Monday, January 01, 2007


Are they gone yet?

It was crazy there for a little bit, what with the all the snakes and planes and depalma and tyra and cancer and killer cyborgs and the apocalypse and that one monster spammer and the fever dreams of anonymous that I should be better at what I do, more of what I was, less of who I am.

It was the rise and fall of the Infinite Monkey, loosed from his cage but unmoored from his tethers, a breakaway pop-culture Rose Bowl float cobbled together from poisoned burritos, free sushi, diet coke and used wax icarus wings bought on Ebay Right Now! for $129.99.

(From his unsteady vantagepoint the Monkey sees one writer's strike crushed without mercy but a labor tsunami at Fairfax and Third poised to swamp this town and drown its inhabitants as they cling hopelessly to the small pieces of scrap and wood that we sometimes call DVD residuals.)

The cinema-world evolved as I knew but would not say: the movie I became famous for and did not write was better reviewed and out-earned the movie I spent ten years writing (and wasn't even invited to the premiere.) Or sent a one-sheet. Or a DVD.

A great moment from the L.A. Black Dahlia Press junket, the only junket I was invited to...

ME (wandering the hallways with my pr handler on my way to my ONE press event seeing a headlining actor/ess from the film also wandering the hallway with his/her pr handler: Hey ACTOR/ESS! It's Me! Josh Friedman!
ACTOR/ESS: Right! Of course! What are you DOING here?
ME: Uhhhh. Press.
ACTOR/ESS: Oh. Right! Me, too!
ME: Yeah. I know.
ACTOR/ESS: (Gesturing maniacally towards a bank of elevators) Well...gotta go...they got me running ragged...
ME: (Ambling slowly towards my death) Yeah. Me, too.

(BTW: There were two types of Dahlia reviews: the ones that never mentioned me and the ones that mentioned Brian Helgeland. I preferred the former.)

So Saddam's dead and Michael Bay's alive and the world's a more dangerous place because of it. I haven't slept in three months and I'm living on whatever's inside the tortilla and any drink they refill except water. I found a free Chipotle Buck in my desk last week and made a special trip to the Grove for carnitas with my Ipod and a seven hundred page Alistair Reynolds novel. I wondered if this is how Mark Twain would have written Huckleberry Finn and pretty much decided he would not consider eating the same as writing. He was and is my idol and if you haven't figured it out from the url I named my son after the first truly great character in the first truly great American novel.

But certainly I would trade the inspiration I've received from his work for the reassurance of knowing that if Samuel Langhorne was alive today he'd be just as much of a fat fuckup as I am, writing in the narrow window of time between the hours spent worshiping false internet prophets and the days spent catching up on back episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Dexter.

We can't all be him and frankly, despite what many of you think of my talents, we can't all even be little old motherfucking me. Seriously. I try to be me all the time, the me I love, the inspired me, the clever boy, the cobbler elf for whom time stands still while I polish up the perfect sentence or word. I try to be that me but not too hard because the me I've perfected is too tired, his back hurting from the burden of his belly, his scar extending from the one to the other as if an arrow drawn there by God to remind me of his inescapable laws of causality.

The me I've perfected is the me I hate.

So bitch, complain, criticize, wheedle, want, love, hate, poke, prod and pimp. Just know this:

You'll never be first post.