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Tuesday, October 28, 2003


From Humble Beginnings Dept.

After a private screening some months ago of HBO's "Born Rich," a documentary detailing the trials and tribulations of New York society brats gagging on their silver spoons, their executives approached me to participate in a companion film, "Noovo Reesch." HBO tabbed me and other up-by-their-bootstraps types who achieved obscene wealth despite the handicap of attending private schools with no boarding provisions and smallish endowments to describe the trials and tribulations of how we arose from meager beginnings to cavort in piles of cash like children in freshly raked leaves.

The following are excerpts from my sections of "Noovo Reesch:"

[Bunsen reclines on a white leather sofa as grainy home movies of him as a child play on a loop on the 85-inch plasma TV on a nearby wall. The childhood clips invariably depict him destroying piles of toys.]

Bunsen: People in Southern California can't relate to this, but summers on the East Coast are like totally fucking brutal. Out here they all take for advantage their backyard pools, the perfect weather. Nobody in New York has their own pool. Who wants to strain out crap falling off the trees all autumn? On those muggy days, we all had to schlep to the neighbor's club. My parents never bothered joining one. It's so much easier to be a guest. Like, way easier.

[Bunsen soaks in a hot tub in his Hollywood compound. He is alone. There are candles everywhere. Above the tub hangs an enormous picture of Bunsen having a soak with four buxom women. Above the tub in the picture is a different picture, this one of Bunsen soaking in a hot tub in the company of three buxom women. ]

Bunsen: Money doesn't change people. People change people. Yeah, I've got money. I've got more, you know, things. A big fucking car. This hot tub isn't even my favorite. Did money change me? I'm a lot more relaxed now that I have these hot tubs, I can tell you that. Nothing like a little soaky-soak, brother. What was that bit about people changing people? Yeah, let's go with that.

[Bunsen is splayed on the hood of a black Hummer H2. He wears an orange velour tracksuit and one of those helmets that holds two cans of beer with a drinking tube running out of them. Instead of beer cans, one side holds a can of Red Bull and the other a bottle of Grey Goose. He manipulates a joystick that's steering a radio-controlled Mini Cooper that does lazy laps around the Hummer. A Von Dutch pirate hat adorns his head.]

Bunsen: You see, it's like this: I won't let my grooming nurse roll me over to wipe my ass for less than 50 grand a week for a rewrite, dig? Genius isn't for sale, but you can lease it on favorable terms. William Goldman said that. Gross points talk louder than words. Open big or you're on the first bus back to Kansas, back at your hostess gig at the Wichita Olive Garden. I'm not talking in general, I'm talking to you with the camera. Hey. Hey! I told you never to shoot me in profile! I know you're just gonna edit this to make me look like a prick. Go ahead, shoot the huge prick in fucking profile. I shall over-motherfucking-come!

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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