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What's Really Delaying Spielberg's Tin Tin Movie? Racism

Chaz Blazer, elite Hollywood agent and part-time sex addict, violently kicked open the office door. The single most powerful producer on the west coast, Geoff Chaser, stood inside, waiting for his friend's arrival. Caught off guard, he jumped at the noise of the door slamming open, turned, and began clawing desperately at the far wall. He was halfway to the ceiling before Chaz cried out.

"Geoff! Jesus, calm down! It's just me: Chaz Blazer, elite Hollywood agent and reigning Eastside Bi-racial Parkour Champion."

Geoff looked down at him with bulging eyes. Slowly, he forced them closed, and willed his bloody fingers to retract from the drywall. He fell to the ground, and rolled on his side, panting. Then he rose so abruptly it looked as if reality had skipped a few frames.

"CHAZ," he screamed, then softer, "Chaz. Baby. Sugar. Whore King and Conqueror of Babylon - how it do?"

"It do," Chaz conceded.

"I'm going to lay some serious shit on you, comrade, and baby I need you to roll with it. Can you roll, Chaz?" Geoff's speech patterns came in rapid waves, punctuated by long, swelling pauses. His cadence was that of an angry Mexican doing a Captain Kirk impression.

He's every bit as effective as the other Captain Kirk, plus you can use his truck to move your couch...if you fill up the tank after.

"I'm fucking Rollerball," Chaz answered sternly.

"You need to show me! Show me you can roll!"

"I don't-"

"ROLL GOD DAMMIT!" Geoff kicked his desk and rounded on Chaz with a fist full of pens.

Chaz slowly and awkwardly somersaulted across the floor.

"Fantastic!" Geoff exclaimed, dropping his pen-gauntlet and bursting into a dead sprint. He crossed the span of the office in a heartbeat, charging at a small, terrified looking man in a green sweater seated beside the doorway.

The man screamed and covered his face with his arms as Geoff closed on him, but at the last minute the producer pulled up short, and stopped at his feet.

"Shit, I was hoping I could be the crazy one this time," Chaz lamented to no one in particular, "I had the dramatic entrance and everything."

"What was your hook?!" Geoff screeched, his voice cracking with the strain of the impossibly high pitch.

"I had a whole thing," Chaz continued, "I was going to be overdosing on Four Loko. It's timely!"

"I love it! GREENLIT!"

"BAM!" Chaz shouted reflexively, "wait...greenlight what? Four Loko: The Movie?"

Just like the drink, it starts out terrible and only gets worse.

Geoff laughed once, explosively, then seized the be-sweatered man's ear and wrestled him to the ground.

"This is a storyboard artist," he whispered savagely, "and he's going to draw everything we say, aren't you? AREN'T YOU?!"

"Yes!" The man answered, shaking.

"ANSWER ME!" Geoff screamed into his eyeball.

"YES!" The man yelped again.

Geoff spit in his face rapidly and repeatedly while he cried.

"What are we storyboarding?" Chaz slipped a Four Loko from the stash he'd brought in his Odyn Vovk faux-garbage messenger bag. He eyeballed it sadly, then tossed it aside. "I guess I'll just do some coke. Again."

"Biggest project to date," Geoff dismounted the prone man, pulled a rag from his pocket and tossed it on his chest, "clean yourself up. You disgust me."

"You've heard of Spielberg's latest?" He continued, "The Tintin adaptation?"

"Sure. French cartoon? Geoff, baby: You're my heart, my moon, my stars, my motherfucking purple horseshoes and green clovers. You're magically delicious, and you know that. But I don't see how some frog comic strip is our magnum opus."

No matter how complex and engaging the characters are.

"You ever read Tintin?" Geoff leapt up to the frame of his door and did a series of rapid pull-ups.

"Psh," Chaz scoffed, "you know I can't read."

"Right. Gypsy curse," Geoff remembered, "that was a good bit. Okay, let me break this down for you: Tintin is a kid. A journalist. He's got a little dog, and he flies around the world solving mysteries. But the comic book's been mired in controversy for years over its sometimes nasty stereotypes of foreigners."

"I'm still not seeing it..." Chaz held the storyboard artist down, poured the contents of his white bag over the man's face, and inhaled the two lines of powder that collected on the wet tracks of his tears. "You're not a person to me," he told the man simply, looking directly into his eyes.

"To put it another way," Geoff continued, "Tintin is a racist Indiana Jones...for kids."

So that's what the whip was for...

"Holy Piss-Christ," Chaz immediately saw the potential: Action. Adventure. Mystery. Controversy. The teenage market. Psychographics. Media synergy. Trending tweets.

"HEY," Geoff snapped his fingers in front of Chaz's face, "IF YOU TUNE OUT ON ME AGAIN I WILL THROW THIS MAN OUT THE WINDOW FOR REASONS THAT ARE NO LONGER CLEAR TO ME AS I HAVE FORGOTTEN THE BEGINNING OF THIS SENTENCE."

"Sorry, homeslice: Caught in a psychic marketing spiral. You know how it goes," Chaz explained, while Geoff nodded in unspoken understanding. "How on God's Green Asshole did we get this?"

"Production is cursed," Geoff picked the storyboard artist up off the floor, hefted the man over his head with startling ease, then hurled him down in front of some papers, "Spielberg's been on this shit for decades, but everybody keeps walking away. Last two years alone, they've lost both their lead and co-producer. Cited scheduling conflicts, but that's not the real problem, obviously. The thing is: Nobody knows how to deal with the racism. They keep trying to whitewash it -- pun so totally intended, friend-o -- and every time they do, they act surprised that the property has lost all its magic."

It's called talking, Tintin - Jesus Christ, they're human beings!

"Ha!" Geoff scoffed, "what is this, freshman year at Vassar? The racism's the hook! It's just the kind of gritty edge kids 5-8 are looking for today."

"PRECISELY!" Geoff barked, twice, then knelt to the floor, and squeezed his hands into fists so tightly that his forearms shook from the effort. "So now it's up to us to bring racism back. You know, like Timberlake did for sexy."

"What's going on here?" Chaz motioned at the destroyed office, the still-bloody claw marks from the aborted wall-scaling, the huddled twitching.

"Deep Brain Thalamic Stimulation," he answered through giggles, "Wire implanted in your skull. Sends controlled shocks right into your brain, helps combat Parkinson's."

"And you had it...?"

"Wired into my sympathetic nervous system! That's right! Now every decision is fight-or-flight! It's like you're inside my head, broseph! GET OUT OF MY HEAD."

"Gentlemen? Please, I...I've been here for days..." The storyboard artist said meekly, gesturing at his blank sketchbook.

"DID YOU JUST TALK DIRECTLY TO ME?" Geoff leapt from his crouched position, sprawled across the desk, and seized the man by his little yellow bowtie.

"Janice!" He yelled into the intercom.

"Yes sir?" The reply came back at once, his assistant's voice as crisp and precise as ever.

"Get the Grim Reaper on the phone. Tell him to schedule a pick up."

"Right away, sir," she confirmed, and clicked off.

"See if you can pencil him in for a quick 9, while you've got him."

"Wow. She didn't even question it," Chaz noted, impressed.

"Ha, I know! I wonder who she's actually calling?" Geoff chuckled, then directed his attention back to the man he was still throttling. "Why am I strangling you, again? Answer me, damn you, or I'll strangle you!"

"Storyboards," Chaz reminded him.

"Ah," Geoff made a noise of acknowledgment, seemed to like it, and extended it outward into a scream. "Ah, ahh, aaaAAAHHHH! Okay, let's get to work!"

He released the man's neck, crawled off of his desk, straightened his posture and began dictating.

What followed was the single most exhilarating creative experience of Chaz Blazer's life. He and Geoff were not merely working together; it was more than that. It was something symbiotic. Every thought one man had was augmented and strengthened by the other. Every word was considered, weighed, and judged as though it held the fate of nations. Every sentence was forged, tempered, and forged again, like the folding of steel. The men layered idea upon idea, until they formed one indistinguishable whole; one story whose edge was honed so fine it could split the zeitgeist itself in twain.

It was morning again by the time they finished. Smiling, they turned to the artist as one to examine their finished product.

"Show us, art-whore," Geoff whispered in the exhausted man's ear.

He obediently swiveled the page to face them:

***

***

When they were done reading, Geoff stripped the storyboard artist naked and hurled him bodily from the office, then sat down across from Chaz. For a long time neither man spoke a word.

"What are you going to do with your billion dollars?" Geoff finally asked, smiling.

"World's largest hovercraft," Chaz answered, after a moment's consideration. "The rest I'm going to eat in front of a starving family. You?"

"Endangered Species Fight Club," Geoff replied instantly.


You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook and no, those comic panels are not Photoshopped. That's all Unmodified, Grade-A, Original Racism on display up there.

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Robert Brockway

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