Weinstein co-honcho Harvey Weinstein to THR‘s Scott Feinberg: “I just can imagine Chris Rock‘s opening remarks. If anybody’s [planning on] boycotting the Oscars, don’t, because Chris Rock is gonna annihilate every one of us in the first 20 minutes of the show, and it will be well worth watching. It will be an Oscars to remember.” Worldwide response: Chris can annihilate all he wants, but the effect will be negligible if he’s not funny.
Most of the conversation is about Harvey talking about his life…the whole rich, religious, flamboyant, hustling, half-worshipping and half-assaultive sprawl of it. Except early on Harvey says his childhood was pretty great, or words to that effect. “Bullshit,” I told myself. “This interview is two minutes old and Harvey’s already sidestepping…he’s not really laying it down.”
Nobody who’s gone on to have a dynamic career or who becomes a big name or a world-class artist has done so because they were showered with love and security as a kid. Nobody with a burning need to be or do something in a big way has had a traditionally nourishing, mostly soothing, warm-glow childhood. They’ve been traumatically motivated by tough or “short” childhoods, which are most often about (a) economic anxiety, deprivation or desperation, and (b) emotional or psychological bruising or general anguish.
And they all wind up their mid to late teens or early 20s with an attitude of “I can’t do this shit any more…I have to create a kind of life that’s better or richer than what I had to deal with in my childhood…I have to erase or at least smother that pain.”
That’s where most hungry or dynamic people live for the rest of their lives. The lucky ones get past that and find their way into the realm of transcendence and levitation and satori. I for one found that realm with hallucinogens when I was 20 and 21. I wouldn’t touch hallucinogens today with a 20-foot pole, but I honestly feel that I owe Albert Hofmann, Aldous Huxley, Augustus Owsley Stanley III, Cary Grant, Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, the Bhagavad Gita and Alan Watts a huge debt of gratitude for having saved me.