Let me backpedal even further down memory lane to the very first time I first became interested in eunuchism; even though, like most men who have no transgender aspirations, I had an instinctive aversion to it and wanted at the very least to cross my legs when I thought about losing my genitals, or even better don a pair of titanium underpants to protect myself. That first time coincided with my decision to abandon acting and become a filmmaker at the age of eighteen.
Stefano Dionisi as the castrato singer Farinelli.
I had an older gay mentor at the time, as many young Gheys do, a sort of nonsexual guru who instructed me in the Ways of Ghey—by ‘older,’ I mean he was twenty-four. He was a classic of his kind: bitchy, funny, great taste, somewhat aristocratic, edgy, Italian. He worked for a while as an assistant to a famous gay journalist for the Village Voice, and one day he threw me a book he’d stolen from his boss’s library called Memoirs of a Castrato by Henry Lyon Young. (He threw things at me a lot, which is probably why we’re no longer in touch.)
Without knowing the exact insider gossip behind the release of The Rum Diary, I can only take a somewhat educated guess as to what’s created this mess at the Mad Hatter’s tea table.
Has to be botox. HAS to be.
The film has three credited financing companies, but I imagine there is a fourth: Johnny Depp himself, a longtime friend of Hunter S. Thompson’s, who no doubt magnanimously overpaid for the rights to the novel, and wants to see his money back, which is why his has thrown his considerable weight behind the film’s PR: a Vanity Fair cover article; pieces he wrote himself for The Daily Beast and others; and a rather forced, not-very-funny “viral” video with Ricky Gervais. Otherwise, Depp has suffered a mild psychotic break and actually believes this piece of absolute tripe is worthy cinema.
You’ve always been my favorite of the fictional characters I was asked to believe in without question from childhood. As an adult, I admire how humbly and stoically you have endured under the shadow of that fat bitch Santa Claus over the centuries. You are a testament to how cute ultimately triumphs over gluttony with the right amount of tenacity.
I had the strangest dream this morning. Betty White was married to my father or some other amorphous patriarchal member of my family, and we belonged to some hyper-conservative, super-slick country club. Betty got very drunk and loud, so I admonished her for making a fool of the family in front of the rest of the club and threw her glass of champagne in the pool. I woke up full of remorse for how I’d treated her, for being so bourgeois in my dreams when I am so not in waking life. I felt like writing her an apology note and sending it to her agent. The truth is I rather like drunk, loud, bat-shit-crazy old women, like Royce and Marilyn. Royce’s favorite exclamation is from whence comes the title of this post:
They say that every character in your dreams is really a variation on you. Obviously I need to get in touch with my inner Betty White and ask her forgiveness instead of sending an apology note.