Bright Lights Film Journal

A Lohan Reader: Collected Writings on ‘Bad’ Behavior

Hard to believe that Lindsay’s still in the headlines taunting the courts and facing jail, rehab, etc. When I think back to defenses I’ve written on her behalf since 2007! So hey, let me collect some of them and we can span the tale of a scapegoat / sacrificial lamb / media assault target / and sweet-souled drunk cokehead who for some reason is crucified by the pinched-faced old matrons of media while bad boy Charlie Sheen escapes with finger wags, dental work and elbow nudging:

1. STRICTLY USA: (7/26/07):

“Instead of firing up the witch-burner and getting all sanctimonius, we should learn to forgive, help, and above all, understand the true and insidious nature of addiction… like most alcoholics do, Lindsay is currently going through a process called “hitting bottom.”

2. Lindsay Lohan: The Rev. Lawrence T. Shannon of our Age (7/26/07)

“Watching (NIGHT OF THE IGUANA) now, in the age of Lindsay-on-the-cross, it’s pretty clear that those damn Sunday schoolteachers have won; they’ve spread their mundanity across the earth and man has been, in Burton’s words in the film, “stamped, stacked… and canned.” The sort of devils Burton wrestles with here have long since closed-up shop, been made to holler uncle by the sheer tedium of our allegedly less repressive society.”

3. Lindsay Lohan will have her Revenge on Seattle (5/20/10)

“What’s the difference between a middle-aged mom of five getting all schadenfreude excited over reading Lindsay might serve jail time vs. say, Ken Starr making Monica Lewinsky describe every hand motion she makes during fellatio live in court or the Satanic panics of Salem and the early 1980s? Or a bratty sister who can’t wait to tell mom how you got in trouble at school? My friends, why not stop projecting your inner worm squirm guilt and fear and desire onto brave little Lindsay and just grab that vodka bottle out of your husband’s or parents’ cabinet?”

4. Revenge of the Lohan (8/2/10)

Dudes, she’s just a hot fucked-up chick in L.A., capital of hot fucked up chicks! Why can’t they just let her make her movies and party, as god intended!? By the time that rehab lets her go, she’ll not only be burnt at the shock treatment stake, she’ll have discovered Jesus and gained 20 pounds and they’ll lead her to the set in chains like Grace towards the end of DOGVILLE. Is that you want, America? Then America, it is YOU are who not a true Christian!

5. LL: Through the Peeping Glass (8/10/10)

“…her expressions in the photos betray a staggering talent and a wounded soul: regret, excitement, ambivalence, and even disinterest in her own welfare. Anyone who’s ever been in love with beautiful, young, tragically self-destructive woman will inevitably have that familiar feeling of their heart dropping to the floor and breaking into a million shards. It’s almost enough to make you go and sin no more.”

6. The Burning of Lindsay Lovelace (12/10)

“…even Montgomery Clift caught a break once in awhile and could just pop his Demerol in peace. LL is our new martyr on the cross, America has decided to lock her in the attic, like we’re the collective version of Piper Laure in CARRIE. So even though I’ve posted this before, I wish to once more present my awesome collage of Lindsay burning on the stake and having her phoenix like revenge on Seattle.”


For insight into this phenomena, I’ve turned many times to the clear-eyed and iconic Kim Morgan at Sunset Gun:

7. Viva Lindsay (7/4/07):

“Leave Lindsay Lohan alone. I’m serious. Just leave that girl, or, at this point, that woman and, lest we have forgotten, that actress alone. Why? Because all this negative attention concerning her personal drama deflects from what she does best: act.”

8. Motel Musings (8/10/10):

“… a talented actress I root for, and an actress who should be judged for that — her acting. I don’t care what so-and-so movie writer from whatever newspaper or Web site feels about Lindsay’s partying or sexy lifestyle (there’s a strong strain of misogyny in this kind of critique), the real question is, can she act? And if so-and-so movie critic doesn’t think she can act, then I can only wonder whether he or she is judging the actress for her off-screen behavior. That’s a shame. If critics assessed Jack Nicholson for his off-screen behavior, he might not have the Oscars he so richly deserves. And I won’t get started on legends like Warren Beatty, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole and the late, great Oliver Reed. And then there’s younger names, like…Colin Farrell.”

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Damn right, sister mine We’re rooting for you, LL! Defeat those swarming hordes of jackals, hyenas, jonesers, murfs, wallies, downpressers, prudes, paparazzi and press, and do it with your phoenix flame wings! Come back dried out from rehab/jail and then for god’s sake, keep future indiscretions on the DL, so we can actually see you in films, where you belong. And may the holy power of Sinead O’Connor bless you on your journey.

PS – I dedicate this post also to Brenda Wiley, another victim of witch-burning mob mentality, wasting away in NJ’s most notorious women’s prison since 1991. Yes she murdered her obnoxious, sneering mom and brother, but she was just 15 and driven to it by endless mental abuse, and they tried her as an adult, more out of fear and misogynistic and parental terror than anything else. Some of us have never forgotten you, Brenda! You were screwed over by a bad defense lawyer and the intolerance of the early 1990s!