Diablo Cody

I've dabbled in writing long enough to know how hard it is to write a story that is both coherent and interesting. I've been writing plays, screenplays, and prose since fourth grade, and the truth is I don't do it enough. I probably only have a few existing completed works to show for it all, and I still have the not-great American first novel in typical mode: incomplete and in development hell. (I hate fitting in to a cliche, but there it is. Work and other interests get in the way. Note to self: Always have someone or something to blame. Anyway...)But enough about me. A few months ago, I reviewed Juno, where I said:
    Was there a dearth of great movies last year? Of Oscar-nominated caliber movies? I liked Juno. I liked Ellen Page. I even liked the writing. But in a million years I would never have nominated it for Best Picture. One. Million. Years.
My reaction to the film was basically against the huge swell campaign. I thought the writing was good, but I don't know if it was Oscar-worthy. Which is not to say that Oscar is the end-all-be-all judge of what is the best.

Needless to say, a lot of pundits (such as they are) have apparently been hounding Diablo Cody since then, some of them not so nice. (All you need to find such fans is read some comments sections of film sites. They are there, waiting to stupidly rant.) To my immense pleasure, she posted a blog response to all the insults she has received in recent months:
    I have a response to those who are still boring enough to lob insults in my direction. (Those of you who are friends, fans, enablers, or dislike my writing for legitimate, rational, nonpersonal reasons can tune out now if you like. This isn't for you.)

    Anyone else? Bend thine ear:

    I am not Charlie Kaufman or Sofia Coppola (much as I supplicate at their Cannes-weary feet.) I'm not Paul Thomas Anderson. I'm not even Paul W.S. Anderson. I am middle-class trash from the Midwest. I'm a competent nonfiction writer, an admittedly green screenwriter, and a product of Hollywood, USA. I am "Diablo Cody" and if you're not a fan, go rent Prospero's Books again and leave me the fuck alone.

    I may have won 19 awards that you don't feel I earned, but it's neither original nor relevant to slag on Juno. Really. And you're not some bold, singular voice of dissent, You are exactly like everyone else in your zeitgeisty-demo-lifestyle pod. You are even like me. (I, too, loved Arrested Development! Aren't we a pretty pair of cultural mavericks? Hey, let's go bitch about how Black Kids are overrated!)

    I'm sorry that while you were shooting your failed opus at Tisch, I was jamming toxic silicon toys up my ass for money. I get why you're bitter. I took exactly one film class in college and-- with the curious exception of the Douglas Sirk unit—it bored the shit out of me. I also once got busted for loudly crinkling a bag of Jujubes during a classroom screening of Vivre Sa Vie. I don't deserve to be here. We've established that. But I'm here. Five million 12-year-olds think I'm Buck Henry. Accept it.

    (Incidentally, if you were me for one day you'd crumble like fucking Stilton. I am better at this than you. You're not strong enough, Film_Fan78. Trust me.)

    I'm sorry to all those violent, semi-literate fanboys who hate me for befriending their heroes. I can't help it if your favorite writer, actor, director, or talk show host likes me. Maybe you would too, if we actually met.

    I know my name is fake and that it annoys you. What, do you hate Queen Latifah and Rip Torn, too? Writers and entertainers have been using pseudonyms for years. Chances are, you're spewing bile under an assumed screen name yourself. I'm sorry if you think I'm like some inked-up quasi-Suicide Girl derby cunt from 2002, but I like my fake name. It's engraved on an Oscar. Yours isn't.

    Listen: I've been telling stories my whole life. Even when I was a phone sex operator, I was the Mark Twain of extemporaneous jerk-off fiction. I took every perspiring creep on a fucking journey. I don't know how to do anything else.

    I'm going to make more movies and shows. I doubt they'll all be good, but that's the nature of this life. Even though the public only knows me from one book, one movie, and several aborted blogs, I've spent the last few years hustling like Iceberg Slim out here to prove myself professionally. The people I currently work for, and with, are more than pleased with my post-Juno output. My pilot was so good (thanks, Toni Colette!) that it got picked up for series. That is rare, children. That is blue-rare.

    In summation: you try it.

    This is the last I have to say on the subject, unless I'm provoked by a journalist in which case I'll gladly reload. With relish, as Betty Rizzo might say. That said, I'm a 30-year-old woman with a dwindling interest in blog culture, and I don't have time to address this bullshit every time one of my projects comes out. I'm in love, I just bought a house, and my boss made E.T. I kind of have to focus on reality.

    And drinking. I have to focus on drinking.
What saves the piece from being a rant is what infuses a lot of her writing, namely logic and wit. And the fact that she calls the millions of know-it-all fan-boys out there who think they could do it so easily. I agree with her sentiment: you try it, and fuck you. (Although that doesn't appear directly in the text, I don't think I'm inferring too much in adding it.) It's nice to see someone in Hollywood be as real as this, and I think I just became a fan of Ms. Cody, for what it's worth.

And she can't go wrong with this hilarious Artist-on-Artist interview with John Cusack. Some fun exchanges:

    JC: We met at the cast party for 'How I Met Your Mother'...
    DC: Yeah!
    JC: We were pretty drunk.
    DC: Yeah, I was actually extremely drunk. I don't have a lot of recollection...
    JC: Yeah, it was kind of a blackout haze...
    DC: Yeah, but it was really cool though...


    JC: What was your first concert?
    DC: Oh, I'm so embarrassed...
    JC: Was it REO Speedwagon?
    DC: No REO Speedwagon would at least have retro cache...
    JC: Would it?

No comments: