Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Psychic Gangsters by any other name

Well I’ve missed ‘Psychic Gangsters’ and I could have made it to the viewing and I like the director (Stef) so I have to ask meself: ‘why didn’t I go?’ ‘What’s wrong with me?’ and the answer is the simple glib truth;’ I don’t know’.
Upon reflection, it must be the name. ‘Psychic gangsters’ is a very cool name, and yet I hate it. It’s cool because it’s two ‘cool’ words that you never see together.
I just think both of those words shouldn’t be cool when they stand for crap things.

Lets just look at it for a minute.
It may sound a bit prissy but it’s no harm to think for a moment about what gangsters are:
The sort of people who would, if they could, get you into debt on purpose so that they would be in a position to put your sister on the game and live off the proceeds are what we call gangsters. The sort of people, who by a process of systematic violence and intimidation, turn the culture of a community into that of a prison, (where the only way to survive is to keep your mouth shut and keep your head down’) are gangsters. There really is nothing cool about that, kids. Robert deNiro, Al Pacino and James Gandolfini are cool because they’re really good actors and they play well-written characters; from their performances, we inevitably get a sense that gangsters are interesting people. Some of them may be, but frankly I doubt it.
The gangster world, like the wild west world is an interesting place to set stories, but the interesting, intelligent, morally conflicted gangster that these stories usually centre around doesn’t exist. That’s not the sort person who is attracted to this profession.
The truth is, that because they are rarely that bright and they are surrounded by people who fear them, real gangsters have an inflated sense of their own importance that would be comical if everyone wasn’t too afraid to laugh at them. Real gangsters are a very far cry from Tony Soprano and a lot more like the character Ricky Gervais plays in ‘The Office’. The violence that is an integral part of their trade is the only thing that anyone could be interested in. They’re a bunch of violent asshole parasites with a childishly selfish sense of responsibility and I’m certainly glad I don’t have any in my life.

The only violence that ‘Psychics’ do on the other hand, is the violence they do to the truth. A psychic must feel a certain occasional sense of self-loathing. They are in constant contact with desperate people looking for answers; answers, which they are incapable of providing. I suppose if a Psychic can be said to be anything it’s a ‘human placebo’. It must be embarrassing to be a placebo. When you meet with actual medicines, which have a real physiological effect, you probably feel like a bit of a phoney. Maybe this is what makes them a far politer form of parasite. I like politeness, so give me a ‘psychic’ over a ‘gangster’ any day. But really, wouldn’t it be a much better world without either criminals or con-artists?

Yeah. Must have been the name. Sorry Stef.

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