I never got Johnny Depp.
I mean I get it; he was girl-pretty and he's quirky and artsy-fartsy and kind of rock 'n' roll. I got that he liked to bury that pretty Face of his in whatever contrivance Tim Burton sketched up for him during yet-another all-night Cure/Siouxsie/Bauhaus video binge. But I think the razzle-dazzle of his youthful looks tend to overshadow the fact that he's a mediocre actor on his best day.
In my opinion, of course.
Never once I have I seen Depp melt into a role and make it come alive. I'm always stuck at the "And featuring Johnny Depp in the role of..."
And to be brutally frank, by now all those quirky, androgynous get-ups just tend to blur into goo in the memory. Was that Willy Wonka or the Mad Hatter? Or Barnabas Collins? Was that Sweeney Todd or Edward Scissorhands or Ichabod Crane? And is there a difference?
But that Face of his, say around 1989 or so, is hard to argue with. Faces like that come around once or twice a lifetime. That's the kind of Face Roman Emperors built shrines to.
Bastard broke my 'Nonnie's heart
Maybe it was a burden. Maybe he actually thought he was the next Brando so he set out to hide it as best he could from primarily female audiences who came to bask in the Face.
But I think the Face has kept men away from his movies and unless he's in one of those big tentpole productions, Depp has never exactly been Mr. Box Office. But now you start to wonder if that deal with the Devil had a 30-year cap and now the bills have come due:
Two bodyguards made the allegations in a lawsuit this week which piled fresh acrimony on Depp’s reputation, renewing doubts over his future as Hollywood’s quirkiest and possibly most beloved leading man.
The multi-claim lawsuit over unpaid wages and working conditions detailed a lifestyle of dysfunction and chaos.
The suit alleges: “Often times plaintiffs were forced to protect Depp from himself and his vices while in public. An incident at a local nightclub involved plaintiffs alerting Depp of illegal substances visible on his face and person while preventing onlookers from noticing Depp’s condition.”
More damning allegations can be expected if the ex-employees obtain a jury trial in Los Angeles superior court. Depp’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment over the latest allegations.
It is a puzzle straight out of Hollywood Babylon: how can a star who has reputedly earned more than $650m struggle to pay his bills?
How indeed. But wait; there's more...
The documents allege a disturbing history of extreme anger, violent outbursts and substance abuse by the 52 year-old actor, describing in detail two violent incidents including the Saturday night altercation that she said led to her bruised cheek.
Heard stated that in addition to a restraining order, that Depp should be required to enroll in treatment for anger management and for batterers.
“His relationship with reality oscillates,” she stated, “Depending on his interaction with alcohol and drugs. Johnny has a long-held and widely-acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse,” she said, “He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary.”
Oddly enough, a story on Robin Williams hit the news recently as well, looking at his struggles with the very-terrifying disease Lewy's Body Dementia.
I'm not exactly sure what precipitated Williams' death-- part of me wonders if he was trying to use somewhat drastic methods to pump up the dopamine and endorphin levels back up, if you get my meaning-- but it's probably reasonably certain that the Lewy's was brought on by longtime cocaine abuse, which commonly also brings on Parkinson's.
You've probably heard cocaine called the Devil's Dandruff, seeing as how it can not only rewire your brain and leave you with a ruthless dependency, but part of me wonders if it also can lead abusers into the arms of demons.
Because it can turn otherwise-reasonable people into monsters.
I've seen it happen; I've seen the drug create entirely new personalities in people doing too much for too long. I've seen crack create Mr. Hydes out of Dr. Jekylls at the drop of a hat. I mean, yeah, I know about cocaine psychosis. But when you see these kinds of sea-changes you can't help but wonder if it's not more than chemical.
Ironic then that Depp played George Jung, a man who did such horrific damage to this country by opening up the smuggler ratlines to Colombian cocaine. Or so the story goes. I'm like you; somehow I doubt George did it all on his lonesome.
But when entertaining ideas about cocaine and demonology, maybe we should take a peek at this particular Portrait of Dorian Gray here; namely Johnny Depp sluicing it up with his drug-buddy Brian Warner and a platoon of freshly-rinsed sex-kittens.
I'd love to say this was a one-off and that Depp was just playing another role here. But I don't know if I can. As this Loudwire interview with Marilyn Manson plainly illustrates, Depp is also BFFs with arguably a much darker and more-troubling celebrity:
After being blamed for tragedies such as Columbine, do you see any artists these days that are receiving similar treatment for when something awful happens?
Well, for the first time in my life, last night, I met Damien Echols [of the West Memphis Three]. I did a painting to help pay for his legal funds. Johnny Depp, him and I became what we called, and it sounds a bit… in retrospect… if you lived in West Hollywood, sounds a bit not-masculine, but the 'West Hollywood Three.'
Johnny has always tried to help him [Damien] out and he's staying with Johnny and we have a strong bond, the three of us. We all got matching tattoos. I'd never met him [Damien] in person until last night and for me it was humbling. Any strife or adversity I've gone through can't compare with what he's gone through. And I've been waiting, essentially 18 years to meet this guy and I met him last night [April 8].
OK, before you say anything I realize I'm just supposed to turn off my critical thinking circuits and just fall in the entrained masses and spout jibberish about Damien Echols being some kind of Enlightenment martyr and the West Memphis 3 were uncorruptible saints railroaded by a bunch of mouth-breathing yahoos drunk on that sweet, sweet Satanic-Panic moonshine.
But just because Eddie Vedder needs to pretend he's Senator Jesus Von Gandhi and Henry Rollins needs to see himself as the lovechild of F.Lee Bailey and Joan of Arc doesn't mean I have to fall in with the exoneration parade.
First of all, because Echols was NOT exonerated--he's still officially guilty--and despite the media brainwash that he was framed because he liked the same exact music thousands of other kids in rural Tennessee liked, the facts are a bit more cloudy than that:
I'm not going to put on my powdered prosecutor wig and declare that Echols and his dirtbag friends killed those young boys but you have to be a special kind of stupid to absolve Echols for the same reason you're told he was convicted, namely because he liked metal and dabbled in dimestore occultism.
I think if you go digging around newspaper archives you'll find quite a few occult-dabbling metalheads guilty of some pretty horrific crimes.
Ricky Kasso and Richard Ramirez come to mind off the top of my head. How about you?
Let me tell you a story...
Some forty years ago now back in the charming burg of Braintree, Mass, a young kid was walking home from East Junior High, then home to an openly-acknowledged pedo-grooming operation. Having dodged the open-air drug bazaar operating a couple hundred feet from the principal's office he made his way home.
He was stopped by two older boys (I think they were 9th graders and he was in 7th, I believe). The two were total scumbag burnout metalheads, both of whom I believe are now dead. They preceded to beat this kid with bullwhips- FUCKING BULLWHIPS. When the younger boy was prostrate, they stuffed his pants with fireworks and exploded them.
When they got tired of that, they threw the boy off a bridge into the Monatiquot River. Unfortunately for them he survived all this, dropped the dime on them and they both landed in juvvie. Well, relatively unfortunately, because they got a slap on the wrist bit, if memory serves.
Kids- especially kids who fill their heads with drugs and toxic symbolism-- can do some pretty horrific things. Think on it.
Staying in the area (George Jung grew up near Braintree too) we have Depp as a not-convincing James "Whitey" Bulger in Black Mass. Depp was clearly starstruck by the drug-dealing murderer and twitted on about him like a schoolgirl in press junkets.
Let's just remember where Whitey really came from:
In the late ’50s, Bulger was sentenced to a bid in federal prison, where he was approached to take part in experiments with LSD and other drugs in exchange for a reduction of his sentence. This was part of the CIA’s murky MK-ULTRA behavioral engineering program.
Bulger was told the experiments were in an effort to find a cure for schizophrenia. Letters to his brother William (whose life took a bizarre turn from his gangster brother—William Bulger served as both the President of the Massachusetts Senate and the President of the University of Massachusetts) indicate that he was initially pleased with the opportunity to shorten his sentence.
However, things took a horrifying turn. One of Bulger’s notebooks recounts his experiences under the influence, claiming that he had a “morbid fear of LSD,” and that he felt that his head was changing shape and he was hearing voices.
Long after his release from prison, Whitey remained haunted, afraid to have children for fear the drugs had somehow altered his chromosomes.
Being starstruck by psychotics is apparently a lifetime passion for Depp. He remains a huge fan of so-called "Gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thompson, who was not only a violent drug addict but has also been alleged to have been involved in far darker enterprises.
I won't go into those because there's no compelling evidence as far as I can tell and plus I don't want that fetid bilge stinking up my blog.
But apparently this adrenochrome thing is a thing. This indie project features Tom Sizemore-- who's been accused of some pretty horrific things himself recently-- as an gland-chewing colonel (or whatever).
Kind of reminds me of that rather-grizzly X-Files episode about the Hollywood vampires. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know where this is all coming from or where it's going.
Speaking of which, here's Depp with his all-star cover band the Hollywood Vampires, featuring Kesha on vocals. Of course the song here was made famous in a version arranged by a Crowleyite jailbait-connoiseur.
I'm not sure if the Vamps were deliberately trying to mega-troll the Chans here, but if so, touché lads.
NOTE: George Jung lived on Abigail Adams in Weymouth, right over the Braintree border. I know the neighborhood well since I passed it all the time on my way to my ninth-grade girlfriend's house on Holmes St.