Holden Caulfield Reviews the J.D. Salinger Documentary
FOR DISMAY — WITH LOVE AND SQUALOR DEPT.
Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but they made a phony documentary about this famous writer. In case you never heard of him, his name was J.D. Salinger, a huge hotshot who frequently published in The New Yorker and once was on the cover of Time magazine and all that crap. That was about three hundred years ago, when everyone paid attention to writers and their swanky ideas and all. Would any magazine put a writer on the cover nowadays? Maybe the one who wrote those vomity Twilight books, but that’s it.
Anyway, Salinger was considered very hot stuff. You probably know about The Catcher in the Rye, but he also wrote short stories about a depressed guy who shoots himself, and a depressed guy who has a nervous breakdown and a depressed 10-year-old who predicts his own death. Uplifting bastard.
I forgot to tell you the main part. Just when everybody was the most interested in Salinger, or not exactly the most interested but still pretty interested, guess what he did? He quit. He left the writing biz and became a hermit up in Vermont or New Hampshire. And that’s what old J.D. Salinger did for the next 45 years. Hid in his cabin in the woods with a long white beard, drinking his own pee and typing like a madman. That’s how I like to picture him, anyway.
The jerks who said their shootings were inspired by The Catcher in the Rye were strictly screwballs.
I sort of understand them, though. After I read Tuesdays with Morrie, I wanted to kill everyone in the world.
The only person you could get to star in his own stinking documentary would be exactly the kind of guy you couldn’t stand. But if you wanted to hear what he had to say, he probably wouldn’t do it. That kills me, it really does. Anyway, his being dead didn’t stop those Hollywood morons. They got some actor to pretend to be him, pacing back and forth to his typewriter all artistically tortured, smoking like a fiend in the dark, with a big screen showing ex-girlfriends and piles of dead bodies behind his head. Subtle as hell.
They show the same handful of real photos of him, over and over, like they’re precious heirlooms. They also found ten seconds of film from his army days where you don’t even get a good look at his face. So naturally they slow it down and play it again. If the director could have gotten hold of Salinger’s driver’s license, I’ll bet he would have fainted from excitement.
There’s only a couple of photographs of J.D. Salinger, and none of them are terribly interesting.
But you’re going to see every g*ddam one of them.
Anyway, most of the rest is gossipy stuff about how he went for young girls and was a bit of a snob and an emotionally stunted perfectionist who didn’t have the best relationship with his children. You’d never guess a hint of that, unless you read three words of his work. Worst of all, they blast the corniest Mickey Mouse music under every scene. He picks up his mail, there’s a g*ddam symphony orchestra.
After he died, they immediately broke their necks running to find everything he’d written, and they’re going to publish it all. He would never sell any of his stories to Hollywood except for one that ended up lousy, and now they’ve made a movie about him for Chrissakes. And they’ll probably give it fifty Oscar statuettes for Best Documentary and slap each other on the back and laugh like hyenas and then head over to Chasen’s or the Brown Derby to kiss Harvey Weinstein’s ass and make a handshake deal to rewrite The Catcher in the Rye into next summer’s blockbuster release starring Jaden Smith. I could puke.
I mean, there’s loads of writers and actors saying lovely things about him and how meaningful he is and all, but you just know he would have hated every crumby minute of it. I guess the trick is, never die.
I’m sure Danny DeVito is a nice guy, but what he has to do with J.D. Salinger is quite a lot of Hollywood crap.
It really is. I got a bang out of Taxi, though. I liked that Reverend Jim.