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By Doug Brunell | August 6, 2003

I don’t often respond to letters I receive in regards to my column, but every so often I get one that makes me wonder if the writer actually read the source of his or her complaint. One such missive comes from a woman named Lisa. Lisa wanted to take me to task over my Excess Hollywood: Just Another Drunk Irishman column where I poked fun at Colin Farrell’s “rebel” status. If you don’t remember the column, go back and read it before continuing. Lisa’s letter is reprinted below. It is just how I received it. All typos are of her own design.

A bit jealous are you? You sound like a sixteen year old girl who’s upset that the boy she like’s is going out with someone else. Grow up! From my point of view, which obviously is one of a higher IQ, he is true to himself and out having fun. And I for one say good for him. He doesn’t play into the Hollywood scene, he does what makes him happy and most importantly doesn’t hurt anyone while doing so. So I suggest that you get a life or don’t interview Colin if you feel so threatened. And by the way, the REAL reporter would be able to seperate journalism from personal jealousy. Take a few classes on it at your local college, maybe you’ll learn something!

Like I mentioned, I normally wouldn’t respond to this type of letter. Since it came from someone with a “higher IQ” than myself, however, I just had to address its finer points. Lisa, I am jealous of Farrell. You caught me. What really sent me over the top was when he got the lead in Phone Booth. When I heard he got the role, my first reaction was, “Damn him straight to Hell. I wanted that!” Like it isn’t bad enough that Tom Arnold got a plum spot in “True Lies.” How I lamented. How I struggled over the keyboard … searching in vain for the right words to convey my misery. You got me, Lisa. You called a jealous bastard out on the carpet.

That, dear Lisa, is sarcasm. I used that literary technique because I really don’t know how to answer someone who calls me jealous. The truth never seems to work.

What really amused me about your letter was how badly you misread my column. I expected much better from a person with an “obviously” greater intelligence than myself. You did read the column, right? You wouldn’t have written otherwise, right?

I am puzzled by the fact that you tell me to “get a life” and not “interview Colin if (I) feel so threatened.” I didn’t interview Farrell (or Colin, as you call him). Never did. Never would. I can’t see how anyone, especially someone with an IQ as high as yours, could mistake my column for an interview. Please tell me how you came to that conclusion. I’m dying to know.

Let me help you understand what you think you read. I lambasted the entertainment media for labeling Farrell a rebel, and I roasted the actor for not being one. Farrell isn’t a rebel, and I stick by that assertion. The entertainment media that paints him as such is wrong, too. I don’t feel threatened by him or the media’s portrayal of his lifestyle; I just find the whole thing incredibly stupid and wanted to let the world know how idiotic this all sounded. Honestly, I didn’t expect groupies to get too pissed, but I did expect some Irish people to become upset over the column’s title. Thanks for dashing my expectations.

Lisa, I’m not quite sure what you read that got you so wound up, but I’m fairly positive it wasn’t my column. Don’t despair, though. All hope is not yet lost. I can actually help you with your struggle to remain sane in a world you think has gone off the deep end.

Since you gave me some friendly advice about my local college, let me return the favor. Your local college should have remedial reading classes. The courses usually have a title like “English 60A” and are designed to help improve one’s comprehension while reading things like People and Entertainment Weekly. Look into one of these classes. It may save you future embarrassments.

I’m also a bit disappointed that you — the Farrell fan with an IQ “obviously” higher than my own — would misspell “separate.” It’s not s-e-p-e-r-a-t-e, which is what you wrote. It’s s-e-p-a-r-a-t-e. You spelled it phonetically — a common mistake. Your local college probably has some remedial spelling classes, too. Check those out when you’re enrolling in the other class, and best of luck to you.

I may sound like a harsh master, but Lisa’s crazy world invaded my own, and I can’t let that go unchallenged. I don’t have a problem with people criticizing what I write (I actually like it), I just demand they be accurate. Lisa either has mental problems or was drunk (two prerequisites to being a Farrell fan) when she read my column. One can only imagine the letters she writes to Hollywood’s good looking bad boy with a heart of gold on those sunny afternoons after she’s watched The Recruit for the tenth time — a bottle of Jack in one hand, a “back massager” in the other.

The mind reels ….

Discuss Doug Brunell’s “Excess Hollywood” column in Film Threat’s BACK TALK section!

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