Sunday, April 12, 2009

C'mon everybody and do the mashed potato

Just to show you what a non-judgmental and fair person I am, I happen to think that Sling Blade was one of the finest films to have been made in recent years.

The fact that the 1996 cinematic masterpiece was written by, directed by, and starred Billy Bob Thornton is testament to his skills as a creative master when he chooses to be. And, fairly enough, it comes as no surprise that Billy Bob is a trifle on the eccentric side. Creative geniuses often are. And considering the fact that he included the beautiful but mildly scary Angelina among his 217 (or so) wives, is also reflective of his less-than-pedestrian view of the world and life.

So, I’ll forgive BB for being flaky – he used to carry a vial of Angelina’s blood around his neck for crissake, and has a phobia about the color orange – but I won’t be so quick to condone uncalled-for rudeness by a guy with his head maybe just a little too far up his own ass. Being a so-called star never excuses you for being a jerk.

So, on a tour of Canada last week ‘musician’ Billy Bob was interviewed on CBC Radio by some guy named Jian Ghomeshi and the ‘interview’ went from bad to worse as BB decided to go all Joaquim Phoenix on Letterman weird during the interview.

Now, I am not familiar with Mr. Ghomeshi. I do listen to CBC Radio once in a while, though less than I used to, mainly because CBC Radio is less than it used to be. But, in the opinion of Mr. Thornton, Mr. Ghomeshi was an “asshole” primarily because he made oblique reference to the Thornton acting career as opposed to his burgeoning music career. Kind of a natural ‘mistake’ one might think.

Of the BB musical contribution he ‘was’ touring Canada with his group The Boxmasters, along with lovable old stoner Willie Nelson and others. So, I guess that was what he wanted to talk about. OK, fine. And maybe the interviewer wasn’t considerate of the BB wants and needs.

But, evidently, his commentary during the interview ranged from the virtually non-communicative to the weird to the just plain rude.

And now all sorts of loyal Canucks are bent out of shape about some of the
Thornton observations on their home and native land, such as:

“Canadian audiences seem to be very reserved. We tend to play places where people throw things at each other. Here they just sort of sit there. And it doesn’t matter what you say to them …. [They’re like] mashed potatoes without gravy.”

Mashed potatoes without gravy? Hmm. Maybe tell that to Canadian Neil Young. In context of his statement about bland mashed potatoes Canadian audiences, maybe they’re just stoned? About the same time as his radio diatribe the sensibilities of obviously very delicate and pure Britney Spears were tested sufficiently that she walked off the state at a Vancouver concert for 40 minutes due to the volume of ‘wacky terbacky’ fumes wafting through the air from that Canadian audience.

Or, maybe with mashed potatoes he was just referring to Toronto audiences? That would make sense to anybody who lives in the wooly west.

Anyway, Thornton got a lot of heat as a result of his boorishness and as a result of a surfeit of mashed potato backlash, he hightailed it back stateside and left Willie to complete the tour without him.

Frankly I think the whole thing is kind of hilarious and equally frankly, I don’t give a flying ‘fig’ (see how politely mashed-potato Canadian I can be?) what he thinks about Canadian audiences. I hope he is happier being back where audiences throw stuff. That’s classy.

But, I stay firm in my belief that Sling Blade is a fine movie.



Blogger Get Off My Lawn! said...

Well... I reckon them french fried pertaters are pretty tasty. Like em better then them there mashed ones. 'Less they got gravy. I like gravy. Mm hm.

12:58 PM  
Blogger jmb said...

I'd rather we were mashed potatoes than the alternative. But I think we appreciate talent in our own quiet way.

Happy Easter to you Ian.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Warty Mammal said...

LOL! Yeah - nothing to add here, other than being in agreement with you. Thank you for a fun read.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

I never watched Swing Blade. I think it came out at a time I had no money. And by the time I had money, I had seen so many bad BB Thorton impressions I passed on the movie.

5:35 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Sling Blade is one of my favourite movies ever.

Billy Bob Thornton is an asshole. Always has been.

And me? I'm not mashed potatoes, I'm saffron rice. So there.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Dumdad said...

I echo Jazz: "Billy Bob Thornton is an asshole. Always has been."

He's a wanker of the first order and he's not as talented as he thinks he is.


Sling Blade was an extraordinary film and I completely forgot that it was this dickhead playing the part.

You don't have to be difficult/eccentric/demanding to be a great artist. I'm not. Damn, just blew my argument!

9:41 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Sling Blade is one of my top movies of all time, too. But when a guy as non talented musically as Billy Bob gets bent out of shape and acts obnoxiously rude because the ENTERTAINMNET industry doesn't always go his way and *then* gets that kind of press for something so shatteringly insignificant I just have to shake my head at the whole freakin' mess. (And "some guy named Jian Ghomeshi" is just wrong, too. IMHO Jian is a breath of fresh air and worth more than a cavalier reference.)

9:48 AM  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

I think the jury is in and we all agree that while Sling Blade is wonderful, Billy Bob is an asshole. And Andrea, didn't mean to be dismissive of Mr. Ghomeshi, am just not familiar with him.

11:35 AM  
Blogger beachgirl said...

I think Billy Bob is just a nut job. I watched the interview on Youtube. Wow. I would have smacked the guy instead of being as nice as the DJ was to him.
His band was just sitting there trying not to blow a gasket at his attitude. But they must be used to it by now if they have had to deal with him for a few years. Yuck.

Have an awesome day.

2:28 PM  
Blogger lady macleod said...

You are indeed a compassionate fellow. I don't think there is ever an excuse for rudeness. Good manners take nothing but a bit of time and a little energy - and especially when one considers the enormous paychecks of some of the entertainers. If he loses that Canadian audience $(some of my best friends are Canadian!) he may change his tune eh?

5:44 PM  
Blogger meggie said...

Agree with most commenters. I thought he was good in Monsters Ball too. But I dislike him out of movies.

11:36 PM  

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