It basically comes down to his belief that if you’ve found success in the entertainment industry then you’re probably a major shit and your flaws are probably more appalling or more malignant than the Average Joe’s, and that no one wants to schtup, much less fall in love with, a person who is basically Dorian Gray so forget it, dutch — go work out, grab some takeout, watch a Bluray, play with your cats.
It’s true that the entertainment industry attracts the worst people in the world, but by this I mean those who are neurotically desperate to curry favor — the glad-handers, hangers-on, Starbucks gigglers, personal assistants, sucks-ups, kiss-asses, grossly insincere flatterers, wine-bar howlers, yes men, phonies. Los Angeles also attracts, however, the finest crazy people in the world — the 24-7 obsessives, the most talented, the deepest, the funniest, the most mystical or hardcore, the most eccentric, the most impassioned, the trickiest, the most dedicated to art and achievement and truth and great suits and T-shirts.
Do you know which group probably gets laid a lot more? The former. Because the latter group doesn’t even think about getting laid 60% or 70% of the time. I know that being empty or shallow or not a very kind or thoughtful person will never, ever get in the way of having sex with someone attractive, or so I’ve deduced over the years. The hottest women always seem to be with the creepiest-looking or (judging by the vibes) most spiritually unappealing guys, or so it seems.
If a James Mason-like angel was to descend from heaven one night and sit down at a restaurant table and say, “Jeffrey, I’m afraid there’s no delicate way to put this but given your enormous work load and dedication to your column and your samurai poet aesthetic and general lack of patience with mounting a Gen. George S. Patton Third Army European tank campaign plus all the rest of the bullshit you have to submit to in order to have even a chance of striking a match with the right woman, the odds are very much against your ever getting lucky again, much less entering into a lasting, loving relationship,” I would be okay with that.
I would nod and shrug and say, “Yeah, you may be right…okay, got it, c’est la vie.” And at the same time I would say to myself that James Mason doesn’t know everything and that maybe I’ll get lucky regardless, but if he’s right then whatever…I’ve got a really full life going right now and I’ve got all my slut years (’70s and ’80s) to look back upon, and I can roll with that. On the other hand I’ve gotten lucky at the drop of a hat and lost my mind and lost all sense of proportion about things. For two or three weeks, I mean.
Rushfield: “If you work in the entertainment industry and you’re successful, then there is a small chance you are not a horrible person. If you are a horrible person, then you probably have horrible values and that applies especially to your romantic life and what you think you want from that. And that makes finding a suitable life partner challenging. [And] If you moved to LA to work in the entertainment industry and you are not successful, then everyone who moved to LA to work in the entertainment industry on some level wants to shun you as [if] you had the plague, which also makes finding a suitable life partner challenging.”