I’m reposting something that’s less than four months old, but it has to be re-injected and re-contemplated. The spiritual message herein is like oxygen, like honeysuckle, like the moisture of clouds in Switzerland.
Three and a half months ago a journo pally became alarmed by my anti-Khmer Rouge postings. He wanted to help me adjust and accept. “If you were a driver heading into the wrong lane of the Malibu Canyon tunnel, I’d stop you,” he wrote, sounding like a combination of O’Brien in Nineteen Eighty-Four and Bing Crosby in Going My Way. “If you were a neighbor whose house was on fire, I’d hand you the water hose. If you reported to me at [a publication], I’d steer you toward writing about film and television…writing that called upon your vast reservoir of knowledge, your passion, intellect, savvy — and away from your darker impulses.”
“There’s a way to have fun, serve your readers and steer a sober, responsible business course,” O’Brien went on. “There are ways for you to embrace the changes of our times, to highlight the incredible talents in every creative category of filmmaking, celebrate filmmakers from around the world and in every corner of our country. That’s a much better use of your time and a much better business strategy than [following your present course].
“You wrote a column a while back about reflecting on your life, your feelings, about turning over a new leaf. Do that. Lay down your weary tune. Turn on your love light. Get in touch with your inner Pig Pen. Submit, surrender, get with the program.”
HE to Journo Pally: Wow, thanks. I agree with the positive thrust of the message, but — don’t take this the wrong way — you also sound a bit like Dr. Kauffman trying to persuade Kevin McCarthy‘s Miles to relax and let the seed pods take over.
Dr. Kauffman: Less than a month ago, West Hollywood was like any other town. People with nothing but problems. Then out of the progressive community came a solution. Seeds drifting through space for years took root in a farmer’s field. From the seeds came pods which had the power to reproduce themselves in the exact likeness of any form of life.
Miles: So that’s how it began…out of the sky.
Dr. Kauffman: Your new bodies are growing in there. They’re taking you over cell for cell, atom for atom. There is no pain. Suddenly, while you’re asleep, they’ll absorb your minds, your memories and you’ll be reborn into a simpler, purer world.
Miles: Where everyone’s a wokester?
Dr. Kauffman: Exactly. If you give in, tomorrow you’ll be one of us, and you can become the new Perri Nemiroff. You’ll be happier. You’ll smile all the time.
Miles: I love films by Roman Polanski and Woody Allen. Will I feel the same tomorrow?
Dr. Kauffman: [shakes his head] There will be no more need for Allen or Polanski or any other artist who hasn’t accepted the new reality.
Miles: No more watching J’Accuse or Rosemary’s Baby or The Pianist? No more Manhattan or Crimes and Misdemeanors?
Dr. Kauffman: You say it as if it were terrible. Believe me, it isn’t. We’ve all seen their films. They never last. They never do. Sardonic wit. Love and desire. Intrigue. Betrayal and facing evil. Without their films, life will be so much simpler, believe me.
Miles: You’re basically saying I need to stop fighting the idea that if I wasn’t a huge fan of Little Women, I’m a sexist who doesn’t get it.
Dr. Kauffman: Miles, if you didn’t like Little Women you are a sexist who doesn’t get it. Don’t you understand that?
Miles: I don’t want any part of it.
Dr. Kauffman: You’re forgetting something, Miles.
Miles: What’s that?
Dr. Kauffman: You have no choice.