My friend and Polizeros contributor John Wight has published his first book, Dreams That Die: Misadventures In Hollywood, available at Amazon UK.
A young man arrives in Hollywood from Scotland looking to scale the heights as a screenwriter. He embarks on a series of adventures and misadventures as he encounters a succession of the weird, wonderful and downright wacky. To get by he works as an extra on sitcoms like Friends and Frasier, dramas such as ER and CSI, and some big budget movies. He then finds himself being selected to work as Ben Affleck’s double. In between times he attends celebrity parties, functions and works in some of Hollywood’s most exclusive bars and nightclubs. Our narrator joins the antiwar movement after 9/11 and commits himself with his new found comrades to halting Bush’s drive to war in Iraq. He throws himself into organising demos, meetings and campaigning to stop the war. Soon hes leading a double life – by day working on a big budget movie as a double for one of Hollywoods biggest stars; by night engrossed in radical politics.
John and I helped organize many antiwar protests in Los Angeles, some of which drew tens of thousands of people. Perhaps the most important thing I learned was how strongly motivated, well-organized groups can have influence far beyond their numbers. All the protests we did, which sometimes involved weeks of negotiating with police and the city for permits, building a stage and equipping a truck to lead the march, painting and assembling banners and placards, doing outreach for months for the event – all of this was basically done by a hardcore of about forty people. And John was one of them! I’m looking forward to reading his book (and hey, maybe I’m in it?)