JT Leroy loses

JT Leroy’s saga was quite enjoyable while it unfolded last year. One thing it wasn’t was a conspiracy to defraud Antidote International Films. LI was bummed that the jury returned a verdict against Laura Albert.

The authors of novelized versions of victimization are a dime a dozen, but the carriers out of literary hoaxes as successful as the creation of JT Leroy are extremely rare – we are lucky to get one in a generation. That AIF sued Albert for damages is surprising. Do they not really see that she sold them a property even more valuable now? JT Leroy is no longer an incestuous Hollywood-SF cult, but both a tribute and a mockery to the incestuous Hollywood-SF axis.

The age demanded a freak. Why not? The newspapers and tv are created by freaks, about freaks, commented upon by freaks – the difference being that the establishment freaks are much smugger about their incorrigible perversities, their taste for proxy blood, their laughable notion of ‘value added”, their contempt for the planet, their fetishism of the lines of the acceptable, drawn in their own baby shit, by which they sort out the acceptable from the unacceptable, the nightmare they have bequeathed to us outside the gated community, the Pandaemonium suburb to their city on the hill. Chic has contrived that each now wants his own freak. What the glitter set wanted was a freak from the furthest corner of the known world – West Virginia. So Laura Albert, who wasn’t exotic enough, in herself, gave them their fucking artificial nigger, wrapped it in an unplaceable southern accent and whispered it over the phone.

Alas, she was finally exposed as just your plain hold neighborhood freak. Institutionalized as a teen – her mother testified that for her 14th birthday, she dropped her daughter off at a psychiatric hospital, a birthday present from hell – and pathologically shy, Albert became a master of the phone call.

“Life at home, meanwhile, was bad enough. Ms. Albert ran away. She landed in the punk scene, in the East Village, with the hustlers and the addicts. This was around the time of her initial trip to a psychiatric ward. She was still in her early teens.

Eventually, she said, her parents sent her to a group home, where she lived as a ward of the state. (She considered Mayor Koch to be her father.) The stories of the girls she met were incorporated later into fiction, not unlike the stories of the punks from Tompkins Square.

Then, in 1989, she moved to San Francisco, where she worked as a maid and a baby sitter and sold her blood in order to survive. She also worked as a phone sex operator and perfected a sultry Southern accent she would later put to use in interviews as JT Leroy, including one, played in court, with Terry Gross, the NPR host.

It was in San Francisco, she said, that she started calling suicide hot lines from a pay phone on the street. Incapable of speaking as herself, she adopted the personas of various teenage boys.”

LI isn’t going to shed too many tears for Albert just yet. The age will reward her now for having done a freak dance by putting her on for the Barbie and Ken freaks to interview, on all their fucking morning news show, thus adding another small metastasizing cell to our collective groupie cancer. There will be another contract, surely. Oh, don’t ask why. Oh, don’t ask why.


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Scruggs said…
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