September 29, 2010

It's crazy; no sooner do I finish When You’re Strange, finding myself adrift yet again in a vast sea of nextfilm limbo, then my old friend Jimmy decides to reappear. You may recall our last encounter several months ago just before he headed west to direct the next Batman film.

As jealous as I was then of his incredible good fortune it turns out it was wasted negative energy. He got fired from the 200 million dollar film for resisting the producers' demand that Trini Immlet, the film's 7 year old co-star, get breast implants.  The firing seems to have woken Jimmy up to his true calling; political journalism.

“Oh, man, I’m totally into it,” he said last night at The Dip Stick, a Young Republican hang out on the upper east side. I was alarmed to see Jimmy sporting a tight new haircut, a red sports coat, an American flag necktie with an American flag pinned on both his jacket and the tie. But he assured me his neo-patriot look was just a disguise. Later he was meeting one of his 'contacts' for an upcoming interview with Glenn Beck.

“Movies are nowhere,” he rushed on. “Art is nowhere. Politics is the new drug and I’m on a mega-dose right now.”

"Which side are you on?" I asked warily.

"I'm on no side, man. I'm only out for the Truth."

"What's the Truth?"

"The Truth," Jimmy said, "is something you've read or heard somebody say."

He’s been working as a freelance journalist, “writing rogue” as he calls it, for almost a year.  Getting fired from a mainstream Hollywood movie earned Jimmy major cred from the Right Wing press. He’s been granted unprecedented access to such heavy hitters as Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.  His articles have appeared all over the web.

He showed me one he’d just written on Palin for ReLoad.Kom and I instantly felt my jealousy return. He really was out for the Truth and I was proud of him. I was so impressed my resentment stuck around even after Jimmy gave me permission to reprint excerpts of his piece here.

by Jimmy Spangle

Moments after I sat down Governor Palin served us lunch, one of her own recipes called a Hotdogburger, which was raw hotdog ground up, made into a patty, grilled and served on a hamburger bun. We quickly got down to one of the Big questions, Women In Politics. Unsurprisingly Palin avidly embraces the idea of women as Mothers, Patriots and Leaders. Judging by the millions of downloads of this photo her fans do too.

Governor Sarah Palin at a local swimming hole

“Oh, that’s not me,” Palin exclaimed. “Somebody just photostuck my head on some gal’s body. I’ve got a tattoo I can’t show you of Todd’s name where I use my bellybutton for the O.”

“Do you think women in bikinis with guns are sexy?”

“Not this gal cuz she’s kinda sloppy around the hips, but my lord nothing like Hilary Clinton. That poor woman looks like a walking sack of mashed potatoes. But, sure, I think a sexy woman has power. See, women are powerful cuz we can be hard and we can be soft. Men can be hard but they can’t be soft. I mean they can but where's the fun in that?"

The former Governor winked twice, the second time so hard I thought a mosquito had gotten snagged in her mascara.

"And it’s time to give women the power," she went on. "We’re strong, we’re American and we know how to take care of our young. ”

“What part do you feel intelligence plays?”


“You're against abortion of any kind.”

“Oh, you betcha.”

“Rachael Maddow stated on MSNBC last week that if a 12 year old girl was raped by her father you would be in favor of the government forcing her to have the baby. Some people might find that a little extreme.”

Palin's brow furrowed in deep concern which was a little disorienting because she was still smiling. “Killing a little baby is wrong," she said softly.  "And it’s not extreme. In fact if you checked some fact checking you’ll see that five major Republican Senate candidates, including my very own Joe Miller have all come out into the public with their same views.”

abortion opponents

I was a bit confused. "I thought Republicans and Tea Partiers wanted less government interference in American lives."

Palin leaned closer to explain. “Look, it's a woman thing; you wouldn't understand. Take my baby Trig. I had him, didn’t I? I coulda just said well, this little bunny egg is cracked or broken or whatever but I didn’t do that, didn't I? That's cuz I'm a mother and he's a living creature and God loves him and I do too."

“If you'd been raped by your father when you were 12, and you became pregnant, would you have had the baby?”

Palin's eyes narrowed and chilled like the fading Alaskan afternoon. “My dad's a total loving sweetie pie. He'd never do such a nasty thing. Last question.”

"Have you ever shot a grizzly bear?"

“Oh, you betcha,” she grinned, glad to be back on familiar ground. “I brought her down in four shots.”

“Why so many?

“Simple, you ninny. One for the mama and one for each of the cubs.”

Well, it´s all in Swedish, maybe I can translate some of it later. I am actually kind of nervous about it because I am naming some of my colleges, calling them misogynist. I may have to start sneaking into press screenings in the future. It is basically about how with films aimed directly towards women critics seem to not be able to wait to slaughter it. They never take the same kind of opportunity to really come up with insults and make fun of appearances and stuff. Recently this happened with “Eat, pray love”, witch I found to be a very competent and road movie, one of few if not the only one with a women lead (Thelma and Louise had to shoot people, blow up trucks and have hot sex with Brad Pitt to get green lighted)
In the end though I explain how critics are just part of a sexist film business and that you really can´t blame individuals. More than anything maybe it is about how all the media people agree with each other all the time, something that has annoyed me my whole life.
Anyway, maybe I can translate it…
Oh yeah I totally agree with your comments on Sweet Smell! That doesn´t seem to happen anymore. Unless your name is Steve Buscemi of course.
Hey, have u cast your new film yet?
All the best,
United States of Moronica he he he…I’m looking forward to reading it.
Tom and all Box of Moonlight fans –
I just read that Lisa Blount, who was in BOM, died this past week at age 53. She had a rare blood disorder that she’d been battling for years.
Wow. I loved her performance in BOM…and at least some of her great work will be immortalized in film.
Didn’t know if you’d heard the news or not, thought I’d share here for other BOM fans too…
Hey Christine,
So nice to hear from you. I’m glad you checked out the Maddow clip. I was very impressed when I stumbled upon it myself.
Thanks for the nod to the Japan Times review. I have no idea how the release is being handled there but I sure am curious to see how people in Japan respond to the film.
Also got your email about fundraising. I will check it out.
I hope things are good and creative with you.
Hey Sam,
Well, you definitely have to share with us all what you’re writing. You should feel free to post excerpts here. I’ll put them on the site.
I’m glad you liked Sweet Smell of Success. There are a few clunky things in it, like the girlfriend boyfriend theme, but all the stuff with Tony Curtis is incredible–and timeless. The same thing with Hunsecker–Burt Lancaster.
The most amazing thing to me is that Lancaster produced the film, and cast himself in the most disturbing role. What American movie star would do that today? And what star like Curtis would have so completely committed to the role he plays here of a sleazy gossip hound and bottom feeder?
It is a tribute to the human spirit (and an inspiration to the flagging Independent Film movement)that the film ever got made.
Great to hear from you.
Hey Mario,
The TV set is only the messenger. It is what is on it that needs to be changed.
We are on the verge of becoming a nation of morons. The title of my next post is United States of Moronica.
Glad you liked Howl. Morrison and Manzarek were both hugely influenced by the Beats, as I’m sure you know.
The big screen is where it’s at. The phrase Bigger Than Life has meaning for a reason.
I love the way you keep investigating things, Mario. Keep it up. You will profit from it, without question.
Hey Tom!
Congratulations on the 4 star review for “When You’re Strange” in The Japan Times and your interview there as well.
I’m passing on the good news on FB & Twitter! 🙂
I watched some of the Rachel Maddow footage with Palin and I know what you mean about it being pretty disturbing.
Hope all is well.
“Howl”, my wife and I took in Howl at the Univ of Colo last week. (I see what you mean by watching a movie on the large screen, just something about it.) Having read Howl back in college and being interested in Kerouac, I was somewhat familiar with the poem. I think the opening lines are right up there with “Call me Ishmael”. I enjoyed the film; it was well done and used a lot of animations (unexpected!)
Hey Tom!
It might interest you that I have written an article that is a sort of critique of critics. Specifically I am calling film critics women haters but that is another story, I just thought you might get a kick out of the fact that I am reviewing movie reviewers in a magazine. Finally.
Oh and i finally saw “Sweet smell of success”. I know what you meant by “a jolt of raw electricity”. What amazing dialog. And J.J. Hunsecker – wow! Darth Vader´s got nothing on him.
Take care,
I know this may seem strange, but the cure to our reality politics may be very simple, smash your television.
John O'Sullivan
Tom, I run the Classic Rock Awards, happening in London on November 10th, your Doors film is up for an award, can I talk to you please? my email is above.
Regards, j.
Hey Wayne,
Writing rogue, eating rogue, sleeping rogue–I’m doing everything rogue these days. I encourage you to do the same.
Yeah, Jimmy and Tregor. Jimmy’s totally made up but Tregor is inspired by a real guy who told me some stories about his life that were simultaneously enthralling and horrifying. Certainly both could be in a movie.
I may keep posting Jimmy’s articles for a while. There is so much moronity going on in this country I think he at least deserves a shot at his own.
Hey Tom,
“writing rogue”! Someday I hope to be able to tell someone, possibly at one of those awkward and often cringeworthy social occasions like a wedding or Christmas party where someone asks the inevitable: “so what are you working at these days?”, that I am writing rogue! 🙂 I also think a “documentary” following Jimmy and Tregor would make for some interesting viewing…hey if Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix can get away with their new “documentary”, why not Jimmy and Tregor?
Thanks Renata,
I’m glad you got a chuckle out of it. I knew this one wouldn’t be for everyone but what the hell. Sometimes you just gotta do whatcha gotta do.
Now watch, someone’s going to market Hotdogburgers and make a million bucks.
“Hotdogburgers”, “writing rogue” the “somewhat” answer…this was one of the funniest things I read in a long time!!!! 🙂 Your friend Jimmy is a genius! If Sarah F. Palin can inspire this kind of stuff maybe there’s some positive purpose in her existence after all. Ok I am getting carried away now.
Well I don’t have a lot of time to write right now, just wanted to thank both the real and the imaginary authors of this entry for the laughs.
Hey Crhistine,
I know what you’re saying but you know I see all the crap these people are getting away with and I just can’t help myself. You should check out the link to the Rachel Maddow show where she goes into all the details. Pretty disturbing.
Yeah, making music. Trying to get another film going. I checked out the music of the guy you mentioned. Pretty cool sound.
Hey Elaine,
I like your take on the Truth line. I hadn’t thought of that. I was thinking how the Truth really doesn’t exist anymore. People will believe anything. People will say anything. People will outright lie; it gets printed somewhere or recorded on one of the million new media forms and it is instantly Fact.
Personally, I like the Fact that Palin eats Hotdogburgers.
Sarah Palin…OHMIGOD!! (she says, shaking her head and rolling her eyes)
Don’t be jealous of Jimmy, Tom. You’re headed for much more exciting and interesting pastures than this one!
Awww, Jimmy’s back!!! I’ve missed Jimmy. I think if he and Tregor were to hook up, they could change the world 🙂
From your post: “The Truth,” Jimmy said, “is something you’ve read or heard somebody say.”
Wow. Amidst the other paragraphs, this one really stood out for me. How many people believe that, consciously or subconsciously, for any number of things? Not just government, but so many other areas. Truth isn’t what you discover for yourself; it’s what someone else has said. And often the person speaking the loudest is the one we should be covering our ears for, not assigning “truth” to.
Interesting post. I hope the next film limbo gets better; more of your films is always a great thing. Let us know when you finish another song too, k?

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Independent Filmmaker & Musician