So, news-wise, it’s been an utterly horrible week. An as-yet-unidentified suspect or suspects bombed the Boston Marathon. Someone mailed ricin to President Obama. Senate Republicans blocked a gun control measure favored by pretty much everyone who isn’t Wayne LaPierre. And a massive explosion in Texas has killed at least five people as of this morning’s news.
And so I would like to thank patriot and true hero Jodie Foster for giving us something we can all roll our eyes at. America needed a distraction, and Jodie was there.
To wit, her blurb about Jennifer Lawrence for Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list (itself a risible inanity):
You’ll remember where you were when you first felt it, how you were stuck to one spot like a small animal considering its end. The Jennifer Lawrence Stare. It cuts a searing swath in your gut. A reckoning. I remember going to the cutting rooms of Winter’s Bone. I thought, Sure, this girl can act. But, man, this girl can also just be. All of those painful secrets in her face, the feeling that there’s some terrible past that’s left impossibly angled bone and weariness in its wake. She’s worn from the pain of living — something none of her characters would ever have the energy to articulate. It’s just part of her, like skin and muscle. The good news is that Jen, her good-humored, ballsy, free-spirited alter ego with the husky voice and a propensity for junk food … Jen, the spritely tomboy from Kentucky — that Jen’s got it together. A hoot. A gem. A gem with a killer stare.
My friends, this is a gift. A timeless reminder that there is no population on the face of the earth more choked with self-regard than Hollywood. (I will give the US Senate a close second.)
Young as I may have been, I can still remember where I was when I learned Reagan had been shot. Or that the Challenger had blown up. Or [insert major catastrophe during my lifetime here].
Hell, I can still remember when I discovered that the store in downtown Portsmouth that sold the shirts I really like had closed.
But for the life of me I cannot remember the first time I saw Jennifer Lawrence staring at something. Now, I happen to love Jennifer Lawrence. I was stoked when she won the Oscar. I think she’s very talented and seems refreshingly genuine. (Frankly, if her public persona is in any way an accurate reflection of who she really is, she probably rolled her eyes at the above blurb along with everyone else.) Yet my gut remains free of searing stare-swaths.
Even more than the prose so purple it would make Prince blush, however, is that fact that it was written by Jodie Foster. Jodie Foster of the unhinged, self-congratulatory fame rant. I simply adore that she couldn’t just write something that praised Ms. Lawrence’s talent and self-assurance. No, she had to rhapsodize about her facial bones and all the pain of living that she’s packed into her 22 years. She couldn’t write a simple and sane piece, and went with something both opaque and devoid of real meaning.
Because Jodie Foster knew we needed it.
Thank you, Jodie. As the nation waits and watches CNN and the New York Post do battle over who can more efficiently shred the fundamental tenets of journalism in the aftermath of the Boston bombing, you gave us a breath of fresh, utterly nutty air. I am deeply, deeply grateful.