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How Sean Penn Got in Touch With El Chapo

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Rolling-stone-penn-castillo

Sean Penn’s interview with El Chapo, mediated by the Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, is one of the strangest events in recent history. The New Yorker has a feature on del Castillo and the whole incident. It’s been tough on her, especially because the Mexican government is targeting her for prosecution (though probably as much for her political films that embarrassed the PRI as much as hanging out with El Chapo). It’s hard to feel too bad for her. After all, she was openly sympathetic with a psychopathic cartel leader and wanted to make a sympathetic movie about him. But my god Sean Penn comes across as a total piece of garbage of a human in this article. That probably surprises no one. But the story is well worth your time.

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  • Dilan Esper

    Radical chic is a real thing. Bill Ayers, Lori Berenson, Penn and del Castillo. The dashing criminal or violent revolutionary is a seductive figure.

    • The first two have nothing to do with the latter two.

      • Dilan Esper

        Psychologically, in terms of why people join, I think they are practically identical.

        • Shalimar

          Bill Ayers is the first thing you thought of when you read this? That is very interesting. Psychologically.

          • sparks

            It’s fun making a psychological profile of Dilan from his posts here, he tells more than he realizes.

            • Srsly Dad Y

              I’ve been thinking for a while that SEK could do a funny parody LGM comment thread. Even the most beloved regulars are ripe for some ribbing.

              • Manny Kant

                Who are the most beloved regulars?

                • Srsly Dad Y

                  Manny Kant for one.

                • Bill Murray

                  Manny Kant be one

                • Murc

                  Malaclypse, Warren Terra, Bijan Parsia. DrDick. DocAmazing isn’t around as much as he used to be so he’s borderline. Hogan. joe from Lowell. Aimai. Abigail Nussbaum.

                • wjts

                  I don’t think there are any, now that Dagney and k have left.

                • Srsly Dad Y

                  Each of whom has their own schtick and social class markers, etc. It would just be funny in a grad-school-musical kind of way.

                • Denverite

                  How could you tell parody Denverite apart from drunk Denverite? The time of the post would be suggestive, I guess, but hardly dispositive.

                • Denverite

                  smh

                  I guess the good news is that he’d *probably* be better than 2015 Manning. Also, it’s only a seventh round pick.

                • Sanchize!

                • Anna in PDX

                  The commenters I feel like I sort of know personally just from their comments on LGM, and who I sort of think of with fondness:
                  – Ronan(self deprecation is always there)
                  – ThrottleJockey (on some issues)
                  – JOtto (really he amuses me a lot)
                  – joefromLowell
                  – Origami Isopod
                  – Aimai
                  – N_B
                  – Murc
                  – Bijan Parsia
                  – MPAVictoria
                  – Gregor Samsa
                  – (drunk) Denverite (so funny!)
                  … and many more. I also feel like I know the front pagers, although the only one I’ve ever met is Erik.

                • I also feel like I know the front pagers, although the only one I’ve ever met is Erik.

                  In the most random meetup of all time!

                • Dick Manly

                  Who are the most beloved regulars?

                  No love for JenBob?

                • tsam

                  @ Anna

                  Sharculese and efgoldman should be on that list, don’tcha think?

                • Are we saying “beloved” or “prominent” here? Because there are some people on the latter list I wouldn’t put on the former, and vice versa…

                • Aww, Murc, you’re very sweet and belong on the list yourself.

                  There are so many people I’d add, but perhaps the top of the list is JL. So much knowledge, experience, and activism—her comments generally are an education.

                  As I’ve been diagnosed by Dilan as obsessed, I perhaps no longer count! :)

                • sibusisodan

                  It would just be funny in a grad-school-musical kind of way.

                  Grad School Musical?

                  Worst. Disney. Movie. Ever.

                • And sibusisodan! Who is awesome!

                • Anna in PDX

                  @tsam: Yes and you too! I said …and many others because I just can’t remember them all off the top of my head. Memory is the first thing to fail.

                • tsam

                  @ Anna

                  Thank you! (blush)

                  Heh–My memory is hanging in there, but my attention span ha

                • N__B

                  I’d like to thank the Academy…

                • Ronan

                  Anna, I take it that list is ranked&?

                • Brett

                  I’d read the hell out of a dialogue between the LGM Commentariat, SEK, and Oldman Cat.

              • NonyNony

                How could SEK make a parody that was funnier than an actual comment thread though?

                • Srsly Dad Y

                  You’d have to poke fun at the revered people, I don’t want to name names, but Murc is on track.

                • Murc

                  There are maybe too many people; you’d get a decent list if you just limited it to people who’ve been called out on the front page.

                • Denverite

                  There are maybe too many people; you’d get a decent list if you just limited it to people who’ve been called out on the front page.

                  If you limited it to people who were called out/ripped in consecutive posts by separate FPers, I think it might be a list of one.

                • tsam

                  If you limited it to people who were called out/ripped in consecutive posts by separate FPers, I think it might be a list of one.

                  You’re a god among insects.

                • Murc

                  If you limited it to people who were called out/ripped in consecutive posts by separate FPers, I think it might be a list of one.

                  You’re just never gonna let the rest of us live that down, are you?

                  joe and I need to step up our game.

                • The time I am most proud of being called out on the front page is slightly marred by the fact that I was credited as “Stepped Pryamids”.

    • LeeEsq

      Radical chic is so 1960s.

    • cpinva

      “The dashing criminal or violent revolutionary is a seductive figure.”

      late to the conversation I realize, but how, exactly, does El Chapo qualify as either of these? he’s no revolutionary, nor is he a dashing criminal. if anything, he’s kind of a boring criminal, aside from the fact that he’s a psychopath, who would slit his mother’s throat for a nickel.

      yeah, no, go back and re-review the text materials, you clearly didn’t read or comprehend any of it.

  • rea

    “I was so upset,” she said, of the reaction to her tweet. “You know, why are they crushing me? I’m not saying all of this is true. This is just what I believe!”

    No seas tonto.

    • Murc

      I see this sort of thing all the time, depressingly. People are like “man, why are you coming at me? This is just, like, my opinion. What I believe. Opinions can’t be wrong!”

      You also get a more sophisticated two-step from people who demand you accept their priors without question and get mad when you don’t, but I don’t think del Castillo is smart enough to pull that off.

  • Steve

    Remember when Sean Penn went to Iraq prior to the 2003 war to shake hands with Saddam Hussein? Because if what Bush was doing was bad then obviously Saddam was good?

    Manichean thought is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      I got the impression that nobody who deals with Sean Penn has any idea what the hell he’s going on about

      • Ahuitzotl

        method-acting Spicoli had a price

        • N__B

          I blame Colors for making him think he understood social issues.

    • JG

      I have seen people on the crazy left say they support whoever the evil imperialist US is against. Conveniently they believe ISIS was an American-created conspiracy.

      • Yeah, the thing about that position is that you might be right 75% of the time. But the other 25%, it’s really, really wrong.

      • Bootsie

        According to a friend I have in Jordan, “ISIS = American invention” is a followed conspiracy theory even in the middle east.

        In fact, there’s apparently a tendency in the middle east to assume that anything that goes wrong is the US’s fault. I mean, I can see the rationale there…

        • Anna in PDX

          I lived in the Middle East for more than ten years and it cannot be beat for wild conspiracy theories. Really, they are intense.

          • Brett

            Robert Baer’s first book had this really wild one he’d heard involving Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War. It was a thing of beauty.

        • tsam

          We can’t take all the credit, the rest of the West helped out a lot too, but much of these problems are spasms Western Colonialism…intervention, manipulation, murder, exploitation…

        • Dumbspear OSparrow

          I have Iranian-American friends who have been to Iran and apparently at least some people there believe that the Islamic Republic, Iran’s government since 1979, was an American conspiracy designed to keep the Iranian people down.

  • Murc

    Sean Penn is one of those people who, like Kissinger, I don’t understand why they’re accepted in polite society. The only proper response to finding yourself in a room with Sean Penn is to either leave yourself or demand he do so.

    • creature

      Hank the Bloody is not in the same league as Senn the Opportunist. If in a room with both of them, push Hank out the window, and kick Sean in the nuts!

      • Murc

        You can be someone who shouldn’t be tolerated in polite society for a bunch of reasons, some of which are more or less serious than others.

        I don’t care that Sean Penn is an opportunist. I care that he likes to beat women.

        • Has he stopped beating photographers yet or was that just a silly affectation of his high spirited youth?

          • That’s the least of it.

            He beat the crap out of Madonna on at least one occasion.

            • Murc

              And even saying “beat up” sort of lowballs it. He broke into her house, kicked the shit out of her, tied her to a chair while he went out to get some booze, and then tried to rape her.

              And you know, that was thirty years ago, and people can change, but Penn’s public stance on it has always been bullshit “oh, I was young and my relationship was falling apart, I did bad things but haven’t we all” scumbag justifications.

              Fuck that guy.

              • He broke into her house, kicked the shit out of her, tied her to a chair while he went out to get some booze, and then tried to rape her.

                What? I had no idea.

                ETA: Madonna denies it happened (2015).

                • I mean, she signed an affidavit:

                  4. I am also aware of allegations concerning an incident that occurred in December, 1989 [sic], which purportedly resulted in Sean’s arrest for domestic assault and battery against me. I know those allegations to be false. While we certainly had more than one heated argument during our marriage, Sean has never struck me, “tied me up,” or physically assaulted me, and any report to the contrary is completely outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false.

                • Gawker has is a fascinating article tracing the allegation.

                  If Madonna denies it now…I kinda feel like I should believe her.

                • Ahuitzotl

                  BP: yes – she’s not exactly the shy retiring type who would retract this stuff to avoid hurt feelings or publicity. If that’s what she says, that’s good enough for me.

    • kped

      Eh, Polite Society is overrated. Douche bags like David Brooks get a nice seat at the table. Is there somewhere in between?

  • DrDick

    But the story is well worth your time

    No thanks. As an anthropologist who studies race/ethnicity and gender, as well as Native North America, I already get my fill of the dregs of humanity.

    • The Dark God of Time

      STRAKER. Socialism must be lookin up a bit if your chaps are taking to it.

      MENDOZA. That is true, sir. A movement which is confined to philosophers and honest men can never exercise any real political influence: there are too few of them. Until a movement shews itself capable of spreading among brigands, it can never hope for a political majority.

      TANNER. But are your brigands any less honest than ordinary citizens?

      MENDOZA. Sir: I will be frank with you. Brigandage is abnormal. Abnormal professions attract two classes: those who are not good enough for ordinary bourgeois life and those who are too good for it. We are dregs and scum, sir: the dregs very filthy, the scum very superior.

      STRAKER. Take care! some o the dregs’ll hear you.

      MENDOZA. It does not matter: each brigand thinks himself scum, and likes to hear the others called dregs.

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