MCN Columnists
David Poland

By David Poland

Thursday, 4 September 1997

Calm yourselves, everyone. George is just guest voicing on Comedy Central’s South Park as Sparky, a male dog who comes out of the closet when he discovers that life’s a bitch and so is he. Normally, The Hot Button doesn’t cover TV, but who could resist writing that headline?
German filmmaker Eckhart Schmidt will try to answer some of the questions about cyber-lust in Internet Love, his low budget, Mike Leigh-style project which starts shooting in L.A. next month. It’s the story of a Los Angeles journalist who falls for a German actress after exchanging Internet bon mots. Aspiring actresses can email me their photos and resumes at No stalkers, please. (And if you really want to know why you shouldn’t do that, read The Rules: L.A..
The press release tells the tale. To quote: “Steven Seagal, star/producer of eco-thriller (or is that ego-thriller?) Fire Down Below, will perform with his band after the premiere. Seagal will be joined by his co-stars Ed Bruce, Mark Collie, Patsy Lynn, Peggy Lynn, Harry Dean Stanton and Randy Travis.” Gee, I wonder what happened to his co-stars, Marg Helgenberger, Stephen Lang and Kris Kristofferson? Could they be afraid that their co-star is… Satan?! For more of why Steven is so popular, check out 5 Reasons why Steven Seagal is so Popular from our friends at Black Belt Magazine. Haaaaaa-ya!

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One Response to “Thursday, 4 September 1997”

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon