Eventually I made my way to the ocean, spent a week camping out on the beach behind what’s left of William Randolph Hearst’s and Marion Davies’s cottage in Santa Monica, then fired up the green gerbils living in my Prius’s engine and headed for home once more. Alas, it was not to be: Just my luck that I hit Century City — known to us Industry Insiders as the “old Fox back lot” — just in time to hit a wall of doughnut-chomping, overtime-racking L.A. cops, who had cordoned off a six-block area around someplace or other in order to allow the heroic purple-shirted proletariat of the Service Employees International Union — that’s the SEIU to you, pal — to exercise their First Amendment right of peaceful assembly. And once again my heart soared at the sight of non-nomenklatura schmucks using your tax dollars in order to protest the capitalist system while being protected from the consequences of their First Amendment rights by the pigs of the LAPD, who are also supported by your tax dollars! Is this a great racket — er, country — or what?
Suddenly, I was struck with a flash of blinding insight, just like one of the characters in my own movies. You morons really don’t have a clue, do you? Even now, with victory in your grasp should you only choose to carpe the good ol’ diem, you’re floundering around, lurching like John Kerry from his medals to his magic hat. You go from cheering the fascist theocrat Beck at the Mall (while that woman I still hate, hate, hate
beams on, a Mama Grizzly hunting for her next meal and looking at us like we’re 2012’s dinner) to wondering if the preternaturally tanned Ohioan, John Boehner, has the right stuff to be third in line to the throne of Emperor BHO II. You don’t know whether to cheer the ghost of *^%BUSH&^*&! or despise him, to welcome Mr. Newt back or to banish him to that ice floe whereon still dwells the spirit of Victor Frankenstein. In short, you can’t decide whether to write more chits to the U.S. Treasury or draw the blinds and wait for the end.
And that’s when I started typing in earnest. Not just one of these occasional and irregular pieces of drooling idiocy, my pearls before the swine of the vast right-wing conspiracy, but a real honest-to-Gaia book, even better than Paula Barbieri’s memoirs, if I do say so myself. Like Ulysses facing the Sirens, I lashed myself to the mast, eschewing the blandishments of Teix, Fat Fish, Giorgio Baldi’s, Tom Bergin’s, the thrill of my afternoon constitutional at the LAPD’s firing range in Elysian Park, and even my annual camping trip to Death Valley in order to finish it.
And you know what? I did!
Sure, there were plenty of difficulties along the way. I had to think the whole thing up, which even for an A-list screenwriter like myself wasn’t as easy as, say, writing the script for The Expendables. Then the hapless fool in my employ whom I call the Amanuensis — basically, the guy who types my stuff — went AWOL claiming he was “sick.” And finally the publisher imposed something on me I wasn’t used to: a “deadline,” which I didn’t like the sound of one bit, which meant that my date with Lindsay Lohan had to get postponed yet again — although I knew she would have canceled on me anyway. And so, less than a month from now, my little ditty will hit bookstores across this soon-to-be-formerly-great land of ours, from polluted sea to unsustainable shining sea. A tome so wicked, with advice so evil, that Alinsky’s dedicatee himself will blush with pride. A book dedicated to the proposition that Paradise Lost, The Screwtape Letters, Rules for Radicals, and random Rolling Stones songs can all coexist, if not in perfect harmony, then at least in joyous cacophony. It even has an introduction by my father, the sainted “Che” Kahane, so what’s not to like?
You know what I’m calling it, don’t you?
David Kahane’s Rules for Radical Conservatives. And yes, this time, it really is personal.
You have no idea how hard it is to type a whole book with your thumbs.
– David Kahane is proud to be published by Ballantine Books on September 28. He invites you all to browbeat him on Facebook or at [email protected]. Or not, as the case may be.