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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOBlog: In Memoriam Edition

What cultural icon’s passing has hit you hardest in the deadly first three months of 2016?

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8 Responses to “BYOBlog: In Memoriam Edition”

  1. YancySkancy says:

    Shandling was rough, because there was always the chance he might come back with another great show some day.

    Patty’s icon status hinges mostly on her brilliant performance in The Miracle Worker and her charming twin perfs in The Patty Duke Show (sparking many a baby boomer crush), both many years ago, but I admired her perseverance in overcoming a difficult childhood and the good work she did as the first celebrity to raise awareness about bipolar disorder.

  2. David Bowie. Because He was still a cultural reference. And Alan Rickman.

  3. PcChongor says:

    Rob Ford. Dude was pure punk rock until the bitter end.

  4. Mike says:


  5. michael bergeron says:

    Bowie … although i had watched the ep of Freaks & Geeks where Martin Starr eats a grilled cheese sandwich, scored to The Who’s “I’m One,” while watching Gary Shandling on television the day before Shandling kicked off the mortal coil

  6. palmtree says:

    Definitely Bowie. Catching up on some of his interviews has been a real treat for how ahead of his time he was and how aware he was of who he was culturally.

  7. mariamu says:


  8. Hallick says:

    Alan Rickman’s career was overdue for a renaissance, and the Harry Potter movies, for whatever reason, never felt interested in getting more than the fumes of his on-screen persona (this was the case with most of the parts they gave to great actors and actresses). I wish he would have been able to partner up with a show-runner like Bryan Fuller and create something that could have exploited his full, weird and wonderful range of talents.

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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.”
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“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