Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Turning over a new Leaf

On Friday afternoon, Rob sent me the YouTube video clip of Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman, and if you haven't seen it by now, you must check it out. I warn you, though, you will be uncomfortable. After 10 seconds of watching it at work, I raced into our sales department, announcing that I could not see this alone and someone had to join me so we could cringe together.

It seems Joaquin is giving up his acting career to become a hip hop artist, but he is also giving up his interview career to become a hostile vegetable. All over the web and probably the world, people are trying to figure out whether this is a stunt or if the man who was once Leaf Phoenix has just gone mental.

But what I'm wondering is, if it is a stunt or a joke, what's the punch line? There's not really anything funny about branching into a music career--though if you've also seen the clip of Joaquin performing his music at a Vegas club (and falling off the stage), you will admit that there was something comical about the hopping and the hand flapping. Perhaps we will discover that he's making a comment about people who think that rapping is easy and that anyone can do it. Or that he's simply preparing for an upcoming role.

So there it is, your options are a) joke--and who's going to be laughing? b) stunt--and he does have our attention c) new career path, complete with attitude--and possibly drug--problem

We'll see what happens, but Joaquin, if you're serious, you just might want to lighten up a little about it.

By the way, guess who else thinks he could have a career as a rapper? My father. Yes, Joe often brings up the fact that it doesn't take much skill to rap and speculates that, given a chance, he'd be pretty good at it. Because he can breathe and talk.


Jay Nicolosi said...

Of the options presented, I choose "B."

I'll be the first to admit that I'm terrible at knowing who celebraties are or why they're famous (i.e. I don't read People, or the like), but should I be embarrassed that I didn't know Joaquin and Leaf Phoenix were one in the same? Is that common knowledge? I did know Leaf and River Phoenix were brothers, if that is any concelation.

Sarah said...

Jay, you should not be embarrassed. Probably you should be proud because you have better things to do than overanalyze the bizarre behavior of people you don't know...

I have just been obsessed with the Phoenix family since my early days of hanging River's picture in my locker at school. I was somehow sure we were destined to be together. Turns out my instincts were not so hot on that one.

Ellie said...

(Video link from your blog no longer working but I was able to find the video elsewhere on the grand old web.)

My favorite part is how completely humorless he is throughout the whole thing. That's actually what makes me think it must be a stunt: he's too unflappably serious.

My other favorite part was when he stuck his gum on the desk.

Word verification: foomych

Joe said...

All right, Sarah, it's on. I have been working on my freestyle and battle rap, yo, yo. It's just that I've been underground.
On a website called "How to Rap," I found this quote, "It's been said that rap is the biggest pillar holding up the poetic pedigree in this country." (I am not making this up.)
See how they use the classical imagery of a pillar to make their point. A connection, no doubt, to rap's origins with Catullus through Dante.

Amanda said...

OPRFHS should have hired you right out of our senior year to be the headline maven. "Turning over a new Leaf" would have made McBride proud. Of course, Ellie probably would have told you to dig deeper.