JAIMIE VERNON – DON’T TRY (CAREER) SUICIDE

250_23750261354_2817_nNot since Marlon Brando and his moo moo ate their way through Hollywood on the back of non-returnable advances for movies he did everything possible to avoid making has there been so many entertainment types hell bent on changing career paths by killing off their meal tickets.

Thursday it came to light that Canadian rapper Drake was being a social mediot by bad mouthing Rolling Stone magazine for bumping his cover story in favour of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. News flash, Degrassi Boy: Hoffman has more cache dead than you will ever have alive. A simple “I’m disappointed in the turn of events, but understand Rolling Stone’s editorial decision. DrakeRespect PSH” would have sufficed. Instead, he show-boated. And like fellow rap asshat Kanye West, Drake will attempt to deflect now that people have taken to hating him more than they do already. He’ll mea culpa and return to his life shilling for the Toronto Raptors basketball team.

But this is a minor career speed bump. The real career killers are those who are embarrassed or emotionally trapped/alienated by their past achievements. William Shatner spent years attempting to kill his alter-ego James T. Kirk. It made sense. He was a Stratford trained Shakespearian actor don’tcha know. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZnvIwA4fJU

ToupeeHe avoided science fiction fan conventions and told followers of ‘Star Trek’ to get a life. He felt secure in knowing he’d moved on and that his career was safely in the hands of his next TV persona – T.J. Hooker. And when that was finally strangled by his own Turbo 2000 Toupee he jumped into the 1980s reality crime TV show ‘Rescue 911’. But the 1990s weren’t as kind to the Shat – especially when ‘Star Trek: Next Generation’ filled with hip new actors and fresh faces hit TV and made everyone but devout fans exclaim “Shatner who?”  Oh, he would continue to play on the back of his biggest paycheque in film spin offs of the original ‘Star Trek’, but Shatner’s reputation as a dickwad to his castmates overshadowed everything he tried to do. At some point he finally connected the dots that he was both an icon and an embarrassing caricature of himself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaB_G1WNT70

He needed to re-invent his public image. And so he did as a self-effacing blowhard in ‘Boston Legal’ (“I’m Denny Crane”), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfc7l1vz2jU TJ Hookeras the pitchman for Priceline TV commercials, recording new musical projects with Ben Folds, and in recent years as the host of ‘Weird or What?’, ‘Shatner’s Raw Nerve’ and starring in the short-lived sitcom ‘Shit My Dad Says’. And he finally started attending science fiction conventions and interacting with the fans. All these things have made him a hot commodity – and pretty damn cool. Well, not as cool as Betty White, but cool by dickwad standards. His has been a true redemption story.

The same may not be true for our current douche du jour – Shia LeBeouf. After announcing that he’d no longer be making another ‘Transformers’ movie he has been floundering. ‘Eagle Eye’ was actually a pretty good little spy drama and he managed a Shiacool factor by becoming Indiana Jones’ son in a regrettable ‘Indiana Jones’ sequel but since then…?  He’s been on a mission to change the public’s perception of good boy image. He wants to be bad. He wants to be Mickey Rourke bad or Colin Farrell bad. Problem is, he doesn’t have the clout. He was a child actor that became a post-teen star. By stealing the content of an animated short he created, then apologizing to the writer whose source he lifted, he popped up on the radar of the trash rag media. Then he decided to do full-frontal sex scenes in  the Lars Von Trier 4 hour “art” film called ‘Nymphomaniachttp://vimeo.com/80071592 which, in any other culture but French, would be called exactly what it is – the most boring self-indulgent porn ever made.

During the press junket for the movie LeBeouf decided to be oblique and moody when asked by the media what it was like being in all those sex scenes. Then he stormed out of the press conference to appear later in the red carpet ceremony wearing a tuxedo and a paper bag on his head that said: “I am not famous anymore”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOIUBZa2Njw

joaquinYou are correct, Shia. You are now an unemployable douchebag. Just ask the old Robert Downey Jr. or Joaquin Phoenix what acting like an uncommunicative and extremely difficult jackass does to one’s career. You end up making films where no one will act in them with you (go watch ‘Her’ and tell me I’m wrong). It’ll be a career now relegated to appearing in ‘Bad Santa 6’ with Danny Bonaduce (another career suicider) and Billy Bob Thornton or getting arrested in Hollywood for DUI and snorting cocaine off the ass of a Republican Senator. You might want to beg for a spot in ‘Transformers 5’ right now. You’re gonna need it, kid. Michael Bay’s personal assistant is standing by to take your call.

Miley1We’ve also seen Ms. Miley Cyrus successfully bludgeon her Hannah Montana alter-ego by stripping off (literally) to do a full reveal. But of what? That she’s willing to pull back all the layers to the ‘real’ Miley Cyrus? That was an onion that no one was asking to be peeled. At least not in the overtly sexual way she did it. Alanis Morissette and Sarah McLachlan did the same in the 1990s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9KAroDf1Hg

But they weren’t licking hammers and cooch riding a wrecking ball. They did it with class and with vulnerability. Miley has nowhere left to go. She’s humped a piece of miley-cyrus-w-magazineheavy machinery and masturbated in her last two videos. Hannah Montana is dead. But so is Cyrus’  ability to get mass respect. Thankfully, her coat-tail riding mullet-headed father took the heat off her and cast the spotlight on himself to cement our notion that he’s become a pathetic parody of himself. Witness the atrocity that is the bad rap remake of his horrifically craptastic first hit now called “Achy Rappy Heart” (or that’s what it should be called): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF5G01Mh0to

You can’t make this shit up. And despite the media coverage of this travesty, the song/video has barely managed 10,000 hits on YouTube. Clearly Billy Ray is so bad at what he brc_mulletdoes he can’t even elicit the views of a train wreck like Rebecca Black’s “Friday” or its musical sequel “Saturday”. Billy Ray, your 15 seconds were up when you had your own made-in-Toronto TV show ‘Dochttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uoTNvV5yvo. Let your daughter attempt to restore her dignity somehow and bow out of her public life.

The need to blow one’s personal shit up and start again seems endemic in the entertainment biz. Fortunately, most musicians do it in a less destructive way – usually ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????in changing musical style, fashion or both. David Bowie has been the most successful at this, never spending more than an album in any one genre or personality disorder. Meanwhile, Neil Young has made it a game for his fans. Guess what totally Madhatter direction I’m going to pursue on my next record! It’s always a hit and miss proposition but, it’s allowed him to never get stale.

purplerainHowever, there are the exceptions. Currently, Prince is riding the wave of cognitive disassociation as he pursues lawsuits against his own fans for posting videos on social media of his songs. He’s also been on a vendetta in an effort to stop other artists from doing cover versions of his tunes. One way to destroy your career is to alienate the people that have bought your records and supported you, you contemptuous sack of shit. Without them you would be nothing but another guitar virtuoso rotting away in a Minneapolis bar somewhere hoping for that big break. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. They eventually bite back.

OasisAnd the Gallagher brothers really need to get a clue as well. No one ever bought your “We’re bigger than the Beatles” bravado. It was quaint and simultaneously blustering in the musically vacuous 1990s when England was the only place producing old school pop rock. But outside of that era, that milieu, your Frankenbland act Oasis doesn’t hold up. Your material is but another dated relic from a lost decade that no one is hungry to revisit. When the 1990s become classic rock fodder in another 20 years “Wonderwall” and “Supernova” will remain your only shit smear in a decade rife with forgettable shoe gazing and flannel fashion faux pas.

RobocopMaybe I’m being too hard on these fine, delusional folks. Or not. There’s nothing that infuriates me more than seeing someone handed a gift of talent only to take it for granted. Worse still are those that don’t just commit career suicide, but embrace the entire ethos – real suicide…either at their own hands or through a slow substance death. Hats off to those who can wade through the turbulent uncertainty, that wrestling match with the Id and the battle to maintain ‘normalcy’. Fame and fortune is the ultimate lottery win…and your talent is the ticket that gets you there. Don’t waste it, don’t resent it. Embrace the good and the bad. They’re both by-products of the muse. Reject the bad and generate more good in your career. It’ll reduce the need to murder it in public.

Send your CDs for review to this NEW address: Jaimie Vernon, 4003 Ellesmere Road, Toronto, ON M1C 1J3 CANADA

=JV=

Jaimie’s column appears every Saturday.

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonJaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 35 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 17 of those years. He is also the author of the Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and a collection of his most popular ‘Don’t Believe A Word I Say’ columns called ‘Life’s A Canadian…BLOG’ both of which are available at Amazon.com or http://www.bullseyecanada.com

2 Responses to “JAIMIE VERNON – DON’T TRY (CAREER) SUICIDE”

  1. Excellent, Jamie!
    Sincerely, “The Shat”

  2. alec devine Says:

    Brilliant!!!!

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