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Established 1986 Return to Editor's Cell December 2001
DIRTY LITTLE BILLY - Academy Cinema, Pearse Street.

For several years a new view of the American scene has begun to emerge at the cinema.  Dirty Little Billy is an example.  The story another "reality" behind the myth of Billy the Kid and Stan Dragoti made it.

            Truth in the case of reality as he sees it can never be grasped because we are all too stupid, and yet each a little cleverer than someone else in some respect, tricking one another for the permanent fake idea of human “survival”.  From the start this film is confusing and the confusion lasts for longer than the conventional introduction to “plot”.  The camera eye examines the mess so tenderly; clarity of perspectives, detail of object and small movement, innuendos are all the time in sight.  The examination is so casual and erratic that the confusion of the senses is maintained and the examination of the people hardly seems to have any purpose.  Everything seems to happen in response to some instinct; it is, and therefore submits to “fate”.  The story afterwards however is so very simple, in fact the vague outline of so many lives – and so we begin to tell it, until the myth takes over and becomes lodged in the mind as a lie.  The hero is created by the forces beyond his control.  The hero may even be Goldie if you think about it sometime.

            Billy’s parents don’t read the contract they sign for a house and land – did you?  There was the opportunity to do so.  If you could be morally shocked about Goldie maybe it is because you didn’t hear one conversation.  This film can be taken as you can take it.  It could seem like an illusion afterwards.

            An “epidemic” in another settlement along the new Galveston Railroad swells the population of Billy’s place.  The people have now become numerically eligible as citizens in law: they can hire a professional law man – they can elect a mayor!  And they are now responsible in law for all the post-dated pieces of paper they’ve ever signed.  The land grabber, a generation in advance has already safeguarded his future.  Law is a weapon that is effective as a gun, except that you need not be dead unless…

            Is all resolute action a matter of personal survival?  A survival empty of good, but a fair imitation of the “bad” brought about by the fact that if it is possible to have power the forces that threaten your power.  A system in which individual freedom is becoming merely an illusion? The true story.

TREBLIN TIMES, November 1973

Thomas Jefferson: "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
The Publication of unexpectedly grim crime statistics have blown the myth of a New York united since the attacks of 11th of September. Violent criminals in the poorer quarters have taken up their guns again to bring about a sharp reversal of the cities plunging crime rate. The figures come as a jolt, all forms of crime fell dramatically following 11th of September, a sense of shock uniting the community. But in recent weeks with police resources drained by the rescue efforts,"the bad guys are starting to carry guns again" says one investigator, "and when there is a fight, a robbery or dispute,out come the guns and pow, pow, pow - we have someone lying in the street."

Ed Vulliamy, November 2001

Steve Bell, Guardian 2001