Angry Letters: Val Kilmer, Don’t call me stupid, ‘Norbit’

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I received an e-mail with the subject line “[biblical word for ‘donkey’] faces.” Naturally, I was intrigued. There was no name, and the return address bounced when I tried to reply, giving further evidence that people who write e-mails like this are cowards.

Anyway, here is what it said:

val kilmeris the best freakin actor and who are you to judge when you don’t even act yourself biotch

Of course, if being an actor oneself is a prerequisite for judging acting talent, then this person shouldn’t be judging Kilmer, either. (Saying someone is good is judging, too.) But why introduce logic into a matter such as this?(By the way, I have no idea which review, if any, this person was responding to. I can’t recall dissing Val Kilmer too harshly, but maybe I did.)

Next, if you’ve sent me an e-mail, you’ve seen the warning, in red letters, indicating that I don’t have contact info for any famous people, and that if you ask for such information anyway, I will write back to tell you how stupid you are. Amazingly, despite this warning, in red letters above the e-mail form, I still sometimes get e-mails from idiots who noticed a celebrity’s name on my Web site and concluded that I must therefore know that celebrity personally. And when I do, true to my word, I write back to tell that person how stupid he or she is.

For example, I got this e-mail the other day:

I am currently an Associate Publisher at the Forest Hills Celebrity Magazine. It is a very popular magazine about Queens lifestyle ( New York), a nice fine four color magazine. At any rate I am dying to contact Jon for an inetrview to appear in my magazine. I went to school with him at Queens College and hung out with him at CUPB, a social club. I beleive this would be so fitting because it is a local community publication, it will also help him promote his new movie… Cover story material I am sensing… any help would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Marty.

The “From” field in the e-mail said Martha Tucker. I responded to Martha with the form letter I have prepared:

[This is a form letter.]

You are very stupid.

The page you just e-mailed me from said this:

“STOP: If you are going to ask Eric how to contact a celebrity, DON’T. Eric has no such information for ANY famous person. If you ask him anyway, despite this warning, Eric will write back and tell you how stupid you are. And he’ll be right to do so.”

And yet, you went ahead and asked me for someone’s contact information anyway. So this is your reply, letting you know, if you weren’t already aware, that you are stupid. Very, very stupid.

Best wishes,
Eric D. Snider

Martha responded, only now her e-mail “From” name was Marty Sunflower. She said this:

Dear whoever you are, [“Whoever you are”? I signed my name to my e-mail, the “From” line says “Eric D. Snider,” and the site she wrote to me from was called EricDSnider.com. And she’s not sure who I am? This, from the woman who used two names in as many e-mails.]
I must say that you are the stupid one. In my years of researching information, I have never met anyone as arrogant as yourself figures, this is the trash that Myspace is composed of… [What MySpace has to do with anything, I have no idea.] Pity and to think there was hope for the journalistic wannabes…
Thanks for you time and for nothing. a simple I am sorry I cannot help you would have sufficed but know you reduced your self to name calling what are you twelve???? Would that have been to much and to think that you actually made this a form letter?????/ again a very sad representation of journalism.
Marty

Funny, the phrases “stupid,” “journalistic wannabes,” “what are you twelve,” and “very sad representation of journalism” all occurred to me while reading her letter, too….

Finally, my review of Eddie Murphy’s “Norbit” prompted this scathing reply:

I read your review of ‘Norbit’ and terribly disagree. [True to his word, he does disagree in a terrible fashion. Keep reading!] it is on of the main reason’s i don’t trust white movie critics reviews when it come to black films. norbit is the story of relationship, and if you have been anywhere close to this type of personality in one you can identify. with white critics you jugde your expectattion of the character instead of the overall movie itself. you will call a great movie lame and a lame movie great based on how you see it. [Well, yeah. Judging a movie based on how you see it is sort of what film criticism is. That’s sort of the definition.] but being number on in the box office speaks for itself. i bet you’ll love ghost rider, or hanabal lechter. movies that i would never pay to go see. [Too bad, because “Ghost Rider” is apparently a great movie, judging by the fact that it’s No. 1 at the box office.] i am a pretty good critic when it comes down to movies. and i don’t let my color get in the way of deciding what to see or not see. i also won’t let a actors personal life fuel my judgement of him on the screen. a good actor is a good actor, and the list of movies that you can questionable in eddie’s career some of which i actually enjoyed are not all flops. they may not have sold out box offices but check out the rental store and cable showing see how much money he’s mad from that. and i noticed that you didn’t mention shreck 1,2, or upcoming 3. [Actually, I did mention them, when I said that Murphy’s movies “apart from the mostly harmless family flicks” tend to be bad.] i guess you didn’t want to insult mike myere hey?

Most of the outrageously poor logic in this letter should be apparent, but I want to point out something special. He makes the classic argument that being No. 1 at the box office means a movie is great, and then also says that just because a movie flops at the box office, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. He’s right about the last part, of course, but you can’t have it both ways. If being No. 1 is PROOF — irrefutable, case-closed PROOF — that a movie is good, then being No. 100 would have to be proof that a movie is bad.

Also, I should point out that “Norbit” is not a “black film.” Most of its characters are black, but the film has nothing to do with race. Race is never mentioned. There is nothing about the characters that would only apply to black people. They could just as easily have been white, with maybe Ben Stiller playing the two leads. (Wow, imagine how bad THAT would have been.)

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