I can remove myself from my involvement with This is Us and say with confidence that this week’s episode, Memphis, is the one of the top saddest, most beautiful episodes I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen at least ten to fifteen episodes of television. Morrison and I cried so much that Cracker literally came over just to see if we were okay. You have to watch it to get the significance of these Ducks, which are heartbreaking and breathtaking when they appear at the end, in a way that regular old ducks never quite have been. Clearly it has gone to these ducks’ heads, as they now have a TWITTER PAGE.
There are plays you read in undergrad and grad school and watch scenes from and do scenes from, to the point where watching the play actually staged feels like a very long, hazy moment of deja vu. O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night is definitely one of those plays, and I even though I spent a summer at the O’Neill conference, did a three-night long, all playwright reading of it, visited the very house in which the play was set — I did not actually see the play until last night, at the Geffen (staring Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek, who were both magnificent.) Even though I’ve read it so many times, last night it revealed itself to me as something new — not a play about brothers, about fathers, about grudges you can’t let go of — but a play about a very poetic addiction. It’s really Mary Tyrone’s play, the mother’s play. It’s actually about her withdrawing from and indulging in morphine, hiding it from her family. When she’s on morphine, she just talks and talks and talks, and says the saddest and most beautiful things:
None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.
The past is the present. It’s the future, too.
Her addiction allows the playwright to speak through her. We have things we want our characters to say. They are the things that we want to say, but can’t. But you can’t just insert the things into the mouth of a character. You have to give them some profound reason to say them, a reason that ideally creates a story. This is something I already knew, but must be reminded of, every time I write a scene. A character is not a robot for your poetry. A character is a human being who must be cared for, who must be motivated, who is usually based on your mom (not really.) (but sometimes.) (HI MOM!)
Once a year, there’s an awards show that’s actually not for the famous people, but for the people who write the words for the famous people to say — The Writer’s Guild Awards, which honors excellence in TV, Film, Video game writing and New Media. (This is Us was nommed for Best new show / we lost to Atlanta / truly an honor to lose to them.) Both writers and famous people gather at the illustrious Beverly Hills hotel. The writers, unaccustomed to wearing things other than the jeans they never wash, dust off their finery and get their hairs did, and are fetched by fancy car services sent by their various TV studios:
The writers, who are actually responsible for 92% of the world’s consumption of Trader Joe’s Olive Oil popcorn, and basically all of the different types of popcorns, are greeted immediately with a banquet.
The famous people are also in attendance, mostly to remind the writers why they are writers and not the face of Loreal, but also to give out awards. There is, in fact, a red carpet, for the writers to walk, where photographers scream their name because a nice man next to them has written their name on a piece of paper so that the photographers know which name to scream. The writer feels, just for the tiniest of moments, like a glamorous person, and can be heard saying things like I’m going to come at the camera from an angle, am I doing it? AM I COMING AT THE CAMERA FROM AN ANGLE? and also WHAT’S AN ANGLE?
BEYONCE, WE WILL HUMBLY RECEIVE YOUR LINE OF CASUAL MATERNITY WEAR WHENEVER YOU ARE READY. It will be worn by both pregnant and not pregnant women, and probably also some men. Those who are not actually pregnant will strap watermelons to their bodies so that they might fill them out. I will sleep in the nightgown that it took 50 people and 7 days to embroider. I will wear the headpiece to Trader Joes. PLEASE JUST GIVE IT TO US.
This special on the local Winston-Salem news last night CLAIMS to be an interview with a This is Us writer.
But it is ACTUALLY just an interview with a giant gnarled scrunched up Big Toe in a wig with facial features painted on with makeup. LIES. LIES!!!!!!!!!! GIVE US THE TRUTH.
- DONALD TRUMP
- KANYE WEST
- JEFFREY DAHMER
- MIKE PENCE
If y’all could just let me (and the Olsen Twins) know if we start to exhibit any psychotic or heartless or narcissistic behavior THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
I now know why I have such an affinity for young Kate on This is Us, for her obsession with food and her insecurities. In The Pool episode when she gets a note from a mean group of girls declaring they don’t want to hang with her anymore, that was based on something that happened to me, but fifth grade, and cafeteria, and maybe I still have the note and remember exactly who wrote it but I’M NOT HERE TO NAME NAMES REBECCA SINK WAS HER NAME. As it turns out, I am in fact just a grown up version of lil’ Kate:
WE ARE ONE.
Surely these are dark times, but we must focus on the GOOD things that have happened in politics during this country’s short life: Lincoln abolished slavery! Roosevelt saved the country from a depression whilst in a wheelchair! Obama was our first black President! And then of course that time someone on the internet photoshopped an accordion between Donald Trump’s hands and then made a video out of it!
FULL VIDEO HERE. YOU OWE IT TO HISTORY TO WATCH.
Today, on White Girl with Blog, I spent some time this morning reading through some of MLK’s best quotes, just to hang out with his memory for a few minutes, acknowledge all that he did. Inspirational quotes that are memes waiting to happen are only a PALTRY SLIVER of what he contributed and made happen, but I will leave a few favorites here, all the same. They transcend issues of race and tap into even larger questions about humanity. WE BASICALLY NEED EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM APPROXIMATELY RIGHT NOW.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”
“Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.”
“I have decided to stick to love … Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
When Trump called Meryl ‘overrated,’ I just could not stop thinking about how insane that sentiment is, given her accomplishments, and so I wrote a thing about it. I’m a political satirist now OKAY BYYYYYEEEEEEE!
To: info at the Hollywood foreign press dot com.
Bcc: hellomeryl at aol dot com.
Subject: My Lifetime Achievement award dot dot dot.
To Whom it may Concern:
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the honor of the Cecile B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award. I saw my acceptance speech as an opportunity to voice to what basically everyone has been thinking. Given what our country has endured over the last few months, it didn’t seem right to take that stage time to thank my mentors and children. I can send them emails and flowers give my children hugs and college tuition. They all know how I feel about them. I tell them daily. I also saw it as an opportunity to bring back bedazzling. Both, I thought, were effective. Until this morning.
This is awkward, but.
This morning I received word that I am ‘one of Hollywood’s most overrated actresses,’ which I first read as ‘Hollywood’s most overrated actress,’ but even though I’m just ‘one of,’ it still stings. I must say, I am deeply embarrassed. I think I can feel the very nudity of Eve. Here I was, parading myself around political fundraisers and charity events and cozy Italian restaurants and sometimes Nordstrom Rack thinking that I was, maybe, I’m embarrassed to admit – a woman of some talent. I’m not supposed to read my own reviews, but who truly does not? Show me an artist who does not secretly read their reviews alone in their bathtub and cry or scream or laugh quietly into the water and I’ll show you a liar. Or at least, an artist more self assured than myself. I once read someone describe me as the best actress of my generation, and I ashamed to admit that I believed it. And I have believed it for quite some time.
Until now. I feel an – inadequacy. A lack thereof. I feel a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, I feel certainly not hot. Blood coming out of my wherever. I suddenly hate my nose again and it’s been years since I put that to bed. I am a nasty, nasty mess.
And so, after some deep reflection, I have decided that I must humbly give back the Award. I hope you understand. The Lifetime Achievement Award should and must go to an actor who is under-rated, or at the very least regular rated. Not to me.
PS. Just a heads up, I will be sending similar emails to the Emmys, the Oscars, and to The Screen Actor’s Guild, regarding all of those awards, too.
PPS. Oh and also BAFTA, Critics Choice, People’s choice, Cannes, AFI, Kids Choice awards, Elle women in Hollywood, The National Society of Film Critics, the British Independent Film awards, The Palm Spring International film festival. And my honorary Doctors of Arts degrees from both Princeton and Harvard. All going back via UPS mail.
PPS. Oh and the National Medal of Arts. I always forget about that one. OH and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, too. I am not worthy. I will have my hand prints paved over while I’m at it, too. All shall be righted; all shall be returned.