It must be hard to be James Franco. Every day, the actor travels deeper into his socially acceptable form of madness, and no one seems to stop him. Recently, the author released excerpts from his newest book Hollywood Dreaming, and while it’s no “Elizabeth Taylor scalp tattoo,” or “extended prosthetic dick-nose,” it’s often pretty offensive, and always, deeply weird.
Earlier this summer, Franco released a story from Hollywood Dreaming where he, in the form of his shellfish protagonist, “Shrimp,” has an intimate encounter with Lindsay Lohan. Pretty g-rated stuff compared to the selections below, which include: rhyming ebonics, cherry-colored g-strings, Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Penn, and the phrase: “Yo’ goofiness is yo’ protection.” And: “And I be the Debil rulin’ the roost, Satan Claus.” Also: “You is my hyena pack, you is my peoples.” Wait and also this: “If you in the nexus of laughter, you is never alone.”
It’s unclear to me why James Franco decided to adopt the voice of Tea Cup from Their Eyes Were Watching God (even as a Spring Breakers riff, it’s offensive), but there are a lot of things I don’t understand. The meaning of life. Co-ops. And obviously, James Franco.
Excerpt from “Becoming: An Introduction”
I’m all characters in one: Mickey Mouse (the Leader, the Moral Guide); Minnie Mouse (tha’s my sexual, sensitive side); Donald Duck (tha’s my angry side, the part of me who gonna fight, but not in a bully way, in a fun/stupid way); Goofy (fo’ sure, tha’s me, when you’re goofy you have bouncy padding all around you, you the foo’ and you can do anything, go anywhere, and say anything because yo’ goofiness is yo’ protection).
Excerpt from ‘Becoming, an Introduction’
The power to make ’em laugh, it’s the best power, you know why? Because laughter is the response I pull out that connects them all to me. When they cries, they does that on the inside, in isolation, in that warm safe place covered in hair. But that laughter, we all hears that, and it connects us — it says, You is my hyena pack, you is my peoples, my spotted peoples, and we love our spots, we luxuriate in our spots, and we gonna cackle and feed on the corpses of those fallen elephants of culture, those dead corpse monoliths that are still filling this earthbound existence. We feeding and laughing, and the blood is flowing, and that blood flow is art, because we destroyin’ but also because we is connected! We communicatin’!
Excerpt from “Like a Mug Shot”
You see, this place is hot all year round, like hell,
And I be the Debil rulin’ the roost, Satan Claus
With dem ho, ho, hoes
And . . .
A PLACE IN THE SUN I
His leather jacket kicks it off so well,
Under the opening credits — printed large —
As he hitchhikes on the side of the road;
An indelible image that was Kerouac,
Jack London, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon,
And my acting infancy.
Now I watched the film with a part-Irish,
Part-Cherokee beauty, with a cheekbone face
And a long elfin body to match, slung
In a cherry-red G-string and nothing else, bundled
In a cloud of Chateau sheets. She remarking
On the close-up beauty of young society Liz;
I silently noting the deft reticence of Clift when caught
In the woods: the leather, now with a Hawaiian shirt.