Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mackenzie Phillips On the Oprah Show

This was the first time in about twenty years that I sat down and made a point to watch an episode of "Oprah."

Well done. Go buy Mackenzie's book.

As for people who feel it's "not tasteful" or troublemaking for her to address certain topics in that book: I don't want to live in your world, a world where people choke down pain & shame in order to "keep appearances" for people who, through their actions, clearly do not deserve such protection. There's just too much of that in this world, and the worst of it is the stuff you never hear about and never see.

Somebody quizzed me the other day about why did I get into comics, into writing – what did I do it for, and what types of works did I want to create.

I want to be "troublemaking." Because I think it is needed.


  1. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Be a "troublemaker" on that context is actually a good and necessary thing. We need to shake up things time to time to force us to rethink our ways, otherwise, we risk stagnation. One thing that I find quite dangerous is when the human conservative side try to tame artistic expression because it attempts against someone personal perceptions. As if ideals should be accepted as dogmas and never contested or reviewed. Troublemakers are good, keep us from stagnation and from the comfort of apathy.

  2. I always wondered why she seemed so out of control - now I know. As if her dad giving her drugs wasn't enough of a clue.

    Makes me worry he did something to his other daughters.

  3. I'm going to cause a little trouble here myself but 2 of his ex wives have come out and disputed this claim. I find there is a tendancy for people to be 100% behind the accuser from the moment of accusation. If she is truthful you obviously want to appear completely supportive but there is always the chance she's not and its her word in this case against a dead man. At the same time you don't want to insult those who have gone through this and want to encourage others to come forward and get help. Its tough. People have asked me, 'why would she lie?' She's a drug addict, she msy need the money and believe it or not some people are that messed up. I don't know this woman, I can't evaluate whether she is trustworthy I can only go by evidence. Regardless, I hope she gets to rehab and sees a counciller. She needs a clear head to move on and become healthy.

  4. "I find there is a tendancy for people to be 100% behind the accuser from the moment of accusation."

    On the other side of the coin, perpetrators, especially if they are famous/in a position of power, can have a pretty awesome army of people on their side to bury these incidents.

  5. I saw her on "Today" this morning and was impressed with how even-tempered she is about the whole thing. Here's a woman who's really been through some difficult times, hopefully the image projected through the media is true and she's actually made it through a better person.
    The cynic in me has other thoughts, with which I won't sully your very excellent blog =).

  6. Nikki and Val both have valid points on this. We can't know for certain, or even put it through dur process, because of the elder Phillips' death. And, yes, the accused can often have a phalanx of protectors/defenders.But at present we cannot get inside the heads of either McKenzie or the two ex-wives. We can only speculate until further proof comes in. (My speculation, BTW, is that Mr. Green Gucci Bag is guilty as charged.)

  7. Val,

    I think it's great she came out about this. But what ddo you think of her defense of her dad? I have just read articles on HuffPo and elsewhere, so don't know the details.

  8. Troublemaking is always good, but there's an argument to be made that the majority aren't attracted to this sort of confessional for quite such noble reasons.
    This article kind of said a lot of things that I found myself nodding to, about the way this kind of thing is spectacle in the guise of therapeutic catharsis, at least to most people:,33266/

    (The comments there, not so much, you should probably skip those.)

  9. Anonymous4:41 AM

    Whistleblowers are never appreciated at the time. Even when someone shouts "Fire!" the first instinct is annoyance at being disturbed, whether it's from watching a movie or living in a world where such things as what happened to MacKenzie don't happen...

  10. There's something that troubles me about the on-air confession that puts me in mind of a recent article by Roger Ebert where he talks about his (past) alcoholism and the problems of public confession.

    That is to say, the younger Phillips' on-air admission is potentially damaging to her own recovery. While I understand some feel that she could be helping others come out about their own abuse I worry it does more harm to her to reveal something so damaging in a public venue particularly when it seems like she hasn't processed it in any real way.

    It felt all the more damaging by having her revelation touted in advance by ads straight out of A Current Affair ("On tomorrow's Oprah - Mackenzie Phillips' SHOCKING revelation!").

    Ebert's article: