You know how movie stars keep looking young even when they get old? They eat live human babies. Tom Cruise is 50 years old and still looks like a teenager – how does he do that? He eats live human babies. Madonna is 50 but doesn't look anything like it – she eats live human babies. She even adopts them from different countries, maybe some kind of a balanced died thing. Angelina Jolie is approaching 40 but looks like she's in her 20s – she also eats live human babies, and also adopts them from different countries. Bridget Bardot was eating live human babies every single day, then she stopped – and look at her now! She just got ancient and ugly fast! See – it works! It's gotta be true that they eat live human babies because they look so young. What else could it be? Plus, I read this on a website that was all about Hollywood, so I know it's true. Movie stars all eat live human babies! Why would the website lie about something like that?
It was on the internet, so it has to be true, right?
BRIDGET BARDOT - BEFORE AND AFTER:
(She should never have stopped eating the babies!)
Back when I was a kid I had a paper route, and delivered the “Green Sheet” - the Contra Costa Times. It was printed on green paper. Every morning I would get up, ride my bike to the newspaper shack, pick up my papers, take them home to roll them and band them, then deliver them before school. Once a month I would go door-to-door to collect. Ah, the joys of childhood! Back then major cities usually had two competing newspapers – one that backed the Democratic Candidates and one that backed the Republican Candidates – independents were out of luck. Newspapers had big staffs and editors and fact checkers and reporters out in the field and in other countries. They reported the facts, and had opinions on the editorial pages, Sure, they may have been a slight spin – if there was a fire the Republican paper would report how much money was lost in structure damage and the Democrat paper would report how many people were left homeless – but 99% of the story was exactly the same. Facts came first, opinion came last. What was important was the fire.
Then cable hit, and all of those news shows, and talk radio, and opinion shows, and two things happened to newspapers: Due to the competition, fewer people read the papers so they had to cut staffs down to the bare bones – fact checkers and editors and field reporters and everyone else was “let go” and they began using “pool reporters” and wire services... and to compete with the crazy TV shows the papers became more like tabloids – filled with gossip and rumor and unsubstantiated facts and opinion. So now the % of facts vs. opinion has changed big time – but newspapers still print retractions when they get something wrong and make an attempt to report the news.
Of course, now everybody gets their news online and the print journalism business is in the crapper. But even online there are legitimate news sources and... the other places: bloggers, 98% opinion news sites, and the rest. Places that are more rumor than fact, where Angelina Jolie eats live babies to keep that hot bod.
She is hot, right? So that proves it!
WANTING TO BELIEVE
Recently there was a wonderful article about the Truth Behind Hollywood that was filled with all kinds of crazy things – some relating to screenwriters. This was not an article in The Hollywood Reporter or Variety or any legit news source – it was some website that generated excitement through incitement. One of those places that is full of scandal and finger pointing and end of the world scenarios – and this was the *Hollywood* end of entertainment scenario. Just reading the article, you could see that it was light on facts and full of opinion. Yet, like wildfire, that article was linked on Twitter and Facebook and messageboards and every place that screenwriters might congregate. And everyone believed it! Well, everyone who didn't know better. But what surprised me was how many people that was. The people who work in the business knew that it was mostly fabricated crap, but many writers who haven't broken in yet believed it without checking out the facts – even though it was not from a source known for facts. They *wanted* to believe it. The didn't want to check the facts – that would take time away from posting on those various messageboards how awful this all way and how Hollywood has actually gone to Hell in a handcart. Why do we want to believe the worst? Why do we believe stuff from suspicious sources?
I can not understand *wanting* to believe that Angelina Jolie eats live babies.
This stuff happens at least once a week – and sometimes it's *amazing* how the same bad info keeps getting passed around. You know that woman who claims that THE MATRIX and every other movie ever made ripped off her idea? You know that story that she took Warner Bros to court and won millions? And, of course, all of that is completely false – her case was thrown out of court for lack of basic evidence. And there are plenty of actual newspaper stories that reported the actual outcome, and if you go to Snopes.com it is listed as complete BS – the woman was interviewed in a *college newspaper* and said she won the case, and then worked her butt off to get that college newspaper story linked all over the place so that it seemed like a fact. But one minute on Google and you can easily find a bunch of legit news sources that dispute her story and have the facts that she lost. It's not hard to find the truth about that one...
Yet, sometime this month someone will post that story on a screenwriting messageboard as proof that Hollywood rips off writers. See, she won in court against Warner Bros. This weird screenwriting blog from someone in Peru proves it!
(Nothing against screenwriters in Peru – just using that as an extreme outside the Hollywood loop example.)
EXPERTS VS. DRIPS UNDER PRESSURE
A while back on one of the messageboards I frequent someone asked a very good question: why would people believe some new writer who has no idea what they are talking about and can't even support their argument with a couple of facts over a working pro (not me, by the way)? And people were arguing *against* the working pro – and arguing *against* his experience! Huh? Though everyone has different experiences (ask a panel of pro writers how they broke in and you will get as many different ways as there are people on the panel), the experience of someone who does this for a living trumps the opinion of someone who does not. Hey, facts may still come into play here and show that the *average* experience is different than that guy who does it for a living... and that's cool. But those are facts from some reliable source, not some rumor mill website. The stuff on the rumor mill website? Not facts. Not a good source for information. Instead of reading stuff there, why not go to Variety or Hollywood Reporter or some other legit source?
Is it because the scandal element is what is exciting? The negative aspects of the “news” are more attractive than the truth? What amazes me are those people on messageboards who will *fight* against the truth. Who will argue against the real facts. Who will argue against someone with experience and do everything they can to tear them down rather than just listen and consider what they say. And, like I said, if you can find the facts that dispute what I say – I want to hear them! My experience may be a fluke! (Though, I take the time to Google stuff so that I don't make a complete ass of myself in print... though sometimes I still screw up. Sorry.)
If someone gives me real information that conflicts with my experience, I'm going to use that real info. Things like that give me a larger picture and help *me*. You know, I'm trying to sell scripts just like everyone else. If I'm doing something stupid, I want to know. I'm not going to *fight* facts – that seems stupid.
But still some people seem to prefer the rumors to the facts and seek them out... when they could just as easily find the facts (and check to see if those rumors are true or not). Why do they *want* to believe that Angelina Jolie eats live babies? Why do they want to spread the rumor that she eats live babies? Why, when faced with the facts, would they fight those facts in order to continue to believe obvious lies? What's up with that?
Here's the thing – the internet is filled with crap. Messageboards are filled with crap. The whole danged world is filled with crap. Instead of just blindly believing something, do a minute of research before you spread that nonsense. Hey, you may learn things!
There are no producer's “staff writers” who script all of those ideas that producers steal from new writers. The WGA is not some evil cabal designed to keep out new writers so that their members can make more money (actually, the WGA makes a pile on initiation fees from new members – and that means they *want* new writers to get work). There are no secret handshakes or odd conspiracies – Hollywood mostly just wants to make money. They want to buy one script instead of another because they believe one will make more money than the other. They hire one writer to do an assignment over another writer because they believe that writer is a better writer (and/or has a better work ethic). Maybe the problem with the truth is that it's mostly pretty boring, but rumors are usually weird and amazing?
But, what else explains why Angelina Jolie is still so hot after all of these years?