I'm not into celebrities. I'm especially not into celebrities in a 'oooooooooooooh Matt Damon is soooooooooo cute' kind of way. A few years ago though, while I was a college kid living in Scotland and watching movies obsessively, I rented a movie called Palookaville. It was a cute film, definitely enjoyable with a bottle of cheapish wine on a random Tuesday night. Watching this flick was the first time I ever really fell for an actor. His name is Vincent Gallo and he had this intensity about him in the movie, he was practically vibrating, I saw him as being so wound up that he could almost take off of the ground and fly. I tried to follow his career as much as I could. I rented Abel Ferrara's 'The Funeral' in which he played the corpse (with some flashback scenes) and caught little snippets of him in films like 'The Perez Family.' They were good movies and he always stole every scene he was in, even when his was a cameo role. Then came 'Buffalo 66' and that really sealed the deal with my love of Gallo. He wrote, directed, edited, starred and did most of the music for the film's soundtrack. The movie was so sharp, with the most interesting dialogue I had heard in awhile. When I meet someone who has seen the movie we invariably start quoting from it. I could go on and on about him, his movies, how he is a phenomenal photographer, how he is beautiful and the only actor I think that of, how the songs I've heard from his new album 'When' are really dreamy and good, how I know he is full of himself and how I don't really care because I think he deserves to be, and how he seems to be the last walking, talking renaissance man on the planet. Today though, I want to write about something else. I want to write about why he is on the cover of Shout magazine with the words 'Why you should hate this man' across its front.
Hate. What an ugly word. Everyone's mother always taught them not to hate anyone, right? Everyone has some redeeming qualities my mom would always say (albeit in Russian). So what has Vincent Gallo done to deserve not only the writer of the Shout piece to hate him, but to have hate encouraged upon him. Has he killed someone? Raped? Cheated? Lied? On the witness stand? Oh yeah, right, we don't care about those kinds of lies. You should hate Vincent Gallo, ladies and gentleman, because he very well might have a different opinion than you. Stop gasping, I know it's shocking that anyone could fall out of step in New York, especially if one belongs to the exclusive world of celebrity, but unbelievably it has come to the attention of Shout magazine that Vincent Gallo is, and I hope you're all sitting down for this, a conservative! The writer, Bruce Benderson, opens his piece with the words 'I really want to hate you, Vincent Gallo' and goes on to call Gallo an 'uncontrolled ranter who spits out right-wing ideology.' Benderson gets queasy when Gallo talks of being a fan of Reagan, Nixon and Gingrich and describes Gallo's opinions as painting a 'a pretty stark political portrait.' Get it? If you don't agree with me you should be hated. If you like anyone I don't like, you are wrong. Benderson writes 'Maybe all he needs is a spin-doctor, I began thinking, somebody to let the public know when he's being facetious. God, I hoped he was.' Benderson can't even entertain the idea that he is falling for someone (and throughout the article it is Benderson doing the worshipping) who is real, who isn't spun and who shockingly differs from him. Benderson describes himself as a 'queer anarchist ' and goes on to prove the queer part by talking of the hustling boys he used to pick up, including implying at the end of the article that perhaps Gallo was one of those boys. The anarchist part is bullshit, of course. No true anarchist would ever be a liberal, not if they had any sense. Let's review: an anarchist is against any government. Liberals are for a very big, controlling government. Conservatives want a smaller, less involved government. Realistically, which of these would a true anarchist most relate to? I have a friend in DC who is what I consider a true anarchist. She believes everything should be privatized, including defense, and there should be no government. I can hear Benderson gagging on that idea now.
I didn't know Vincent Gallo was a conservative during the entire time I have been into him. The first I heard about it was through this article so I suppose on some level I am happy it was published. I hope others read the piece and regardless of whether they are Gallo fans or not see how unoriginal the whole liberal 'movement' in New York is, how close-minded and uninteresting. I see it all the time when people find out I'm a conservative. The first reaction people have is the same as Benderson had about Gallo: you must be kidding or trying to be different and if not we have to find a way to better present this because as it stands it will not do. Even my boyfriend has told me that the night we met I had two minuses against me: the fact that I didn't like Radiohead's last two albums (a whole other post) and that I was a Republican (never mind that since Sept.11 his views on many things have jettisoned sharply to the Right). It's so annoying that you can't just be whatever comes naturally without the criticism or scorn (or hate) of the supposedly open-minded liberal populus. I'm into indie music and movies, love to travel, have idolized drag queens since my teens, worked at Limelight and Club USA when NY had a real club scene, drink more than you do, and yes I am a true Republican in most every way. So go ahead and hate me. At least I'm in good company. # Posted 11:36 AM