To truly understand Ellroy’s writing, one must understand the conventions of the hardboiled noir genre. The noir protagonist is a sort of antihero. He is often a world-weary individual, disillusioned and cynical. He sees the world as corrupt, a place where no good deed goes unpunished and lives to get his kicks. At heart he may be a sentimental romantic deep at heart, but he keeps it hidden and repressed, because whenever he allows himself to be vulnerable and truly care about someone, it always backfires. He lives by a code of honor that is his own, and strictly defines himself according to it. In a world of predators, prey, and scavengers, the hardboiled hero struggles to be his own man and not to fall into any of those categories. Typically, a noir hero will come up against some sort of challenge to his code, and will either compromise it and fail, or he will succeed and triumph, only to find the reward to be not worth the cost and the victory Pyrrhic at best, empty and meaningless more often than not.
In each case, blogging began—and in many cases, remained—as a labor of love. Like Sepia Mutiny’s contributors, the bloggers I spoke with wrote their posts before and after their demanding full-time jobs, or in between classes. While racism often drove them to blog in the first place, it also exhausted them once they were there.
“Writing about structural racism is an uphill battle,” says Peterson. “There are so many people dropping into the conversation at so many different points and with different experiences, it feels like an exercise in futility.”” —Sepia Mutiny’s Closure Is a Reminder: Blogging While Brown Ain’t Easy