I’ve been meaning to write about this bizarre Sean Penn/El Chapo interview/capture thing for a week now, because I’m fascinated by it on a lot of levels.
First, I’ve been highly amused at the journalistic “outrage” shared by those in my favorite profession; the social media and TV shouting from writers and commentators so upset that Penn agreed to let Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman see the story for Rolling Stone before it went to print.
Puh-leeze. Spare the outrage. 99.9 percent of the journalists I know would’ve cut off their right arm to score an exclusive interview with the most wanted man in two countries, and not lose any sleep about any pre-conditions.
Secondly, Penn’s obnoxiousness and chutzpah through this whole thing truly has been something to behold. Before the “60 Minutes” interview (watch it at that link) and then in it, he basically blames the media for the drug war, and paints himself as some crusading “riding in on a white horse” dude who just wants to start a conversation.
I love that a guy with an ego as big as his had it revealed that El Chapo didn’t even know who Penn was! He just agreed to talk to him because he had the hots for that Mexican actress Kate del Castillo (who, I was reminded Tuesday, had a fabulous guest starring role on “Weeds” as Pilar, who was famously killed with a polo mallet by psycho child Shane).
Third, Penn seems positively upset and downcast in the interview when Charlie Rose suggests that he (Penn) helped lead the Mexican authorities to Guzman to capture him. Penn, who claims to be so distraught and angry over the drug problems in America, seems apologetic and feeling bad that he helped get the most notorious drug dealer in the world off the streets!
Sigh. Sean Penn. I liked him better when he was Spicoli. Watch that “60 Minutes” interview and see a man so in love with himself and his self-importance that he can’t even see that he actually did a good thing here, by accident: El Chapo is back in prison.
Thanks Sean. You can go back to just acting now, please.
Next up, two things about someone I’m trying really, really hard not to write about or take seriously, the host of “The Apprentice.” First, you may have heard that a former Governor of Alaska endorsed him for President Tuesday, and even by Palin standards, her speech was a rambling, incoherent mess. I mean truly, she’s freaking incoherent. Just listen to a few minutes, please, I promise you’ll be entertained.
And second, yeah, the video above? It’s called “The Donald Trump Jam,” it was performed by those three little girls at a rally in Pensacola, Fla., the other day, and it’s the most terrifying thing I’ve seen in a long time.
Be afraid, be very afraid
**Finally, a few words on the death of Glenn Frey on Monday.
The Eagles have always been one of my favorite bands, cultural critics be damned, and it’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve listened to “Hotel California” at least 500 times, many of those in college when I may or may not have been under the influence of a certain substance.
I’ve loved so many of their songs, from “Desperado” to “The Last Resort,” but “Hotel California” really is their masterpiece, their epic. Frey and Don Henley wrote it together, and it’s magnificent, and Joe Walsh’s guitar solo toward the end is, to quote rock journalist William Miller from “Almost Famous,” incendiary.
The Eagles were an incredible collaboration between Frey and Henley, two massive egos on beautiful display in that fantastic “Eagles” documentary that was out a couple of years ago (if Showtime is smart, they’d be running it all week.) Their music was part country, part rock, part easy listening, but most of all it was just fantastic.
Glenn Frey co-founded a band that contributed enormously to music history. And he’ll be missed.