The movies are one of the bad habits that corrupted our century.Of their many sins, I offer as the worst their effect on the intellectual side of the nation. It is chiefly from that viewpoint I write of them - as an eruption of trash that has lamed the American mind and retarded Americans from becoming a cultured people.
Love's the only thing I've thought of or read about since I was knee-high. That's what I always dreamed of, of meeting somebody and falling in love. And when that remarkable thing happened, I was going to recite poetry to her for hours about how her heart's an angel's wing and her hair the strings of a heavenly harp. Instead I got drunk and hollered at her and called her a harpy.
Writing a good movie brings a writer about as much fame as steering a bicycle. It gets him, however, more jobs. If his movie is bad it will attract only critical tut-tut for him. The producer, director and stars are the geniuses who get the hosannas when it's a hit. Theirs are also the heads that are mounted on spears when it's a flop.
The factors that laid low so whooping and puissant an empire as the old Hollywood are many. I can think of a score, including the barbarian hordes of Television. But there is one that stands out for me in the post-mortem.... The factor had to do with the basis of movie-making: 'Who shall be in charge of telling the story.'
I haunted streets, whorehouses, police stations, courtrooms, theater stages, jails, saloons, slums, madhouses, fires, murders, riots, banquet halls and bookshops. I ran everywhere in the city like a fly buzzing in the works of a clock, tasted more than any fit belly could hold, learned not to sleep, and buried myself in a tick-tock of whirling hours that still echo in me.