Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekly Vintage BV: Hash Bilk

Our weekly vintage from Awful Truth...

One Toke Over the Dotted Line Blind Vice - 3/2/06

Hash Bilk makes me laugh. He makes me cry. And it turns out Hash makes himself laugh. And cry. And maybe even get the munchies and devour whole bags of potato chips. After all, that's what many folks do when they get stoned. Getting stoned is nothing mega, I know. As one bigwig agent chick blabbed to me earlier this week, "Everyone loves [certain sweetie-poo star]. She's just a sweet, nice pothead." I, for one, contest this statement and point to a certain hemp-hyper as Captain Ganja of Malibu, but alas, we're digressing. And I'm not even stoned! Anyway, here's when firing up the joint does become big news: when you do it at the office. And that's exactly what H.B., a major exec and talent, is doing. He even had a special ventilated-office annex built. You know, a smoky little hideaway where he can puff and giggle all he wants without some evil, aspiring CEO sniffing him out. Smart, Hash, I just hope you're careful about who you bring in that room with ya. It makes sense to me that Mr. B. likes to smoke up on the company turf. I mean, his movies can be daring. Why should it be any surprise that he is, too? And he's so talented that I've often wondered what's the secret to his success. But who knew the secret would smell like patchouli? Not me, for one. 
And It Ain't: Mel Gibson; Steven Spielberg; Tom Cruise

Top suspects were: Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay


The Spie said...

I'm going for someone outside the usual set of suspects: John Lasseter. Think about the timing of the blind. This was almost exactly at the point when Disney bought Pixar. Lasseter would have to deal with Bob Iger and Steve Jobs, neither of whom have much tolerance for anyone who would threaten the golden goose in any way, shape, or form. His movies do make everyone laugh and cry, and he's regarded as a creative genius.

Plus, pot is the perfect, and only, explanation for why that piece of crap Finding Nemo got green-lit.

Valerie Feria - Isacks said...

Steve Jobs is a known LSD user I don't think he'd have a problem with a pothead in the other office down the way. I think this is Tarantino, but it could also be Judd Apatow or Bob Balaban. I doubt this is JJ Abrams he doesn't seem the type.

The Spie said...

Jobs hasn't used LSD for a long time due to his medical conditions and his bid for respectability in the business world. It's not 1974 anymore, and he isn't getting Woz to do his work for him at Atari while believing that eating an all-fruit diet removes the need for regular bathing. He's become a respectable maverick.

The dynamic between him and Lasseter changed in 2006. Jobs might have tolerated the behavior before becoming the leading stockholder of the Walt Disney Corporation, but not after. He hates to lose money and always has; you only need to go into an Apple Store and see the overpriced junk on the shelves to know that. Plus, he's a very mercurial guy, and he has no problem teaching people lessons.

Remember Ted's timing of his blinds. When considering candidates, determine if someone had something hot going on at the time. Abrams did with Lost, so I'd still put him in consideration for this, except that Ted seemed to be avoiding doing any Lost BVs; remember he said in 2009 that no cast member of Lost was a BV. Apatow was a little too far separated from The 40-Year-Old Virgin for hotness, and Talledega Nights wouldn't be released for months after this. Tarantino didn't have very much going on at this point, but he is Tarantino.

All in all, I like Lasseter for this a lot more than the proposed candidates. He had the requisite hotness, the track record, and fits what Ted said perfectly.

The Spie said...

Oh, my apologies. That should be "Walt Disney Company". I'm rather pedantic about that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought Lasseter too. The makes me cry/ makes me laugh just screams Pixar, and since it wasn't the CEO but is super talented/creative, the other high-profile guy is Lasseter. And as Spie said, this was pretty much the height of Pixar and every person in America was pissing themselves in anticipation of Finding Nemo.

However, I would never in a million years describe Lasseter as a candidate worthy of AT blinds. It's stretching to think of Jobs or Eisner as a Vicer, and Lasseter is even less well-known than them.

Tarantino was doing NOTHING at this time, and Apatow definitely was not doing anything noteworthy (not to mention he doesn't exactly make people cry).

Another out-there candidate: Ron Howard. The ventilation thing made me think of Arrested Development (which Howard exec produced). He was in the news due to the anticipation over Da Vinci Code. Plus his daughter Bryce was in the news because of the whole M Night Shyamalan thing. I don't know much about his personal life though, so not sure if he's a known smoker or if this would be big news.

AshleyG said...

I readily admit that my knowledge here is limited, but i'd like to share my opinion anyway. I also really like John Lasseter for this, the timing is perfect as Spie said, and we know Ted is all about timing. Plus, just from watching behind-the-scenes type stuff on some of my son's Disney Pixar dvds, I could definitely see Lasseter as a pot smoker. If not Lasseter, I don't think Steve Jobs works for this, as I thought his drug use was more in the past.

Caz1310 said...

I think this is Tarantino...have you heard him speak? He always sounds like he's on something.

FrenchGirl said...

JJ Abrams because of "captain kirk" reference,he's seen like the new Spielberg,he worked with Cruise ,his tv show with Keri Russel was moving and funny and he's jewish(Gibson 's ref)

The Spie said...

Pomme: This blind is from 2006, so the Kirk reference doesn't apply.

roseyf: You've got to think about that timing thing. The biggest news in the entertainment industry in March 2006 was Disney buying Pixar. Remember that Pixar's contract with Disney was going to end with Cars, and Jobs and Lasseter had made some huge noise about Pixar finding a different distributor, which would have absolutely killed Disney at the time. Lasseter definitely had the mass public awareness at that point that would justify a BV.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand Pixar was more than big enough at the time to warrant a BV. Just the specific people behind it don't seem BV worthy. Most people hardly know or care about the execs unless they're former actors like Ron Howard, royalty like Spielberg or Lucas, or are dating/married to someone famous (like maybe maybe Harvey Weinstein, although I doubt even his name is big enough to be considered a star, it's more because of the stars rumored to have slept with him). Execs just aren't as big as celebs (although they tend to have way bigger secrets).

I do like Lasseter for this blind, even just from the standpoint of people being interested that semi-children's films are fueled by pot. But he's even less well-known than Robin Leach, it seems so out of character that Ted would choose to write something about him. I feel like it has to be someone way more well-known than that.

The Spie said...

roseyf: I have the perfect counter-argument, and we don't even have to leave the field of animation. Seth MacFarlane was a BV, and he's less-known to the general public than Lasseter. But at the time he was a BV, he was all over the entertainment news due to the return of Family Guy to broadcast TV. Again, think about the timing of the blind. Lasseter's name was all over the news in March 2006, and we're talking general news, not just entertainment news, because of the Pixar sale to Disney.

Remember that Lasseter is not just an exec. He's also a director and writer whose name is plastered over some of the biggest box-office hits of the past decade and a half, and he's never had a dud at the box office. Anything Pixar does is big news, and Lasseter is, for all intents and purposes, Pixar. He definitely has the public presence and awareness to justify a BV.

We do have this argument all the time here depending on our perspective. Just to cite one example, for a long time, Blurry resisted candidates other than Brett Favre for Pepper Harthman because she'd never heard of them. To my perspective, the alternate candidates for Pepper were a lot more famous than anyone from the cast of Glee or Vampire Diaries, because I watch a lot of football and wouldn't watch those two shows if you put a gun to my head.

Believe me, I understand your argument. I just think you're underestimating how well-known Lasseter is.

Unknown said...

I have long known who Seth McFarlane is, but to this day don't know who Lasseter is. I think it would be someone more well known than that.

The Spie said...

Rachel: Please look up the word "solipsism".

AshleyG said...

Rachel - I just wanted to quickly say that I think when we talk about how well-known a person is, we have to put it in perspective and think if a person is just well known to a certain group of people (ie, people who are sports fans, people who follow celeb gossip, different age groups, etc.) or generally well-known to a wider range of people. Someone who has never watched Family Guy or American Dad may have no idea who Seth McFarlane is. Another example is how someone like me, who doesn't watch Vampire Diaries or Glee (examples Spie used also) doesn't really know many characters outside the main ones, and that's more from hearing about them in other news. Like I said, I think we should just think how loose the term "well known" can be, at least in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, I thought about MacFarlane as I wrote my last response. I know he's a good counter argument, although I thought his name is at least somewhat known, in a similar category to Matt Groening.

I do try to keep my personal experiences out of guessing status, (also huge football fan but I've never seen a single episode of Vampire Diaries or Supernatural) but maybe you're right and I'm underestimating Lasseter. I took a special interest in the Pixar/Disney deal for work reasons, and tried to dial that back, so perhaps I'm accounting too much for the exec bias.

Help me discredit Ron Howard though. I think he fits as well (and would be higher-profile and more shocking). And the timing is perfect - the finale to Arrested Development (which Howard produced and narrated) had aired just a few weeks prior.

Anonymous said...

PS Am I right in assuming sweet pothead is Jennifer Aniston? And Captain Ganja is Matthew McConaghey?

The Spie said...

roseyf: Who else would they be? But I wouldn't say that Captain Ganja is an official BV Identity. That'd open too many cans of worms.

Now, as for Ron Howard...I can think of a number of things that would go against Howard for this. First of all, Arrested Development, despite its awards, never achieved mass awareness, a recurring theme in the post-mortem hand-wringings by TV critics. Also, it was never really seen as a Ron Howard project the way that, say, Apollo 13 was. Most of the hype for DaVinci Code was due to the book and Tom Hanks moreso than Howard's involvement, so that decreases the Hot Factor.

There's also the way that our subject is described. This is someone who could be replaced. Ron Howard could not be replaced as head of Imagine due to his iconic status. He's almost bulletproof. Not even Brian Grazer, brass balls and all, would do that, especially for something as mild (in Hollywood terms) as pot smoking. If this became a problem, Howard would be kept in place due to his name factor and simply circumvented.

I don't see this as Ron Howard at all. If you don't believe what I said above, do you think Ted could resist some sort of Opie Cunningham jab, or at least a veiled reference to our subject being nostalgic (viz. Henry Winkler on Arrested Development)?

Valerie Feria - Isacks said...

Okay I looked back at the timing and theAIA's and agree that this could very well be Pixar/Disney related. I have reasons (which sometimes some on the board get VERY mad if I'm too specific) that I believe this isn't J.L. - so I'll leave that in the 'personal' category. On the other hand I've talked to my non-showbiz animation fans with an informal survey asking if they knew who JL is and only two out of the 27 people I asked knew who he was. On the other hand 23 of them knew who my next guess is AND he's worked for/with each of the AIA's at some point before 2006 and is posed to work with one of them yet again. My new guess? Brad Bird! Also BB is much more replaceable than JL - IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Spie! I figured you'd be able to get Howard out of my brain. Biggest part for me: you're right that Grazer (who I zeroed in on as the evil, aspiring one) probably would never have the balls to completely get rid of Howard. And no, definitely did not mean to imply Captain Ganja was an official name.

Unknown said...

To The Spie: I have no idea why you had to be so rude to me in your response. totally uncalled for.

Valerie Feria - Isacks said...

To the 'The Spie' Rachel was just sharing her viewpoint and you could have explained her error in classical logic without being so rude! You could have also endeavored to be a bit more polite as well when countering my guesses - though given my background I'm a bit more used to dealing with that stuff.

I could be wrong but in any case I don't like Lasseter or JJ Abrams I just don't see the signs of drug addict personality with either of them. Just my opinion.

Oh and you too are being egocentric, look at Finding Nemo from a young child's view instead of your own and you'll see it's quite a good film from that angle and deserved the green light it got. Not my cup of tea either but my hubbie liked it.

The Spie said...

Rachel and Valerie: That wasn't rude. You'd know if I was being rude, because everyone here can tell you that the only reason I sugar-coat is to maintain the peace. When I go off, it gets very ugly. I don't buy into the "everyone treat everyone else on the Internet like Special Special Snowflakes" stuff.

Valerie, I've especially restrained myself when it comes to you and your pseudo-intellectual egocentrism. I'm quite egocentric, but I at least admit it and don't attempt to alienate anyone else in the process. And you don't want to play Academic Peen-Wave with me, because I'll win handily.

Finding Nemo is a bad film. Thin plot, badly-paced, ill-fitting voice casting. I don't care about a young child's viewpoint because I'm not a young child, nor have I ever had one. I don't grade on sliding scales.

That's enough of that. I'll admit that Brad Bird is a good candidate, but I still think Lasseter is the stronger one. Anyone inside Pixar would have been vulnerable at the time, though, given the transition.

Unknown said...

The Spie said:
"When I go off, it gets very ugly. I don't buy into the "everyone treat everyone else on the Internet like Special Special Snowflakes" stuff."

Neither do I. But I do buy into the "treat people the way you would in real life not hide behind a curtain of anonymity." If you are this nasty in real life I feel sorry for you. I don't think "bragging" about how you can go off on people makes you cool or whatever you think it does.

It's disappointing that a site dedicated to guessing celebrity blind gossip could be so nasty.

Kate16 said...

I laughed, Spie. And you taught me a new word, so thanks.
And Rachel -
"It's disappointing that a site dedicated to guessing celebrity blind gossip could be so nasty."

Indeed. Because a bunch of people who use their spare time to cast aspersions on the characters of others with little to no proof, and perpetuate rumours throughout cyberspace usually indicates a rosy outlook on life on par with Ned Flanders or Mrs Brady.
Um Yeh.
I spend my time here as I find the games fun. However I have no illusions as to what this what actually be like if instead of celebrities we were back in the school yard. Make no mistake - this is gossip.

AshleyG said...

I wanted to comment on this earlier but didn't get a chance, so here goes. Valerie and Rachel, I really don't believe Spie was being rude in his response to either of you. I do not know him personally, but just from following his comments on this site i'm comfortable saying if he wanted to be rude, it would be unmistakeable. I personally enjoy Spie's obvious intelligence and the way he uses logic and backs his opinions with evidence (and like Kate, you taught me a new word, thank you Spie!), I think he is a refreshing personlity here, and I feel a lot of us could (and do!) learn from him. Also, Valerie, by now anyone who has read even one blind you have commented in knows you are a student studying anthropology, you were assigned this by your professor, you hold another degree, your husband makes a considerabl amount of money, and you have a background in the entertainment industry. This is just my personal sentiment, but please, we get it. I know you explained your reasons for bringing up your husband's salary in the Pinchy Pepper blind, and I can commnt further there, but I still believe it was completely irrelevant for you to do that. Most of us are here just for fun, please let it remain that way. The sisters have created a site that allows people to discuss their guilty pleasure (gossip) in a fun, respectful way. Also, there are plenty of people who claim to have or once had a part of the industry that gives them insider celeb knowledge, but even when its true, that doesn't guarantee you know the absolute truth on anyone else's life, any more than us "common folk" do. I'm sorry this became so long, and sorry fo going so off topic, but I couldn't resist adding my opinion. Now, back to the guessing game!

Caz1310 said...

I can't imagine Richie Cunningham doing anything naughty unless Pottsy or Chaci led him into it. PS ditto Ashley. I don't care what anyone's background is, just that they contribute. Sisters you do a great job - that's why I visit and contribute so frequently.

Valerie Feria - Isacks said...

I still agree with Rachel on Spie & how to treat others - but I do get your point Ashley G. I'm so used to having to back up my argument with either scientific or survey'd proof or peer review and/or having to state related personal experience it's become a bit second nature. I can however see how it could come across as a bit blowhardy on a more casual site like this. For the record even when Ive stated or explained 'personal' reasons/experience I've almost always put a caveat along the lines of "I could be wrong ..." for that very reason you mention. I mean NO ONE is perfect least of all moi!

I'll give Spie benefit of the doubt though as to how he/she is in real-life as there was a study awhile back showing that most people who use monikers on the net to gossip and/or lutz aren't usually as rude in real life as on the net. if anything they are usually pretty normal. He/she is really good at guessing these gossip things though from my skimming of older posts - which I freely admit I'm a noob at doing. You're more likely to see me use deduction, etc while reading a mystery novel, in my school work, or watching something like CSI or Bones. I can at least now from this experience see why one could enjoy this sort of thing for that reason - everyone loves a mystery of one sort or another. Oh and I for sure don't think anymore that most here are particularly judgemental toward the personalities in question in the majority of vices, only the ones so gross (SDpooper eg.) that they defy even the outliers of what is considered decent behaviour my most current cultures.'

In any event back to the blind. So far we have Tarantino, Lassiter, Bird as the strongest guesses. There have to be more potentials out there we haven't mentioned? Anymore guesses keeping in mind this was circa 2006.

The Spie said...

Valerie: As I've admitted here, it's "he", so we can eliminate the multiple pronoun thing.

And just to clear another thing up, I am blunt in real life and am in a career where I'm the bearer of bad news on a continuous basis. It's also a technically abstruse one, so I have to be very plain in order to get my point across to people who are less technically inclined. Tact is counter-productive.

And, Valerie, if you think you're used to backing stuff up with proof...I've had to do that every day for over a quarter century. The difference between us is that I'm so used to doing it that I've learned how to do it in ways that inform but not alienate. It's just something you pick up over the years. I'm sure that you'll end up doing so eventually.

Now, back to the blind. When dealing with vintage blinds that have received little to no follow-up, like this one, Casablanca's Razor applies: the hottest option is usually the correct one. That's why there's this strong tropism toward Pixar here. There was no bigger story in entertainment in March 2006 than Pixar/Disney. If you're going to do a story about an exec or behind-the-scenes creative person, this becomes critical. If this was 2007-2008, we would have glommed on to Catherine Hardwicke, wouldn't we? If we want more options, we have to look at what the other hot stories were in terms of companies and creative types during that period.

Valerie Feria - Isacks said...

"The difference between us is that I'm so used to doing it that I've learned how to do it in ways that inform but not alienate."

I don't agree with this statement, first I've even seen PR Pro's and well known marketing gurus who've been doing this for 40+ years accidentally alienate people. EVERYONE makes mistakes at one time or another with some public/ethnic or another. If you think you're so good at it that you can't admit to the occasional error or accidental alienations.

The good ones - be they Pros or mid-life or beginners admit this at least to themselves, then try and fix it. Though I don't consider myself a "Pro" I've certainly tried to put into practise the behaviours of the one's I've met and have several times on the board in other threads admitted my mistakes, or clarified things after seeing someone was accidentally insulted.

Though I haven't read every last post of your's I've yet to see a 'sorry' or 'oops' or 'mea culpa' or 'shouldn't have been so harsh' or anything along those line even when you should have!

Next, you've most certainly alienated me, and even to a certain extent Rachel. If I were to accidentally find out that you were someone in my real life I would most likely drop you like a hot potato and find someone else to do whatever it is you were doing. If you happened to be a charity client I'd return whatever % of your money you didn't get supplies for already then quit - I've done it before.

Everyone makes mistakes, everyone is occasionally egocentric and/or ethnocentric - if you can't admit that then there are other more pressing things than celeb gossip you should be worrying about.

Like Rachel I'm starting to feel a bit sorry for you.

The Spie said...

You know, I wrote a really long screed in response to that nonsense, then deleted it for one reason: I respect the Sisters too much to really let loose. That's all I'm going to say about this.

Tempestuous Grape said...

I come here in the middle of the night for a little fun when I can't sleep.. if I wanted to read back & forth BS from people who think VERY highly of themselves, I'd go to Gawker for crying out loud!

Valerie Feria - Isacks said...

How about Chris Columbus? Also has a loose connection to Pixar, and RENT was just out at the time.

The Spie said...

It's got to be someone who works inside of a framework, directly for a company, due to the implied threat of termination in the blind. Columbus, as a writer/director, has always been more of an independent contractor type, and he's got such a track record of success over the years that he's not going to be blacklisted for weed. Nice thought, but it doesn't work.