A Publicist Pitch Unlike Any Other
Back when I worked at The A.V. Club, I used to get such an insane deluge of emails and press releases from publicists that it would have been impossible to have returned even a fraction of them even if I had wanted to engage in ongoing online correspondence with some publicist in Boulder promoting a funk-jazz-ska band I would never in a million years listen to.
I got a lot fewer publicist emails when I left The A.V. Club for The Dissolve. After The Dissolve ended, publicist emails all but dried up. These days I get publicist emails from the fine folks at Shout Factory and Criterion and MVD and Olive that I appreciate the holy living fuck out of, but also a fair number of random press releases promoting Instagram models and reality-show celebrities I could not possibly be less interested in.
In the A.V Club heyday, I got way too many publicist emails. Now I probably get too few so I tend to pay attention to each and every one, if only so that I can make fun of them in my Facebook group, Society for the Toleration of Nathan Rabin.
So I noticed the name on the email and the return address when I got an email about a charity Michelle Rodriguez was involved with: Zorianna Kit. That name instantly catapulted me back twelve years, when Zorianna and I were co-panelists on a poorly rated, increasingly reputable basic-cable movie review program on AMC called Movie Club with John Ridley.
I saw the sunny and upbeat Kit as my antithesis, personality-wise, and in my 2009 memoir The Big Rewind I had a whole chapter where I only semi-jokingly depicted her as my enemy. I thought the chapter was funny and interesting and that people would like it. It was not funny, it wasn’t that interesting and not a lot of people like it.
If I had an opportunity to re-write The Big Rewind I would remove that chapter in its entirety and condense the whole Movie Club saga to one succinct chapter. I kind of wanted to email Zorianna back and write, “Oh my God! So crazy to hear from you after all these years! My, how time flies! (Host) John (Ridley) won the fucking Oscar for writing 12 Years a Slave. (Co-panelist) Josh Kun won the fucking MacArthur Genius Grant! (Co-panelist) Anderson Jones died. (Guest) Kim (Morgan) is writing an adaptation of Nightmare Alley with Guillermo Del Toro and married Guy Maddin. I’ve lost or quit my big staff jobs in pop culture media and am now living in South, begging strangers for money on the internet! And you, my God, I’m so sorry for what I wrote about you in The Big Rewind. That was on me, not you. I thought I needed conflict and drama, so I wrote a bunch of stuff that embarrasses me now for many, many different reasons.”
But I didn’t write that email because I think it would be narcissistic of me to imagine that something I wrote in a not particularly well-read book eight years ago would affect her to the point that she’d still be thinking about it on any level. I assume that she’s forgotten me, deservedly so, and it’d be counter-productive to direct her attention anew to something that might piss her off.
So on the very off chance that you’re reading this, Zorianna, I’m sorry I wrote that chapter and depicted you in a less than flattering light. That was immaturity and pettiness on my part and I regret it. Also, I’m sorry but I’m not interested in Michelle Rodriguez’s charity but I wish her the best of luck with it.
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