Friday, June 16, 2006

Big Trouble with Little Joe

Is myspace evil? Depending on who you ask, it's either a breeding ground for sexual predators or the greatest thing since sliced bread. Legends abound of people getting their big break because of the site. I figured that it's harmless enough, so I joined.

On my myspace page, I list a comprehensive, yet flawed, list of people whose work I admire. Heading up the list of actors is Joe Dallesandro, known mostly for his work as a beefcake model and a member of the Warhol Factory. I own at least seven DVDs which list Joe as the "star." Granted, my attraction to Joe is largely aesthetic, but I do find his early performances quite captivating. I have had a myspace page for quite a while and rarely give it much thought, which is why I was so surprised to receive the following email regarding Joe Dallesandro:

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: michael
Date: Jun 16, 2006 9:06 PM

Joe Dallesandro is a male prostitute who sells his mouth and ass to any man or woman for the right price. The only reason he got his teeth fixed is because he was suckin off some faggot dentist in the '70s. He is also responsible for the death of his true brother(Bobby). He also slapped our own Mother around in the early 1980's and if I ever see the little faggot again I will beat his little punk ass. I realize that we all need our heros but I think you should maybe take a second look at yourself and your heros.

Michael G.
p.s. Joe has AIDS too but somehow I dont think you really care! LMMFAO

First of all, this message is from a stranger who, as far as I can figure, searched for people whose sites mention Joe Dallesandro. Secondly, LMMFAO stands for Laughing My Mother Fucking Ass Off! I had to look it up. So, naturally, I clicked over to Michael's profile to see exactly who I was dealing with. The photo shows Michael wearing a "Saigon Kick" tee and holding a small white dog. Black Sabbath is his background image. He claims to be "Superman's Fucking Dad." This is what he has to say about himself:
About me:
Who I'd like to meet:

He also included his Folsom Prison mugshot on his photo page. He has 10 friends. Obviously, Michael is a force to be reckoned with, so as I composed my response, I kept this in mind. Here is my reply:

Hello Michael,

Thank you for taking the time to share this information, it confirms the impression I had of Joe. He often portrayed male prostitutes in his films, so I suppose it's par for the course. I don't know much about him beyond what I have seen on film. For instance, I know nothing of the death of his brother Bobby. Was this drug related? It is absolutely ghastly to think that Joe might be responsible. I certainly hope that is not true, but like I said: I am ignorant about his personal life.

In this day and age, with how much we know about celebrities private lives, this truly amazes me. Please accept my most sincere sympathy for what you say Joe did to your Mother. That is truly repulsive and I hope for both your sakes that you and Joe never have to see each other again. I have no doubt that you would "beat his punk ass" into a veritable pulp. Maybe you are right. Maybe it is time for me to think about the qualities that I find admirable in people. For the record, I never said Joe is my hero, I merely admire some of the films he appeared in. I think that director Paul Morrissey was able to use Joe to show the demoralization and ultimate undoing of the "free love" generation.

I hope that you really do find it humorous when people "idolize" Joe and that you are not covering up some other, deeper pain. Thank you again, for the informative and thought provoking email.


PS: In case you failed to notice on my myspace page, not far from where Joe is listed, there is a link to the ONE organization, which is dedicated to fighting the global AIDS epidemic. I support this and ANYONE who is affected by this affliction, contrary to the claim you made that you think I don't really care if Joe has AIDS. If he does, that is a shame. It's a horrible disease that no one should have.

I haven't heard back from him. I sort of hope that I don't. Myspace might be evil after all, but I believe in the good in everybody and do my best to respond to those who seek me out. If Michael comes here, I am sure he will have much to laugh his mother fucking ass off about. I hope he finds those "dope fiend faggot punks" who bought drugs for Superman!

I did hear back from Michael:

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: michael
Date: Jun 17, 2006 11:38 AM

Well I appreciate that you took the time to answer my letter. I am sorry that it came on so strong , but Joe has fooled so many other people and used them to his own advantage before that sometimes my writing comes on a bit strong. Please accept my sincerest appologies if I offened you in any way.


I accepted his apology and wished him well. I think he was sort of shocked to get a response at all. People are good at heart, after all. It's just a matter of finding it.


Holly said...

This is truly weird.

Do you really believe the guy is Joe's brother?

Saviour Onassis said...

I am sure that he is telling the truth. Joe's mother married a man with the last name Michael provided, which I withheld for his privacy. And further research shows that, while Joe was estranged from his mother for many years, they spent some time together in the early 80's. Time not well spent as far as I can tell. His story checks out.

I feel bad for the guy, in a way. He seems to have a real problem with Joe.

Dale said...

You really took the high road there Saviour and good for you. What an unusual thing to be confronted with but you handled it with aplomb and look where it got you.

Saviour Onassis said...

To quote Bono: She moves in mysterious ways.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives hated these movies because they portrayed homosexual, trans-sexual, transvestite, bisexual, and prostitution behaviors in a natural, everyday, matter-of-fact way, rather than the "tragic", moralistic manner in which Hollywood handled these characters. It was great to see late 1960s New York and to remember the fun of seeing these movies during a most turbulent time in recent history.

Born in 57 and almost 50, I love Warhol films, espically "Trash" and "Flesh"

How can you watch those films and not feel good about yourself? I'm sure he does have AIDS, his films were a lifetime ago when so many were so innocent and un-aware.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Saviour Onassis said...

Anytime, Blue, anytime... I love those Warhol flicks, too. I remember seeing the Italian Monster Films (Flesh for Frankenstein & Blood for Dracula) on late night TV when I was a kid and being really, strangely hypnotized by them. Of course, years later when I saw the unedited versions, I was hooked.

Thanks for stopping by.