Saturday, July 6, 2013

Idle Worship.

Picture it: Sicily, 1932. Except Sicily is Irvine, and let's just say 1932 is 1997. I was in my seat at a Rage Against the Machine gig at the former Irvine Meadows (now Verizon Wireless) Amphitheatre, waiting for my then-best friend George and her sloppy-drunk friend, a pretty blonde skidmark named Mary, to bring me back a $5 margarita. Minutes turned into an hour, an hour turned into an hour and a half, and by the time all the pre-Occupiers were setting fire to the bleacher seats (no joke), I had begun to wonder if these bitches had actually driven the two hours through San Diego County into Mexico for my drink. Eventually, the show was over, and I was not only without a drink, I was without a ride home.

Fortunately, Irvine Meadows was fairly close to my house, so I dialed a friend and he made the short drive over to the venue parking lot to pick me up. Well, one day and a half-assed apology later, George explained—tail between her teeth—that while she and Mary were walking to the queue for drinks, they slipped and fell and rolled all the way down to the pit, where they were scooped up by security, burped and diapered and whisked off to the backstage area—where they met Rage.

Yep. My at-the-time favorite band. So anyway, to keep a long story from getting longer, George presented me with a photo she took of my at-the-time rock n' roll fantasy, Zack de la Rocha, who posed for it after she told him what a shart she had been for leaving her best friend back up in the hosebleed section. Wonderful end to a crappy story, right? Yep, except two things: one, Zack's reply to George's story was, "tell your friend it's just a concert," and two, in the photo that was MEANT for yours truly, Zack de la Rocha—beautiful, soulful, lyrical enemy of the Man and my personal idol—was flipping me off. The bird was the word. And that middle finger was straight up, now tell me.

I heard her boogers can turn back the aging process.
So, what the hell is it all about, Alfie? Well, fast-forward to just a few days ago. My RATM days are dust in the wind, I wear sensible shoes and read Suze Orman, and for the most part, I only really listen to the 24-hour news channel or my old Steely Dan or Roxy Music CDs in my car. Anyway, I was on the old Twitter, twatting away to a genre director who I have loved since I was a small child. I asked him for some words of encouragement for my husband, who is currently shopping his script to producers. I didn't ask this man to read the script, nor did I attach my husband's promotional trailer to the tweet. I simply—and very politely and respectfully—asked this man to offer up some advice. I waited one day. Two days. Three days. And finally, I checked this director's Twitter and noticed that he had replied to other tweets—just not my tweet. And suddenly, I was getting the memo. I knew that this man read everyone's tweets, and had undoubtedly read mine. He was just not going to reply to it. Not now, not ever. Good morning, good afternoon and goodnight.

I felt like a fool, a bit like how I had felt back in 1997. I don't just reach out every day to people I look up to on Twitter. It may be easy for some to take advantage, but not for me, and for the most part, I keep a very respectful distance. It wasn't easy to send that tweet, and by deleting it, I was hoping that I could pretend it never, ever happened. Except it had. I had opened myself up to a genre director who I held close to my horror heart and had supported for over 30 years, and he was basically telling me no quarter.

And I sort of get it. Celebrities probably get that kind of request tweeted to them every day by minions like myself. But goddamn, would it have killed him to reply back? It could've just been a two-word reply, like "stay strong," or "rock on," or ... obviously, we're learning here that if I were a celebrity, I'd be shit at the two-word reply. But you get me. And yes, I'm 100% positive that some of you may be thinking that this guy doesn't owe me anything, and yes, I'm 100,000% positive that others may be thinking that this guy's catalogue of genius pretty much part and parcel gives him the right to do whatever he wants. So, let's apply these two thoughts to the real-world benchmark:

Horror Director Legend doesn't owe me anything.
Alrighty, he made a movie. I watched it and loved it. The transaction is complete, so by all accounts, you're right, he doesn't owe me anything. But then HDL makes another version of said movie. Then another. With a VHS here, DVD there, here a cut, there a cut, everywhere a cut cut—until one shelf of my home is entirely reserved for this one effing film. A film that, by the way, I also saw at the cinema every time it was tucked and pulled and squeezed into a limited-release revival. You're telling me HDL can't reply back with two words of support to a loyal fan and fellow independent filmmaker in return?

Horror Director Legend can do whatever he wants.
Fine. Let's apply this logic. Can he perform my annual Pap smear and pelvic exam if he wants? Can he fill up all the potholes on the Hollywood freeway if he wants? Can he make the Kardashians go away if he wants? Can he keep Starbucks from raising the price of my grande iced chai tea latte if he wants? No, he fucking can't. He's just a man. But what he can do is reply back to a tweet. I reply back to tweets. Even if someone isn't following me, I reply back. It's just polite. And yes, I haven't even directed one film. But I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue, and that's some spectacular shit.

But this is how most celebrities behave on Twitter. They want you to follow them and buy their crap, but they'll never follow you back or reply to your tweets. And I think that sucks. But the one equalizer is that everyone—Zack de la Rocha and his finger penis included—is on this earth for a limited time only. Beyonce will probably be laid into a lifesize Barbie box first, but we're all going down into the ground. And good luck getting anyone to follow you there.