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Home » Culture and Criticism

Due Respect

Submitted by on May 29, 2008 – 9:43 AM74 Comments

"Everyone except me is just so STUPID."

I like finding out that people or institutions don't suck as much as I'd thought. It happened three years ago, during the writing of the TWoP book; I had a contemptuous entry all ready to go about Jamie "The Heights Of Ray Pruit" Walters, but when I found out he'd quit the biz to become an L.A. firefighter, I was strangely proud of the guy. I like to be right — but the world has enough sucky people in it, and really it's better to be wrong.

I didn't expect to be wrong about Don Henley, though. I've never cared for the man; I like the Eagles, and I absolutely can't argue with "The Boys of Summer," an all-time-great song of the '80s that seems likely to stand the test of time. Dude played the drums while singing lead; I have to give it up for that. But Henley has, in his public life, often seemed like that humorless, denim-vest-wearing, "back in the sixties, we cared about things" Laurel Canyon liberal who sincerely believes he's the only one who's noticed that Iraq is not working out, because even though he's famous he takes the time to read the newspaper and make salad dressing from scratch or whatever the hell.

Maybe he is in fact that guy, but I have reason to believe that behind the pill-ish façade also lurks a guy I can hang with, based on a Rolling Stone piece on the Eagles from the late seventies. Right after he finishes bitching about fans sending him "corrected" lyrics which they'd actually read wrong — which is petty, but in a way I find eminently relatable — Henley takes an all-in-one-breath sidebar on his life as a working superstar:

Music is a lot of hard work, as far as I'm concerned. I've been doing this for seventeen years now and I've worked in dumps and in Louisiana bars where I saw a guy get stabbed and I played "Gloria" thirteen times for some goddamn fraternity at the University of Texas and I've played clubs in the goddamn Valley and in Northridge and I've been criticized and maligned and misunderstood and this is a twenty-four-hour-a-day job, ya know. This is not something you leave at the office. This is something I take around with me all the time. Every minute I'm awake, even when I'm asleep, I'm worried about the next album and what's going to be written on it and how it's going to do and how it's going to be accepted and how my peers are going to react and how we're going to make it better than the last one and how the record company is on our case about hurry-up-we-didn't-get-an-album-from-you-in-1978-and-it's-not-going-to-look-good-on-our-stock-report-and-what-about-the-profit-sharing-plan. Shit like that. I get a little self-righteous sometimes about the whole thing.

At that point in the article, I went back, read that part again, put the article down for a minute, stared at the coffee table, and said, "…Huh." You can read it as whining, what he's doing there — "oh boo hoo, the life of a rock star on the road is so hard, let me dry my tears with a fistful of money" — and what he's describing is standard dues-paying for a musician, the kind that doesn't even come to anything for the vast majority of gigging bands. But I liked Henley by the end of it: at least he admits that he gets self-righteous, and also, sometimes, this is exactly what it is to write for a living, whatever genre you write in. You don't really get to leave it; it leaves you, when it's ready, and sometimes, when it leaves, it doesn't take a cinematic farewell, just limps off to the curb and keels over there and it's like, why didn't I go to business school, and the knowledge that you really don't get to feel all that sorry for yourself over it because some people have real problems just makes you feel more sorry for yourself. It's unusual to see it nailed that firmly, not to mention that it's Henley doing the hammering.

And even if you still think Don's a d-bag, you have to admire the rhetorical devices he employs. The author of the article, Charles M. Young, may have goosed it a bit, but the use of detail, the spare punctuation, the order in which the details come — it's good structure. It paints a picture; I can envision that frat party and everyone present perfectly.

The whole article is fascinating. I've ripped RS but good in the past (and bagged on Henley in the process, if I recall correctly), and Young can go overboard with the imagery; his description of Glenn Frey's laugh is not fresh enough to be that pleased with itself. But his rendering of the recording process as witnessed by a civilian is evocative and economical, and he gets great quotations, from Frey ("I hate this song! I hate this album! God help me! I'm bumming!" — been there, dude) and band manager Irving Azoff ("I'm tired and I'm rich and I can do what I want. I'm going home to sleep"). Young spent some months with the band, I think, on tour and elsewhere, but he doesn't name-check the fact — you can tell from the texture of the writing that his narrative authority is earned. The magazine used to know how to do these stories; the current cover story on the Eagles isn't half bad, either, but Young's is exceptional.

Another personage I've developed a recent and somewhat reluctant regard for: Barbara Walters. I watched her Oprah appearance — I don't know why; I seldom watch that show, and while I don't not care for Barbara Walters, I don't care much about her, either — and it fell short of my expectations, dish-wise, as most Oprah guest shots tend to do. But I've always thought of Walters as…you know. Barbara Walters. Soft-focus lavender blouses; parody of herself; unserious. "Baba Wawa." I'd forgotten how much ground she broke back in the day for women on TV and in the news, but the excerpt from her book in Vanity Fair put it into perspective — and I have to say, she's kind of awesome. She had to put up with a lot of shit over the years; never mind all the drama on The View, or "Baba Wawa," which, after an initial period of having no sense of humor about it, she came to find funny and flattering.

Walters also had to deal with Harry Reasoner, among myriad others, acting like an unprofessional sexist dickhead. As in, he timed her segments with a stopwatch to make sure they didn't run longer than his did, and then chided her if they did — on the air. In front of millions of people. Way to keep it pro, Harry. She's getting vilified in the TV columns for having the gall to make a million dollars at ABC, even "Uncle" Walter Cronkite is ripping on her, and she's sitting there on the anchor desk every night like, "Does anyone else see this? This is bullshit, right? …Hello?" Man, that must have sucked. And as the pioneer, she couldn't even call anyone up to commiserate about it, at a time in history when a lot of people would have just to told her to pack it in and start a family instead (which she had already done, and she was supporting her parents and challenged sister). Nightmare. But she didn't let them run her off, and she didn't get bitter. And she's still Baba Wawa. I can't say I'll make more of an effort to seek out her product in the future; The View gives me hives. But I like knowing she's actually a tough lady.

Alas, the same issue of VF revealed that one guy is still exactly the butthole I'd suspected. No, not Billy Ray Cyrus. No, not James Frey, who still seems to need some revisions on his self-image (and shame on Evgenia Peretz for boot-licking his new novel, which every review I've read has categorized as an indulgent mess — the profile's worth reading, though). No, I mean John Cusack, the subject of this month's Proust Questionnaire. In Cusack's defense, the PQ is designed to elicit abstract pomposities; the best any answerer can hope to do is drop a few gauzy-sounding remarks about family and Martha's Vineyard and try not to embarrass himself by taking the thing too seriously.

Mission not accomplished here, to a ghastly degree. I've never drunk the Lloyd Dobler Kool-Aid, but even those who have would have to admit that Cusack has not enjoyed good press re: his interpersonal skills; he's (allegedly) a terrible tipper, rude to service-folk, curt to fans, and prone to leaving fecal comments for the costume department. He's also come to see himself as a political pundit, with an occasional column on HuffPo and a war satire that he wrote and produced premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, and this is part of the same problem, to wit: the reserve of public goodwill that he enjoys derives chiefly from Say Anything, a film that despite a generation's regard for it is minor, and almost 20 years old. Cusack has made genuinely execrable films since (Con Air, Must Love Dogs, Serendipshitty), and even if he hadn't, it's no call to treat people like crap, or to prate on about war profiteers as though only you see the truth in current events.

You'll have to read it for yourself; I can't do it justice without reproducing the entire thing. When Cusack's not giving a smug lecture, he's supplying a nonsensical answer that probably seemed like Warholian opacity to him but comes off more as contempt for the question, or name-dropping Bob Dylan and Salinger for the three 15-year-olds who read VF and would consider that profound, or taking a not-all-that-fringe position on Jesus by way of a Flannery O'Connor quote…it's a tour de force of autodidact affectation, all the more remarkable because it contains a reverent reference to shamans, something you don't often hear from a man old enough to rent a car.

The trait he deplores most in others? "The inability to think for themselves. Or the need to define one’s core in five-minute sound bites." Riiiiight. Because admiring Hunter S. Thompson is courageously contrarian — and if you think the Proust Questions are so beneath you, just decline to participate instead of openly disdaining the exercise, far less subtly than you think you did. Cusack mentions elsewhere that he would like to "try not to be famous for at least a week or two as an adult," and I would strongly recommend that for him too, if only because most 41-year-olds who have to live in the world don't still believe snottiness is an effective form of protest.

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74 Comments »

  • La BellaDonna says:

    I've enjoyed Cusack's performances, and I'm disappointed to learn that his people skills leave something to be desired (i.e., "everything"). However, what keeps repeating in my brain is the phrase "prone to leaving fecal comments for the costume department."

    Why do I think you don't mean "Oh, sh*t, my zipper's stuck," or "Oh, pooh, I don't really like that jacket"?

    Do I want you to elaborate? I'd like to know what that comment meant … I think. Feel free to tell me if I wouldn't.

    On the other hand, it IS nice to be reminded that Baba Wawa was a pioneer – still is, in a lot of ways. She's someone who won't let the industry pretend that post-menopausal women don't exist.

  • Jaybird says:

    YES. YES, YES YES and for a refreshing change of pace, YES to your remarks on John "Slouching Toward Bethlehem to Be Born" Cusack. He has, in his comparatively shorter life, earned the d-bag title SO much more abundantly than Henley. And I say that knowing that Henley once publicly told the story of Stevie Nicks' aborting of his child, never mind how she felt having that little anecdote come out in the press, or how she had felt about the situation in general.

    Cusack has made it agonizingly clear for about two decades now that he's above it all, that he's in a position to dictate to the rest of us morally (but damn to hell anybody ELSE with a moral opinion, yo). Screw him, and screw the very righteous and upright horse he rode in on.

    And "Say Anything" qualifies easily as the single most overrated teen movie of all time. I mean, it was cute, but so was my butt when I was two, and we've ALL moved on since then.

  • Smash says:

    Ugh, hate Cusack. I drank gallons of the Lloyd Dobbler Kool-Aid and even had that stupid boom box poster up in my freshman dorm room. But that was freshman year, a decade ago. I can't stand Cusack now, and I realized long ago that men who actually resemble Lloyd make crappy boyfriends. I'd be curious to see if there's a correlation between women who are annoyed by Cusack/the Dobbler phenomenon and women who are annoyed by Sex & the City.

    Babs is totally badass.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @La BellaDonna: Short version is that on the set of The Thin Red Line, he shat his fatigues and left them in the foxhole for the PAs/wardrobe to deal with. He did not have a stomach bug.

    You can tell a lot about a person from how they treat servicepeople and below-the-line talent; I have never heard even a neutral story about Cusack on that front.

    (NB: I have also heard that *Joan* Cusack is a delight to wait on and work with.)

  • Carrie Ann says:

    Oh whoa. Now I understand why you didn't quote the Cusack q&a. For those who don't have time to read it, here's the Very. First. Question:

    "Q: What is your current state of mind?"
    "A: Bloodied and slightly doom-struck, but I am comfortable with these themes. I remain basically unbowed."

    Well. That tells me all I need to know.

  • Erin says:

    Hmm. Now I think I'm going to have to rent the movie just so I can see what everyone is talking about. I always thought he was vaguely cute but I also thought he seemed a bit smug. Now I'm wondering what he has to feel smug about….

  • Roberta says:

    I met Don Henley in, like, 1989. I was at the bar of the Meridian hotel in Chicago where a friend was the head bartender and someone from Don's entourage called to say he wanted to come there for drinks after he was done playing a show at the UIC Pavilion. Of course my friend said yes and kept the bar open past hours, and also let me and my other friend stay. When the Henley group arrived they were low-key and polite, and bought drinks for us as well. I thanked him and told him I enjoyed his work (although I didn't, much) He was very normal seeming, but he did have a glass of the cognac they kept in a locked acrylic display case, Louis-something. Heh.

    I've heard that John Cusack is a dick for like a decade now, and I never liked Say Anything.

  • Linda says:

    It's the part where the love of his life is the great white buffalo. That's the one where I started to think it was a parody, despite the fact that I know it isn't.

  • Princess Leah says:

    Cusack lost me long before this. . .during the 911 televised tribute and benefit there were several celebs manning the phones and Johnny just looked bored out of his mind and SO above it all. During one part of the telecast several stars were standing around waving at the camera during a song and Cusack was, if memory serves, snapping his gum whilst not making eye contact with the camera. If he wasn't actually snapping his gum he was doing so mentally. . .all the John love vanished during that show. If you are going to show up for an event that is meant to be uplifting, inspirational and healing, bring your A game or stay home.

  • Shanon says:

    @Smash. Re: Lloyd Dobbler. Word. Lloyd Dobbler was a horrible boyfriend and a terrible example. I dated a man for a while who didn't have a lot of experience with relationships. When I ended the relationship, one of his friends showed him "Say Anything" as an example of one of the all-time American romances or some such. Long story short, he decided to emulate L.D. Six months, two restraining orders, a week in jail, and an official deportation threat later, I think he finally understands that it's not so much "romantic" as it is "stalking."

    (Clearly, my ex has other problems. I don't really blame Lloyd Dobbler. And thank god he didn't watch "American Psycho" or something worse!)

  • Kate says:

    I loved the Barbara Walters excerpt in Vanity Fair. I concur with you, Sars, that I have never really had an opinion pro or con on her. But that article made me want to buy her book, smack Harry Reasoner and send her a huge block of chocolate. MAN, what she went through.

    As to Cusack, who's Proust answers finally killed the last shreds of former crush that still remained, I repeat this golden bit of wisdom I was told long ago: People who are nice to you, but not nice to the waiter, are not nice people.

  • ebeth says:

    Interesting timing. I just heard him interviewed on the radio yesterday and was shocked that he sounded less a-hole-ish than usual. It didn't improve my opinion of him, but I was at least not as annoyed as I expected to be. Isn't he also the one who *allegedly* had the arm pit sniffing fetish?

  • lauren says:

    @Smash:

    "I'd be curious to see if there's a correlation between women who are annoyed by Cusack/the Dobbler phenomenon and women who are annoyed by Sex & the City."

    Hell to the yes! I kind of feel that way about Sarah Jessica Parker as well, who (though I loathe the Maxim "unsexy" coverage she got) strikes me as a big ol' ball of 'autodidact affectation' herself. But she is often reported to be gracious, too. I'm torn.

  • attica says:

    I have liked Cusack in a number of movies; I think he generally has a film presence that value-adds, a kind of intuitive alertness, a sort of non-fratty friendliness. For the loser flicks that Sars mentions, in my view, the projects themselves were irredeemable, and Cusack isn't gonna change that. But because of his spotty track record in picking projects, he's not an actor whose movies I have to see.

    He's definitely on my list of actors I'm glad I don't know in real life, though. (Also on the list: Daniel Day-Lewis. He's a guy whose work is must-see for me, but I suspect he's more than a bit tetched on the block.)

    Barbara W has a canny genius in interviewing people. Even though I think her specific questions (especially to celebs) tend to the squishy and sophomoric, there must be something in her very presence that encourages her subjects to reveal themselves, mostly in spite of themselves. Even when they don't actually say anything, they reveal.

    And word to the 'Boys of Summer' love. Just hearing that seagull-caw guitar riff makes me feel wistful and like I should put the top down, all at once.

  • Cindi in CO says:

    The Eagles had a huge place in my adolescent soundtrack, so love.

    I'd always heard John Cusack was a turd, I guess the gossip was pretty reliable. Glad to hear Joan got all of the class, 'cause I like her and her work.

  • Cij says:

    Better off Dead, the Sure Thing, and Say Anything are delightful, fluffy, disposable movies. It seems that John Cusack is nothing like some of the characters he has played.

    I guess it proves that while he can be a good actor, he lacks the skills to be a good human being.

  • tixie says:

    i never could even get into "Say Anything". I was so looked down upon in college for having never seen it – and I can honestly say – I don't give a rats…

    however, I must admit that High Fidelity is totally a guilty pleasure of mine… if only for the top 5s… and jack black…

  • jive turkey says:

    "…all the more remarkable because it contains a reverent reference to shamans, something you don't often hear from a man old enough to rent a car."

    Haaaaaaaaa. Oh, that made me do the LOL, right here at my desk. Brilliant.

    John Cusack has ALWAYS gotten on my nerves, and – like Tom Cruise worship back in the day – I never really got the big "HE'S SO CUTE!" hullabaloo. He's whiny and Eeyore-y and just plain smug. Shut up, John Cusack.

    Also, "High Fidelity" made me want to staple my eyes shut.

  • Jaybird says:

    I'd like to see him REALLY "doom-struck". Arsecap.

  • Annie says:

    I just clicked over to read it, and oh christ what a dick.

  • Jaybird says:

    Crap. Meant to ask this before hitting "Submit comment": Was any reason/excuse given, EVER, for Cusack's little Depends moment? Is he seriously just not housebroken, or did this actually seem meant as a flipping-off of the crew, or what? Because it definitely comes across as the latter, in every account I've ever read.

  • Sami says:

    What a wanker.

    I kind of have a crush on *Joan* Cusack, but John is just a toolbag.

  • tulip says:

    if only because most 41-year-olds who have to live in the world don't still believe snottiness is an effective form of protest.

    HA! Am I the only one reminded of Jack the grocery stealing "anarchist"? hee. Maybe he and John can go sneer at the world together. :)

  • ferretrick says:

    The one time I tried to watch Say Anything, it bored me to tears, so I'm with you on the overrated. I guess I've always been indifferent to Cusack-probably because he makes few films I'd actually watch. But now, yep, he sounds like a douchebag.

    Still, on a day when Sharon Stone is making headlines by proclaiming the earthquake was China's "karma"…Cusack's assyness seems minor. Uh, Sharon? Just because you call it "karma" instead of "God" doesn't mean you aren't an asshole. Your statement is the exact equivalent of James Hagee, Jerry Falwell, and their ilk proclaiming Katrina and Sept. 11th were God's punishment for homosexuality, etc.

  • jill says:

    If all I knew of John Cusack were his role in High Fidelity, I would consider myself a fan. Unfortunately, between that unbelievably pompous joke of a Q&A, and the way he's behaved in virtually every radio or TV interview I've heard… wow. NOT a fan.

    I can believe that Joan is much nicer in real life. Love her!

  • autiger23 says:

    Wow. I had no idea John Cusack was such a douche. Ugh. I actually was introduced to him through Gross Pointe Blank and it remains one of my all time favorite movies. Piven (who I've heard is also a dick) was superb in it as well as an all-star cast of supporting awesomeness. Ah, well, I won't let the d-bags ruin my fun. I tend to always assume rockstars and actors are dicks until it's proven otherwise.

    Also, at least for the question- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? – he did also answer 'Take myself less seriously.' Now if he'd only try harder to make that happen. That's actually not something that's very hard to change, John.

  • Moira says:

    I saw Walters on Letterman. (Why? I don't know. I don't remember the last time I watched Letterman except for this one.) But it was awesome. Same themes – talking about how hard it was for her. It was.. inspiring actually.

    Cusack – meh. Don't care for him at all. But, I will forever and ever love Grosse Point Blank. Forever.

  • dimestore lipstick says:

    My "Henly isn't entirely a douchebag" came back in the eighties, when I found out he was a big supporter of FarmAid. Plus, he's always been my favorite Eagle.

    I am just "thismuch" too old to have been a part of the Dobler Generation, so I didn't have to fight my way past anything to formulate my loathing of John Cusack. And Piven, too….they're a regular Massengill 2-Pack.

    Barbara Walters, on the other hand, is and always has been fierce.

  • mia says:

    I admit that I have always loved Lloyd Dobbler, but I also recognize that John Cusak is NOT his character. I have never had a 'thing' for Cusak himself, and I can't think of a single movie since Say Anything that I actually liked him in. (I'm also classified as a heretic for not loving High Fidelity.)

    Henley & the Eagles crew & successful musicians in general have the same complaints about being a performing monkey – but truthfully, that's what they signed up to do. I always tell anyone who is trying to achieve musical stardom not to write a song that they can't see themselves playing for 20 years, because that's the reality. Do you think the people at the New Kids on the Block reunion tour want to hear "new stuff"? Heck no.

    Side note about Henley: I recently read a call girl tattler book that talks about how the Eagles spend some of their money. If I remember correctly, Henley was one of the nicer ones… I'll have to look it up. :)

  • Leigh says:

    Re: Cusack and The Help – the best sum-up of this situation I've seen actually comes via JK Rowling: "If you want the measure of a man, look not at how he treats his equals, but how he treats those he considers his inferiors."

    (In the British class sense of referring to servants and employees as "inferiors"; I think the connotation is slightly less offensive than it would be in the U.S. Nevertheless, there's still clearly condescension involved.)

  • Leslie says:

    I always hated *Say Anything* with that mouth-breather Ione Skye. *The Sure Thing* was my fave.

    I honestly don't understand famously rich or richly famous people who treat service personnel badly. I think it would be horrible to be recognized wherever you go, but, dude, it's the life you chose. If you'd wanted to wallow in anonymity, you should have become a key grip.

  • Cara says:

    I heard a particularly unsavory story about John Cusack. The storyteller seemed to think was a big joke, but I thought it had far more disturbing connotations. I wasn't sure whether to believe it but now I do.

  • Merideth says:

    For years, when someone would ask me what my favorite movie was, I would answer "Say Anything", sort of on autopilot, despite not having seen it for years.

    When my husband bought me a copy as a gift, and I watched the whole thing in my late 20's, it was just… bad. And sort of disturbing.

    I think it has a lot to do with what's romantic to a teenager versus what's romantic to an adult. Creepy stalker behavior looks swoon-worthy to your average 14 year old.

  • Ellen says:

    Well I just read the VF Proust questionnaire and my crush on John Cusack is now a thing of the past. Sp pretentious! Ugh.

    Also you can tell he spent a lot of time coming up with those answers. Which makes it even worse.

  • Kate says:

    Dimestore: "they're a regular Massengill 2-Pack" might be the funniest thing I've read all week, and as a regular reader of this blog, that's saying something. I barked out a laugh that made every head in the office whip around!

  • Druck says:

    Maybe Cusack read that back in WWII soldiers used to crap in each other foxholes as a prank, and decided to go all "method actor" for the role? I dunno, I'd prefer to think that then the alternative that he crapped himself on purpose to show THEM.

    Every interview I've even seen of him he come off way aloof and condescending, and I always wondered why that was. Maybe he truly thinks he's better than everybody else, that would certainly explain it. I want to think he was trying to do tongue in cheek with that Proust thing, and way way way overshot the mark.

  • Margaret in CO says:

    @Cara – spill it, sister! :-)

    "Say Anything" bored me to tears, but I loved "Grosse Point Blank" & "High Fidelity." But the man is a tool.
    I love Baba Wawa too – she gets people to tell thier secrets in such subtle ways, it's wonderful to watch. I think maybe folks consider her harmless, so they drop thier guard.
    Joan Cusak has always been one of my favorites, she reminds me of one of my sisters, so I'm glad to hear she's nice in real life. She's an excellent underrated actress, IMHO. Maybe they should give her John's movie roles!

  • Jaybird says:

    @Cara: OOOHHH! Tell it! PLEASE tell it!

    Or something less gossipy and immature.

  • Julie says:

    And I don't think fame made Cusack that way–he and I had some mutual acquaintances in high school, and from what I heard, he was a pretentious jackass at 16.

    Although I also know a few people in the Chicago movie/TV industry, and from them I've heard that *Joan* Cusack is indeed fabulous. Surprising, since they seem to get along so well…

  • Jen S says:

    I loved Say Anything. There, I said it. I didn't design my friggin' life after the movie, I just thought it was a good movie. And High Fidelity and Gross Pointe Blank. How can a man who's such a dickwad IRL have such good, flowing chemistry with his female (and male) costars on screen? The mysteries of the universe, they are many. But seriously John, shut up that tiny prissy baby purse mouth of yours and go read "How Proust Can Change Your Life" and stop being such a humorless douche.

  • Maura says:

    @Smash: "I'd be curious to see if there's a correlation between women who are annoyed by Cusack/the Dobbler phenomenon and women who are annoyed by Sex & the City."

    I'm a generation away from the Dobbler phenomenon (I lean more towards Hubbell Gardner when it comes to kind of crappy boyfriends/husbands I love anyway), but I loved Say Anything, and the appeal of a boy would who do the "Radio under the window" thing is not entirely lost on me. I also love High Fidelity, even though I have never really understood just why Laura went back. But I hate Sex and the City with a hot, flaming passion. And I will never, ever get why Sarah Jessica Parker, or more precisely, Carrie is considered a fashion icon. She looked like she dressed in the dark most of the time.

    Barbara Walters deserves respect for being such a trailblazer and for not beating the crap out of Harry Reasoner on a regular basis. But I've always been disappointed in the direction she took. I can't get through more than five minutes of one of her celebrity interviews, and she needs to learn the difference between "most interesting" and "been in the news every other day for the past year".

  • Debineezer says:

    Has anyone ever noticed that there seems to be a difference between "acting" and "behaving"? I'm not sure I ever explain it right. Julia Roberts, for instance, seems to "behave" for the most part. Most (if not all) of her characters seem to be essentially the same, even the dramatic ones. I don't know if it has anything to do with her being the same as those characters or not. Jack Black…all a variation on a theme. I don't have an opinion on the D-bag in question here, though he at least seems to behave far differently than his real self.

    Cate Blanchette? Hillary Swank? Tom Hanks? Play a lot of different kinds of roles. I know there are a lot of others…I'm just having a brain fart.

    Am I crazy?

  • Beth says:

    I met Don Henley when I was working backstage at a charity concert in 1998. Maybe he's mellowed with age, but we ended up standing next to each other and just chatting for about 10 or 15 minutes during sound check. He was really the nicest, funniest guy. I actually didn't recognize him (it was dark and I've honestly never been a huge fan of his) and I thought he was a drum tech for most of that time simply because headliners are never THAT nice and friendly. Also, he was playing a charity concert for an animal shelter. Awwww.

    As for John Cusak, well, he really just needs to go away. He hasn't really done anything worthwhile in a really long time so he used up any residual points he may have had a long time ago. I do have a serious girl crush on *Joan* however. She deserves to have her douchey brother's level of fame, not him.

    Babs just rocks. I remember seeing an interview with her about 5 or so yeas ago talking about the crap she had to deal with when she first started anchoring. She is made of iron nails, I tell you.

  • I love me the Eagles, perhaps a wee bit too much for someone my age. I defintely spent about $30 on Long Road Out of Eden just to make sure it'd be on my doorstep the day it was released. It was worth it. Musically speaking, I can't think of any single artist that I enjoy so much. I keep an Eagles-only playlist on my iPod, of the full discography. It gets a pretty serious workout on a regular basis. I have most of the individual members' solo recordings as well. I'm…sort of a freak that way.

    I've always liked Henley primarily because of his devotion to the craft. Yeah, he'll whine and crack wise about the business with frequency — in the extras for the Farewell I DVD, he was asked what his favorite song to perform was, and he said, "The last one in the set" — and boo freaking hoo, but he's a madman when it comes to creating the music. I'm sure it's near impossible to deal with sometimes if you're one of his bandmates, but hey, they're not successful because of sloppiness, that's for sure. And as a fan, I appreciate that.

    The angstiness, I've been aware of for years, but I just find it amusing at this point. It's the whole band, too; Henley only exemplifies one type. They're music's answer to the soap opera. (Think about it. They even have the revolving door of cast members.) I'm sure all bands go through peaks and valleys, but it's like, dudes, you are AARP-eligible, so can we please make up now? Marc Eliot's book on the band is good, from that standpoint, although the sordid details didn't interest me as much as the tale of making the music. I'd heard before about Walsh taking chainsaws to his hotel rooms and Frey having his nose lined with Teflon and all that other stuff. Not that I skipped it or anything, because come on.

    Thanks for posting those articles, Sars. For some reason, it never dawned on me to go poke around for such things.

  • La BellaDonna says:

    Holy Mary, Mother of God. Thank you, Sars; it was, in fact, what I was afraid of. I never saw Say Anything, but I loved Grosse Pointe Blank. I still do, but I'd certainly pass up a chance to meet him, if it was ever offered. Sex and the City couldn't keep my attention through one entire episode, and Carrie did indeed look as if she dressed in the dark. In someone else's closet.

  • carriejoyce says:

    That's so funny! I was just saying last night, as we watched the final 5 minutes of "Must Love Dogs" that my crush on John Cusack was officially kaput. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, because Lane Meyer was my first pretend boyfriend, but there's no way around it. That movie was just so horrifyingly shitty it put me off my feed.

    I'm glad that Joan is cool, though. I have loved her since "Sixteen Candles" and am glad to find out that doucheiness is not hereditary.

  • Cassie says:

    @ Debineezer: I agree, there is a difference. My usual example is Jack Nicholson. He's the same guy in every role, with a few tweaks, and I feel pretty sure that that guy and who he is are perilously close, if not exactly the same. Tom Hanks I think has some versatility – looking at, say, Big versus The DaVinci Code, for example, but that could just be a change over time.

    But, yes, John Cusack = a douchebag's douchebag. Sheesh.

  • Jaybird says:

    Aside from the self-soiling, the story that I find most sickeningly revealing about Cusack is the way in which he co-wrote "Better Off Dead", sat in on production meetings, approved of content of same, and then utterly turned on Savage Steve Holland, telling him he'd never trust him again, that he (Holland) was not to speak to Cusack ever again, etc. Utter, consummate toolishness.

  • Maggirat says:

    OK, I'm willing to admit that my doe-eyed crush is a d-bag. The evidence is in, and clearly favors the prosecution. But while we're on the subject, who didn't think that Being John Malkovich was pretty cool. At the very least, you have to love the stunning puppetry. (Let's overlook blatant parallels, shall we, for the sake of that obscure art?)

  • Jenny says:

    I've always thought John Cusack was cute in a tall, awkward, boyish way but yeah, I've always known he's a douche. He stole a cab right out from under my friend in NY one time–she was waiting in the taxi line at La Guardia, in the rain no less, and as she stepped up to get the next available cab he swooped in front of her and hopped right in the cab, slamming the door in her face. She said she was so stunned she didn't have time to yell at him (and she's feisty, he would have gotten a piece of her mind and more) before the cab took off, but she tells anyone who will listen that story. Everyone waiting in line with her recognized him, too. Ass.

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