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David Poland

By David Poland

The Nikki Thing: Episode 7438 – A Hollywood Fairy Tale

There is an ancient story which agents, execs, journalists, and wannabes throughout Hollywood will tell their children tonight as they go to sleep. Here is the translation that my great-great-grandpappy, Plainas Noseonface, left to me:

So there is this hack journalist who wants to get across the river to fame & respect. And there’s this billionaire who thinks he can get them there together. So they agree to make their way across the river. As they cross, the hack journalist invites worker bees (expensive ones, but the hardest workers of all) onto the billionaire’s back, where they thrive on the fumes of all that money. And as they work, the worker bees let off a scent that makes the hack’s ego inflate as others mistake their scent for hers. As the hack’s ego gets bigger and bigger, it weighs on the billionaire’s chapped ass. But the billionaire has a big money-back and enjoys the attention. People think he must be really smart.

Halfway across the river, there is this busted-ass publication hanging from a branch. It’s near death, but it was once very, very famous. So the billionaire invites the publication onto his back as well. (He’s kind of a fame whore.) In order to make room for the publication, the hack journalist’s ego has to be deflated a little… but the hack doesn’t much like that idea. As they swim, the publication gets healthier – even as the billionaire removes limbs in a haphazard way – taking up more and more of the billionaire’s money-back.

The hack really hates this. The billionaire assures her that he can see the other side of the river and they are almost there, but the hack knows better. She knows that he doesn’t really know where the other side of the river is. Neither does she, but with her giant inflated ego, she figures she has just as good a chance to get there as he does.

Hack: I don’t need you anymore. That THING over there is taking up too much of your back. Don’t you know that I am what is important?

Billionaire: You are very important to me, hack. But that thing over there doesn’t call me up screaming at 3 in the morning.

Hack: You knew what you were getting into when you took me on this ride.

Billionaire: I did. And it was fun. But I am a young billionaire and that makes me very, very smart and very, very handsome and you can’t make me any more famous or rich and I don’t fuck fossils, so get off of my back, literally.

Hack: Literally?

Billionaire: You know what I meant!

Hack: You meant “figuratively,” you fucking imbecile!

Billionaire: Here’s $1000… shut up now.

Hack: I’m going to get off your back, literally, if you don’t do what I want!

Billionaire: Yeah… and give up your brand and all your worker bees?

Hack: I don’t need you. I don’t need them. I am still big… the internet has gotten smaller.

Billionaire: I don’t get it.

Hack: Get what?

Billionaire: Call me later… I have a meeting at The V.

Hack: I will not!

Billionaire: Sorry… can’t hear you over the poor people on Wilshire! Bye! (click)

So hack journalist starts to poke the billionaire with a stick until he throws her off his back. That way, she has just as good a chance to get where she is going AND she gets to play the victim.

But without the worker bees emitting their scent, the ego that is carrying hack journalist across the river begins to deflate. Hack is drowning on her own Twitter feed. An multi-millionaire swims by and picks her up out of the water. But she knows that she will have to kill him in time. (Much easier to poke a millionaire to death than a billionaire.) Maybe he will build a boat with a former friend turned enemy whose billionaire may also have lost patience. Probably not. All those sexist pigs in the world would just call them hacks. But mostly, she’d getting too old for this shit.

Nonetheless, she will try with all her might to become important again. Why? Bad childhood, probably. But that’s another story. Right now, it’s her nature.

Meanwhile the billionaire, the publication, and the worker bees continue to wander around the river. The worker bees can just fly away when their contracts end… or not… they’ll be fine. And the publication… well… time will tell. Billionaire will probably get bored in time. Publication will never be as exciting as the insane hack journalist. So he’ll find another toy. Because that is his nature.


Note: If you tell your child this story and they can’t ever sleep again, call a doctor. And keep calling doctors until you find one that will write a scrip for children’s sleeping pills without requiring an examination. Won’t take long… it’s Hollywood.

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10 Responses to “The Nikki Thing: Episode 7438 – A Hollywood Fairy Tale”

  1. Finked says:

    Looks like there’s a Civil War brewing on the Deadline site. A line has finally been drawn in the sand, and There Will Be Snark.

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    Couldn’t resist the chance to take a cheap shot at Variety, eh, David? LOL. This post will be so funny to read in another 5-10 years.

  3. Page Mac says:

    To my mind, Variety is better under Penske.

    As for Finke, this isn’t the end. And in a way, none of us really want that right?

    She’s way too much fun.

  4. anghus says:


    She’s a horror. A hateful mean spirited cunt who makes her money reporting on the film industry, and she hates movies.

    I keep trying to think of an equivalent. Is there a famous Sports reporter who hates sports?

  5. Ryan says:

    I guess I’m confused. I probably follow movies more than 99.9999% of people, and I don’t read Deadline or care about Nikki Finke, or think Variety really matters anymore to anyone outside of people who actually live and work in Hollywood (and whether it even matters there anymore seems to be debatable), and would have never heard of Jay Penske if I didn’t read this blog.

    She wouldn’t even probably have a website if her box office wasn’t linked from Drudge. The NYTimes writes about her and how much weight she carries, but if I had to name one thing that she has actually done, I’d probably spend 30 minutes looking for some reference on a closed website.

    What is all the hype about-there is nothing there. The only thing people can agree on is how much they hate her, and she doesn’t do anything except talk about how powerful she is without doing actually doing anything to demonstrate power, and tout herself as a godsend. Where is the journalist to actually fear? Did someone send a memo one day to all the execs in Hollywood and say “we need to fear this woman”, and accidentally put the wrong name or something?

  6. Ryan says:

    Please explain…

  7. cadavra says:

    Is there such a thing as a loving, sweet-spirited cunt?

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Cadavra: Well, I know there’s such a thing as a lovable, sweet-tasting cunt.

  9. YancySkancy says:

    Joe: I presume the sweetness is in the barbecue sauce?

  10. Joe Leydon says:

    Or a nice Beaujolais.

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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.

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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