On the pissing match that is James Frey vs. The Smoking Gun

I. James Frey

Things to do when your bestselling nonfiction account of addiction, violence and redemption is revealed to be an embellished, garden-variety crack and whisky habit.

– Hire a merciless attorney.
– Duck attorney’s phone calls. He bums you out.
– Wonder whether memoir can ever be truly factual, especially memoirs of a hazy life of substance abuse and violent behavior, since felt truths are still truths and journalists who say they’re reporting only facts are big fucking liars.
– Wonder whether you really did go to jail / run over a cop / have a hole in your cheek.
– Eat Utz potato chips.
– Wonder whether the ladies from the talk show still cry heartily when they think about your life story.
– Prowl search engines for your recent photos, decide you looked puffy at last week’s Bloodrayne premiere.
– Consider becoming celebrity sponsor of Utz potato chips. Great name; crunchy too.
– Talk to reporters against attorney’s advice, but only for two minute interviews from your new apartment. Get pissed off and catch yourself saying things like, “Can memoir ever truly be factual?” And “Felt truths are still truths.” And “Journalists who say they’re reporting only facts are liars.”
– Wonder what the big fucking deal is.
– Have new Berber carpet installed in the penthouse, since your wife’s been nagging you. Discover carpeting nine rooms is boring, go for walk.
– Wear baseball cap and sunglasses. As an inside joke for fans, also wear a Harpo Marx wig. The fans love that shit.
– Attorney leaves another message on cell. Then another. Throw phone away, walk to phone store to buy new one.
– Find self lounging near the equestrian police in Central Park. Socking a horse in the jaw, then running over the cop with the horse – now that’s tough. Get close to horse, but it’s big and brown and looks wily.
– Note it’s almost lunchtime and no one’s spotted you yet. People give you a lot of space, and it’s hard to say whether it’s the wig/cap combo, or that they have spotted you and hate you now.
– The hot cashier at Barnes & Noble compliments you on your purchase of your memoir.
– Jog home slowly.
– Check email. Producer writes that controversy’s good for the film, total greenlight, smart move. Wife writes that she and the kid read the article today, are weeping collectively. Fan blog writes that it’s an outrageous smear campaign. Publisher writes that another print run for the paperback is imminent. Mother writes that she’s relieved it wasn’t all true. Attorney writes that talk show host wants to meet with you. You think they all should have known better. Open a new bag of Utz. Repeat.

II. The Smoking Gun

Things for an editor to do after he’s exposed a bestselling nonfiction account of addiction, violence and redemption as an embellished, garden-variety crack and whisky habit.

– Continue to point out to girlfriend that bestselling memoirists are privileged, hyperbolic pussies.
– Lay burning coals in office kitchen.
– Challenge bestselling memoirist to his choice of:
o A) cockfight
o B) kickboxing match
o C) fact-checking decathalon
– Publicize the exposing article on talkshows, preferably ones that embarrass you with your mother in the audience.
– Insist that the public needs more celebrity mug shots & reports of lady teachers digging their students & revelations that writers lie.
– Ingest low doses of toad poison via morning coffee.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s