘Hookers, guns and money.’ Totally different.”
“And it says, ‘Everybody pays.’ See, that’s narrative. With a moral,” I said.
The moral being, when you write commercial crime fiction, self-righteousness about how it’s marketed is unbecoming and unworthy.
And snark bites back. In atonement, I’m giving it up for Lent.