One is that they desperately need the money, and are too cognitively impaired to steal it, too ugly or otherwise unattractive for honest prostitution work, too dumb to be able to do anything useful at all whatsoever. So they're reduced to the absolute lowest form of economic life, which is advertising. Literally, there's nothing below.
The other is that they desperately wish to enter the impregnable fortress of tin, and they perceive that all the other entrances are sealed off to them.iii This, obviously is never true : that fortress is mostly hollow, on top of which the parts that appear "solid" are really made out of tin foil. Nothing in the world easier than getting in, but then again nothing in the world harder & more obdurate than the limits a brain sets for itself. And so it is and so it has to be.
And now, consider the case of Jerry Seinfeld. He's principally an unfunnyiv comedian with no acting abilities whatsoever. He achieved immense levels of famev and significant piles of doughvi through fronting the work of a large team of very competent people.vii
This, obviously, is once-in-a-lifetime sort of event, you're never going to get to ride the wave of other people's effort for free. Seinfeld is after all not a producer, his professional ability does not principally consist in motivating people to churn themselves into butter at the drop of a hat.
And yet he acts in all these repugnantly stupid commercials, mostly selling cars and other "high status" bullshit. Why ? He can't possibly be hoping that somehow, somewhere a producer sees him, and gives him a chance.
For one thing, he's old.viii That's it.
For the other, any producers that were going to give him any chances saw him already. It's one thing for the nineteen year old starlet to think her train ain't come in yetix. It's another thing for the used up, middle aged starlet to still be hoping her train ain't come in yet.x It's quite another for the ex-star with a massive career behind herxi to be hoping herxii train hasn't come in yet. Yet ? What yet ?!
He can't possibly be needing the dough. He can't possibly be deluded enough to imagine his chance is still to come.
What is it, I ask you ?———
- Amusingly, porn actually has three, because on top of the two listed some stars actually do enjoy the fucking. So in this sense, porn is indeed much, much better. [↩]
- People who don't actually act, but work for the devil in some other capacity probably only fit one of those two reasons. Amusingly, most techs do it for the money, whereas most
creativesfuckwits get very little pay and mostly do it for the "fame". Because yes, human beings are so vain it ends up making little difference if at all whether you're famous for curing cancer or for burning down the Colossus. Just as long as many people hear of you. It's a fear of death thing. [↩]
- I won't bore you with the list of stars that started their career through private application of their porn abilities, but Jack Nicholson for instance breached in through the venue of B movies. Have you seen The Raven ? [↩]
- His only merit is a dedication to getting as much humour as possible through the tiny hole of "stuff that will offend absolutely nobody". While the results are typically dismal (and Carson did a much better job without relying on a legion of writers - heck, the man even blew Rickles out of the water, an accolade which to my knowledge nobody shares) nevertheless, some admiration can be scared up for anyone putting themselves through such absurd constraints strictly because hey, why tell idiots they're idiots ?! That's hard work. [↩]
- I think in the 90s he was about as well known as that falsetto "singing" kid from a decade ago, or the chick with one eye closed whatever her name was. You see where this is going. [↩]
- To the tune of US 1 bn. [↩]
- If you wish to compare Seinfeld as written by Larry David (and Seinfeld) with Seinfeld as written by NBC's task force, compare season 1 episodes with later work. Barefoot Elaine holding a plunger ? Her in a granny robe reading the newspaper ? Jerry (as a grown man) taking advice from pops on how to pick up a stranger ? Stuff's practically a parody avant la lettre. Except unfunny.
Heck, compare the pilot, if we're on it. More awkward per square mile could not be intentionally devised. [↩]
- I am aware Louis de Funes was discovered at about Jerry Seinfeld's current age. Nevertheless, de Funes is a superset of funny, whereas Seinfeld... I'm letting this one pass. [↩]
- Seen Showgirls ? [↩]
- Ever seen Frankie and Johnny, for the passive, or The Fabulous Baker Boys for the actually successful ? That's right, the Pfeiff is the mother & patron saint of all middle aged waitresses with aspirations. Pray to her, she doesn't heal but she does save. [↩]
- In his case, that career ended on his say-so. NBC begged and begged, but ultimately there was nothing they could do. If you think "you'll never work in this town again" is a joke... well, here's the joke for you : independent agent with a billion dollars in his pocket is reduced to playing bit parts in shitty ads. You were saying ? [↩]
- That's right : all firemen are male and everyone in showbiz is female. That's the way it is ; get fucking used to it already. Gender matters, and while it can never be changed by you, it can and does change you in ways you can never undo. Messing with the words describing this fact is neither going to change anything nor a step in the right direction.
Learn to live as the man or woman you could be rather than wasting your days pining for a shot at playing the man or woman you can never, ever be, under any circumstances and no matter what happens. I get that you perceive it as "unfair" that in the plot of life others got the good parts. Tough and fuck you. [↩]