Playing Me-me?

Promotional color photograph from CBS shows a frontal head and shoulders portrait of Sean Penn, ostensibly inhaling from a cigarette, with a haze above his head. Text superimposed over the image reads, The Late Show / CBS 03/26/18

After watching a former, multi award-winning actor lounging—pro forma leisurely—in Colbert’s hotly coveted modern chair, my Female was already irritated when he lit his first cigarette and the host grabbed an ashtray from beneath his desk.

The fameling immediately grabbed the audience’s attention by reasoning that his relaxed demeanor was due to a medication he had taken becuase he was suffering from recent jet lag.

Ugh — he travelled? Where to? In his own jet? Did he mingle with some Eurotrash at the Côte? Did he travel with a friend? Maybe one of my kind? Or just with his yellow pack of ciggies?

Surely, late-TV watchers would crave this kind of newsworthy information …

Yet, the conversation that took place between Penn and Colbert, surrounded by a faint bluish fog of cigarette smoke, the topic of interest was immediately steered toward an item Mr. Colbert retrieved from his never ending stash of goodies at his feet.

Cover of Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, A Novel by Sean Penn, Atria Books, Simon & Schuster

With a slightly phony grin, he presented a thin hardcover: the surmised latest masterpiece of the former thespian, ready to be released the following day. Wallowing like a happy rhino in a Serengeti mud hole, the now-novelist oozed his famous, almost non existent, charm through another veil of nicotine air residue.

My Female has the habit of watching programs after airtime, often early in the morning, with me snoring loudly next to her (my very best time for channeling).

She immediately started some research on the aforementioned oeuvre and came across a serious review by Claire Fallon on HuffPost.

Her next move, as she always does, was to download the free selection from her favorite eBooks app.  What she obtained were a meager forty pages (in the print size she prefers). The actual literature—if we want to sarcastically call it so—began on page 14 with a prelude.

However, the rather painful reading experience started much earlier, on page 9:

We walk in circles, limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal.     –Ingmar Berman (sic)

The Female didn’t consider the misspelling of this great man’s name an eccentric oddity of a two times Academy Award winner.

From Wikipedia: Ernst Ingmar Bergman (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɪŋmar ˈbærjman] ( listen); 14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish director, writer, and producer who worked in film, television, theatre and radio. He is recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential filmmakers of all time,[1][2][3][4] and is most famous for films such as The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), Persona (1966), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Fanny and Alexander (1982).

The remainder of the forty-page sample improved by no means.

If I weren’t one, my Female might have called the book a dog.

The honey-bear protagonist was so poorly developed, he could impossibly have survived the fetal stage — even without an abortion.

Nothing original, interesting, cynical—let alone funny or new—on those free-of-charge pages.

In fact, there were merely 39. Number 40 says, “continue reading,  $11.99.”

“Not really,” the Female hissed.

I’m not sure where the hostility in her voice came from. It called for further research. She needed to actually touch the hardcover.

Therefore my curious Female had to check out our local noble Barnes. When she looked for the first novel of the “highly acclaimed actor and activist” (according to the book jacket) she needed the expertise of the information-desk clerk to point her to the lower shelf of New Releases — approximately at the hight where I would find my medium size dog pissoir.

The discount was already a convenient 20% for an Easter-bunny basket.

Color photograph showing the jacket of Sean Penn's book Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, A Novel, on top and in front of other recently released books. A sticker attached to the top right corner reads 20% off and in smaller print Members Save an Extra 10%.March 31, 2018—Just four days after its release—already discounted and on the bottom shelf. – Photograph © 2018 Mignon Naegeli

Exhausted by her voyage through the sparsely frequented old book store, it was another epigraph from page 13 of the Honey-book that best summed up (or maybe anticipated?) the author’s struggles with his ‘masterpiece:’

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. -Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Wishful thinking, Mr. Penn!


Color photograph of the head of Basquiat, the mixed-breed white dog with black markings. After a long day working on the Honey story--without even getting to taste a single drop of the real thing--he has a somewhat bored and exhausted expression in this picture. His tongue looks a bit dry and hangs out far from his jaw.Basquiat – Photograph © 2018 Mignon Naegeli

P.S. The Female noticed that the misspelled name of Ingmar Bergman had been corrected in the hardcopy edition.

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Acknowledgements: Promotional photographs from CBS Late more...
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One Comment on “Playing Me-me?

  1. Guess I won’t be running out to buy that book. Thanks for sparing me ever looking into it!

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