Home / General / In which intrepid journalist SEK experiences some “Growing Pains”

In which intrepid journalist SEK experiences some “Growing Pains”

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So I almost landed an interview with Kirk Cameron about why he thought his new film was the lowest rated movie on IMDB, but I heard back from his people and apparently he found something I wrote yesterday “terribly disappointing” and called it off — which I found weird given that I didn’t work yesterday.*

But in case you’re wondering what it’s like to be vetted by Kirk Cameron’s people, it goes something like this:

SEK is being interviewed by Kirk Cameron’s Handler (KCH) for a potential article.

KCH: Kirk wants to know if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Christ the Savior.

SEK: I attended CCD for a few years and studied Latin in college. I translated a lot of the Church Fathers — Augustine, Aquinas, and the like.

KCH: That’s really interesting, really. So you know about sin?

SEK: I know more than anyone cares to about the danger stealing pears from your neighbor can pose for your soul.

KCH: So you were raised Catholic? 

SEK: Catholic and Jewish.

KCH: You know Hebrew? 

SEK: Passably.

KCH: Kirk’s a big fan of Hebrew, big fan. 

SEK: It’s the only dead language to be revived.

KCH: I didn’t know that, did not know. That’s really interesting. Are you gay?

SEK: I am not.

KCH: Good, good, just need to dot those “t”s. Have you ever been gay?

SEK: I have not, but I’m not sure how that’s relevant to my ability to discuss film. Did you read the links I sent?

KCH: I did, and they were great, great. Loved them, loved. But some of the language was not quite Christ-like. 

SEK: I can adapt to my audience — we’ve been talking for twenty minutes and I haven’t cussed once.

KCH: That’s true, true. Good. What are your feelings about “gotcha” interviews?

SEK: They get you one good moment, but burn your reputation for being fair-minded to people you disagree with. 

KCH: So you don’t like them? Hate them?

SEK: I can’t do my job if people don’t trust me to treat them fairly.

KCH: That sounds fair, really fair. How do you think this is going? 

SEK: Pretty good. 

KCH: I think so too. I think we can make this work. I like you.

SEK: Thanks. I like to be likable.

KCH: Which is why I’m worried about the state of your soul, but we can talk about that later. 

SEK: Do I need to be saved to do the interview? 

KCH: Kirk would definitely be more comfortable, definitely. 

SEK: ?

KCH: Definitely.

SEK: ?

KCH: Let me pass this on to Kirk, and I’ll let you know.

*I did however write this on Facebook and I suppose he could’ve found that offensive.

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  • Malaclypse

    I assumed the fact that you were e-mailed by a Satanist was what killed it. Not only are you Unsaved, but you admitted to having Satan Cooties.

    • SEK

      He specifically said it was something I published at my place of employment. Which again, still weird, given that I spent yesterday endlessly re-watching A Christmas Story and then, when I was too tired to think, playing Dragon Age: Inquisition until I fell asleep in the middle of some overly complex fictional negotiations about…something or other. I’m going to have to start a few autosaves back.

      But anyway, I think they just got cold feet about doing an interview with an unabashedly liberal outlet, and that’s perfectly fine. I would’ve treated his as fairly as I did Adam Baldwin and Christine Hoff Sommers, but his people can’t know that.

      • The Dark Avenger

        This reminds me of the old trope or meme or whatever about the wife who is so made at her spouse that she refuses to say what he did to piss her off.

        I noticed here the essential difference between justification by faith and by works: If you’ve been saved, you can dispense with all that Latin and Fathers of the Church stuff.

        I prefer the 19th/20th Century version.

      • Murc

        I fell asleep in the middle of some overly complex fictional negotiations about…something or other.

        You can be honest with us, SEK. Like everyone else playing DA:I, you fell asleep in the middle of complex negotiations regarding trying to pressure one of your subordinates into having a lesbian affair with you.

        • SEK

          Honestly, this is the first Dragon Age game I’ve played, so 1) I was completely surprised when Josephine started throwing herself at me, and 2) shocked like an old white man watching a Nicki Minaj video when I woke up in bed with her after a cut screen.

          The only other game of recent vintage that I’ve played of this sort is Skyrim — which, I feel obliged to add, is vastly superior.

          • Murc

            Honestly, this is the first Dragon Age game I’ve played, so 1) I was completely surprised when Josephine started throwing herself at me

            Yeah, welcome to Bioware. Ever since Mass Effect I it’s basically lesbians from hell to breakfast.

            There have also been gay male relationship options, but, bafflingly in games primarily marketed to young men, there have been far fewer of them and they’ve had far less loving detail devoted to them compared to getting to watch ladies make out.

            • SEK

              Once I knew what to look for, I realized that Dorian and I totally could’ve been a thing.

            • Darkrose

              DA2 was great in that respect, and wow, did it piss off the dudebros! You’d have thought someone physically groped them based on how upset they were that a fictional character was hurt when he gently hit on their fictional character and was rebuffed.

            • Halloween Jack

              Ever since Mass Effect I it’s basically lesbians from hell to breakfast.

              Oh, if only. After some Faux Noose fuckwit made a big stink over the possibility of Liara “embracing eternity” with FemShep, BioWare throttled back the same-sex romance possibilities in ME2, even though Jack (one of the squadmates and potential romances for a male Shepard) mentions having been in relationships with both men and women. Then the people who actually play the game made a stink, and reminded BioWare that Dragon Age had all sorts of combinations, and they restored same-sex relationships (and even made Kaidan Alenko bi).

              Just in case you were wondering, I care a bit about this.

      • Darkrose

        Maybe you can answer this for me: what’s the spider content of DA:I? Apparently the engine they’re using means no mods, and as someone who’s severely arachnophobic, I’m worried about whether or not I’ll be able to play the game.

        • SEK

          If you avoid caves, you’ll see no spiders. There are a few spider-centric quests, but you’ll never be surprised by any appearing out of nowhere.

  • KmCO

    Oh my god, so much win. I love this:

    KCH: Kirk’s a big fan of Hebrew, big fan.

    Yes, I’ve heard that he once wished a Jewish friend a merry “Molotov.”

    And this:

    Good, good, just need to dot those “t”s. Have you ever been gay?

    The lulz.

    • MAJeff

      I’m surprised he used the word “gay” instead of “homosexual.” Folks from the Cameron camp generally object to us “hijacking” that word.

      • tsam

        You gays–dammit–I mean homosexuals steal all the good stuff!

        He’s just mad because gay also means happy, and poor Kirky is so worried about SEK’s soul that he can find no comfort.

      • njorl

        I once commented that I didn’t mind gays taking the word “gay”, but I resented being stuck with “straight”. So I opened a dictionary and picked a word at random to replace it, and from that point on, I was Burmese.

        • MAJeff

          Back in the early ’90s, Jane Elliot (of blue eyes/brown eyes) was giving lectures saying, “The opposite of gay isn’t straight, it’s staid.”

    • Fighting Words

      This coming from a person for whom the character he played on television had a best friend named “boner.”

      • rea

        Not to mention he has some guy on the payroll whose job is to “handle” him.

        • njorl

          Does he keep in touch with Boner? Maybe he should contact Boner’s handler.

          • hickes01

            Boner always rubbed me the wrong way. (God it feels good to be 12 again)

          • sharculese

            Andrew Koenig killed himself a couple of years ago, so no.

      • UncleEbeneezer

        And co-starred with Alan Thicke, IYKWIMAITYD

    • The Dark Avenger

      Tocharian gets no respect.

    • SgtGymBunny

      Have you ever been gay?

      Personally, I would not have been able to resist the urge to respond, “Well, there was this time…” And follow up with a “But I’m saved now.” Just to eff with him…

      • UncleEbeneezer

        Wait does that time in the Rectory basement with Father Riley count? I only ask because it didn’t seem to bother Mary.

        • SgtGymBunny

          Did you pray afterwards? If you did, you’re all good.

          • Malaclypse

            Did you pray afterwards?

            Well, he did spend time on his knees.

        • wjts

          Ah, Catholic girls (with their tiny little mustaches).

        • toberdog

          Rectum? It nearly killed him!

          • The Dark Avenger

            “A hundred dollars, Father. Same as downtown.”

        • Lee Rudolph

          Oh, Mary!

    • Linnaeus

      Have you ever been gay?

      No, but you’re willing to learn!

      • gratuitous

        That is, of course, the only correct answer to that question (if you’re not gay). In this instance, it also would have been acceptable to say, “No, but I’m willing to learn if it will get me the interview.”

      • JustRuss

        Nice catch. I’m ashamed to say that wasn’t the first reply that popped into my head.

    • MAJeff

      Have you ever been gay?

      Be careful, he might be trying to get a new toaster oven.

    • ScarsdaleVibe

      I’ve heard some pretty convincing rumors that Cameron used to (maybe still does) pick up men for sex in his car in Griffith Park.

      Now, I think the cliche about all homophobes being closet cases is a stupid, damaging one. Sometimes a bigot is just a bigot. But when you have people like Rick Santorum, and Kirk Cameron, and Orson Scott Card (that soapy naked boys shower fight scene…oboy) who just go beyond mere bigotry, who come across as obsessed with gay sex, well, that’s a different story.

      • Halloween Jack

        I’ve heard the same about Cameron. (Plus, there’s the questino of what else is perfectly sized to fit your hand besides a banana, IYKWIMAITYD.) Santorum, I dunno, but there are not only the bits in OSC’s fiction but also some things he’s said in essays that make me think he’s still trying to come to grips with some of his own childhood and adolescent experiences and feelings.

  • Malaclypse

    For the record, you need to tell what you did with those pears.

    • The Temporary Name

      PLUMS.

    • …using as many ambiguous verbs as possible.

      • Hogan

        And the expression “where the monkey hid his nuts.” Because evolution.

  • Fighting Words

    For some perverse reason, I really want to see “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas.” I was really hoping one of the bloggers on this site would watch it and give it a scathing review.

    I just feel like this is one of those movies that after watching, when one of your friends says that “Movie X is the worst movie of all time,” you can just nod your head and think, “if he only knew…”

    • SEK

      I actually did see it — they sent me a copy on Monday before cancelling — and it’s everything you think it’ll be and then some.

      • The review at AV Club made it sound like the bulk of the movie is just a conversation, which is disappointing. I like my terrible movies to be bombastic, not My Dinner With Augustine.

        • ScarsdaleVibe

          My Dinner With Andre kicks ass! In my dorm room I had two movie posters: Cronenberg’s Crash and My Dinner With Andre. God I was annoying…

          But yeah, if a movie’s gonna be like MDwA, it needs to actually be good.

          • njorl

            Whenever I drink day-old coffee I always think of Wally being thankful that no cockroach committed suicide in it.

        • Halloween Jack

          The comments at AVC can be hit and miss, but I love how the comments for this review go almost directly for the porn parody: “Two men ducking out of a Christmas party to ‘sit’ in a car for 60 minutes already gives you a good start on a porn plot.”

  • The Temporary Name

    Have you ever been gay?

    Have you ever been lonely?
    Have you ever been gay?

  • sharculese

    The process that led to Kirk Cameron becoming the official spokesperson of fundy culture is absolutely the most bizarre thing.

    • Todd

      Ultimately, Stephen Baldwin was seen as too ethnic.

      • postmodulator

        I snorted San Pellegrino out of my nose at this.

    • LeeEsq

      I am mildly curious to know how much Kirk Cameron gets paid as an official spokesman for the fundamentalist and for his role in bad evangelical movies.

  • Kirk wants to know if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

    “Why, yes. He comes over every Thursday to mow the lawn.”

    • Malaclypse

      Kirk wants to know if you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

      “I already told you I’ve never been gay.”

      • muddy

        I genuinely laughed out so loud I scared the dogs.

    • I did have a personal relationship with Jesus, but I broke it off when Gilgamesh got jealous.

      • tsam

        “Have you ever been gay?”
        “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

        I can tell where this is going!

        • Malaclypse

          You know it is just a matter of time until Kirk is found to like both oysters and snails.

        • wjts

          “Do you like movies about gladiators?”

        • njorl

          I was expecting Big Gay Al to burst out with “I’m GAY for JESUS!”

  • Aaron Baker

    I refer Kirk Cameron’s interview requests to John Scalzi:

    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/03/07/speech-and-kirk-cameron/

  • Bitter Scribe

    You’re just fucking with us, aren’t you? I mean, this didn’t actually happen, did it?

    • postmodulator

      The first rule of SEK posts is “You’d better BELIEVE that just happened.”

      • SEK

        The first rule of SEK posts is “You’d better BELIEVE that just happened.”

        Given that I have a long track record of legal entanglements from such things happening, I’d say yes, belief is warranted.

        Plus, in this case I’m publishing an on the record conversation with a representative from someone I was trying to interview, so if I misrepresented him, I could find myself in a lot of legal trouble.

        • KmCO

          The fundy social bubble is strong with that one.

      • The Dark Avenger

        Let’s just say this about that.

  • cpinva

    out of curiosity, do you record these conversations, because that’s the only way i figure you could possibly type a verbatim version of it.

    • SEK

      Because this was work-related, I was typing his responses in shorthand as he spoke.

      For my other “on the scene” narratives, ever since I decided to become an unpublished novelist back in ’98 or so and read Didion’s “The Notebook,” which is all about how real people speak differently and more interestingly than fictional ones, I’ve carried around a notebook.

      So, if something happens at the supermarket, I repeat what they said in my head until I get to the car and then vomit-scribble it all down.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    You had me right up to calling Glitter “unwatchable”

    • I’m sure he meant that as in “I couldn’t pull my head out of the toilet long enough”

  • “Mr. Cameron is currently occupied trying to re-zip a banana so he may take it out into public.?

  • keta

    Me; Do you have these in a large?

    Salesclerk; I’ll go check in the back, out in back.

    S, returning; Here’s a large in blue and one in grey, blue and gray.

    Me(smiling); The grey’s nice.

    S; It is nice, it’s very nice.

    Me; Are there other shades of blue? Canary? Indigo? Robin egg? Frothy sea?

    S; Other blues? No, no other blues, no other blues at all.

    Me; Can you say, and only say, “skinny marinkey dinky doo.”?

    S; Can I say what? What do you want me say?

    Me; Repeat, and only repeat, “skinny marinkey dinky doo.”

    S; Why in the world would I say that? Why would I ever say that? I think you’re being rude, and I think you should leave, your rudeness is making me ask you to leave.

    Me; Very well…but don’t forget, “skinny marinkey dinky doo…”

    • mds

      Ohohoho, I get it. A popular version of “Skiddy-Mer-Rink-A-Doo” was from Bananas in Pyjamas. Kirk Cameron likes undressing bananas. [WAGGLES EYEBROWS KNOWINGLY] Eh? Eh?

      Also, Bananas in Pyjamas comes from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is peopled entirely by criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

      • Hogan

        Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

        • toberdog

          He’s only getting started!

      • njorl

        My dinner with Andre, The Princess Bride … What is this, the Wallace Shawn appreciation thread?

  • Normally I wouldn’t read the comments but some of the ones on Rawstory are hilarious.

    “After watching the trailer I converted to Islam.”

    “The only way to get a worse rating would be if Adam Sandler had been in it.”

    “This is a film begging the MST3K crew to get back together.”

    • Darkrose

      “This is a film begging the MST3K crew to get back together.”

      It would have to be Joel, since Mike has gone all conservative Christian.

      • Don’t tell me that. I want to forget that I know this.

      • KmCO

        It’s my understanding that Mike has always been a conservative Christian, though, even back in the salad days of MST3K. I can’t produce a link, but I rememer reading at some point that, even though the three were always good friends, the more liberal Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett sometimes clashed with Mike whenever they wanted to take their humor to political places.

        • And from everything I’ve read about them, I think I’d rather hang out with Mike than Kevin. Kevin is by far my favorite Best Brain in terms of the quality of his performance, but he comes off as pretty mean in interviews and anecdotes.

          The bulk of MST’s political humor was leftish, though, even in the Mike era.

          • KmCO

            The Bob Dornan jokes always slay me.

            • TV’s Frank, late of MST3K and the Rachel Maddow/Lizz Winstead show, does a presentation of cartoons in a bar in my neighborhood ever other Tuesday or so.

              He’s fascinatingly intelligent. And liberal as all hell.

  • Manju

    People living their lives for you on TV
    They say their Hebrew’s better than yours and you agree
    He asks are you gay, have you ever been that way?
    Well, come here boy, there ain’t nothing for free

    but who will save your soul…

    • The Dark Avenger

      Speaking of country semi-stars, I once overheard a man in Bakersfield distinguish between three major styles of Country music: Bakersfield, Nashville, and Houston.

    • SEK

      You know, it wasn’t until this that I realized why everyone was talking about Jewel when I posted this on Facebook a few days back.

      God damn, the world makes sense now!

    • ScarsdaleVibe

      What do you suppose Kirk Cameron’s DW-Nominate score is?

  • tsam

    Have you ever been gay?

    Does that one time at Band Camp count?

  • royko

    To be fair, we’re all a little worried about the state of your soul.

    But we can talk about that later.

    • SEK

      To be fair, we’re all a little worried about the state of your soul.

      I’ve given up on it, not sure why everyone else can’t. Might as well worry about the state of my liver — I was an adjunct for five years, how do you think it is?

      • royko

        My fellow Americans,

        I stand before you today to report that the state of SEK’s liver is strong —

        *APPLAUSE*

        — and getting stronger.

        *APPLAUSE*

  • TribalistMeathead

    The correct answer to question 1 would have been “Yes, I long for Him to show me that smile again.”

    • postmodulator

      Works pretty well for “Have you ever been gay,” too.

  • Ken

    But some of the language was not quite Christ-like.

    I think he means you’re too polite. Call more people liars and hypocrites, or a brood of vipers, and say they’re going to hell. If you need more ideas, scan the gospel of Matthew in a red-letter version.

  • patrick II

    but I heard back from his people and apparently he found something I wrote yesterday “terribly disappointing”

    I think they may have meant that he found something yesterday that you wrote, not that you wrote it yesterday. Ambiguous reference to antecedents throw me off all of the time.

    • SEK

      That’s on me — I wrote it ambiguously. He clearly indicated that the piece “I” wrote that made Cameron reevaluate the decision to agree to the interview, which had been made on Monday, was something “I” wrote on Tuesday.

  • njorl

    KCH: So you were raised Catholic?

    SEK: Catholic and Jewish.

    Hey, you’re one of those Judeo-Christians I’ve heard so much about!

    • cpinva

      “Hey, you’re one of those Judeo-Christians I’ve heard so much about”

      as am I. the great thing about it is, no one even dares try to shame or guilt me, I am completely immune.

  • JustRuss

    I did however write this on Facebook and I suppose he could’ve found that offensive.

    And I always thought what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook. Also too, I have never watched A Christmas Story, and I’m planning to have that engraved on my tombstone.

    • Ahuitzotl

      heh, like my grandmother – when asked to what did she attribute her longevity, she replied, ‘Never watching The Wizard of Oz’

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