In a turn of events you could have synchronized your watches to, James Franco has penned an op-ed in the New York Times defending the recent “erratic behavior” of Shia LaBeouf, who, if you haven’t been paying attention, or have better things to do with your life, has been on quite a tear lately.
Writing of LaBeouf’s alleged plagiarism of his recent film, then the subsequent plagiarism of his apology, Franco asks, “Was that clever or pathological?”
The second one.
Then there was the paper bag over the head.
This behavior could be a sign of many things, from a nervous breakdown to mere youthful recklessness. For Mr. LaBeouf’s sake I hope it is nothing serious. Indeed I hope — and, yes, I know that this idea has pretentious or just plain ridiculous overtones — that his actions are intended as a piece of performance art, one in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona.
It’s a tradition that stretches all the way back to Marlon Brando, he explains.
Participating in this call and response is a kind of critique, a way to show up the media by allowing their oversize responses to essentially trivial actions to reveal the emptiness of their raison d’être. Believe me, this game of peek-a-boo can be very addictive.
I believe you.