Don’t Worry Olivia Wilde

by Shelt Garner

Let me begin by saying I’m always wrong. Always. And the following is just for fun because I find myself thinking about what the fuck is going on with Olivia Wilde and this is what I manage to come up with.

Here is what might explain Olivia Wilde’s career path — she really resents how much emphasis has been placed on her good looks over the years. I think she is very tired that people think she’s hot to the point that they ignore any of her other talents.

This aggravation has driven her to be “woke.” And she has even said in at least one interview that what I propose about her motivation is right. She recalled that early in her career she was told to “sex things up” if she wanted to get an acting role.

Anyway. Just had to get that off my chest.

My Hot Take On The ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Kerfuffle

by Shelt Garner

Let me be absolutely clear — I fucking hated Olivia Wilde’s debut movie, “Booksmart.” I was shamed into seeing it by my center-Left media echo chamber and just about the time when they started screeching about lesbian sex positions, I bounce out of the theatre. I went into the movie expecting something akin to Heathers and came out of it shaking my head, disgusted with how woke it was.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

What are we to make of the drama behind the making of Olivia Wilde’s sophomore effort, “Don’t Worry Darling?” This is a very complex situation because of all the different elements of the drama. On one hand, we have the issue of the tension between Wilde and Florence Pugh over not only the casting of Harry Styles, but the rumor that Wilde was so busy banging Styles that Pugh had to pick up the slack of actually directing the movie in the first place.

It’s all very curious. It’s a very weird thing to have happen on a set.

Meanwhile, there is the issue of what the fuck was going on between Wilde and problematic star Shia LaBeouf. He has various credible accusation of sexual misconduct lodged against him — I think one of them is from former girlfriend FKA Twigs — and, yet, despite that, woke Wilde apparently was begging him to star in her movie, the point of calling Pugh, “Aunt Flo.”

It’s all very, very strange. And, yet, if nothing else, here I am writing about a movie I probably won’t see and otherwise would have no interest in. It very much harkens back to the plot of the Julia Roberts vehicle, “America’s Sweetheart.” (I think she was in that movie.)

Anyway, I think if nothing else everyone involved in this clusterfuck has learned a lesson about how maybe we all need a bit more understanding and compassion in our lives.

The Curious Case of Olivia Wilde & Her Relationship to Her Beauty

by Shelt Garner

This is a very dumb thing to comment on, but I have a strong opinion about this, so here we go. Olivia Wilde is demonstrably a gorgeous woman. And, yet from interviews I’ve seen with her, she seems very ambivalent about that beauty.

To the point that I’ve been left scratching my head. She seems to think that Hollywood’s obsession with female beauty is not legitimate. I vaguely recall her getting annoyed that she was told by her agent to “sex things up” when she went to auditions. I just don’t get it — Hollywood is an industry and sex sells. Or “double dees, double deeze” as they say in the SNL skit.

And I also noticed that heroine of her directorial debut, Booksmart, was, relative to Hollywood standards rather plane Jane. So much so that it definitely seemed as though Wilde was trying to make a point.

Anyway, what do I know. I’m just another middle aged white CIS male who should just shut up so women like Wilde can continue to slay the patriarchy. I really like Wilde — she seems like a very interesting woman — I just wish she would accept that her beauty isn’t something to have any angst about.

My Hot Take On Olivia Wilde

by Shelt Garner

Not that anyone cares, but here’s my take on Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles.. First, I just don’t care. They’re both hot and so what if she’s older than he is. More power to her.

What does bother me about Ms. Wilde, however, is to this middle-aged man, she can come across as too cute by half when it comes to how Hollywood perceives her appearance. Don’t get me wrong — she’s both gorgeous and talented.

But I’ve seen interviews with her where she is shocked (shocked!) that Hollywood casting agents would want her to look hotter. I mean, oh, come on, give me a break. Hollywood is an industry (Double Dees, Double Dees, as SNL would say) and it grates on my nerves that someone as smart as Ms. Wilde would act like it was a big deal that Hollywood — gasp — had sex on its brain all the time.

The whole point of Hollywood is a mixture of sex, money making, storytelling and glamor that allows idiots like me two hours of escape. I really fucking hated Ms. Wilde’s movie Booksmart because I felt it was insulting me for various reasons. From it’s self-conscious selection of a Plain Jane protagonist to the scene where there’s screeching about lesbian sex positions, I bounce from that movie theatre at just about the inciting incident.

But I was shamed by my liberal-progressive echo chamber into seeing it. I left the movie theatre with an overarching desire to watch Heathers again.

Anyway, I think I wouldn’t be so upset about Booksmart if it was a better story. I just wasn’t the audience. I went into the movie without any expectations and when it became way to self-aware about the Male Gaze and the patriarchy, I said fuck this. There is this thing called “subtext” where you can rant about such things all you want and still tell a good story.

But having said all that, Ms. Wilde is great. I wish her luck. I would take it easy on the browbeating audience members like me with the idology, though. Try to tell better stories. The rest will come naturally.

If These Walls Could Talk

by Shelt Garner

I’m EXTREMELY self-conscious any time I find myself writing a female character, doubly so when I have to think up what I imagine women say when they’re alone (say, in the bathroom) and are talking about men.

It’s a situation fraught with the potential for disaster. I just can’t win. How do I know what women say in such a private situation? I’ve never been there and it would never happen even if I was there because, well, I’m a man. So, I have to use my imagination. (Duh.)

The only solution to this insecurity, as best I can tell, is to be really, really self-conscious about it and also very conservative about any assumptions I might make. I can’t have an agenda. I strictly stay within what I can maybe reverse engineer from what I know about women (what little I know) and then have in the front of my mind, “WHAT WOULD OLIVIA WILDE AND JESSICA CHESTAIN THINK OF THIS TEXT.”

That’s all I got. That’s the only way I can think of to not have women tittering on Twitter about how a doofus, clueless man AGAIN didn’t write female characters well.

Slay The Patriarchy! Of #MeToo, Olivia Wilde, Booksmart, Jessica Chastain & The #Novel I’m Developing & Writing

by Shelt Garner

You know, I try. I try to be as empathetic as possible to a wide range of people. But, alas, I *AM* a middle-aged white male. As such, I know that even though I’m going way, way, WAY out of my way to use the #MeToo movement as a major element in the novel I’m developing and writing, it’s probably a lost cause.

While I’m a big fan of both Olivia Wilde and Jessica Chastain and am trying to develop female characters they won’t hate, I know that in reality, all their complaining about how bad male writers are when constructing female characters isn’t completely in good faith. What they’re really saying is THEY want to write female characters. Men can suck it.

For instant — Ms. Wilde’s movie Booksmart. I was shamed into seeing it by Twitter liberals and absolutely fucking hated it with a white hot rage — and still do. I freely admit I was definitely NOT the audience and, as such, there are plenty of people (mostly bicurious teen girls in southern California) who probably see it as their generation’s fucking Citizen Kane. The reason why it evoked such hatred from me is Ms. Wilde seemed so determined to browbeat me, personally, as a member of the patriarchy that she was willing to alienate me out of the theatre. (Which she did.)

Some of my anger comes from how deep I continue to be in developing my novel. I really want to prove a point to both Ms. Wilde and Ms. Chastain that with a lot of work a man, can, in fact, not only write a novel with the strong female characters they demand, but also tell a great story that, like, entertains people without being preachy?

I have thought up a very interesting plot point in my novel that deals with the #MeToo movement in a very empathetic and compelling fashion. I guess I’m just a little annoyed that Twitter liberals will — should the occasion arise — not even give me a chance to prove that point because I’m a man. (And before you tell me to get my head out of my ass, let me say I AM a delusional jerk with a good heart. I have very strong opinions and some of them don’t fit the media narrative. Deal with it.)

But I really like what I’ve come up with. It’s going to require stepping outside my comfort zone by reading a number of books, but, in the end, I’m going to be very proud with the end product.

Too bad my gender won’t let anyone else agree.

The Struggle Is Real: Constructing A Complex, Believable Female Romantic Lead For My Novel

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

With the complaints of outspoken Hollywood feminists like Olivia Wilde and Jessica Chastain ringing in my mind, I find myself trying to construct a romantic partner for my Hero who is strong enough and complex enough that I feel she will be noticed by women who may read the novel.

I’m getting kind of desperate. I know what her name is and what she looks like. But figuring out her personality is proving to be really, really tough. In my desperation, I am turning to someone who has enough of a public footprint that I can use her as inspiration. (Who? Not tellin.) I only do this because, what else am I going to do? I know the woman’s musical tastes and her age, so that goes a long ways towards using her as the foundation of the character, at least in that side of her life.

One element of the character — her professionalism and career drive — is proving to be the hardest to construct because I would need to hang out with the woman who is inspiring that side of her and, well, I’m just a middle-aged loser in a fly over state. So, I’m going to have to some reverse engineering. For this side of her life, I’m really studying Jodi Kantor. She’s a little older than I need the character to be, however, so it’s not an exact fit. But I think if I look at the social media footprint of women like her on Twitter, then that will help a lot.

One thing that’s proving to be a real pain to figure out is, of all things, how my two romantic leads deal with Thanksgiving. Ugh. So difficult. But every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

The Rise Of ‘Problematic’ Cinema

We’re living this movie.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m all for dark, gritty movies. They’re great. I love them. But I have a problem with art coming from either the Left or the Right that is so drunk with its efforts to “message the base,” if you will, the producers lose sight of the goal — giving an audience a great story.

It’s because of this that I keep walking out of movies. On the Left I walked out of Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart. On the Right I just walked out of The Joker. I found both of them problematic to such an extent that I bounced. Booksmart was a self-parody of “woke” art. The Joker, meanwhile, was problematic because it seemed like a dog whistle to every incel within shouting distance. It made me very unhappy. So unhappy I couldn’t finish it. I barely got to the inciting incident.

But I will say the preview for Richard Jewell was worth the price of admission to The Joker. The movie looks promising as much for the liberal monkey show Clint Eastwood has assembled for his cast than anything else. I mean, what the what? What is Olivia Wilde doing knowingly playing into the worst stereotypes that people like Eastwood have about people like her. Surreal. I mean, maybe the movie isn’t what I think it is, but it sure does seem to be persecution porn for MAGA mouth breathers.

I think what’s problematic about these films is not even the films themselves — it’s fucking Trump. Trump’s such a divisive figure that he casts a very large, very dark shadow over pop culture. We’re reaching the point where a lot of influential movie producers are greenlighting movies that validate their own political views. This does not bode well for the future of Hollywood.

But who knows. The novel I’m writing fancies itself something of “pox on both your houses” allegorical tale. Yet I am also going way, way, way, WAY out of my way to ensure everyone — regardless of political affiliation — gets to have a good time. Even the MAGA people who I pick on by proxy will at least get to enjoy themselves as they hate read it.

I hope.