Gigglebit: YouTube users write their own hard-boiled detective prose

8 Jan 2015

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

The YouTube comment section is pretty much the worst thing about the internet with most videos littered with semi-literate nonsense and almost no valuable dialogue between users is to be seen anywhere.

One video, however, almost validates the entire feature.

Jazz Music (Film noir) is a four-minute video comprised of a still taken from the 1955 film The Big Combo and music that could easily have been lifted straight from a private-eye film noir of the same ilk, recalling not just from the movies, but the hard-boiled pulp writing of novelists such as Raymond Chandler and Chester Himes.

The music is actually trumpet player Nicholas Payton’s cover of Chinatown, a song originally composed by Jerry Goldsmith for the 1974 film of the same name, which itself featured many elements of film noir. Inspired by the piece, commenters have been posting their own dead-on detective prose below the video. Here’s just one sample:

“This was just another one of those days. Another day wondering whether or not I’ll be getting a new lead to follow. Another day wondering if this time I’ll actually get paid the full amount and not have to listen to another sob story from the missus about her cheating husband. And another day hoping that old landlady Murdock won’t come barging into my room demanding for this month’s rent, plus another hundred for ‘expenses’. And another day hoping to drown away my loneliness with my good buddies Daniels and Jim Bean. This was just going to be one of those days, that was until … her. She came into my office looking like beauty and perfection herself. She had blond hair that shined like the sun, fingernails painted as crimson as her dress. But none of that compared to her eyes. Those eyes showed the promise of great times, and no guilt whatsoever. As soon as she came strutting in through my door, I just knew that those days were done and gone.”

For more shadowy nuggets of goodness, check out the original video. Just be sure you’re reading in the voice of actor Robert Mitchum.

Film noir image via Shutterstock

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic