The literary world is not insulated from the world outside. Recently, #metoo was used on Sherman Alexie, an author many of us at The Poetics Project are familiar with; in fact, Melanie Nichole Figueroa once met him at a conference when she was attending publishing school. Conversations around #metoo, Alexie, and harassment in general are difficult – especially for women …
Authors are known for a lot of things–being eccentric, loving cats, even, well, being dicks–but being sexy isn’t usually one of them. For that reason, we at The Poetics Project have decided to shed a little light on all of the sexy male writers out there.
1. Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke was born in 1887. Brooke wrote for most his life; he was known for being quite dashing and befriended people like Winston Churchill and Virginia Woolf, which helped him get his work published and read. When World War I reached England, Brooke enlisted, and in 1915, on an expedition with the Navy, Brooke died of blood poisoning brought on by a mosquito bite. Brooke, the charming, beautiful, young poet became a symbol of the tragic loss of youth brought on by the war.
People are as unique as snowflakes. It’s really true – even twins have variance in their fingerprints. When I assigned “Shooting for the Stars” as the topic for this month’s Story Shots, I expected a bunch of stories about reaching for goals and either obtaining them or falling short. What I got back from our writers surprised me. They were brilliant and their stories were riveting, and while some stuck with the idiom theme, some writers were wildly interpretive and redefined the idea of shooting a star.
“Who would see a movie about this? I mean really, its just a bunch of shots of a Lohan-look-a-like and Franco reading her Salinger.”
“Sh! He could hear you and then we’re out of jobs!” The set was bustling with stage hands powdering the red-head’s face until she looked like porcelain and draping the sheets on the bed so it looked liked it had been used, but only for sleep. Not sex. Never sex. He definitely did not have sex with that woman.
“Director on the set!” Mr. Franco saunters into the studio, crooked smile cracking his face permanently, and glances at the carbon copy.
“Her hair isn’t nappy enough.” He waves his hand, and more stage flies buzz around her, tugging and pulling at her hair.
“Better. Okay everyone lets get started. Now Lindsay…”
“Her name is Amber.”
“Excuse me?” Franco turns on the camera man, glaring at him with his dead eyes.
“The actress’s name? It’s Amber.”
Franco breaks his face again by stretching his grin. “Well here she’s Lindsay now isn’t she?” He puts his hand up to silence the camera man’s protest and turns to the woman on the bed. Not in it. Never in it. He did not sleep with her. “Now, Lindsay,” he stresses, “are you ready to perform the scene?”
“Yes, I’m ready.”
“Okay, let’s get started. You ready camera man?” He lowers his hand.
“Sure,” the camera man replies, holding back his disdain.
“Good. Get off the bed and enter the door. The dead bolt will be on, so you need to press your face in the crack to deliver your line.”
The clone exits the set and waits at the door. Franco lays out on the bed, pulling up his pajama bottoms so that his dick was faintly outlined. He glares at the camera man through the lens. “Ready?” The camera man counts down, and then “Action!” The red-head opens the door until it catches.
She pushes her face in the crack “Open the door, you bookworm punk blogger faggot.”
“Cut!” Franco jumps to his feet and places his hands tersely on his hips. He shakes his head as he unlocks the deadbolt and looks his Lindsay duplicate in the eyes. “You see, you sound mad. Angry. What you need to sound like is like you want me. Like you need me inside of you.” Her eyes flutter as she apologies and promises to get it right the next take. “Actually, let’s take a break.”
“A break?! We just did one take!”
Franco returns his harden glance to the camera lens, though the camera man was standing next to it. “I’m the director and I say we need a break.” He turns back to Lohan and gently takes her hand. “Want to go grab some lunch? There is this diner by my hotel room I’ve been meaning to try.” As they left the studio, the crew knew that he was going to sleep with her. Actually fuck her. He did have sex with her. “Okay, let’s break down the set.”
The camera man spins around. “What, you don’t think he’ll be back?”
“Oh hell no, he’s done for the day. This is what happens when you shoot movies for the stars.”
By Nicole Neitzke
That old saying, “nobody is perfect” – ain’t that the truth. In fact, no one is anywhere near perfect because sometimes life throws some crazy shit in your way and despite your best efforts or talents or hard work, the opportunities are simply not there. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t try. Sure you might fail, but you absolutely need to try your hardest for what you really want in life because, well, it is what you want out of life that is important.
I realized that I wanted to be a teacher about the time that I entered high school. I had some pretty kick ass mentors that gave me a quality education. Someone gave this poor little Mexican boy a chance to succeed and I wanted to take that opportunity and show the world that I could pay it forward to several generations of students by encouraging them, motivating them, and showing them that they had potential to be somebody in life. I wasn’t going to be just a teacher, oh no. I was going to be the teacher.
The short answer is no.
The long answer is, for some reason, people who become famous through acting like James Franco and Kristen Stewart seem more apt to be criticized for trying to create art outside of their most notable profession—acting. What’s so wrong with someone aspiring to be an actor poet?
Writers like B.J. Novak or Mindy Kaling, both hailing from The Office, are both popular actors but no one denounces their writing as being less serious or bad because of their acting careers.
Is it because B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling don’t physically resemble the (very white) standard of Hollywood beauty?
First, let’s define parody and distinguish how it is different from satire.
Parody is an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.
Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
So parody is specifically a comic form of imitation that is exaggerated for comedy while satire uses many forms of humor, irony and ridicule in addition to exaggeration to create commentary on social, political, and other topical issues. While parody can be satire, not all satire is parody.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get one thing clear – I’m a huge fan of parody. My favorite television shows are often parodies, such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Office. As I write this post, I am also listening to Bad Religion’s new Christmas album. Any fans of Bad Religion know that the band is well known for stand against established religious practices, so the album is, of course, a parody.
My two favorite Youtube.Com videos at the moment are Seth Rogan and James Franco’s parody of Bound 2 originally by Kanye West –
And the Chatroulette.Com parody of Wrecking Ball originally by Miley Cyrus.
So now that I’ve established my like for parody, I will now express that I do in fact think that literary parody is a literary form, and here’s why.
Karina Longworth of The Slate Book Review has published an article with the title “Why do people get so angry when James Franco writes books?” I have an answer for this question, actually. It’s because they’re terrible people who have no hearts or souls. I have a question for those who are angry with James Franco for writing a book: how can you get angry at this face?
Or this one?
I think you get the idea, but just in case you don’t, here’s another:
He’s an incredible actor, able to play multiple, diverse roles. He’s not just drama or just comedy or just chick flick–he’s everything. (I kind of love him/am in love with him, if you couldn’t tell). I remember seeing a video Esquire filmed in which James’ younger brother, Dave, interviewed him; the video gives a brief glimpse into the life of James, who has a problem most people do not have, which is that James Franco is unable to relax. He doesn’t waste time watching television or goofing around on the internet because it is unproductive. He’s constantly doing something, and he’s been like that his entire life. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
James: Don’t you feel like you have stuff to do?
Dave: When I have stuff to do I’ll get up.
James: Don’t you feel like there’s always stuff to do?
Dave: No that’s you, that’s you being crazy always needing to do something. You always used to pass out on the couch at our apartment so I took over the master bedroom because you said you never liked to go into bed because it was like admitting failure. And so, you only pass out when you physically cannot stay awake another moment.
Because of this “problem” combined with his creative abilities, James has become very successful in not just acting, but also directing, studying at various universities, and, more recently, writing. His latest novel, Actors Anonymous is a book I want to read without even knowing what it is about. Sure, as an avid reader and book lover this seems a little ridiculous, but when you love someone, you don’t question him or her. Am I right? OK, jokes aside, the book description actually sounds intriguing.