Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Smoking Gun

People will always have an appetite for stories and tales that reinforce their stereotypes: in this case – the stereotype of the dangerous criminal who turns his life around. The real tragedy in all of this is that people actually wanted to believe this criminal fantasy. It is the same thing that happens when people believe Ali G or Borat, the joke is that they could actually think a person could act like that. People who smoke crack and huff glue for more than a decade do not go on to write exceptionally well written best selling novels. It just does not fuckin happen, I am very sorry stay at home mom down the street. The fact that this guy went to and completed college is evidence enough that he is not the real deal. The SECOND the reader saw that he went to and completed college should have been enough to throw the book away. I'm sure there are plenty of people in college with valid drug addiction problems, but telling that story was too good for this guy. He had to add all of the toughguy stuff too. The funny thing is that knew so many people like this in college, “yo dude you hear Bill over in Alpha Tau Omega is the biggest dealer on the east coast.” I actually heard this one several times about several different people. These college really do think they are criminals because they do coke at their frathouse. “Did you hear Jack crashed his dads jeep like 3 times.” That’s what always got me. I could not tolerate comments like these in public. Blue collar “problem kids” go to jail, middle class problem kids are protected by campus security, and go on to lead successful lives. I knew of kids at my school getting busted with significant amounts of ecstasy, and did they see any jail time? How about dosing a girl with GHB? Jailtime? Nope… Oh and Frey was in the same fraternity as my roommate.

Of course you can claim its just fiction – but that’s not the crime – the crime, and the disappointing part, is that so many people were gullible enough to believe it.

“drug-abusing teenager who had been arrested 11 times by age 19. In college, he drank to excess, took meth, freebased cocaine, huffed glue and nitrous oxide, smoked PCP, ate mushrooms, and was "under investigation by police."

Of course, if "A Million Little Pieces" was fictional, just some overheated stories of woe, heartache, and debauchery cooked up by a wannabe author, it probably would not get published. As it was, Frey's original manuscript was rejected by 17 publishers before being accepted by industry titan Nan Talese, who runs a respected boutique imprint at Doubleday

“At turns volatile and vulnerable, chivalrous and brutish, Frey is a true reclamation project, complete with puke- and snot-stained clothing. What's a girl not to love?”

This is an example of my point. People love to have the dangerous criminal without the danger. Apparently, with this story, we get both. That is what the middle class is always looking for – punk rock, but with $ 2,000 designer jeans that are made to look like they were purchased at the local goodwill. Completely safe, but with that vestige of danger.

It was after the Oprah show aired that TSG first took a look at Frey. We had simply planned to track down one of his many mug shots and add it to our site's large collection.

That’s cool…

While the book is brimming with improbable characters--like the colorful mafioso Leonard and the tragic crack whore Lilly, with whom Frey takes up in Hazelden

Improbable, but that’s not the point. They conform to the common middle class housewife’s view of what a criminal is, and that’s why they are successful.

Frey, you see, was a raging young man who hated living in leafy, prosperous St. Joseph, Michigan

His habits were underwritten by a monthly allowance from his wealthy and unwitting folks (dad was a top executive).

Frey was able to graduate from Denison on time in 1992 (talk about managing your addiction!).

"He is called into a room at Hazelden where Randall passes on some good--and unexpected--news. The Ohio prosecutor had magically "encountered some problems, that there were some issues with missing evidence, and that he had received a couple of phone calls on your behalf," the lawyer reported. While Frey had, only weeks earlier, agreed to three years in prison (with the specter of eight-plus if convicted at trial), Randall explained that the prosecutor, who goes unnamed, had suddenly turned course. He was now willing, in return for Frey doing three-to-six months in a county jail, to reduce felony counts to misdemeanors and wipe Frey's record if he satisfactorily completed a three-year probation term."

Wow I don't think you need three years of law school to know that is bullshit...and it turns out the only things this guy did was typical rich college boy bullshit. If someone had done all of the drugs he described, he would not have finished college, and would probably look like shit today.

“Frey's arrest was as mundane as they get, as vanilla as the arrestee himself, a neatly dressed frat boy five months out of school and plastered on cheap beer.”

“Most importantly, Frey told us that after graduating Denison in late-April or early-May of 1992, he moved to France and stayed there for several months before returning to the States "literally for two, probably three or four days." The arrest in the book, he said, came during those few days, after which he "went back to France immediately."

People gotta pick up on this shit…

“Some of the author's acolytes even get "Hold on" tattooed on themselves. Others prefer to go the t-shirt route, lending Frey's slogan the kind of spiritual heft that can only be found when it's scrawled on a Fruit of the Loom product.”

When will the lower class learn that college kids are complete bullshit, and that the life of a college kid is now and will always be different from a blue collar kid. STOP LOOKING UP TO THESE PEOPLE.

The Frey-Porterhouse Book Club gets through "Don Quixote," "Leaves of Grass," and "East of Eden." And, as Frey is nearing release, the pair is reading "War and Peace." Porterhouse loves the book, crying when Anatole betrayed Natasha. He carries it around with him, Frey writes, and "cradles it as if it were his child."

Wonderful example of middle class fantasy: lower class people giving in to bourgeois culture. Reminds me of the old fantasy of reforming the prostitute. This is similar.

“If you're wondering how these two met, Frey explains that on his first day in the joint, the 300-pound Porterhouse clobbered him in the head with a metal food tray as Frey was waiting in line for lunch. The hulking inmate then hit Frey in the face, drawing blood from his nose and mouth, and clamped on a headlock. By the following day, however, the beating was a distant memory, as Frey began reading to Porterhouse after being invited into the accused killer's cell for a chat. Porterhouse explained that Frey's ass kicking had been contracted out to him by a "County Sheriff" in exchange for three cartons of cigarettes. Why would a screw want Frey harmed, Porterhouse wondered.”

Aforementioned fantasy of being an important criminal – in this case important enough that a cop would risk his career getting to in prison, and of course the cop told the hired hand his identity. Yes!

Very dissapointing...

1 comment:

Andrew Gabriel Rose said...

I can't believe how much people must have wanted to believe that kid's bullshit to force themselves not to see through it. Constant, clumsy cliche. He's a terrible writer; even if the book was portrayed as fiction he'd be a terrible writer.