Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Hollywood Blues

Wow, do I feel stupid. I flamed about the summer arriving and the script business being over. I made a bunch of silly metaphors comparing my role now to a sleepy fisherman with his lines in the water, enjoying the warm summer sun from the cozy safety of the bank. The way it is now, that's the only bank I'll be going to. The emails started pouring in and today became one of the most frustrating days since I wrote for the Portland Tribune. Let me just talk hypothetically here: If you ever hire someone to write something for you, examine the reasons why you aren't doing it yourself. If you arrive at the conclusion that the person who is writing what you want, has the talent, then trust that person. Do not tamper too much with what that person turns out. While you think you are making what that person has created much better, there is often a chance that these cuts and changes are also making it worse. Kenny Rogers thought he would look better after plastic surgery, too.I hadn't talked to anyone from the Tribune alumni association until I ran into one at a party this past weekend. I am over the Tribune, but I did revisit the feelings of anger I used to have when they would play it so safe. Lines I would have put in my column were removed, sold to Jay Leno, and then reprinted in the Oregonian, our would-be competitor. Then they would ask why my column didn't have any zing? Didn't Jimmy Durante have a saying, "Everybody wants to get in on the act"? What I hate is after they make their changes and things become diluted, weird, incoherent, and diminished. Then they ask you what went wrong? Trust the people who work for you, and don't hedge your bets. You think you're helping but you're actually taking a beautiful thing, and dropping it into the garbage can. You think you're cutting your way to Angelina Jolie, and then you're mad when you end up with Kenny Rogers.

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