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Mark Ebner’s ‘The Rat’: An incredible true tale of a Drug Kingpin who turned Informant
12.17.2012
07:15 pm
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DM pal, Mark Ebner has posted an excellent article “The Rat” about a former drug king pin turned informant, over at his Hollywood Interrupted site.

“The Rat” tells the story of the man who “ran one of California’s biggest drug empires… …complete with all the trappings — Ferraris, strippers, tricked-out jacuzzis, and garish fake waterfalls – then, the Feds ran him.” 

Mark first met “The Rat” while he was working on one of his books:

‘While researching Six Degrees of Paris Hilton, from out of the blue I received an email from someone claiming that he knew more about one of the criminals I was writing about than anyone. Intrigued, I phoned him, and soon realized that it was HIS story I wanted to tell…

‘“The Rat” and I have remained friends through the years, and I trust him with my life. Once, when I had to confront a pair of Russian mobsters operating out of a pawn shop front, The Rat flew down from Seattle to simply stand behind me and look intimidating. Only a true friend would do something like that.’

Mark also tells Dangerous Minds that “The Rat” will be going public this Thursday, when he will reveal his true identity for the first time on camera.

For my money, Ebner is the best investigative journalist around. He digs up stories long before anyone gets a whiff that there is anything bad going on, and delivers top drawer copy every time. He has also written 3 killer books:  Hollywood Interrupted, Six Degrees of Paris Hilton, and We Have Your Husband: One Woman’s Terrifying Story of a Kidnapping in Mexico, and is currently working on his next.

Here is an extract from Mark’s article on “The Rat”:

The first sign that something was wrong was when a car followed him onto his street – a one-way cul-de-sac at the top of Nichols Canyon in the Hollywood Hills where the mansions start at a million dollars. He was driving back from Bad Boys Bail Bonds, where he’d just dropped three grand to spring one of his drivers who had gotten popped in Santa Monica on a routine haul. Earlier in the day, he had pulled off the kind of transaction that some dealers go their whole lives without seeing – 300 pounds of primo weed for $1 million, which had netted him a cool $90,000 for two hours work. His senses heightened, he could feel the vibe going sour as he steered his discreet rental car past his own driveway. Another 60 feet, and suddenly there were searchlights washing every street corner – at least 30 undercover police cars – with a helicopter swooping down on top of him in case he decided to make a run for it down the open cliff face.

“I hadn’t done a deal in six months,” says Oz (most names in this story have been changed), a 48-year-old ex-marijuana trafficker and big-time baller who once dominated the I-5 corridor from British Columbia to Tijuana, was responsible for 70 percent of the marijuana smoked in Los Angeles and saw $4 million move through his operation every two weeks. “They take me inside – they’re stripping the house, and here’s my $90,000 all out on the table. I said, ‘Dude, just shoot me now. I don’t blame you guys, but I’m not going to rat on any of my people, so I’d prefer to be dead.’ The Fed says, ‘No, man, I can’t do that. But we need to talk.’”

Cruising through the Hills in a tricked-out Lincoln Navigator, on loan from a fellow drug runner who got out of the game when he found religion, Oz can’t help but point the sites of his former glory: The Russian tanning salon in Hollywood where you could order up Vicodin or steroids on demand; the Melrose Avenue tattoo shop that moves 50 to a hundred pounds of weed a week; the Mexican restaurant that serves up kilos of coke with its carne asada. But he is less expansive when describing his life since the 2004 bust that curtailed his hand-built empire – and his uneasy resurrection as an undercover informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency. In the world he lived in for over 20 years, the worst thing you could be was a rat – a turnabout of fate that obviously weighs heavy on him. In the past three years, Oz has survived three suicide attempts – not counting his choice of livelihood.

Still retaining the hard angles and displaced muscle mass from his early years as a bodybuilder and protracted steroid enthusiast, Oz today most resembles Arnold Schwarzenegger if you put him through a threshing machine and then tried to spot-weld the bigger pieces back together. He’s had his bicep torn off from trying to break a guy’s neck in a bar, all his teeth are capped from being broken off in fights and he’s literally got screws in his head to hold his skull in place. He earned the sometimes nickname “Shrek” from taking so many punches to the face that his eyebrows calcified into scar tissue, leaving a large protruding ridge in his forehead. And in the kind of colorful anecdote that no doubt made it easier for him to do his job, he once bit his best friend’s ear off in the back seat of a limo.

“I have a short man’s complex,” admits the 5’8, 220-pound brawler, still capable of flashes of intense anger and pervasive menace, as well as intense emotion over the secondary victims of his chosen lifestyle. “I realized at one point that most people were my friends because they were scared of me. I’ve never killed anybody, but I’ve hurt a lot of people – and every one of them deserved it.”

Now read on…

More from Mark Ebner at his site Hollywood Interrupted.

Update

My DM colleague, Marc Campbell has passed on this episode of Media Mayhem, with Mark Ebner, which contains the first on-camera interview with ‘The Rat’.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Being a Short Tale of Mark Ebner and His Adventures on Drastic Radio


 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.17.2012
07:15 pm
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Jerry Sadowitz as Jimmy Savile (NSFW)
11.23.2012
10:52 am
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A shameless plug for Jerry Sadowitz’s new show at the Leicester Square Theater, London, December 2012.

Strange that after all these years that one of the funniest comedians in the world should receive some of the attention he rightly deserves, all because of a recording he made twenty-five years ago.

Thankfully Mr. Sadowitz (‘Comedian, Magician, Psychopath’) will be touring the UK in the New Year, so those who haven’t seen him can find out what they’ve been missing.

Meantime check Mr Sadowitz’s site for details.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.23.2012
10:52 am
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Savilegate: Some troubling questions for the new CEO of ‘The New York Times’
11.19.2012
08:25 pm
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I wonder if Mark Thompson had anything to declare when he went through customs en route for his new job at the New York Times? Probably not.

And now he is ensconced as CEO at the NYT, I wonder if Thompson has anything to declare over the Jimmy Savile scandal that has engulfed the BBC?

Probably not.

Even so, I can’t help thinking that this is not the end of the story, for I find it hard to believe that Thompson knew nothing about those stories regarding Jimmy Savile, or was not at least aware of them. It now appears that I am not the only one who thinks this. Allegedly former BBC journalist, Keith Graves, finds it hard to believe, as he, or someone commenting under his name, posted on the Daily Mail:
 
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Mark Thompson says that during his time at the BBC he “never heard any allegations” about Savile. During his years in the television newsroom, culminating in a period editing the flagship evening new, rumours about Savile being ‘into little girls’ were rife as were often crude comments about hims and his behaviour. It is inconceivable that those rumours, which were, I recall, often discussed in the BBC club bar by news staff, did not reach his ears.

- Keith Graves, Valencia, Spain, 28/10/2012 13:27

Even Mike Hollingsworth, the man who first employed Thompson as his assistant at the BBC, said in the Daily Telegraph, Thompson would have had to been “tone deaf” not to have heard rumors about Jimmy Savile.

“He must be mad denying that he’d heard anything about Saville. We had all heard the rumours. You would have to have been tone deaf not to have heard them…

“I know that Mark has a strong Catholic faith, but it wasn’t as if this was something that people would whisper about when he came into a room – he is a man of the world. You just have to look at the programming he put out when he took over at Channel 4 to see that he wasn’t in the least bit squeamish when it came to all kinds of discussions about sex.”

This incredulity from former colleagues has only increased the growing disquiet over the “baggage” Thompson is perceived to be bringing to his new job at the New York Times, as one of the paper’s editors, Margaret Sullivan wondered in a blog: 

“How likely is it that [Thompson] knew nothing?....His integrity and decision-making are bound to affect The [New York] Times and its journalism – profoundly. It’s worth considering now whether he is the right person for the job, given this turn of events.”

The questions hinge on what Thompson knew about the Jimmy Savile scandal, when he was Director General at the BBC. It’s an important issue, one that saw his replacement, George Entwisle (or “Incurious George”) resign his position over not knowing about a Newsnight item that led to a gross libel against an innocent man. If Entwistle was considered guilty for not knowing about the serious allegations broadcast by his flagship news program, then where does that leave Thompson, who claims he knew little or virtually nothing about a planned Newsnight investigation into abuse allegations involving Jimmy Savile?

What little Thompson did know he dismissed in a letter to Conservative MP, Rob Wilson:

“What did happen is that, at a drinks reception late last year, a journalist mentioned to me the existence of the investigation and said words to the effect of “you must be worried about the Newsnight investigation?” This was the first I had heard of the investigation…Although I recall hearing at the time of his death that BBC Television might do something (a tribute) about Jimmy Savile in due course, again I had not been briefed about the programmes themselves. I assume they were commissioned and broadcast by BBC Vision, the BBC’s television arm, in the usual way.”

This is obvious buck passing. Moreover, as it was Thompson who tightened up BBC procedure after the scandalous Brandgate affair - where 2 BBC presenters (Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross) were involved in a prank call that was deemed to be offensive and “a catastrophic breakdown of editorial and compliance control by the BBC” - it seems incredible that Thompson did not take any real interest into a planned BBC investigation into serious allegations of pedophilia involving a major BBC star. 
 
More questions for ‘NYT’ CEO Mark Thompson, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.19.2012
08:25 pm
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Demonoid returns?
11.12.2012
06:53 pm
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Given up for dead earlier this year, just a few hours ago, the heart of Demonoid, the legendary bit torrent tracker, has improbably started beating again.

Via TorrentFreak

After three and a half months of downtime Demonoid’s tracker is now back online. The unexpected revival of the tracker is the first sign of life in weeks and suggests that the Demonoid team is working to bring the full site back online. While the index and forum remain offline, the many thousands of torrents tracked by Demonoid have been brought back to life.

When Demonoid went down at the end of July, the site’s admin blamed a DDoS attack. This initial attack resulted in a series of problems that were not easy to fix.

However, at the time the tech admin of the site was determined to get the site back online.

“You know how it goes with Demonoid. It might take a while but it will come back,” the admin told us.

Due to pressure from Interpol’s criminal investigation, Demonoid’s ISP, ColoCALL, which is located in the Ukraine, stopped hosting the site over the summer.

This news comes hot on the heels of another story reported by TorrentFreak:

The RIAA has welcomed a mind-boggling jail sentence handed to a man who sold pirated movies and music. The 37-year-old man pleaded guilty to six felony counts of selling counterfeit media after he sold five movies and one music CD to an undercover investigator without the permission of copyright holders. As a result he will go to jail in Mississippi for 15 years to be followed by three years of supervised release.

RIAA Celebrates 15 Year Jail Sentence For Movie and Music Pirate (TorrentFreak)

Thank you, Bee Tea!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.12.2012
06:53 pm
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Gary Glitter: The slowed-down horror of ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me?’
10.31.2012
02:14 pm
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The clues may have been there all along, as to Gary Glitter’s sexual predilections. His lyrics claimed he was the man who “put the bang in gang” and asked if we wanted to touch him there.

Now, m’colleague Tara McGinley has uncovered this incredibly creepy version of Glitter’s 1973 hit, “Do You Wanna Touch Me”, which has been slowed-down 10 times by scorzonera, to reveal its full chilling horror.

Play Loud.

Happy Halloween.
 

 
With thanks to Tara McGinley!
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.31.2012
02:14 pm
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Frankie Vaughan: Glasgow’s Gang culture of the 1960s
10.19.2012
07:28 pm
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Gangs have been synonymous with Glasgow since the 1800s. The poverty, squalor and terrible overcrowding of this great industrial city led to a harsh indifferent attitude to life and self-preservation.

The Penny Mob came out of the East End of the city. They had their own rules, dress code and even collected fees for a shared fund to pay police and court fines - hence their name. The Penny Mob elected their own chairmen to take charge of collecting money for the fund and its distribution.

The Penny Mob bred many rivals, who they fought for territorial dominance of a few blocks of street. The San Toys operated out of the Calton, a district close to the city center, and they fought with the Tim Malloys. Battles were brutal, bloody and quick. Fights often took place in Glasgow Green, a large municipal park to the east of the city, on the banks of the River Clyde. These were called “square gos” - one-on-one fights, where gang leaders slugged it out with each other. More often than not, these ended in pitched battles between rival factions.

Gangs spread throughout the city - each district, or block, was demarcated with its own gang. The South Side had some of the most vicious gangs, including the Mealy Boys, the McGlynn Push and the Gold Dust Gang, which operated out of the Gorbals. Gangs used bars and drinking dens as their HQs and meeting places, from where they planned their next territorial battle.

By the First World War, gangs were rampant across the city, with the most infamous being the Redskins that ruled the East End. Unlike previous gangs, the Redskins preferred swords, hatchets, machetes, razors and lead-weighted clubs rather than fists. They also operated as a major criminal organization, running protection rackets on local shops and businesses, and were involved in extortion, burglary and random mugging.

The Redskins fought rivals like the Calton Black Hand, the Bloodhound Flying Corps, the Hi-Hi’s, the Kelly Boys from Govan and the Baltic Fleet, which ran out of Baltic Street. The Redskins were eventually crushed by the police who were not afraid to use their own brutal tactics to quell the gangs.

Gangs always flourished during times of poverty. The 1930’s Depression saw a rise in violence and a new wave of gangs using cut throat razors as their weapon of choice, not just on their enemies (where they were used to inflict the “Glasgow Smile”), but on innocent members of the public.

In the 1960s, singer Frankie Vaughan famously visited one of Glasgow’s most troubled areas - Easterhouse. Here the singer successfully co-ordinated an amnesty between rival gangs, raising thousands of pounds to pay for amenities and youth centers. Vaughan, who had starred with Marilyn Monroe in Let’s Make Love, and had a highly success singing career, became a hero to the community.

By the 1970s, gangs had lost much of their appeal as judges gave out stiff sentences - a 2-5 year jail term for carrying a razor blade. Some gang members moved into more serious crime, running drugs and extortion rings, and carrying out major bank robberies across the city.

Today, though Glasgow has changed dramatically for the better, it still has an unfortunate reputation, In part because it is sadly still one of most violent cities in Western Europe. The homicide rate for males aged between 10 and 29 is on a par with the countries Argentina, Costa Rica and Lithuania. Not other cities but whole countries. A stabbing occurs every 6 hours. Many more go unreported. Alcohol-related death rates are 3 times the British average. And there are parts of Glasgow have the lowest life expectancies in Europe.

Yet, I love this city, for there is a great humanity amongst the people of Glasgow, that reflects a genuine belief things can and will get better.

This documentary focusses on Glasgow gangs during the 1960s, interviewing various gang members and looking at Frankie Vaughan’s involvement in bringing an amnesty to parts of the city.
 


 
With thanks to Racket Racket.

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.19.2012
07:28 pm
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Get in the weekend mood with The uplifting sounds of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple Choir!
10.19.2012
11:26 am
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“He’s a friend – to the friendless
He’s a father – to the fatherless
He’s your joy – he’s your sorrow
He’s your hope – for tomorrow”
(“He’s Able”)

This week I’ve been busy putting various menial finishing touches to an exciting forthcoming Headpress release on music and the occult by Mark Goodall, Gathering of the Tribe: Music and Heavy Conscious Creation. The collection includes essays on various “occulted” artists ranging from Captain Beefheart to John Coltrane, the Beatles to the Wu Tang Clan, and features contributions from Mick Farren, David Kerekes and myself, among others.

For the last day or two, I’ve been mostly embroiled in the book’s final chapter “Mindfuckers: Cult Groups, Outsider Artists and Their Sounds,” and so by osmosis have ended up predominantly listening to music made by psychopathic demagogues and their unfortunate minions. Most distinctive of these, perhaps, is the saccharine, sunny, seventies pop gospel of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple Choir, almost all of whom would be wiped out in the Jonestown massacre about five years later, resulting in the re-release of their 1973 He’s Able album with a far darker cover (see above) than the one in which it first appeared. The playlist below treats you to the entire life-affirming record – which was once described as, “coming out of your stereo speakers like a sunbeam through a stained glass window.” 

Hands up who’s in the mood for a refreshing glass of Kool-Aid?  
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath
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10.19.2012
11:26 am
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Savile de Rais: Jimmy Savile, Serial Killing and High Weirdness
10.15.2012
03:47 pm
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Above is a picture of Jimmy Savile with the prolific serial killer Peter Sutcliffe—aka the Yorkshire Ripper—and boxer Frank Bruno. Savile, who apparently befriended the necrophiliac murderer Sutcliffe through the his enigmatic “volunteer” work at Broadmoor (a high security psychiatric hospital), is introducing the two men, who appear to be sharing what looks a lot like a Masonic handshake.

What the fuck?

The more I read about Savile (I’ve already written about his probable necrophilia) the weirder it gets. There is something literally legendary about him – to me Savile increasingly looks like some kind of latter-day Gilles de Rais, the profligate aristocrat, pedophile and black magician who rode into battle alongside Joan of Arc and was later convicted for the deaths of over five hundred children.

What might Savile have to do with dead children? We’ll get to that. But first let’s look at the evidence that suggests he may have been… a spy (or spymaster).

Don’t take my whacky word for it! Let us instead refer to a 2008 Daily Mail article that began with the sentence “Deep cover is not the phrase which springs to mind when you meet Jimmy Savile,” before going on to consider what credibility there was in the following assertion made by Savile himself.

“I guess I am like Forrest Gump (…) I am like a sewing machine needle that goes in here and goes in there, but I am also the eminence grise: the grey, shadowy figure in the background. The thing about me is I get things done and I work under cover.”

Although the article goes on to tentatively soften some of Savile’s remarkable claims to world historical prestige, all are left pretty much intact. They include Savile’s extremely intimate friendships with successive UK Prime Ministers (including “11 consecutive Christmases at Chequers” with Margaret Thatcher) and several very high profile British royals – Princess Diana actually referred to Savile as “a sort of mentor for Charles” (nice) – and the fact that Savile “spent an afternoon entertaining the wives of the G7 leaders back in 1991 at John Major’s invitation.” (What did he regale them with? Tales of Broadmoor high-jinx with the Yorkshire Ripper?)

Beside Savile’s remarkable ability to insinuate himself at Chequers and Buckingham Palace, we can also chalk up the apparent ease with which the Catholic and enthusiastic Zionist strolled into the corridors of power in Israel, which he visited to record a 1975 Jim’ll Fix It (the following incredible anecdote is corroborated by Savile’s BBC producer Roger Ordish):

“I arrived at this reception and I was wearing a pinkish suit with short sleeves. When President Ephraim Katzir came to me, he asked how I was enjoying my visit to Israel.I said I was very disappointed: the Israelis had won the Six Day War but they had given back all the land, including the only oil well in the region, and were now paying the Egyptians more for oil than if they had bought it from Saudi Arabia. I said: ‘You have forgotten to be Jewish’. He said: ‘Would you like to tell my cabinet that? ‘Next morning, I went to the Knesset and they interrupted a cabinet meeting and I told them the same as I had told him.”

Strange privileges and experiences for a mere TV presenter don’t you think? A TV presenter, furthermore, who appeared to have endeavored to commit at least one sex crime every day of his adult life, while remaining blissfully immune to prosecution or even arrest…

Which brings us – reluctantly – to the shadow of dead children. Savile, notoriously, was photographed at Jersey’s infamous Haut de la Garenne children’s home (and is said to have been “named several times” by abuse survivors there). As many are aware, Haut de la Garenne is very frequently alleged to be the scene of one of history’s biggest cover-ups. To cut a long and exceedingly depressing story short, children’s body-parts and an apparent torture chamber beneath the orphanage were overnight reclassified as harmless bits-and-bobs a few days after embattled investigators – who had been regularly complaining of institutional hostility and interference – were replaced at the behest of Jersey’s authorities. Proceeding this, some of the abuse allegations were halfheartedly pursued, but many investigators and journalists feel that the real and unimaginable depths of the story – depths purportedly dark enough to bring down entire governments – were sealed up.

Well, it is possible that the universe does not favor alleged institutional child abuse after all. “Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes,” as Shakespeare put it, and the manner in which these (alleged) foul deeds have risen back up is fascinating. In short, hardly an article has been penned on Savile these last weeks that has not been adorned with the aforementioned photographic evidence of his visit to Haut de la Garenne: the image is like some stubborn morsel of something the mainstream media was long since instructed to digest. For doesn’t Savile’s very presence at Haut de la Garenne give immense credence to the allegations that there has been a cover-up there, not to mention the wide whispers that extremely prominent members of British and Jersey society regularly “visited” the place?

Then there is the longstanding allegation that Savile procured boys from Jersey orphanages for former British Prime Minister Edward Heath to rape and molest on the latter’s yacht. A month ago that would have looked like an extremely wild conspiracy theory. But now…

Savile was a Knight of the Crown, a Knight of the Vatican, a (probable) necrophiliac, a pedophile, the buddy of serial killers and future kings, a children’s TV presenter, a pop mogul and many more things besides… has there ever been a stranger Englishman? It would appear that when Savile died his considerable protection died with him, and the establishment are happy for him to now suffer public and relentless vilification. But his activities, place and prominence in British society is so strange, so sinister, that it is a like a chink in the armor of the very establishment that’s allowing his corpse to fend for itself, and through this chink some pretty astonishing things can be glimpsed.

I am indebted to the remarkable and remarkably strange Aangirfan blog for 99% of the above links and leads.

Posted by Thomas McGrath
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10.15.2012
03:47 pm
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James Ellroy: An early interview with the Demon Dog of American Literature
10.15.2012
10:07 am
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James Ellroy lies in a darkened room brooding about the past. He thinks about his mother, Geneva Hilliker Ellroy, who was murdered in 1958, when Ellroy was 10-years-old. The killer has never been found.

Ellroy was born and raised in Los Angeles. When his parents divorced, Ellroy lived with his mother in El Monte during the week, and spent weekends with his Father.

His father, Armand Lee Ellroy, was an accountant and one-time business manager for Rita Hayworth. Ellroy usually adds his father had a massive schlong, and schtooped anything that moved. His father gave Ellroy a copy of Jack Webb’s book The Badge. Ellroy read the book obsessively.  He read the story of Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia, whose severed, mutilated body was discovered on a vacant lot, on the west side of South Norton Avenue, between Coliseum and West 39th, in 1947.

Ellroy merged his mother’s murder with the Black Dahlia’s. He fantasized how he’d save the Dahlia and marry her. He fantasized how he’d save his mother. The fantasies were inspired by guilt and depression.

Before Geneva’s murder, his parents had been going through a rough time. His father was poisoning Ellroy’s mind about his mother. His father let Ellroy do what he wanted. His mother had rules. When she died James had wanted to be free of her. Now he was, he felt guilty.

He grew up lanky, and geeky. He was awkward around girls. He was a WASP at a Jewish school. He hated to be ignored. Ellroy played at being the weirdo. In the schoolyard he riffed on the Black Dahlia, serial killers, and Nazis. He made it look like he didn’t care what others thought. It worked. It made him untouchable.

He flunked school and prowled the neighborhood. He peeped on girls he could only dream about. He broke into their houses, sniffed their panties, drank their parents’ booze, looked in medicine cabinets and popped pills, stole what he wanted. They never knew.

Ellroy lived off T-bird, and the wading from Benzedrex inhalers. It made him grind down his teeth. He tripped. He became homeless. He stole. He did gaol time. His life was in freefall - the parachute was an abscess on his lung, the size of a man’s fist.

Ellroy prayed for a second chance. He got it. He turned his life round and started writing crime novels. Influenced by Hamnett rather than Chandler. At first hooked around his own experience as caddy on a golf course, then the large multi-narrative, police procedurals, re-telling the history of modern America. Ellroy was riffing on the things he obsessed about, the Black Dahlia, sex, violence, bad, bad, bad men coming to grips with their humanity.

He wrote the L.A. Quartet, which included The Black Dahlia, and L.A. Confidential. Then a book about his search for his mother’s murder, My Dark Places. He never found him. Closure is bullshit, he says. Then the trilogy Underworld U.S.A., which includes American Tabloid, and the brilliant Blood’s A Rover.

Now, Ellroy is one of America’s greatest living novelists, and very few come close. He still lives in L.A. and writes everyday, long hand, ink pen, legal pad, and lies in darkened rooms brooding about the past.

This is a rare clip of James Ellroy, in his trademark Hawaiian shirt (worn in pouring rain), interviewed for the French program Cinéma Cinémas in 1989.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.15.2012
10:07 am
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Savilegate: Will the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal finish off the BBC?
10.14.2012
10:48 am
Topics:
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When asked by a reporter in 2001 whether he was concerned if he would be remembered as a “conning pervert and abuser when he died,” Jimmy Savile replied:

‘If I’m gone that’s that. Bollocks to my legacy. Whatever is said after I’m gone is irrelevant.’

The reporter then asked if Savile was ‘into little girls’, to which the BBC presenter replied:

‘I’d rather not even opinionate on this. I’ll leave it to the psychologists to sort out the psychology of child abuse.’

Every day a new allegation emerges about Jimmy Savile. These allegations now cover 6 decades, and include allegations of the rape of children, mentally ill patients and the sexual assault of a disabled girl. The police are currently investigating over 300 lines of inquiry.

Savile’s attacks occurred in hospitals, clubs and the BBC. And it is the latter organization that is coming under considerable scrutiny by the police.

The question is how did the BBC employ such an individual, when there were known allegations against him? And what was the everyday culture at BBC that could allow Savile’s behavior to go unnoticed? Uncommented upon? Even tolerated?

A glimpse of how things were at the BBC can be found in Stephen Fry’s second volume of autobiography, The Fry Chronicles (pages 296-297 of the paperback edition), where he described a meeting with the BBC executive Jim Moir in 1983.

Hugh [Laurie] and I were shown into his office. He sat us down on the sofa opposite his desk and asked if we had comedy plans. Only he wouldn’t have put it as simply as that, he probably said something like: ‘Strip naked and show me your cocks,’ which would have been his way of saying: ‘What would you like to talk about?’ Jim routinely used colourful and perplexing metaphors of a quite staggering explicit nature. ‘Let’s jizz on the table, mix up our spunk and smear it all over us,’ might be his way of asking, ‘Shall we work together?’ I had always assumed that he only spoke like that to men, but not so long ago Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders confirmed that he had been quite as eye-watering in his choice of language with them. Ben Elton went on to create, and Mel Smith to play, a fictional head of Light Entertainment based on Jim Moir called Jumbo Whiffly in the sitcom Filthy Rich & Catflap. I hope you will not get the wrong impression of Moir from my description of his language. People of his kind are easy to underestimate, but I have never heard anyone who worked with him say a bad word about him. In the past forty years the BBC has had no more shrewd, capable, loyal, honourable and successful executive and certainly none with a more dazzling verbal imagination.

Now retired, Moir recently told the Guardian that he had no knowledge of any allegations against Savile during his term at the Beeb, as either exec or as Head of Light Entertainment.

“There is so much talk about rumours, but I can tell you that neither from external sources or internally, neither by nods and winks or by innuendo, did I receive any scintilla of this story whatsoever, or discuss it or his behaviour with my superiors. There was not a scintilla of this either from Roger Ordish, his producer for 20 years.”

Should we be surprised? Not really. But it makes sense that Moir didn’t hear any allegations when it was seen as okay to use sexist, aggressive and offensive language such as ‘Strip naked and show me your cocks,’ or, ‘Let’s jizz on the table, mix up our spunk and smear it all over us,’ on a regular basis. This kind masturbatory boy’s club culture covers up for a lot of unacceptable behavior.
 
More on Savilegate, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.14.2012
10:48 am
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