You’d think, with the bazillions of terabytes of reference material available to us at the click of a mouse, we wouldn’t have to rely on all-too-fallible memory to get us through our stories.
I flipped the page and a rogue FBI agent, off to shoot porn movies in Mexico with Jack Ruby (yes, the book is just that cat-litter gritty) snaps an (innocent, for once) picture with a Polaroid and the snapshot whirrs out
No it didn’t! BLAST YOU, ELLROY! You just stuck an SX-70 from 1972 into a guy’s hands in 1959 and 13 years might look small from where you’re sitting, but it’s a huge leap from “set the iris, snap the shutter, pull the tab, wave the film around a little, pull out the fixing-compound sponge and coat the shot, then stick it to a pasteboard backing so it won’t curl” to “just push a button and, hey-presto! out pops the snapshot,” and that’s the difference between a 1959 Polaroid Land Camera and an SX-70.
That dull thud? That was my disbelief, padded cuffs broken, dropping right onto the unpadded floor.
Then again, James Ellroy’s American Tabloid came out in 1995, so it’s not likely the author did a whole lot of Googling.
The producers of Downton Abbey, of course, have no such excuse.