Ian Belknap sits down with Chicago Literati to discuss his intense hatred of James Franco

Ian Belknap sits down with Chicago Literati to discuss his intense hatred of James Franco
(Image courtesy of Ian Belknap)

With his new solo show opening tomorrow, I took the time to sit down with Ian Belknap. Belknap is a legend in the Chicago literary community because of his relentless ambition and commitment to creating quality and entertaining reading series. His resume includes Write Club, The Paper Machete, Live Lit on the Lake and The Encyclopedia Show. In this exclusive interview, Belknap opens up about how his intense hatred and loathing for James Franco inspired him to create Bring Me The Head of James Franco. Interview after the jump.


What inspired you to create Bring Me The Head of James Franco? Why?

Because the Halfwit Prince has engaged in a relentless campaign to create The Most Exasperating Body of Work Perpetrated by a Single Art Rascal in recent memory. Franco’s writing demonstrates the regard for craft typically seen in the tearful journal musings of a 13-year-old girl. Who shops at Hot Topic. And her fingerless gloves are snot-encrusted. Franco’s visual art is like that of a Lesser Assistant to Basquiat, Who Has Been Cognitively Compromised by a Sharp Blow to the Head With a Pipe Wrench. And Franco’s performance art is the kind of eye-rolling conceptual hog slop that would have landed on the cutting room floor of Fame – the series, not the movie. Franco’s Petulant Jester relationship to the media; Franco’s unendurable smugness and self-regard; Franco’s growing stack of Dilettante Degrees; Franco’s persistent delusion and shrill protests that he is a genius. The list, sadly, goes on. And on. If, having been made aware of his litany of cultural crimes, you do not feel the urge to fill a pillowcase with nine-volt batteries and beat him into sanguine mush, then I fear for us all.

 Does James Franco need to be stopped?

There isn’t enough voltage in all the Tasers in all the world to stop him fast enough.

Do you think the term ‘Renaissance Man’ is thrown around too liberally? Why?

Nope. It’s done. What residual meaning may have remained in it, whatever DaVinci associations with rigor and excellence in an array of disciplines has been scoured out for all time by the billionth slack-jawed journalist who slaps it on this vacant-eyed succubus. It isn’t that it’s been overused, but that it’s been pummeled into meaninglessness.

What would you do if you ever crossed paths with James Franco?

I’d drown him in a 55-gallon drum of Shut Up. Then seal it up. And drop into the Mariana Trench.

Has it crossed your mind that James Franco may hear about this production? Are you worried?

Does the swatter worry about the fly?

Can you tell our readers what will go down on the opening night of Bring Me The Head of James Franco?

A laceratingly funny vivisection of Franco the Artiste, Franco the Huckster, and Franco the Hollow Vessel, the Vacuous Landscape of Cultural Media Coverage that keeps sending fawning electricity through this Frankendouche, and the hyperventilating Starfucker-verse in which he exerts his dimwit gravity. Overall, I will make a pretty good case for ignoring him forever, starting right now, tonight. With Powerpoint!




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