Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brian Doyle's "Bin Laden’s Bald Spot"

Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon—the best university magazine in America, according to Newsweek, and “the best spiritual magazine in the country,” according to Annie Dillard.

He is the author of five collections of essays, two nonfiction books (The Grail, about a year in an Oregon vineyard, and The Wet Engine, about the “muddles & musics of the heart”), two collections of short prose, and the sprawling novel Mink River, which Publishers Weekly called a “original, postmodern, shimmering tapestry of smalltown life.”

Doyle's new book is Bin Laden's Bald Spot & Other Stories.

Here he shares some suggestions for casting bin Laden and other characters in an adaptation from the collection:
For my new collection of stories, Bin Laden’s Bald Spot, I would choose old Gregory Peck to play His Murderous Idiocy. You want a tall gangly guy with a fixed stare, which in Peck’s case was always taken for intent calm dignity, but in His High Killingness I would ascribe to a roaring arrogant mania; he really thought, I bet, that he was important, and right that killing children would be a good thing for his religion and his idea of how the world should be (something like the year 900, but with cell phones). Seth Rogen or Albert Brooks as his hairy and rotund first mate in crime; Willem Dafoe as the insane ranting cleric (a generic role, representing lots), and dozens of walk-ons as the children who thought he was pretty much the worst dad ever. What a waste of gifts, poor Usama – a brilliant, charismatic, visionary, wealthy dude, who used all those gifts to damage his religion more than anyone in centuries, who cackled while children were roasted, and who must have watched in rage as the Arab world turned toward freedom without the slightest help from him or his ideas about how to topple the world that made him so angry.
Learn more about Bin Laden’s Bald Spot and visit its Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue