James Franco, Rachel Kushner and Mark Weiss

As I was watching a preview of a coming attraction, at Palo Alto Square, before the James Franco Jonah Hill vehicle (meh-icle) “True Stories” I noticed that there is a movie with “Rachel Kushner” as a character name, the movie, I glossed or sussed a day later –but now a week ago — had some reference to a type of tea, a beverage, something Earl Gray-esque. The character in the movie gets sick, or something poignant.

Rachel Kushner is an author who wrote two books I have procured but not yet read. One is “Telex From Cuba” and the other is “Flamethrowers”. I’ve gotten further with the latter. Both are signed, from Green Apple, on Ninth. She is from SF, the daughter of Pinky and Peter Kushner.

I thought there was some life-imitating life, imitating art thingy. The Franco film involves a character who claims the name of a New York Time reporter while on the lame in Mexico. It also has a big establishing shot of a Teddy bear, which is significant if you know that in Palo Alto his name was Teddy, not James. That’s a wink. (It’s also funny to me that my ex-girlfriend’s sister’s baby-dad told me that he ran with Steve Francis, whose nickname was “Wink”).

Also, there’s a novelist in Canada who has a character or meta-character named Mark Weiss who is a concert promoter from Palo Alto. It is not based on me but cannot possibly be a coincidence either. She must have gleaned the name from an article about The Donnas. (Actually he is a kidnapper who found his victim in the rest room of the Fillmore East, “Mark Weiss of Palo Alto” but still…??? “SC”)

Rachel made the news last week for refusing to attend a banquet honoring Charlie Hebdo.

Once I read her books, I will report back. Rachel’s parents were introduced by the post-beat Poet Alden Van Buskirk, who attended Dartmouth with Peter and St. Louis University with Pinky.

This also calls to mind something upcoming with Franco and David Shields.

This is actually in the category of “other Mark Weiss” but its from 1973 Vietnam War protest era from stanford Daily:
500 Attend Quiet Rally To Protest Viet Bombing
Speakers appealed for aid to victims of the renewed bombing of North Vietnam and denounced United States’ policy in Southeast Asia before some 500 people at a noon anti-war rally in White Plaza yesterday. As the quiet meeting ended, five Sheriff’s deputies arrested Mark Weiss, a biochemistry graduate student, for allegedly hitting a plainclothes deputy in the mouth. Robert McAfee Brown, interim dean of the chapel, headlined the list of speakers. He urged passion moderated with clear-headedness in response to what he called “the most massive and insane bombing raids in history” and to President Nixon’s “game plans” in Southeast Asia. Brown criticized such slogans as “Bomb Stanford, Not Hanoi,” as he warned his listeners against adopting the very tactics under protest.

meanwhile terry noticed that Seattle film festival has a James Franco project “Yosemite” based on the actual shooting of a mountain lion by a female police officer, circa 1998.

Five weeks later: Times reviews “Earl, Me and the Dying girl” with Olivia cook but calls her just Rachel. Hmmm.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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