Tuesday, October 09, 2012

violent post, sorry

A pet peeve of mine (I know you're thinking, "oh joy, another pet peeve") is when people, especially food writers say they're "obsessed" with something.  It's always "I'm obsessed with baking the perfect bread", "I'm obsessed with making the perfect omelette." (those are two really common ones).  Oh really? Here's the dic def of obsession:

1. Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.
2. A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion.
 
It is also a specific psychiatric term:
 
 1. (Psychiatry) Psychiatry a persistent idea or impulse that continually forces its way into consciousness, often associated with anxiety and mental illness
 
OK, so we can all agree that it's hyperbole to use it all of the time, not to mention cliche.
 
I will not claim to be obsessed with the Miami drug culture of the mid-70s to 80s, but I am certainly damn fascinated.
 
1) Watch Cocaine Cowboys
2) Why the fuck has no one made a movie about the female Godfather, Griselda Blanco?  Is it because she was in hiding in Columbia for so many years so the movie wouldn't have a strong ending?  Well, guess what, karma is a bitch and she just got gunned down by one of her enemies.  So get writing, Hollywood.   I love gangster movies and she is the ultimate subject.  She was a fucking psycho, had good style, younger lovers, hundreds of millions of dollars, assassins who did things such as bayonetting a guy in an airport, etc.  She moved her operation from Miami to California, and then when she got busted she lived like a queen inside prison (got to have sex, wear whatever she wanted, etc.) and operated her drug empire from inside.  She started wars with other cartels seemingly for fun.  Oh yeah, and did I mention that she made a documented attempt to kidnap JFK junior so she could use him as a hostage to get out of prison?

Does anyone know of good books about this subject or about Mexican drug cartels?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pick up a copy of "American Desperado" by Jon Roberts w/ Evan Wright (author of "Generation Kill"). Jon was one of the original "cocaine cowboys" and this book sounds like what you're looking for. Including in these tales are: slipping LSD to Ed Sullivan, the attempted kidnapping of Jimi Hendrix, a coked out James Caan and stories about Griselda Blanco and lots of other cartel folks. -- CM

Anonymous said...

As for the Griselda Blanco movie, Mark Wahlberg is working on this w/ Paramount and wants J. Lo to play Griselda. Other studios are trying to get a Griselda movie going as well and HBO is supposedly working on its own series ...

beckler said...

yes!!

beckler said...

I am constantly trying to use the word frisson the wrong way in my reviews. Why can't it mean what I want it to mean?

Anonymous said...

what do you want it to mean?

beckler said...

like a frisson of a flavor, like a little thrill. I guess it does mean that, or does it?

Anonymous said...

frisson: a moment of intense excitement; a shudder.

from American Heritage Dictionary 5th ed. which is the current edition.

Sounds like you're using it correctly to me.

JD

Anonymous said...

Cocaine Cowboys was great, but soooo disturbing. Rare that I see a documentary where I wanted every single person in the movie to be driven over by a steamroller. Slowly.

-omf

Joshua Flores said...

Cocaine Cowboys 2 is just as good and primarily focused on Griselda Blanco and her time in the west coast. "The Black Widow" is dead... shit, about time.

Anonymous said...

"Narcorrido" is a great book about the dudes what write songs about their narco bosses.

The Neighbor

PS- I recently lost 2 of my chickens, so egg production dropped dramatically.

Anonymous said...

Ditto for the recommendation of "Narcorrido" by Elijah Wald ... it's a pretty fantastic study of the Mexican cartels and the musical culture surrounding it. Elijah basically hitchhiked through Mexico to interview folks and collect stories. Good stuff ... -CM

beckler said...

OK, I'm going to watch Cocaine Cowboy 2 and I ordered Narcocorrido. I'm going to wait on American Desperado because there aren't any super cheap copies.

Sorry about your chickens!

Anonymous said...

These books and movies make me want to puke. It's always the same thing -- these people indirectly fuck up thousands of lives, but we're supposed to admire them at the end because they tell us how much they love their stupid kid or they do a PSA that no one sees.

-- Patrone

beckler said...

The gangster genre is one of my favorite American cultural creations. The Godfather and Goodfellas are a couple of my favorite movies. The Sopranos and Breaking Bad are two of my favorite TV shows ever, and everybody in the world except me would probably pick The Wire as their favorite. None of those things would exist without real gangsters. My mom has suffered a lot of narco fear living in Mexico, and I've gotten a miniscule taste of it as well, so of course I wish it could be eradicated from the face of the earth, but drug policy, mostly the US's drug policy, is to blame. The rest is just human nature, sadly. Human nature with all its horrible flaws will never cease to be interesting to me. I was being flippant to make it sound like admiration. It's really more fascination. It's just my personal interest. I'm super interested in true crime stories but I just don't let myself indulge because it makes me paranoid.

Anonymous said...

Also, do you know about abebooks(dot)com? Punch in the ISBN# and get it from an indie bookseller for CHEAP!
Also, the sac liberry has both Narcorrido and American Desperado *on shelf*. Just sayin'.

The Neighbor

beckler said...

Oh yeah, I can check out books from davis for a year. I'll get american desperado there. I should do that more but I like hoarding books

Anonymous said...

Definitely check out abe books then!
I got an out of print coffee table book for $4 shipped. Ebay had it around $200.

_The Neighbor