Do you enjoy long-winded stories told in the first person that may or may not be fictional? Do you like unrealistic dialogue and the naval-gazing musings of the self-obsessed? Do you crave obtuse metaphors that sound like they were penned by a first-year creative writing major? Do you want some Salinger references mixed in with your celebrity sex gossip? Well boy, have I got the thing for you.
James Franco, everyone’s favorite wannabe artist and longtime sufferer of selfie-regret, has written a piece for Vice, which I can only assume is a rebuttal to the rumor that he slept with Lindsay Lohan. Considering that Lindsay’s so-called “f*ck list” names half of Hollywood and no one really believes any of it, I can’t imagine why Franco would bother to take the time and respond to such nonsense, except that oh, wait, he is a complete and total narcissist.
The essay, entitled “Bungalow 89,” floats back and forth between a James’s inner monologue about how he knows Gus Van Sant, how he modeled for Gucci, stuff like that – and a memory of Lindsay Lohan. Or, rather, a memory of a Hollywood girl who we just happen to be calling “Lindsay Lohan.” Oh James Franco, you’re such an enigma.
It’s typical James Franco writing, which means it isn’t very good, but it thinks that it is very, very good. His main point seems to be that he did not, under any circumstances, sleep with Lindsay Lohan. Of course, that message lies between passages like this:
She knocked on the door. She was in her pajamas. She had bare feet.
Once upon a time a guy, a Hollywood guy, read some Salinger to a young woman who hadn’t read him before. Let’s call this girl Lindsay. She was a Hollywood girl, but a damaged one. I knew that she would like Salinger, because most young women do. I read her two of the Nine Stories, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and “For Esmé—with Love and Squalor.” “Bananafish” was great because it has a nagging mother on the other end of the phone line, nothing like Lindsay’s real mother, but still, the mother-daughter thing was good for her to hear.
Hey, James Franco reads Salinger, guys. He’s super smart. In fact, this isn’t about how he did or did not have sex with Lindsay Lohan. It’s about celebrity and Hollywood and a sad girl who lost her way, trapped in the addictive cycle of scandal and fame.
The masks are just as important as the reality. The masks are our reality. Everyone’s reality. Life is a performance. When an actor gives a good performance, often people say, “What good choices.” So if life is your grand performance, have you made good choices?
I dreamed about vampires, and a voice came to me. It was a demon. The demon said, “I live on the power of celebrity, and I am celebrity. I am the power bestowed on people like you by all the myriad reflectors of your celebrity: the tabloids, the blogs, the fan pages, the way we sit in fans’ minds, the way people read us through your roles in films, etc. This is our public persona, partly created by you and your actions, and partly by these reflectors that act in concert and become me.” It was a voice of permission, a voice of castigation, a voice of supreme supreme.
Um. Or maybe it’s just a bunch of garbage he vomited up for Vice that makes no effing sense. One of the two.