EXCESS HOLLYWOOD: THE HIGH-GRADE WORKFORCE AND NEO

“I haven’t seen this much hate since Hitler,” Chris Gore wrote to me after forwarding yet another nasty e-mail my way. What did I do to deserve this? Did I drive my car into a farmer’s market? No. Did I fly a plane into a building. Nope. Am I responsible for the last two seasons of “The X-Files”? Hell, no. So what did I do? I dared to mock Keanu Reeves and Jesus. Good thing I didn’t say I thought Reeves was gay.

The column that angered so many people was titled Keanu Reeves is Jesus and was written because of the stories done on the spiritually of the Matrix franchise. I just took the ideas they presented one step further. I thought it was funny, as did quite a few other people. Fans of Reeves and a couple fans of God and Jesus (though far fewer than the Reeves fans) went nuts. If there’s anything I learned from this experience it’s the fact that Reeves’ fans are rabid and they can’t spell to save their lives. And I thought the Vin Diesel fans were morons.

The first letter I received came from this compassionate woman named Sharon. Sharon informed me that Reeves had been in over 40 films, “so he must be doing something right.” Now, I’m not quite sure of the numbers, but I imagine porn star Ron Jeremy has been in far more than 40 films, so he must be a better actor than Reeves, right?

“The REAL Keanu Reeves,” Sharon told me, “is passionate, sensitive, reflective and also very smart.” I don’t know the REAL Reeves, so I’ll have to take Sharon’s word on this one. If he is “very smart,” he is already two steps above his fan club, but after reading their letters, I have to wonder what they consider to be “very smart.” Hell, if they think he’s “very smart,” they must think I’m a fucking Einstein.

Sharon closes out her letter by informing me that Reeves’ sister is “gravely ill.” “Can’t we presently show a little kindness, and not rake this man over the coals because you have a position to do so. (sic) Clearly, you don’t see what Hollywood or millions of fans see. Hey, you’re entitled to your oppinion (sic). But just keep your eye on this guy, and one day he’s gonna hit you like a ton of bricks.”

I’m sorry his sister is ill, but that’s not going to make me keep my mouth shut. Sure, I hope she gets better, but come on. Besides, I just went through a root canal and some other personal heartaches. Should that have stopped the person who called his or herself “Keanu McFall” from criticizing me? I think not … and McFall surely didn’t.

McFall starts out his (and I’m pretty sure McFall is a male) letter with, “Doug Brunell is a fag.” This immediately took me back to grade school, which this person apparently missed out on by the looks of the rest of his letter. “… nobody cares about that dudes (sic) opinion on how much he hates Keanu Reeves. I liked (sic) to see the asshole get in the (sic) and do better.” He closes with, “(W)hat a FAG.”

Written like a true Reeves fan. He gets kudos for being able to work his e-mail program, though.

One letter that got me laughing more than McFall’s was from a person who called himself a “Celebrity Pastor.” Pastor’s e-mail subject line put it best, “Doug Brunell — ridiculous.” The rest of his letter was even better.

“I just finished reading Doug Brunell’s peace (sic) on Keanu Reaves (sic) … line after line of him ripping Jesus Christ apart — how distasteful.” I’ll tell you, I really want to make that into an Excess Hollywood t-shirt. It’ll go great with the tattoo on my right arm. The piece is a scene from the Preacher comic book (courtesy of tattoo artist Caleb Forbis) that features the Saint of Killers sitting on God’s throne with dead angels all around him. The scene takes place right after the Saint shot God. (I picture Celebrity Pastor having a heart attack right about … now!)

As if pissing off God’s cheerleaders wasn’t bad enough, I also received a letter that could’ve come from inside the Matrix itself. It was from the mysterious “P”, who described himself as a “high-grade workforce, highly intelligent being.” After telling me how horrible I was, he wrote that “we’re going to get you in your sleep.” I’m not sure what a “high-grade workforce” is, and I’m not sure why one would describe his or herself as such, but it sounds pretty stupid.

Another reader thought my column was funny until I mentioned that Keanu would have to be resurrected in order to fulfill his role as the new Jesus (or neo-Jesus). “… when you suggested Keanu should die,” the reader wrote, “and you’d help take part in it, that was the limit. That’s not funny.” Actually, it is.

You can’t be the Savior without dying and getting resurrected. That’s not science. That’s faith. I didn’t make up that rule, either. That was the white folk bent on social domination who came up with that one. I merely offered to help speed along the process … if he wanted my help. I’m not some crazy stalker, but if Reeves asked, I’d definitely crucify him. Wouldn’t you?

All you people who claim to be such huge fans, wouldn’t you nail him to a cross if he asked politely? No? What kind of fans are you anyway?

Cynthia didn’t like my views on the entire subject of crucifixion any better, either. She was downright hostile in her letter. She called my “review” (it wasn’t a review, by the way) “blasphemy” and “slanderous.” It may be blasphemy (especially to Reeves’ fans), but it’s not slander. Slander is spoken word. Libel is written word. There is actually a legal difference, but why bother with facts? I’m dealing with Reeves’ fans.

“(W)hy doesn’t Mr. Brunell just book his one way (sic) ticket to Hell now. (sic) You have crossed the line,” she continues. “There is no need to bring God in to (sic) this sorry excuse for a review. Yes, I know the movie has religious undertones (sic) but leave the Big Man out of it.” She later warns me to “watch out for lightning.”

Letter after letter told me I couldn’t tell the difference between fiction and reality. This letter proved it was the fans of Reeves who were the ones with the problem. Book a one-way ticket to Hell? While I’m at it, I’ll hop on a plane to Hogwarts, but only after a layover in Candyland. Besides, if “God” really wanted to punish me, he wouldn’t use lightning. He’d make Cynthia my neighbor.

Becky, who won’t be reading this, wrote, “Thanks to this idiots (sic) uncalled for (sic) mean slam on Keanu Reeves, I’ll never visit or recommend this site again. Dickhead.”

Uncalled for? Mean? Becky obviously hasn’t seen the sequel yet. When she does, she’ll understand and probably thank me.

The letters kept coming, and they all said about the same thing (with some of the most interesting grammar and “spelling” I’ve ever seen). I’m a piece of shit or a fag. I’m jealous. I’m not a journalist. I’m filled with venom. God’s going to get me. A high-grade workforce is going to get me. I’m not fit to cut Reeves’ lawn. Film Threat should fire me. Blah, blah, blah. It was like being in a mental institution were all the patients were given crayons and some meth. Even if they were well-adjusted, productive members of society, I’d still have a hard time taking them too seriously. After all, it was just one person’s opinion that got them so offended. Easily offended, easily amused, I always say. Clap your hands and stomp your feet. You are officially trained seals.

Keanu, I’ve now seen your fans firsthand. If I were you, I’d hire more security because these folks will show up at your gates someday. Hopefully they’ll have taken their Prozac first.

Discuss Doug Brunell’s “Excess Hollywood” column in Film Threat’s BACK TALK section! Click here>>>




Posted on August 15, 2003 in Features by
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