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realclearworld

Jeff Spicoli speaks…

spicoli

To me actor Sean Penn will always be Jeff Spicoli, the stoner character he brilliantly played in that classic 80's film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Don't get me wrong, Penn has gone on to do brilliant work in dozens of other films since then, but the Spicoli character, to me at least, personifies him the best. Every time he opens his mouth without a script in front of him is like watching one of his hilarious scenes from Fast Times. At any moment, I expect him to slip off one of his checkerboard sneakers and bang his head with it. So when you hear Penn talk politics, you have to keep in mind that what you are really watching is Jeff Spicoli talking politics. He is just as clueless as Spicoli, and apparently, just as stoned.

In a recent interview Penn was asked about the criticism he received when he wrote those fawning articles about Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro for Nation magazine. His Spicoliesque response was truly classic.

MB: I know you don't want to talk about politics, but I'm sure you saw the recent columns attacking your...

SP: No, I didn't. I'm pretty out of the loop.

MB: The gist was, they praised you as an actor but said you're a naive journalist.

SP: Well, I think that they're professionally naive journalists. I have no regard for 90 per cent of American journalism. That's why I travel and look for things for myself. If you're going to get on Cuba for its lack of free press, well, we don't have any press, as far as I'm concerned. We supposedly have the right to it. But we don't fulfil it. I'm flattered by their disparaging remarks. And with the television guys, a lot of it's based on actor envy. They're all a bunch of failed actors. Bill O'Reilly wanted to be an actor more than anything. So they have to diminish it. I've heard plenty of actors say: 'I don't like it when actors get political.' They're just trying to appease these people.

So what Jeff... I mean Sean, would like us all to believe is that the press in the US is just as repressed as it is in Cuba. I find that funny because I have yet to hear of the US government rounding up dissident journalists and sentencing them to long prison sentences. But that does not stop Penn from drawing such a comparison. He apparently views the US, and the world, through the lens of a smoky bong.

The comedy, however, does not stop there. When the interviewer suggests that actors do not speak out about politics out of fear of getting boycotted, Penn provides yet another pearl of wisdom.

MB: Maybe they don't want to get boycotted.

SP: Or laughed at. People are more afraid of being laughed at than boycotted. It's a really cowardly position to take.

His answer brings me back to the original point of this post. Although through the use of his twisted logic Penn sees the label of laughing stock as something to be proud of, he basically gets it right: He is nothing more than someone to laugh at.

It is truly a waste of time to get upset about whatever idiocy comes out of Sean Jeff Penn Spicoli's mouth because one has to consider the source. So the next time you come across one of his moronic quotes, just add this line to the end of it: "Dude! I'm so wasted!"

Once viewed in the proper context, Sean Penn continues to provide us with plenty of comedic moments.

8 comments to Jeff Spicoli speaks…

  • SeanPennFan is right. Don't you remember all of those journalist jailed by Bush the terrible?

  • Let me ask you something SeanPennFan:

    How does the military have the power to censor anyone? Is it perhaps that this Zoriah Miller was operating in Iraq under U.S. Military protection? If I tell you that you can along with me on a trip but that there are rules for that trip and you have to accept them, even if I change them along the way, then you either accept them or don't go.

    As for your second point I can't even understand what the hell you're saying:

    And let's not forget the 1986 Censored Paid for by the CIA 50 American journalists on its payroll.

    Is that English? What does that mean?

  • Wait a second, this clown won an Oscar for portraying a gay politician from SF.

    Does he have any clue as to Cuba's policies vis a vis gays and people with AIDS????

    What a f***ing hypocrite!

  • You're not only Penn's #1 fan, you're almost as hilarious as he is!

    So tell me, which gulag is Zoriah Miller being kept naked without medical attention serving a 20-year sentence for dissidence? Where is the jail where are all the journalists were put in that dared to speak negatively about Bush? How many independent American journalists have been executed by the Bush administration?

    You talk about homework, but it looks like we're going to have to send Mr. Hand over to your house to teach you a little history.

    Then again, what's the purpose; it didn't help Spicoli much.

  • Alberto, he/she is a blithering idiot, just like Spicoli. Maybe I'll do a little IP tracerouting to see where this mojon-en-el-cerebro is.

  • Melek

    cemiami1,

    I don't know if your read his piece about his trip to Castro's "Utopia". As a Leftist actor and self-proclaimed journalist, he took his family to Cuba in 2005... he was received by Fidel and his socialist admirer & buddy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez ...I don't know if you read his accounts of the visit (BTW, Chavez loaned him a plane for the trip)... here's a passage from it: (Warning! Gag Alert!!)

    "Prior to our departure from the United States, I had sat my children down with documentaries of the Cuban revolution. In particular, my daughter had been offended by the history of oppression toward homosexuals in Cuba, and had made it clear to her father, that if offered the opportunity to meet directly with Castro, she would refuse it. Marquez invited us to his house. We walked in, and there, in the living room alone, sat Fidel Castro. Taken by surprise by the meeting, and being a polite then 14-year old, my daughter took her place in the room and waited her turn to attack."

    "Castro's demeanor was of the strict grandfather, hiding his affectionate smile behind his lips while demanding knowledge with curiosity. It seemed to me that he could feel my daughter's chilly demeanor. And at just the appropriate moment, still without a word from her, he asked what it is that's bothering her. She answered, "Why do you not offer the same human rights to homosexuals in Cuba as to heterosexuals? Why have you persecuted them?" She was ready for a fight. But no fight was forthcoming. Not even a hint of defensiveness. Castro seemed nothing but impressed with the question, patiently explaining that while homophobia had not been invented in Cuba, it had deep cultural roots, and that he and the revolution had many mistakes as a result. But that there is an evolution involved in the process of change. And while they still made mistakes, there had been tremendous growth. (In 1979, Cuba abolished anti-sodomy laws. Today in Cuba, affirmation of same sex unions is scheduled for 2009, surpassing the pace of U.S. social reforms, and sexual re-assignment surgeries come compliments of the public health service) My daughter was disarmed and it was my turn."

    . . . So you see ... that was enough! ... forget about the truth of social isolation and the rest of the horrors suffered by Cubans with Aids and those who are HIV+ in the island "paradise" ... she was "disarmed" by Fifo ... and she heard what her apologist, socialist father wanted her to hear ... (his)story!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-penn/mountain-of-snakes_b_146765.html

    I wish you well :) Melek

    "The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it." ~ Ayn Rand

  • asombra

    The day I need lessons in politics, let alone morality (!), from an arrogant, presumptuous, deeply ignorant (or deeply disingenuous) Hollywood asshole, that's the day I need to go out and shoot myself. Penn, and the rest of his kind, are only important and relevant in their own minds. If they had never been born, or if they all suddenly dropped dead en masse, it wouldn't make one iota of real difference to my life. In other words, they're all completely expendable. Screw'em.