First, the Maltese Falcon was a book before it was a film, and it predated Marlowe by ten or fifteen years.
Second, it wasn't really based around L.A., though it may have done LA's reputation that kind of damage internationally. I wouldn't really be that surprised; the facts of the matter wouldn't have a lot of bearing on what people took away.
Third, Chandler was in no way the father of Noir. He wrote a lot of influential books, but he was also largely following in Hammet's footsteps, I think -- I may tend to idolize Sam Spade novels more than Marlowe ones, though.
The L.A. area Indians also had people who dressed and lived as the opposite sex and were generally considered holy.
In 1914, Birth of a Nation was filmed in L.A. This movie showed the Klu Klux Klan as the saviors of a South in crisis after the end of the Civil War. Birth of a Nation was generally regarded as the greatest movie of its era by White Americans and it began the shift of the movie industry from the East Coast to Hollywood.
Since prehistory, people have chosen to dress and live as another gender, either with or without the knowledge and sanction of society. Almost every culture in aboriginal North America had what Whites called “berdache”, people who lived as the other gender and were often considered holy or powerful.
In the mid 20th century, when homosexuality was thought of by most homosexuals as a terrible secret (and by society as a crime and a mental illness), men met in public restrooms known as ‘tea rooms’ for anonymous sex. Many of these men lived as heterosexuals except for the few minutes they spent in these tea rooms. Occasionally the sex would lead to a supernatural accident, usually killing the participants. Nobody wanted to admit to being there, so nobody reported or talked about the supernatural accidents.
Later in the century, tea room sex lost most of its power as homosexuality became more accepted and homosexual sex roles and rituals standardized.
When an Androgyne tries to eliminate gender roles in hirself, two things happen. First, the Anima or Animus becomes weaker as more of it is incorporated into the conscious self. Less psychological energy is caught up in that psychodynamic and the energy is available to the conscious self. Second, genderless sex has less to distract participants from the pure sharing of pleasure and is thus more likely to cause a minor awakening in the soul. Androgynes are trained to recognize these minor awakenings and take advantage of the brief weakening of the laws of physics.
Some have found that “miracles” have favored societies that were sexually restrictive, helping them thrive and destroy more permissive civilizations. To an Androgyne historian, the bible is a chronicle of some supernatural force, masquerading as ‘god’, manipulating historical events to wipe out sexually permissive pagan religions.
Various elder Androgynes are in possession of artifacts from sex-related shatters including: Mary Sutton’s Bloody Rags, the Vertigo Card, and the Glory Hole (p.244).
Vox has almost completely stopped thinking of hirself as male or female. Vox thinks of hirself as a lover, explorer and, most importantly, as a freedom fighter trying to save humanity from the tyranny of gender. Sie doesn’t think it’s wrong to destroy property or ruin the lives of those who support, consciously or not, gender roles. Vox loves to confuse, disorient and scare ‘normals.’
I stare into your eyes. You seem more real than any person I’ve ever met. Your mouth opens slightly. I feel like I am running down a hill and as the incline grows steeper I must run faster and faster to stay on my feet. Yet there is no fear here, not in this world we have carved for ourselves. Your breath is hard and fast. I can feel my heart pounding in my lips, the lobes of my ears, the tips of my fingers. The air between us is filled with warm moisture. Every part of my body aches with desire to touch you.
We pull ourselves together. We both know the steps to this dance, make them in perfect harmony, although neither is leading. There is softness in your skin, but strength under it. Your body presses against mine and my breath is taken away. We kiss and time is banished. Only this moment exists. Your taste is on my tongue. Your smell fills my nostrils. The warmth of your skin is all over me. Your wordless sounds of pleasure fill my ears. To me there is only you. There has never been anything else and never will be anything. You are the universe.
We lay ourselves down. In no hurry, we slide over each other, positioning ourselves so we can each discover the fire burning between the other’s legs. A touch there and we feel electricity leaping between us, traveling through our spines, filling our bodies with a holy vibration. For a moment we are tentative, afraid that this experience will be too intense, that it will obliterate us. Yet we cannot stop, the parts of our minds that make decisions are like tiny insects buzzing against the wrath of a hurricane.
Our fingers dig into each other’s flesh. We pull ourselves closer and closer together. Our bodies rock in harmony. There is no longer any difference between giving and receiving pleasure. Our bodies have no shape, all we are is moving and feeling. The waves of pleasure grow higher and higher. What once would have been heartstopping pain is now crashing ecstasy filling all known worlds.
And as we reach a crescendo, something stirs in the darkness. Something that is us and yet more than we can ever imagine. Two things for which time and space and life and death have no meaning reach for each other across a terrible void. And the world shakes. Across every reality that has been or could be, thunder crashes. Petty gods are shaken on their thrones. For ours is the passion that can destroy the heavens.
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