So This is Depravity

OK, I stole that great title from a collection of Russell Baker’s columns some years back. But it perfectly fits two items that hit my desk this morning.

 First–and don’t say I didn’t warn you earlier–comes The Seven Days of Peter Crumb by Jonny Glynn,  another literary celebration of sadistic violence. It’s not just movies that demonstrate the perversity of our pop culture; books play their part as well. From the book cover:

“Brilliant, monumentally horrible and disturbing. . . Move over, Patrick Bateman [American Psycho}. Jonny Glynn’s the new psycho in town.”

And that’s the praise, remember.

Then there’s this little blurb about Awake, a  movie that comes out this weekend:

“A man finds that his anesthetic isn’t working during a heart operation but is powerless to complain. This film did not screen in advance.

Can’t imagine why not.

It’s worth recalling the words of Oscar-winning writer and producer Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) from a recent interview:

 “There’s nothing you can do to a human being on screen that is taboo anymore. Over and over again, people are breaking the boundaries of the body, hurting people, chopping people up, ravaging people…. For things to be truly scary, we’re going to have to find new boundaries to tread on.”



Strange Coincidence Dept: As I was writing these words, I swear, I heard the thunk of an arriving email. I opened it to find these words from the publicists saddled with pushing the Peter Crumb book:

We are living in a violent age. Our news is filled with reports of murder and savagery. The enduring appeal of psychological thrillers–the vicarious thrill of films like Seven and Silence of the Lambs–offer eery assurance that Americans are obsessed with violence, with carnage for its own sake, and with the twisted minds that perpetrate it.

If you haven’t yet opened your copy of the book, I dare you to. It’s horrifyingly violent and utterly fascinating, and you won’t be able to put it down. 

But I will. In fact, I’m putting it down into the trashcan as soon as I sign off here.



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