Breaking News – Code Red – James Franco’s “Rebel” Vandalized: Everyone A Person Of Interest

Hollywood, June 5, 2012 — The Good4Nothing Connoisseur (aka Bennett Stein)

Auto-destruction adherents are on high alert as authorities canvass witnesses, chase down leads and sift through clues to solve an unspeakable act of violence in a city turned upside down. Evidence indicates that early Sunday morning armed assailants broke in and took axes, sex toy prosthetics and barbed epithets to Joel Chen’s Hollywood showroom that houses MOCA’s “REBEL” exhibit.

Forensics teams are combing through buckets of blood red pigment, splashed, Manson family-style, in obscenities and graffiti code on the doors, walls and sills of the exhibit installation, that is all meant to evoke the Chateau Marmont, where rehearsals for “Rebel Without A Cause,” the James Dean film, took place 58 years ago in Bungalo 2. It is believed to be an act of retribution or an unusually new and virulent strain of performance art. One source suggested this is a first salvo in a brewing and bitter clash that pits rival gangs of uninhibited artists against pinched and appalled art critics.

A contingent of psychic detectives is following leads that suggest the culprits may well be the agitated poltergeists of director Nicholas Ray and actors Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, James Dean, Dennis Hopper and Jim Backus, best known for his voice artistry as the ever-peeved Mr. Magoo.

Several eye-witnesses claim the perpetrators were in fact James Franco and his doppelganger, who are alleged to have returned to the location following a courtly panel discussion between the artist and MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch on Saturday evening, to lead a pack of guerilla thespians in James Dean death masks, armed with grappling hooks, sharp edged pillows and buckets of red paint, many wielding cameras or black jack-shaped objects cinched at the waist with adjustable straps.

The preponderance of “blood” and voluminous amounts of bird feathers have lead investigators to hypothesize that, if not a massively orchestrated act of tarring and feathering, then at the least a ritualistic cockfight may have been engaged in during the late night crime spree—a punishable felony in the storied penal codes of the state of Californication. Theologians, exorcists, and a Cal Tech ornithologist have been attached to the ongoing investigation.

One deputy investigator was overheard mumbling something to the effect that “this is a rare case of premeditated anarchy.” Crime scene forensics specialists are believed to have uncovered indisputable evidence of mythic re-enactments, pagan virgin sacrifice and synchronized greaser movie choreography.

One observer however was heard complaining that the perpetrators did not go far enough, that the destruction had the tell-tale signs of a devastatingly healthy family upbringing, and it has now been confirmed that some of the rooms in the exhibit were left completely and inexplicably unmolested, in their pristine state.

The public is of course invited to head down to 941 N. Highland Ave., sniff around, appraise the situation, engage their secret policeman’s mind, report suspicious behavior, or even make a citizen’s arrest, but what is unmistakably clear however is that curatorial laws have been broken, faith has been besmirched, and tensions remain high in a community, within a so called sophisticated civilization, where art imitates life, which is short, art being long, and many are left wondering: is rock and roll in fact dead? Is hip-hop on life support? Has God finally thrown off the bishop’s mitre and sprung for a sex change? And who, just who should be the final arbiter in deciding definitively what is art, what is art not, who has the right to make it, who the right to break it? and, furthermoreover, (as James Dean deviously mumbles in “Rebel Without A Cause,” the film), who has the right to knock it? At this moment the lead inspector on the case is in a conference call with MOCA’s Lyn Winter, Yoko Ono, Pete Townsend and an heir to Andy Warhol’s estate, a blue and white tabby cat named Edie.

Crime scene photos by Anonymous; clockwise from top left: Hollywood turned on its head; Chateau Marmont replica ritualistically blood stained; Ax murderer’s tool embedded; blood soiled James Dean death mask; a ginormous quantity of bird feathers and spilt blood.


  • bennett stein

    There are rumblings, chatter being picked via electronic surveillance, of another surprise attack in the works. The city is not breathing easy just yet. It's like the old saw about movies or novels never being finished, they're just abandoned.

  • allysunshine

    Living art collides with death and my favorite color. While rebellion surfs, the critics burp. Nobody can catch the Gingerbread Man.

  • bennett stein

    Well sung mystic sprite – allysunshine – i 2nd the motion…

  • Joe

    I want to say, James, you have found your place. I mean those goofball movies you made will be forgotten later if not already. The Rebel piece is fantastic and will forever be a piece of LA lore. You are a true artist and collaborator. Keep this up and some day you will really do something iconic. Thanks, man. My only regret is that you weren't there to sign my copy of your book.

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  • bennett stein

    Thanks for the kind words and generous comments. All the best