Does anyone honestly believe James Frey EVAH had a girlfriend?
Photo courtesy of The Smoking Gun mugshots department.
"I made a mithtake."
And no, I don't mean the acne. I mean... eh... no, I don't think Mr. Frey has known a woman that way. Or is likely to do so. Um...
I'm going to bed.
I'll be more political and less... well, myself.
Posted by Kate at 1/30/2006 02:05:00 AM
The Nigerians have moved to Zimbabwe. Heh.
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Posted by Kate at 1/30/2006 02:02:00 AM
I had to cut the other post in half because this part is more useful than any post just marked "About Oprah". Eh. What a thought for going into Monday: Oprah.
About that famous shrink-writer (as opposed to shrinkwrapper, I think):
But I blame Oprah even more for the pap she passes out on a daily basis. The last time I sat through more than counting the black women in an Oprah audience, to my great surprise, she had as her guest a man I once worked for.
You'd recognize his name. He wrote some of the bestselling personal psychology books in the 1980s who liked to say there were people who lived lies so intrinsically, they made themselves evil in performance of the lie.
Unfortunately, I had the misfortune to discover that this great man lived one hell of an evil lie himself. I won't go into the details here. He passed just recently - surprisingly, not from his chainsmoking of unfiltered Camels, something you might not completely expect from a Waspish psychiatrist - and he was once much loved by a man I much loved. Not in a homosexual way (not that there is anything wrong with that as I put my ten cent Seinfeld line royalty in the mail) but the man I loved cherished this man as a friend, a mentor, and perhaps a father figure. Anyway, the point here is that some of his family members, of which I am not at all sure they ever learned about his lie because they had learned to lie to themselves, might happen upon this and I would not like them hurt at this time.
But I watched Oprah that day just completely fawn over this man. She said she spent close and personal time "breathing" his two or three bestsellers (I was around after the second one for a brief time when he helped start a foundation) and with this shrink and she was there to attest that this man was a God! Everyone should read his book, she said. It was THAT important, she said.
I thought about that for a long time. Even as I looked at his pale eyes staring back out of the TV at me, a man I'd sat across from several times as he probed me mentally for the work I was to do in his name and the same pale eyes I had to look into when I learned his life, I could see the pall over him so clearly. I could not begin to imagine why, even if Oprah was blinded by brain lust, people in the audience weren't squirming.
But they could not squirm, of course, because Oprah loved him and so they, too, of course, loved him.
As I said, this man died recently. It made me think a lot about that time. But also about some of my own choices and how close I'm come a few times in getting invested in my own lie. I'd like to think I've largely escaped that now, which is about the only reason I could begin work on "Dear God, What the Fuck?".
But who knows?
Who ever bloody knows until the very last breathes of life whether they escaped the lie or lived a lie exclusively?
Oprah lives a lie exclusively. She's enormously well paid for it.
This famous shrink lived a lie exclusively and yet was world renowned as a great sage of the human condition and how to avoid your own "condition".
James Frey is living the high lie life.
True, they say that the truth shall set you free. What they don't always admit is that the truth also will tie you in binds the likes of which you will never know until you try.
You see, when it comes right down to it, people like a James Frey or an Oprah or an ... oops, I almost said his name... (and actually, I've peppered more than enough clues with my wording for my immediate taste).. far better than they ever savor the truth. Hell, we spend our lives begging people to lie to us as effectively as we do to ourselves. Let someone come along and vibrate the illusion and WHAM! The poor truthsayer is gonna go toothless, penniless, and jobless.
People of the Lie? It's not uniquely American. But it's damned close.
Posted by Kate at 1/30/2006 01:42:00 AM
OK, I got myself started about Oprah.
When I was quite young, I really hated soap operas. There was always enough bad drama in life so I couldn't imagine why anyone would watch a daytime soap opera (or hell, today's reality TV). My mother watched everything from "The Edge of Night" to the debut of "The Young and the Restless" and, as I also like to point out, my mother died watching a soap opera, which may tell you something about the genre.
But if you want purile daytime TV - OK, I mean other than Katie Couric and CNN and Judge Judy - watch Oprah.
My God, she's actually convinced herself that she's important and that she means something.
The only time I ever catch Oprah usually is when I'm very bored AND I can't find the TV remote before she utters a syllable. When that occurs, I stay just long enough to count the black women in her audience. Actually, there are usually more white men in her audience than black women. FAR more white men. Often, of an age to remember segregation.
And what do you think that says?
But I digress - as is my wont.
Oprah's total hypocrisy was really on display with this James Frey - "A Million Little Pieces" - and a couple thousan lies" controversy. Even when she was bitch-slapped with proof he'd deliberately sold fiction (which 19 publishers rejected) as non-fiction, Oprah "I am sooooo special! I just love myself" Winfrey insists his is a compelling story of redemption.
Redemption? As in the redemption of royalties from sales on his books that you got sold to white women who have only heard of heroin from their kids type?
The Smoking Gun did an excellent bit of research. And only when Frey came after them and they spilled more of it was it very clear that Frey lied his way through all of it.
I honestly do not hold the publisher responsible. In a book like that, a publisher is not going to 'vet it like you would lots of other things. Cookbooks don't get tested. And if credibility was a sign of what gets published, Ann Coulter would be printing only on the back of racist fortune cookies.
But I do blame Oprah because even after this came out, she insisted on calling Larry King's show and having Frey on air to promote him. Her apology this week was just to try to shirk the dead fish stink off herself and my did she dress for it.
Posted by Kate at 1/30/2006 01:14:00 AM
Speaking of books...
Let's just say I've been working on a book about a woman's end-life discussions with God. And no, it's actually funny in places.
Think I can sell it with a title like "Dear God, What the Fuck?" or will I have to (BLEEP) it to make a publisher think Wal-Mart will order it?
Now, if a publisher happened by, I'll point you to some bestsellers right now that cover something of the same space but far less honestly, far less raw, far less amusingly. If you'll print James Frey's book, "A Million Little Pieces" - waving to the crew at Simon & Schuster I once wrote for when Viacom bought everything - you'll print fucking (or bleeping, if you're a Midwest publisher, of course) anything.
The first three chapters are available and I come house-trained, deadline-worthy, and with my own literary agent whenever I can find him. And no, it's not a technical book. ;P I've also authored 35 other published books but why exactly I did that eludes me. It's the masochist in me, I'm fairly certain.
If, however, you're another agent and you see some potential here, well... I accept my royalties with a 15% cut without screaming so long as the check is good and you have FedEx. The only thing I don't do is renege on contracts or go on Oprah (don't get me started on Oprah, the great white Hope for corn-fed white women throughout the land).
Posted by Kate at 1/30/2006 01:08:00 AM
Like apparently too many others, I tried to sign up for the Democracy for America (formerly, Dean for America) two-day leadership conference this (now past) weekend in Montpelier, but apparently got in too late after an overwhelming response. I've heard from several others who also did not hear back.
S'ok though - I literally did not quite have the gas money to commute both days and this was not the weekend I would have chosen to spend in the company of other humans anyway.
Let's just say I've been working on a book about a woman's end-life discussions with God. And no, it's actually funny in places. Really.
Posted by Kate at 1/30/2006 01:01:00 AM