Thursday, January 26, 2006

Throw the book at them

When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. What kind of writer, I couldn't tell you. Did I write short stories & poetry? yes. Did I have the common courtesy to promptly destroy them? yes. Technically, I am now officially grown up, & have not yet stumbled on to a way to get paid for typing lurid pulp all day, so it's still off to the salt mines in the morning. But just think of what could have been...think of the company I'd keep!

What in the blue blazes am I talking about, you may ask?Well...Nicole Ritchie, you know, Lionel Ritchie's stepdaughter, star of The Simple Life, & occupant of bed # 27 at Sparkling Hills rehab clinic, has churned out a literary masterpiece, based loosely on her own experiences. On her own fucking experiences! It even has her goddammed photo on the cover. Not the book jacket...the fucking cover. I leafed through it during a trip to the bookstore & had to put it down for fear of barfing all over it & then having to pay for the damn thing. How did it read? Imagine yourself at a boring party, trapped in a corner by the blabbermouthed daughter of an 80's popstar, on hiatus from her reality show, rambling on & on about herself between sips of her apple-tini about how tough she's had it all these 19 years. It's sad that this is an all too conceivable scenario in this town. Yes, life imitates art, but in a terrifying, dismal way.
And then there's this blithering idiot, James Frey, who's controversial memoirs are riding a roller-coaster of popluarity, thanks to Oprah's Book Club endorsement & the revelation that his book is in fact a work of fiction. "A Million Little Pieces" of bullshit. No, he never did time, & no, he didn't cause a car crash that killed his best friend. Did he wake up on a plane, teeth smashed out, addicted to crack? Not bloodly likely. Maybe that part was metaphorical. Metaphorical for what, I don't know. I wouldn't watch Oprah if you threatened me with castration (after all, watching Oprah is just another kind of castration), but I would've liked to have seen the rise & fall of this spineless wahoo over his absurd "book", which he had originally shopped to publishers as a fucking novel.

But hey, if he can do it, I can do it...I'm releasing my own, slightly embellished memoir: "Modern-Day Adonis: Confessions of a man with no beer belly, a full head of hair & perfect skin." So anyways, I went to Border's to pick up a book that my girlfriend is going to use at her office's white-elephant-type party. I got Yann Martel's "Life of Pi" because a) this one guy at work recommended it to me right after a gushing, unsolicited review of "The Kite Runner" (another book now permanently defaced in my mind just by the stigma of that recommendation) so I figure that's what people are reading these days when they're not , and b) apparently that M. Night Shamalamadingdong fellow, the one what made "Signs", is gonna adapt it for the silver screen, & it if it's gonna be made into a movie, that means it obviously must be an irreproachable masterpiece that will ultimately take it's rightful place in history alongside the works of the French Impressionists.

Still, "Signs" was the one movie that made me do a room-by-room of my apartment with a Louisville Slugger when I got home from the theater. It really appealed to my paranoid, cynical side. But I digress, for the nth time...The last piece of popular culture I'm going to shit on today is "Capote", the big-screen adaptation of the sorry story of Truman Capote researching the tragic news story that he re-wrote as the story "In Cold Blood". Jesus. All we need now is a behind-the-scenes, so we can enjoy the making of of the making of of the making of of the goddamed movie. Is that where we're at, now?! Every book known to man, from Pride & Prejudice to Curious George to The Scarlet Letter to The Fantastic fucking Four, has been made into a movie & then RE-made as a CG-fueled action-thriller, so now we're making movies about writing the books that we make into movies & re-make as CG-fueled action-thrillers? God's wounds! It's like we're unraveling a giant sweater, & someone keeps on knitting, & knitting, & knitting, & knitting, & knitting!

Someone asked me if I had gotten a chance to see "Capote", & I wish I had a photo of the expression on their face when I said, " I don't know if I can handle hearing that voice for an hour & a half." Imagine nonplussed combined with perplexed.



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