The Condition of Ugly

For the next little while, let's discuss the condition of being ugly...

That word. Ugly. So many people are it, but no one will admit to it. The kids you bullied in high school are right. People are ugly on the inside. Chances are you’re one of them. The “inside” is what we all aspire to have. And what are you on the inside? Ugly. Fucking ugly.

Look at how we treat those in the spotlight. You might have been an idol yesterday, but today we’re rooting for you to shave your head, show your cheech as you exit a limo at some night club, have a few Jerry Springer moments, wig out and go into rehab. Over and over ad nauseum until the paparazzi find a younger, more nubile twit to photograph naked in a moment of weakness.

We want ugly. And why? Times are tough. It paints our world gray. It makes everything taste like ash. People react. Some folks give time a shelter or pray or love their children. Some people decide to “get what’s theirs” and take it out of another’s pocket. Another’s home. Another’s ass. Those who dwell in the gutter and seek out places where, when the light shines, they don’t need to be afraid of it.

Other folks write about the scum. Because scum, well, they make a good muse.

And those writers are the ones I’m interested in. I want to celebrate noir voices. I want to get all up in them guts. That’s the mission statement.

Why do we write noir? Why the resurgence? Why cheer for the addict, desire the good guy to lose, why need everything to end in hot crimson and the acrid tinge of gun powder?

My answer is simple. The Care Bears took a flying fucking leap back to Mars where they came from and they took all their goodwill magic fairy dust with them. That’s right. I said it. This is all the Care Bears’ fault.

But I want answers from the writers. The people who sling the ink that details the lives of the folks to blame. Making protagonists out of the cancer of society. And from what I can tell already, the writers of these misdeeds are great people. They wear ties. They have kids. They fret over what color siding to put on their house and whether or not to buy bread made with high fructose corn syrup.

I want to find out the grit behind their purpose. I want to find out where they think all this comes from. And I want you to get in on it.

So, in the future, this is where it’s at. The interviews, the discussion, the ruminating. Here. From the mouths of the prophets themselves. And below this foundation, you’ll see a comments section. Patch it and pipe up. Think I’m off base? Say it. Horrified that I would state the Care Bears are evil Martians? Plead your case.

But, this is where it’s at and you’re half the equation. If you’re not ugly somewhere, somehow, go elsewhere and be smug about it.

Oh. And one last thing. For those of you who think you’re not ugly…you’re wrong.


Next weekwe get this thing off the ground with our very own Joe Clifford.

Ryan Sayles's debut novel The Subtle Art of Brutality is due for release October 1, 2012, through Snubnose Press. He has been published at sites such as Shotgun Honey, Crime Factory, Beat to a Pulp and Nefarious Muse. His work has been included in two print anthologies. He may be contacted at