Exploiting the Archives Week: The Two Coreys
For the very first Patreon-only installment of Control Nathan Rabin I decided to put a little bow on Corey Feldman Month by watching and writing about one of his many infinitely embarrassing reality-show appearances, this time on Celebrity Wife Swap alongside In Living Color funnyman Tommy Davidson.
As someone who recently spent a solid month trying to articulate the overlooked dignity and worth of Corey Feldman, just as I’ve spent close to a decade trying to articulate the overlooked dignity of the noble Juggalo, I’m glad that I waited until Corey Feldman Month was over to write about this particular appearance because Feldman’s Celebrity Wife Swap comes close to negating everything I was trying to accomplish with the project.
Feldman doesn’t just come off as an unusually narcissistic and self-obsessed celebrity on Celebrity Wife Swap. No, he comes off more like a deranged man-child running a sex cult involving barely legal female proteges performing oldies in lingerie. He comes off like a fool. He comes off as a buffoon. He comes off like a man devoid of self-consciousness or self-awareness, who is trying to live a Michael Jackson lifestyle on a Corey Feldman level of money and fame.
In 2017 there are still Two Coreys. Only today the Coreys are not the late Corey Haim and Corey Feldman but rather the two sides of Corey Feldman. The first Corey is a driven and successful show-business survivor and activist who wracked up appearances in a slew of beloved cult movies (Gremlins, The Goonies, Stand By Me, The Lost Boys, The Burbs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and today is perhaps best known as an activist working to expose a long-standing epidemic of child molestation within the entertainment industry.
That’s the first Corey. I respect that Corey. That Corey wrote a terrific and important memoir that’s timelier than ever now. Then there’s the second Corey. The second Corey started dressing up and dancing like Michael Jackson sometime in the late 1980s and for some reason never stopped. The second Corey thought it would be a good idea to promote his rock band/Sex cult on Celebrity Wife Swap even if it made him look like a pathetic, emotionally manipulative half-assed cult leader with some very weird, very fucked up ideas about women.
This second Corey is the one who created one of the most maligned crowd-funding campaigns of all time with his Elev8or 2 Ascension: The FeldFanFam Fundraiser, which sought to raise one hundred thousand dollars for the release and promotion of his double-disc solo album with appeals like the following:
As many of U know, I have been hard at work 4 quite a while on my new album "ANGELIC 2 THE CORE". This is not your average musical project. It is a labor of Love. It is the most imaginative, diverse, daring, creative, & personal solo album I have made 2 date. This is a very important work 4 me, This album has literally taken a decade 2 create. I know that is an extraordinary amount of time 2 spend on 1 project, but once U hear the entire album U will understand Y.
"Angelic 2 the Core" is my 1st ever double album. It has 22 songs on it. The album truly shows my diversity as a songwriter & producer, covering all fields of the pop music spectrum. Part pop, part Rock, part EDM, part Hip Hop, and all soul, this album truly has something 4 EVERYBODY!
As someone who has done two successful crowd-funding campaigns and is about to launch a third, I know the key is to give people something of value they genuinely want or will enjoy (in this case the site and 7 Days in Ohio) and set reasonable goals. 100,000 dollars was not a reasonable goal, and premiums like a signed copy of the CD for a mere 100 dollars seemed insultingly over-priced.
As usual, Feldman doesn’t seem to have learned from his mistakes, because in the aftermath of the explosive charges against people like Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner and more, he’s once again ventured into the spotlight to conduct a series of interviews promoting his latest project, a film he promises will expose the full extent of child molestation in Hollywood.
Feldman is back on Indiegogo asking this time for ten million dollars. For those of you who are not good at math, like me, that is exactly one hundred times the 100,000 goal for Elev8or 2 Ascension: The FeldFanFam Fundraiser he didn’t come close to hitting last time around. That would be a little like me deciding that, yes, I’ve had a hard time making that last ten percent of my 3000 dollar monthly goal for Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place, but that’s no reason I shouldn’t raise that goal to 300,000 dollars a month.
In the spiel, Feldman’s wife writes of the ten million dollar goal, “Even if every twitter follower pitches in $100 we are there.” Feldman clearly labors under the delusion that 100 dollars is a very modest sum of money anyone could afford. I honestly have a hard time imagining anyone in my life donating a hundred books to any project I’m doing, and I’ve been very successful at crowd-funding, unlike Feldman.
The problems don’t end there. Feldman's proposal is maddeningly fuzzy and vague. Will this be a documentary or a narrative film? Apparently it's going to be a narrative movie (which is its own set of headaches), but you would't necessarily know that from the crowd-funding spiel.
By asking for such a ridiculous, impossible amount of money, Corey is making this all about him. What should be an important, relevant and timely endeavor instead looks like a bizarre vanity project from someone whose life may genuinely be in danger, but who comes off as paranoid and egomaniacal all the same.
The first Corey Feldman, the accomplished survivor and activist, has a very worthwhile, very important mission to expose child molestation in show business. It’s just unfortunate that the second Corey Feldman’s terrible judgment (and, while we’re being honest, terrible fashion sense) has to fuck things up for the first Corey. Feldman’s current stumbles prove you don’t need to be a drug addict to be your own worst enemy.
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