First Steven Spielberg showed all the rest of us “what war is really like.”
Spielberg, who spent the fairly ferocious year 1968 making a film called Amblin’ for Universal Studios, has frankly explained, “My immediate political activity (at the height of the Vietnam War) was based on self-preservation. I had a draft counselor. I legally did what I could to not go.” But Spielberg reckoned his vision of war to be true because, “Vietnam pushed people from my generation to tell the truth about war without glorifying it.”
Then, in case you hadn’t heard, another artist named Kurt Sutter has created an “adrenalized drama with darkly comedic undertones that explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club’s desire to protect its livelihood while ensuring that their simple, sheltered town of Charming, California remains exactly that, Charming.” The drama is a television show called Sons of Anarchy – in case the promotional copy left you confused – and after Sutter actually learned to ride a motorcycle, critics agreed, the show kicked “into a second gear!”
What Jail Is Really Like
Finally, last Thursday Academy Award winning screenwriter and auteur Roger Avary (pictured in the photo above) was handed the opportunity to dial his jail stories up a notch. Avary has about seven months left on a one minute bit (good time makes it eight months) in the Ventura County Jail.
For the last month Avary, calling himself #34, has been tweeting about his exciting adventures in that sordid, mundane place to 9,538 rapt followers.
“Sickness spreads throughout the facility like brush fires, and #34 is helpless to avoid the outbreak and inevitable infection,” Avary tweeted November 22nd. The day before that he tweeted, “A ball of Heroin tar is found on an inmate. The guards react lightning-fast, locking down the facility and ‘rolling up’ those responsible.”
Two weeks earlier Avary tweeted, “It’s your birthday! announcing that #34 is to receive a random strip-down and cavity search to be performed by a leering, rotund officer.” Last Tuesday Avary announced, “#34’s new roomie, EZ, takes Yeyo’s old bunk, locker, AND number. He regales awesome tales about his former life as an Oxnard gangbanger.”
A Supercharged Insider’s Look
Yeyo? Like slang for old school back in the day? Anyway, this page has not been able to confirm whether Steven Spielberg or Kurt Sutter are among Avary’s thousands of followers. Fox Searchlight, however, a division of Fox Studios has been following Avary’s tweets.
And comic book author, Neil Gaiman – who the Dictionary of Literary Biography lists as one of the top ten, living, postmodern writers – is enthralled by Avary’s accounts of life inside. “My friend @AVARY is tweeting from the inside. It’s riveting, horrible strange,” Gaiman himself tweeted. “Jail in 140 character lumps.”
Avary is a short, round and self-important man who co-wrote the screenplays for Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. He also produced, wrote and directed Rules of Attraction, Glitterati and the animated Beowulf. He is currently working on Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
Avary was sentenced to jail and five years probation for a drunken driving accident that went bad in January 2008 in Ojai, California. Avary was drunk and hit a tree. His wife Gretchen was seriously injured. An Italian fan name Andreas Zini was killed.
Zini and his new wife were in Los Angeles on their honeymoon. Zini was a big fan of Pulp Fiction so he contacted Avary and offered to buy him dinner. It was the only time the two men ever met.
Standing In Community
Avary faced up to eleven years in prison but because he had no criminal history and because of his “standing in the community” he was sentenced to a minimum term in County Jail. Public records indicate Avary actually spent eleven minutes in jail on October 26th and then was assigned to a work furlough program. He spent nights and weekends in a low security barracks at the Camarillo Airport. He was released everyday to go to a production office to work on Return to Castle Wolfenstein.
The tweets were sent from a computer at the production office. Last week the Ventura County Sheriff learned about Avary’s masquerade and ordered that he do his time in the actual jail – at least until the bad publicity goes away.
“”#34 is ‘rolled up’ to a higher security facility for exercising his first amendment rights,” Avary tweeted Thanksgiving night. “The truth he has discovered is too dangerous.”
Or maybe Roger was just really stupid. But there is a bright side to this unfortunate series of events. Now Avary has a chance to really know what jail is really like. “Hey Roger? Roger? Yo? Roger! Roger! Are you that guy? Are you that Pulp Fiction guy? I thought his name was Tarantino? Are you rich? You gonna eat that? Are you sure? Can I have your bread?”