>So it must have been sometime last week when I was driving down the freeway and heard Christian Slaters familiar pipes telling me how great it was to buy a used car online. I’d heard this commercial hundreds of times before, but this time, I thought more about Slater in the context of Hollywood stars as compromised selves, split personalities that do the mytho-poetice bidding of meme agents with little resistance.
The compartmentalizing of self is actually one of the unique qualities that many actors share, to be able set one personality aside in the corner oftheir mind and then occupy some other created self. There was no better example than Peter Sellers, who in his autobiography would often claim that he as a personality didn’t even exist and that his characters allowed him to live his life through them.
This type of sectionalizing the self is one of the cornerstone techniques of mind control and allows certain people to carry on two or more separate realities at the same time. There are some examples of this that slip through the surface cracks of Hollyweird. Chuck Barris was adamant that he was an assasin as well as a game show host. Stephen Stills would often brag that he was an elite soldier in Vietnam and Phil Ochs, in the depth of his break from reality exclaimed that he was an agent that was a killer for hire as well as a voice of protest. These schisms in the psyche are not uncommon in the entertainment industry as I will illustrate shortly. Not only is the condition more common than what one might think, but the entertainment industry as an arm of the espionage world goes back to the 30’s and perhaps beyond. It recently came to light that Julia Child and Harry Houdini were a spies during WWII. It is also fairly common knowledge that Errol Flynn was also a spy hanging out the like of Ian Flemming (purported to be a MI 6 asset) and of all people, L. Ron Hubbard, who used Scientology and the auditing processs to extort info from well connected and often highly placed government officials.
As I began to think about the connection between the intelligence agencies and Hoillywood, triggered by Slater’s voice on the commercial, I wondered where Slater was in all of this? I wondered if the sociopath that he seemed very comfortable to portraying Clarence “I see dead Elvis” Worley in True Romance. Ironically Presley once approached Nixon about becoming a member of The DEA. He was also the psycho-boyfriend of Winona Ryder in Heathers, cold bloodedly executing the deaths of snotty clique chicks. Lastly, he even played the little brother of an arms dealer in Kuffs, who forcefully takes over the family business. So it seems as though Slater’s cinematic resume has all of the crucial components that has led him to his latest and perhaps most revealing role as he stars in a new series on NBC titled “My Own Worst Enemy.” Now get this; He plays a Edward/Henry a character who is a loving and well adjusted father by day and a stone cold killer for hire by night and, they aren’t even aware of one another. So in the span of roughly 24 hours, from my hearing his commercial, ruminating on his past, the whole concept of actor/asset/spy and how Slater might fit into this twisted paradigm, voila, he deilvers.
The concept of these various selves shut off from one another is nothing new in Hollywood, The Manchurian Candidate, Fight Club, Bourne Conspiracy are all films that have protagonists with dual and disconnected personalities. The Matrix and Usual Suspects have characters that also have dual personalities however, they are in rapport with another. I could go on and on, but let’s just say that dressed up schizophrenia is good for characters and plot devices, perhaps even better as a model for the new social self.
Let’s move onto the next character in this Janus-like deconstruction