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The Dead Beat

by Cody James

Cody James talks about the characters in The Dead Beat:

"I think it’s probably easy to dismiss the characters as stereotypes, if you 
weren’t in the same scene that we were. The truth is that three of the 
main characters are me, the fourth was a friend of  mine, and all the 
other characters are people I knew and hung out with. We were 
characters, misfits, and outcasts, and that’s why we gravitated towards 
each other, towards a scene where there was acceptance, loud music by 
bands who didn’t know how to play their instruments, S&M clubs, 
drugs, alcohol, motorcycles and fights. We weren’t  stereotypes – that’s 
who we were. What upsets me more than anything in novels and movies 
in this genre (Selby Jr. I’m looking at you) is that they seem hell bent on 
portraying only the moments of shock and depravity  – they rob the 
reader and the viewer of the full experience. Yes, we were really fucked 
up and yes, we did bad things, but we were still trying. I still spent some 
Sunday mornings eating cereal and watching cartoons with a 7ft tranny. 
And, even though you’re all jacked up and your apartment has no 
furniture, you still try. Even though the person cooking the turkey has 
been up for three days and can’t remember how to work a stove, and 
your guests keep going to the bathroom to shoot up  and then keep 
falling asleep in the mashed potatoes, you’re still there celebrating 
Thanksgiving. There are still moments of utter joy  and there is still so 
much laughter. If, as an artist, you don’t portray that, you’re nothing but 
a cheap hack. "

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