Friday, October 17, 2014

Laura Ellen Joyce's THE LUMINOL REELS - "We've Only Been Doing This For Thousands Of Years."

Christal Cooper  2,101 Words

Laura Ellen Joyce’s The Luminol Reels:
“We’ve Been Doing This For Thousands of Years”

“When human blood reacts with luminol, it lights up a ghostly blue. This reaction, most commonly used to detect whether violence has taken place at suspected crime scenes, combines the human and the chemical, it invokes violence and disposability but also transformation. THE LUMINOL REELS takes its imagery from pornography, Catholicism, and crime scene investigation to interrogate the violence done to women. It considers the ongoing brutality of the feminicides in Ciudad Juarez and the institutional misogyny of the Catholic Church. Violence is intrinsically linked to location, and the shrines, quinceañera parties, holy communions, and séances of this book are all stained luminescent blue.”
From an Anonymous Reader of The Luminol Reels

When Daniel Pearle and Nicholas Berg were beheaded the world, especially America and Europe, was enraged and shocked.  There was never a question of righteous enragement – these two atrocious murders demanded outrage.;  however, did it demand shock? 

My father, however, made a comment that made me even question why I should be shocked:  “Beheadings are nothing new.  We’ve been doing this for thousands of years.”

       The first beheading recorded in the Bible is when David beheaded Goliath with Goliath’s own sword. 

The next beheading in the Bible is when King Herod, in order to keep his promise to the dancing daughter of Herodias, presents the young dancer with John the Baptist’s head on a silver platter.

       Many people will probably read Laura Ellen Joyce’s most recent artistic piece, the flash fiction and poetic novella The Luminol Reels with horror and perhaps frown on how such an educated woman could write such a disturbing, bloody, sexually violent, full of carnage book?

       But the one response I have is the same as my father’s:  “This is nothing new.  We’ve been doing this for thousands of years.”

       Joyce is not the creator or the driving force of the horror but simply the storyteller, the poet, that presents the horror in an artistic form not to praise this kind of horror, nor to diminish its horrific affects; but to make us aware of the grim reality:  the madness of the journey and the treacherous carnage of body and spirit.

       Reading the book is almost like going through a religious ceremony of some kind – others might react in shock at this statement, but when one reads the Old Testament books Leviticus and Judges (specifically chapter 19) one can only say:  “This is nothing new. We’ve been doing this for thousands of years.”

       The Luminol Reels is a tiny book (9 by 7 inches and 97 pages long) that one could grasp like one would grasp the rosary beads, their hands bleeding from either stigmata or self-flagellation.

       The reading of The Luminol Reels is similar to the watching of film clips, and divided into eleven stations or film clips:   
1.     Agonies
2.     Martyrs
3.     Murderers
4.     Porno
5.     Rituals
6.     Bodies
7.     Virgins
8.     Sacrificial Laws
9.     Saints
11.The Dead Return

On closer inspection the eleven Stations of The
Luminol Reels resemble the thirteen Stations of the Cross:
1.      Jesus is condemned to death
2.      Jesus carries His cross
3.      Jesus falls the first time
4.      Jesus meets His mother
5.      Simon Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross
6.      Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7.      Jesus falls the second time
8.      Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9.      Jesus falls the third time
10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
12. Jesus dies on the cross
13. Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb

     What’s so strange is that when you group the times Jesus falls, the Stations of the Cross are now 11, the same number as the Stations of The Luminol Reels.

       The Luminol Reels presents a factory ruled and governed by the Catholic Church, coercing and forcing  women, (usually with red hair and drinking cherry wine) to come to this factory, to have communion, which proves to be a bloody bone churning experience.  After all, doesn’t Jesus say, “Eat my flesh and drink my blood.”

                      Sleeplessness is better; take the soft 
                blue pellets on cracked tongues and sip – like 
                invalids–     at the icy drinks.  And then it will 
                come, oh virgin, will come again more 
                intense.  You will be dizzying  crawling on
                the bed, reaching sallow hands out of the 
                window to feel the lick of air.  You moan
                loud, grouching at the itchy fever on the 
                edge . . . peeling away from your high.   .   
       Excerpt from The Luminol Reels
       Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

       And that is exactly what happens – There is the religious ceremony of circumcision not of the penis but of the vagina and every part of the woman body:  her vulva, her tailbone, her backbone, her pubis, her throat – only to be hung like dirty quilts handmade by their mothers while in the sanitarium – on woodworm trees, where the blood drips into a glass aquarium, and the women are then sewed back together.

These girls and women not only have to eat the flesh, drink the blood, become purged, but also purge each other.
 In the Agonies Reel, Film Clip “Factory” the factory manager is a woman.

                      First, she tells you where materials can be
sourced:  from the enclosure between the 
pens.  She tells you the shape the materials will be in:  Some of them may be alive and ranting, some will be unconscious and some plain dead.  There may occasionally be only body parts that have been gnawed on.  She tells you the first part of the task:  sift through the girls in the cage (once they are tied up) and take a sack to collect any odds and ends.
       The next part of the reel shows the workroom and the chemicals you will need for the job.  The workroom is full of barrels and creels and jars. There you will find acids and oils that strip flesh right off the bone.
       The master butcher gives some advice at this point.  The first time you touch a girl you might vomit or get the shakes.  She reminds you to think of how exquisite it is to saw a girl in half without spilling a drop of blood.  She claims that one day you can be as talented as her.  This is false encouragement.  Since her martyrdom there has been no one to take her place.

       Excerpt from The Luminal Reels
       Copyright granted by Laura Ellen 
The place of the factory is a desert of blue sand – or sand full of luminol that makes blood and its horrors an electrified blue – something everybody can see and experience, even the reader. 

These innocent women are ruthlessly punished for having abortions and for being pregnant, raped, tortured, murdered, and hung on dirty hooks to drain their blood into glass containers; and then hung for ten days to cure, in order to be eaten by the perpetrator.

First she gets rid of the blood by hanging the girl upside down and slitting her throat.  Then she sews the girl back up.  The liquids collect in a glass tank. 

Excerpt from The Luminol Reels
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

The fact that this factory takes place in a desert makes one think of the Daughters of Juarez – the feminicide that has been occurring in the desert of Juarez, Mexico, for the past 21 years.  A huge majority of these victims are Hispanic girls and women who work for the American owned sweatshop-type-factories called maquiladoras,  located in Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. 

Juarez is heavily influenced by the Catholic Church in religion, superstition, sexual inequality, and culture.   Some experts even go as far as to say the Catholic Church’s lack of action (in addition to the lack of action by government) is what is enabling the perpetrators of this feminicide to thrive.

There were stories about the desert – the parable of Old Jack, the parable of the Child Killer.  But the girls still came.  They came at midnight, they came early in the morning.  They walked in bare feet carrying plastic grocery bags with their uniforms, food, rape alarms.  Keys were splayed in their palms, knifed out. The buses did not come at night, nor in the early morning.  The women came to the desert, walked over the bodies they found there, careful to avoid falling down into the mass graves, the limb-field holes of the desert.

Excerpt from The Luminol Reels
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce
When one visits Juarez, Mexico, one will also see the color pink in the form of crosses, each cross representing each female life that was slaughtered.

In The Luminol Reels the color pink is also a symbolism of these young innocent girls – their pink doll flesh, also symbolizing their red blood ruthlessly shed, now a shade of faded pink in the desert, baptized in blue, which makes the blood shed visible and glowing bright as the Chinese lanterns in the deep night, or within their own bodies.

       The Luminol Reels is revealing via the mind of the perpetrator and the victim the horror of sexual crimes against women.  Usually Joyce’s women are young girls or young women just going through their menstruation cycle – drinking cherry whine, having blonde or red hair, and dancing across a blue desert. 

She has walked across the desert at the most dangerous times – during luminol crashes;  after swallowing cardiac spores.  She wears Kylie hotpants and has Marilyn hair.  The first time she is raped there is a splash of red across the sand.
She has a Xanax smile as she walks on glass slippers, as she glides through the burning sand in figure eights.

Excerpt from The Luminol Reels
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

The man with the ax presents these women with crowns of daisies, red roses, yellow roses and lilies to wear on their small feminine heads. 

The same man, this time with a shucking knife, gives them diamonds, rubies, pearls and crystals.  

The ceremony of these young females with the flowers and jewels is similar to the ceremony of the virginal young nuns taking their vows; except in Joyce’s world, the young woman has no choice – she must take her vows and allow the bears to eat their fresh raw fish. 

       The colors of blue, green, pink, and red shine through this book – just like blood, when baptized with luminol, shines in the dark that we as readers are now just seeing. 

We’ve been doing this for thousands of years.  The blood has always been here and is nothing new.  We just now have the luminol that has enabled us to see blood as of 1928, due to German chemist H.O. Albrecht’s discovery.   The use of luminol in crime scenes was not used until 1937, when German forensic scientist Walter Specht made it possible.

The only difference, perhaps, is that the blood did not smell of coconut oil, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Or are the coconut oil, nutmeg, and cinnamon simply the smell of the butcher’s aprons as he butchers away – with great deliberation, great precision, and religious ceremony?   

       Now the perpetrator is trying to convince you and me, the readers, to come to the factory.  “Eat my flesh and drink my blood.”  We just have to sign our names in blood on the paper glass contracts, wear our crown of black earth and faded flowers, cry tears of pearls and swallow semen of pearls, and finally drink the cherry wine and the margaritas until we can no longer run, but only pantomime a dance that we no longer have control of. 

       Now the man with the ax and the shucking knife, wearing an apron (perhaps it is made of purple flowers, smelling of blue blood) looks for those small twin girls with red hair.  

You and me, the readers, are those twin girls with the red hair. 

       We taste the metal and the salt and hear the cries of wolves, the hungry growls of dogs; the same dogs that devoured Jezebel’s entire body – from the top of her head to the tips of her painted toes.  

       In the end, there is the heroine, Joyce’s own view of the Virgin Mary or the Saints of the Catholic Church, who listen to the prayers of the oppressed and rescue them. 

In this case the Virgin Mary or the Catholic Saint is the mother of one of these slaughtered girls.  The mother tries to think of a recipe that will bring her slaughtered and sexually violated daughter back to life. 

This could be representative of Jesus rising from the dead, except in The Luminol Reels there is no ascension.

Photo Description and Copyright Information

Laura Ellen Joyce in a flower garden.
Copyright granted by Laure Ellen Joyce

Jacket cover of The Luminol Reels

Daniel Pearl
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Nicholas Berg
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

The beheading of Goliath by David
Oil on Canvas
Attributed to Caravaggio
Public Domain

Salome (the daughter of Herodias) with the head of John The Baptist
Attributed to Caravaggio
Public Domain

Attributed to Laura Ellen Joyce
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

Laura Ellen Joyce
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

Laura Ellen Joyce, far right, filming her trailer for The Luminol Reels
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

The rape and murder of the concubine from Judges 19
Public Domain

Hands holding the rosary
Attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper

Poster of a little girl.
Attributed to Laura Ellen Joyce
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

Wood engraving of the 10th Station of the cross, Jesus being stripped of his garments.
Attributed to Louis Jou
Public Domain

Polychrome wood carving of Jesus falling
Attributed to Nicolo Fumo in 1698
Carving is located at the Saint Genesis Church in Madrid, Spain.
Public Domain

Jacket cover of The Luminol Reels

Girl Hanging
Photo image from the Facebook page of Laura Ellen Joyce

Wood infected with woodworm
Photo taken on April 14, 2006 in Hannover, Germany
Attributed to Kai-Martin Kraak
GNU Free Documentation License

Jacket cover of The Luminol Reels

Blue Crystals
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

Jacket cover of The Luminol Reels

Some of the victims of the feminicide in Juarez, Mexico.  The total victim count ranges from 370 to over 1000 females.
Fair Use Under The United States Copyright Law.

Jacket cover of The Luminol Reels

Pink crosses in Juarez, Mexico.  For each female body found pink crosses with the female’s name (if known) is placed there.
Photo of crosses taken on August 31, 2007
Public Domain

Attributed to Laura Ellen Joyce
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

Jacket cover of The Luminol Reels

Z (1)
The crown of yellow roses, red roses, daisies, and lilies.
Attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper

Z (2)
The Little Girl With Red Hair
Disney’s Ariel Wig, Creative Memories Cranberry Paper, Three black board panel; wooden bowl, crown (as identified in Z (1))
Attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper

Yellow stones, fake diamonds, fake rubies, fake pearls, fake white and blue crystals, and red paint to symbolize blood with the face being held by the hand of the perpetrator.
Attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper 

Bear on pink background.
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

The female eggs shine in colors of pink, green and blue
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Luminol revealing the traces of blood
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

The Perpetrator’s Apron
Cotton apron with plastic black face mold; coconuts; Willow Tree “Abundance” of little girl holding pink flowers; cinnamon; nutmeg; butcher Cutco knife; and Creative Memories Cranberry paper.
Attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper

Hysterical Glitter Girl
Girl in The Luminol Reels trailer
Copyright granted by Laura Ellen Joyce

Faces the Perpetrator
White cotton Apron, Creative Memory Cranberry Paper,
Spectrum Virgin Coconut Oil, Cutco butcher knife; Willow tree Abundance, and fake Ashland Signature Item flowers.
Attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper

His Knife of Flavor 
Cutco Butcher knife with salt on black fabric
Attributed to Christal Rice Cooper
Copyright granted by Christal Rice Cooper

Queen Jezebel being devoured by dogs
Luca Giordano in the 1600s
Public Domain

Painting of Maria Goretti, the saint for rape victims, chastity, girls, youth, teenage girls, poverty, purity, and forgiveness
Painting attributed to Giuseppe Brovelli-Soffredini
Public Domain

Statue of St Maria Goretti in peasant garb holding lilies and a knife
Attributed to Norbert Schnitzler
Photo taken of statue taken on July 27, 2006

CC By SA 3.0

No comments:

Post a Comment