Bloody-fingered Badfellas… coming to a kebab shop near you.

Today I felt the overpowering compulsion to inflict gratuitous violence upon my poor little eyeballs and I popped Goodfellas into the DVD machine.

I love that film! Scorcese manages to teeter between psychotic and hilarious spattering the screen with hideous amounts of blood, gore and cuss words. Now by today’s standards, Goodfellas is far from being the bloodiest blockbuster on the shelves but for my own particular constitution, Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction aside, Goodfellas is the daddy of the poetic and slightly comic (in places) balance that makes it one of those violent films that most girls will happily sit down to watch without getting bored or feeling that the person who suggested the movie is deeply troubled (as with Hostage and that hideous franchise – Saw).

There is a great adult (predominantly conservative and C of E) mob that believe that the tragic and savage fashion for knife crime is a symptom of the above films becoming more widely seen. As with Clockwork Orange and to an extent, Trainspotting – the glamourisation of illegal and soul-degenerating scenes flickering across the screen is bound to spark copy cats. I doubt very much that the yobs that have been stabbing their way around London Town this miserable year consider themselves to be Henry Hill, nor do I believe that a heroine addict in Glasgow such as the elder sister of a very old friend of mine believes that someday she is going to get away with a duffle-bag full of money to freedom…

The tragedies of 2008 thusfar have been diluted in their own hype and so the individuals murdered are being racked up like statistics rather than like the young men and children that they ought to be valued as. The anniversary of Rhys Jones’ murder is closing in and nobody has been brought forward to justice yet although several individuals have been questioned and brought forward irrespective of the fear-struck silence of the neighborhood. 

Homicide in this manner is becoming pandemic, and I dislike using the word homicide as I feel it is divorced from the action of killing rather relabeling it to the passive and pathalogical science of “this is what happened, Sarg” school of thinking. What the hell is going to happen before we all degenerate into two tribes – the ones that stay in after dark and the ones that kick wheely bins over and break into peoples’ homes? Is society eventually going to divide thus?

The penalties that are given are like tunnels. The tunnels go on for a measured length of time, the judge who ordered the criminal to walk that tunnel for so many years… months… weeks – they know how long it is, the criminal knows how long it is and can even see where it ends such-and-such a distance away. Only the other week I was sat on an extremely crowded train with a young lady who was howling down her phone that she was on parole for stabbing a man who was feeling up her 12 year old little sister. Its real, its among us now and its not learning its lesson.

I won’t pretend I have any real answers. The fact of the matter is that it must take a lot of ingrained anger for the human race to remorselessly end the heartbeats of another human being with a butcher knife, especially as an 18 year old sent to jail for 10 years for murder, even if he/she served the full term (which is highly unlikely) would still be young enough to do everything they wanted to do in life regardless of the pause button being on for a decade. Justice is as cold as the stainless steel six inchers and the damp, tarmac pavements in Lambeth. 

The wonderful thing about escaping this horrific spree by watching films is that unlike in real life, the characters reconcile their stores in the end. Something happens. They get away with it and they’re ok and the film balances real life out nicely with the to-ing and fro-ing of clever script-writing or they get punished or killed but in a cinematographic way so we appreciate that it was always coming to them. In real life, we are in purgatory. There are no rolling credits at the end of the murder of a teenage boy, just unanswered questions and unfullfilled promises.


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