Celebrities aren’t doing their jobs. In fact, they’re doing exactly what we don’t want them to do— they’re writing. There are enough writers already (we’re two of them as both of us are poetry majors) and about 98% of them are living off coffee and recycled printer paper. UNLESS you’re Chelsea Handler and answering all of our life questions through detailing your sexual experiences with a red headed man, the public does not want it. This ruthless quasi-roast is dedicated to James Franco and his newest entrance into the poetry spectrum.
Day: I like James Franco. I know what you’re thinking. Stop it. These feelings are a hard turn away from fan-girling because I refuse to swoon over bed selflies and blatant narcissism eroticism. As someone that’s spent most of her life stepping in various artistic waters, I can appreciate that he plunges. So no one wants a naked crotch shot of Seth Rogan (or maybe you do, no judgment), but Franco is painting. He’s writing, he’s directing, he’s acting. He’s a freak. And the content sucks…but it’s hard not to respect someone that works that hard.
Fecto: Regrettably, I agree. He’s a good comedic actor. He’s even a good regular actor, and anybody can tell you (especially Jennifer Aniston circa The Good Girl) that this kind of jump is difficult to make. But that doesn’t mean he can do everything. He’s not Frank Bidart, he’s not Ginsberg, and he’s certainly no drag queen. He’s gotten a little big for his britches… (not nearly) starting with this:
and (not nearly) ending with this:
Day: Speaking of someone that can write, what either works in his favor or completely glazes over all possibilities for authenticity is that after seeing Howl I immediately associate him with Ginsberg. A small part of me allows his poetry to act as pseudo-Beat work— casual, reactionary rebellion to traditional writing. Then a majority of me sees his writing as high school level and it hurts to see it in the poetry section next to Frost (I dont even like Frost).
Fecto: He is a clever minx, isn’t he? Appropriating Ginsberg and then Bidart to distract readers from the fact that his poetry is a jumble of ramblings about his Hollywood crushes and middle school fingerbangs, smeared in a spiral notebook with dog crap. He might as well have been twirling pigtails when he wrote them. I wish he knew when to kindly fuck off and take a cue from one of his characters:
Day: Twirling pigtails and continuing on with his Prince and the Pauper role play that seems to be a consistent theme in his writing and basically life. Swapping in a proletariat persona to hit ‘that killer rhyme scheme, bro’ is so transparent it’s comical. Are celebrities even socially allowed to write books that aren’t biographies?
Fecto: No. Being so far up your own ass (and not just with hot wax) that you can’t see yourself clearly goes along with being famous. As if anyone would dispute this, I have the existence of Madonna’s children’s books, which are really just attempts to perpetuate the notions that she is both not on morphine and British, and Suzanne Sommers book of poetry Touch Me, which simply serves up new ways to eat wheat germ in an egg-white omelette while having bangs, and how to fold your clothes before and after sex.
Day: I’m just going to put this here…
“Because I played a knight
and was on a screen,
because I made a million dollars,
because I was handsome,
because I had a nice car,
a bunch of girls seemed to like me
but I never met those girls,
I only heard about them”
—Excerpt from “Because”, James Franco
Au contraire Mr. Franco:
Fecto: Right! and even here he’s writing presumably from the perspective of Heath Ledger. Again, appropriating the ideas and images of those that far exceed him. And he doesn’t even have any shame.
Day: After sufficiently ripping every page of poetry/painting/mock music video of his apart, I’ll sum it up by saying his work (outside of acting) is on the outskirts of horrible, sitting on “the banks of a tincan banana dock” nursing a beer and wearing a $400 flannel. Still, not to be forgotten:
“The picture of me sleeping with my mouth open next to a bunch of attentive students says a thousand words. But it says the wrong words, or it says the words that TMZ wants it to say. It doesn’t say:This photo was taken at 10 p.m. during an optional guest lecture by William Kentridge, hosted by the graduate art school. James wasn’t even in the Columbia art department but went to their visiting artist lectures anyway, even though he was in four other graduate programs at the time and working on the film Howl and hosting Saturday Night Live, and a bunch of other things.” — Actors Anonymous, James Franco
Fecto: Jesus Christ Franco! NO ONE FUCKING CARES! It’s not like TMZ asked you to be in grad school for a million fucking years in a million fucking institutions with the added pressure of being your perfect self! A self that evidently shits gold! The only thing TMZ failed to mention here is that Franco actually leaves poems behind in those Ivy league toilets before dusting them off and running to publishers.