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May 08, 2015

James Franco's Stock Just Shot Up

Until this morning, I wasn't much of a James Franco fan. Seth Rogen has the erroneous belief that shock = humor, and Franco keeps doing that kind of movie with him. Shock is self-oriented, self-indulgent; it's more about the shocker than the shockee, so to speak. Shock humor gives the shocker a chance to laugh at the reaction of the person or audience targeted, and I think it's easy to mistake that inward amusement for something that is funny for everybody. A little of it works, sure, but a little of it goes a long way. Rogen, Franco, and whoever they're working with, however, appear to think a movie can be filled with it.

Here's a scene from This Is the End, for example. You don't need to watch it; it's about someone jizzing on a magazine. The scene goes on and on.... And on. Later in the movie, Franco appears to have some on his chin. And he leaves it there. For a long time. So funnay!

I started thinking of Franco as "Jism Jim" just to give myself a substitute joke to laugh at. Point is, the movie is filled with these "Oh, He Did Not Do That" moments. Shock isn't that funny, though. Funny is funny.

Anyway. Franco wrote an article for the Washington Post today, McDonald’s was there for me when no one else was. It's about his experience as a fast-food employee and the value of McDonald's as an employer.

McDonald’s sales have slumped. Maybe the public wants healthier food. Maybe there’s too much competition. Maybe people aren’t into the chipotle barbecue snack wrap. McDonald’s leaders have vowed to reverse the downturn by recommitting to “hot, fresh food,” by selling off certain outlets to independent owners — which would reduce the number of corporate-covered employees with a newly raised minimum wage — and by cutting $300 million in costs. How this cost cut will affect jobs remains unclear.

But I want the strategy to work. All I know is that when I needed McDonald’s, McDonald’s was there for me. When no one else was.

. . .

Someone asked me if I was too good to work at McDonald’s. Because I was following my acting dream despite all the pressure not to, I was definitely not too good to work at McDonald’s. I went to the nearest Mickey D’s and was hired the same day.

. . .

I was treated fairly well at McDonald’s. If anything, they cut me slack. And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need.

Everyone go eat at McDonald's twice today. It's great food at a cheap price.

This is a great article. It brings Ashton Kutcher's Teen Choice Awards speech to mind. This kind of thing encourages young people not to think of fast food and other types of hard work as beneath them. It teaches them to ignore that touch of social stigma. Fast food is a great place to start. It's good, honorable work. It's a great place to learn how to be a good employee and how to interact with customers--to learn how to keep them happy. It's a great place to begin learning what it takes to be a professional.

So James Franco can gross me out in every movie now. I'll buy a ticket.


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posted by rdbrewer at 05:40 PM

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