“How To Be A Jerk”
Actor Shia LaBeouf has two impressive achievements, neither anything to be proud of, but impressive nonetheless. In a showdown with World Champion Hollywood creep Alec Baldwin, LaBeouf, against all odds. managed to come off as the bigger jerk. In the process, he created, or at least gave unprecedented publicity to a new ethical transgression: Twitter plagiarism.
You will recall LaBeouf, if you recall him at all, as the former Disney Channel child star who had movie hits with “Disturbia” and the “Transformers” franchise, as well as gaining a form of lasting notoriety as Indiana Jones’ son in the fourth and lamest installment of that classic series. He also has established a reputation for being trouble, and this week it was revealed that he had been fired (the old “artistic differences” excuse) from what was supposed to be his Broadway debut in the new play “Orphans,” starring Baldwin. The exact reasons are unclear, but incompatibility with Baldwin was part of it.
How do I know that LaBeouf, rather than the famously volatile Baldwin was at fault? Simple, really. Baldwin is the show’s star; he has theater credentials; he’s an established pro. It is part of LaBeouf’s job to get along with him, not the other way around. He could also learn something from Baldwin, who, though it seems hard to imagine, was once an even bigger jerk than he is now—so big, that at one point his career had gone from losing the Jack Ryan franchise (to Harrison Ford) to playing the conductor in the sad and awful movie version of “Thomas the Tank Engine.” Baldwin knows where Shia is headed, and could help stop him from going there.
In the wake of his canning, LaBeouf took to his Twitter feed and posted various e-mails leading up to his fate. One of them was erudite and almost poetic:
“A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering.”
Hey! Jerk or not, this guy can write! He has a brain!
Well, no, not really: he has a computer, and can cut and paste. His words were lifted from Tom Chiarella’s essay in Esquire, “How To Be A Man.” Continue reading