Joaquin On Sunshine

« November 2008 »

Memo to Joaquin Phoenix: YOU ARE DUMB.

One of the most glorious things about the reign of President-Elect Obama is that I don't have to feel guilty ragging on Joaquin Phoenix for being dumb while many more important and crucial perfidies and obscenities clamor for my undivided attention. Oh sure, even though the election is over, there ARE many more important and crucial perfidies and obscenities clamoring for my undivided attention, the point is I no longer feel guilty about it.

So fuck you, Joaquin Phoenix, you dumbass.

Apparently, at the ripe young age of 34, Phoenix has decided to abandon acting in country music biopics and concentrate on his own music career. And who can blame him? Why, the music world is just brimming with former thespians who have left the challenging acting world behind for critical and commercial success in the music world. I know I anxiously await the second return of Bruno, and if Russell Crowe had half the balls Joaquin had, we might have been spared Gladiator entirely. Well, probably not, but a man can dream.

Now, to be fair, I don't actually give a shit about Joaquin Phoenix quitting acting, concentrating on music, or any other aspect of his life or career. I have thus far led a nearly blissful, very contented, and almost entirely Joaquin-free life, and I would have been perfectly happy to keep it that way, if a certain photograph hadn't snuck through my filters and imposed itself in front of my abused optic nerves. And I now share that picture with you.

Where can I even start the compendium of things that are wrong with this picture? I dare not start with the obvious, so I'll begin by pointing out that that is so very much the look of someone who wants you all to know that he is no longer a part of your scene, and will no longer be playing your games, and he wants you to know that VERY HARD. He doesn't have to shave! He's focusing on his MUSIC. That is the face of a man who has determined with laser-like precision exactly how kempt he has to be to convey his "fuck off" message in a purely visual manner, and has nailed that kemptness level within a fraction of a percent.

Which makes the hands all the more hilarious. First of all, if you're going to write shit on your fists, in 2008, it'd better be something funny. And even more importantly, it'd had better be something REALLY funny. This isn't a new and clever ironic twist on the stuff-written-on-your-fists oeuvre. And using an exclamation point to fill out the fourth finger is cheating.

And, of course, the poor dumb fucker got the hands backwards. Which kills me. I mean, we just learned from the Carved B Hoax that when writing letters on yourself, orientation is vital to convincing your audience, but here's Joaquin Phoenix, getting it wrong for all the world to see. And he went ahead with it! Here, for your edification, is a list of things I would do if I found that, in a moment of paint-eating insanity, I'd written my farewell* message backwards on my hands:

  • Wear gloves and pretend the whole thing never happened.
  • Scribble over the letters with a Sharpie and tell reporters they're like indelible black armbands in support of some tragic global cause. Only, you know, around your fingers.
  • Scrub the hands until the letters are a bit faded, hope nobody notices, and just say they're stamps from a club if they -do- ask.
  • If all else fails, CROSS MY WRISTS. If my creaky, middle-aged bones can get my fists crossed so that the message reads right, so can Joaquin. Which means he didn't notice, or he didn't care. And either way, that means we get to laugh at him for being a doofus.

So byegood, Joaquin Phoenix. I wish you the luck of best with your career music, and if you ever decide to come back to acting, maybe you can get George Lucas to cast you as the young Yoda in some ridiculous cartoon prequel or something.

*A word which, I must point out, has eight letters, four for each hand, and MEANS GOODBYE. And if he got it backwards he could claim it's a solidarity message with America's poor.