Sean Penn rocks. I like the man’s face, his films, his politics and above all his utterly reckless disdain for the filthy money-grubber celebrity machine that sucks the blood of any genuinely creative spirit that happens to make its home in the base gutters of Hollywood.
I like the fact that people like him and Charlie Sheen triumph over the small world of American politics and feel-good entertainment (like there’s a difference). I like anyone who’s ready to piss the public off quite honestly, since there’s no worse enslavement than that of an artist to a public that’s been fattened on the belle matière fécale* produced by the rancid world of mass entertainment. What’s hilarious to me is that this public thinks it’s being real original and class-conflictual when it hates celebrities. The real fact is that if your taste has been entirely fabricated by the mass media, you have long since ceased to be an individual and your petty envies, hatreds or judgments directed at celebrities (all part of a cannibalistic desire to consume them in the absence of your own self-worth anyway) are only another aspect of that sordid manufacture. The media uses celebrities to sell you their sh*t, then it brings them down to sell you more of their sh*t. You as the public are eating sh*t one way or the other. You never mattered and you never will.
That’s the real thing about the paparazzi. Your gluttony, the gluttony of most famous idiots, the gluttony of the mass media. I too used to think that a famous person needs to put up with paparazzi. No such thing of course. The real fact is that you can’t be an artist without having to sell your soul one way or another. And it’s a f*cking difficult thing, but if you want to get money to do what you want to do, then you are forced to promote yourself. Tabloids aren’t about this, they are about something else. They aren’t about fame, they are about the need to manufacture and control fame. The media is a monster-offspring of the larger state and bourgeois apparatus that fabricates and controls culture, and celebrities are part of that controlled fabrication. If you act like the media is sh*t, the media will take revenge. If it can’t control you, it will consider you a renegade and do all it can to destroy you. Those who are friendly with the media are those who are ok with this, because they aren’t about art, they are about fame in the basest possible sense. Those who are not ok with it, are probably of the insane opinion that art has absolutely nothing to do with fame, social acceptance or even gratitude. That it has ONLY and EVER to do with freedom. The freedom to create, to disseminate and to have people see your work (not necessarily like it). This is why you’ll never find a true artist saying something despicably trite like ‘I love my fans, I owe it all to my fans.’
Hank Bukowski never said it, no true artist ever will.
Needless to say, neither I nor Revenge Ink are about manufacturing anything. We have all the time in the world as far as I’m concerned. We will sell our books aggressively but we will never pander. If marketing is pandering, I simply won’t do it. I don’t even enjoy the whole social networking thing. I started Facebook but have tired of it, I started tweeting but have had enough of that too. My point is, if you like our books you’ll buy them. If they’re good, they will make their way to you, of course I’m no idiot, I do what I have to promotion-wise, but basically this is my view. Anything beyond what I am prepared to do is invasion, disturbance and deserves a kicking like good old Sean gave that camera-toting sh*thead.
So in case Sean Penn reads this, I dig you man. I dig that you went to Cuba, wrote about Chavez and I dig the movies you make, especially Into the Wild that I still can’t watch because it tears me up so profoundly. And of course you knew Hank. Now if that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what the f*ck is. Thank the gods there are some like you around, if not we’d have no one to cheer for!
*beautiful fecal matter, from Rabelais, Gargantua (O belle matière fécale qui devait boursoufler en elle.)