The Intellectual Sequel To the Entourage Movie

entourage

Are you absolutely sure they already made an Entourage movie? I think I would have remembered that.

Let me see the synopsis. Yadda yadda yadda…Vince directs and stars in an adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde…yadda yadda yadda…E. and Sloan have a baby. I don’t know, I’m pretty sure all of that, or something essentially just like it, happened in season five. Or six. Or two.

It says here that, instead of playing himself, Billy Bob Thornton played a fictional studio head and Haley Joel Osment played his incompetent son. This doesn’t sound right.

Well, so what if they already made a movie? It’s not like they can’t do a sequel. Besides, I’m thinking about a totally different kind of Entourage, one where Vince tries to abandon the hollowness of mainstream Hollywood and experiments with the heights of his own intellectualism. No more blockbusters or box office concerns. A complete departure from stardom into near anonymity. Maybe the occasional Noah Baumbach flick or a This American Life story about the first time he met E. 

I’m not totally sure I would buy him and Greta Gerwig as a couple, but I’m not totally sure I wouldn’t. You know what I mean?

Writers, poets, philosophers, playwrights, and essayists are allowed to have entourages too. Nothing about being a member of the intelligentsia prevents one from having friends, and I don’t see why we can’t take that this journey into the life of the mind with the same cast of characters we’ve grown to love. There are plenty of storylines to mine. Imagine if Turtle tries to keep up with Vince on a philosophical level so he’s reading Thorough and Emerson on his Kindle, and Sloan laughs at the irony of it all, and E. laughs too even though he doesn’t totally understand what’s wrong with reading Walden on a Kindle, and Johnny tries to call out E. for not actually knowing what irony is and, and E. would be all like, “I know what ironic means, Drama!”

I mean, it might not sustain an entire plot, but it’s a jumping off point. I’m spit balling here.

Of course, plenty of people just watch Entourage for its blatant misogyny and tendencies to pigeonhole versatile women, and I don’t see why any of that would have to go anywhere for this version. No need to nix the celebrity cameos either. Just sprinkle in a couple happenstance run-ins with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Maybe Drama will beg for a part in a traveling Hamilton show.

Is it the Entourage movie that America is asking for? Probably not, but it just might be the Entourage movie that America needs right now; Turtle is the last relevant voice that hasn’t weighed in on Gamer Gate, after all.

Has Elon Musk finally met his match in Ari Gold? Probably not considering Musk is an enormously successful engineer, inventor, and CEO and Ari Gold is a rage-filled, shout-monster whose degradation of women somehow leads to starring roles for his clients. But then again, does Elon Musk have Lloyd? Because Ari does, and when he makes his play for executive control of SpaceX, Musk will never see it coming.

This will come in handy in the third act when Vince decides that the true subtext of Kierkegaard can’t actually be understood unless read from beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s why he, Turtle, Turtle’s dog Arnold, and three porn stars takeoff on a quest that’s part Interstellar, part Grand Budapest Hotel, and part Furious 7. Billy Bob Thornton, known mostly for his role in the original Entourage movie, would play a visibly overworked but reassuringly confidant ground control supervisor. Jason Schwartzman would play the space shuttle librarian.

I can sense your concerns, but let me assure you that the sequel will have the same old vibe you’re used to from the Entourage franchise, only much more pretentious. Bring your own personal entourage to the theater and watch E. try to get an op-ed in the Atlantic Monthly or Drama triumphantly prove that Charlie Kaufman is still alive or Turtle struggle to figure out what MOMA stands for.

I think we’re all ready for Vince to grow up, and Entourage 2: Le Retour is where it finally happens.

-Jonny Auping

 

Tinder in the Rye

 Holden Caulfield would feel sorry as hell for all the girls whose pictures popped up on his phone every time he clicked on his Tinder app.

The way those girls subject themselves to the mercy of a left or right swipe of his thumb would be a goddam travesty. A desperate cry of vanity proving they can only appreciate a compliment for about as long as it takes to come out of someone’s mouth.

Then again, Holden Caulfield would have a Tinder account. He’d set up his account with mumblings of disapproval towards the creators and the people that use it. The photos he would use on his profile would look forced and awkward. He would purposefully look distant and uninterested and he would never admit how much a part of him hoped that such a look would be sexy to certain girls.

I had a Tinder account for two weeks before I decided I still preferred meeting women in person. Now I swipe left or right in my head and it’s not a permanent decision. When I would get bored with the app I would extend my radius to 50 miles allowing me to peruse through a nearly endless array of potentially awkward conversations. At one point I thought about the idea of using Tinder in a place as ample in population and condense in size as New York City. A radius of 30 miles in NYC would allow me to judge practically the entire female population of the city.

Oddly enough, this would cause me to think about Holden Caulfield. Eventually I came to the conclusion that Holden basically spent about four days in New York swiping left.

And if Holden did have a Tinder account?

Can you imagine Old Stradlater and all the girls he’d find on Tinder? That bastard. He’d bring some redhead back to the dorms and Holden would admit right off the bat that she was pretty and had a shape to her that made him jealous of Stradlater’s hair for just a few seconds. With locks like that of course any girl would swipe right, only being able to judge him on three pictures; course they wouldn’t be able to tell what a goddam moron he is. Turns out she’d be just as full of hot air so they’d be a perfect match.

The Catcher in the Rye is about a lot of things to a lot of different people depending on when in life they read it. But one thing it’s certainly about is an unfinished product in Holden Caulfield judging a bunch of other unfinished products. Interestingly, Holden might be the most unfinished of all the products. He doesn’t really know what or who he is and we don’t what he will become. But he knows who he isn’t because he stares at and socializes with who he isn’t every day. He resents them. He doesn’t really feel sorry as hell for them but he says he does.

That isn’t a far cry from what Tinder is: a bunch of incomplete pieces judging the incomplete pieces within a 50-mile radius of them; a few pictures that equate to one or two pieces in the giant puzzle that defines you—not even corner pieces at that; just your profile picture that garnered the most likes, from people who actually know and have met you.

….

It woulda made him puke thinking about it. You’d have to be a real sorry sonufabitch to plaster your face on that thing and try to describe yourself in one sentence.

Of course, Holden had his moments of sorry sonufabitch-ness. Quietly swiping through Tinder would allow for a little more preserved dignity than drunk dialing Sally Hayes up in the middle of the night and telling her he’s going to come over on Christmas Eve and trim her goddam tree.

But he needed to talk to someone and that’s why Holden would have Tinder. God knows he’d probably chat up some girl and convince her to meet him at a cheap motel before deciding he just wanted to talk once they’re both sitting on the same bed.

Tinder, above all, is an outlet for judgment. Our hopes to hook up are outweighed by an appeal to our own vanity and the power of being able to judge others.

We crave validation in its most superficial form. Tinder, in its simplistic process, simultaneously allows us the ultimate authority to judge while also forcing us to put our insecurities and ourselves on the line by empowering the judgment of others. The app, even in its crudeness, accomplishes a sort of meta balance.

It’s not a peaceful balance, though. It isn’t a recommended one. It’s like taking a few uppers to balance out a few downers; the balance you reach will be far more chaotic than if you took neither in the first place.

Tinder puts judgment on a conveyer belt. It allows an ever-developing consciousness an outlet to meet irrational desires to judge and be judged. Holden Caulfield’s angst, judgment and resentment towards other people—towards anyone lacking complete innocence—were sad, but they were natural.

He fed it through living and experiencing the world. Thankfully he didn’t have Tinder. He wasn’t staring down at his phone— he looked up in the subway and the park and museum and judged people he could watch move and behave. Empathy is rarely a first instinct. It develops when you live your life around people simultaneously trying to live theirs.

Holden’s journey completed itself and readied him for another. He was by no means a finished product at the end of it, but he did exactly what all young people eventually do: become angry at the world and the people who make it so difficult to live in, flounder in his own limitations and confusion, acknowledge someone or something that makes him happy and makes everything else alright, and then, probably, repeat.

Holden’s journey was more complex than Tinder, but if Tinder had existed then it might have restricted his journey to the simplicity of left or right. I’d a felt sorry as hell for him.

Jonny Auping

 

“The Selfie of Dorian Gray” and Other Classics Turned Modern

dorian gray

Today was a boring day. So boring in fact that I spent most of it thinking about some of the literary classics that I had learned about while pursing a degree in English Literature. The authors of these masterpieces were better writers than I could ever hope to be. But would they find any success if they were writing their novels in 2013? 

Let’s just  pretend some of the best literary writers of all time took a trip in the Delorean just before writing their most famous works and had to write them right now. In such an event, I’d like to think I would be there to help said writers adjust to the times. 

Here are a few examples I’d be prepared to offer up:

The Selfie Of Dorian Gray:

By Oscar Wilde

Dorian snaps a great pic of himself in front of his mirror. He never looks this good when other people take pictures of him. Obviously he makes it his profile picture. He hopes that he can look this good forever and wishes that the selfie will age instead of him. His wish comes true and his profile picture looks worse and worse every year.

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