Never admire anyone, ever

I’m looking forward to this new Aquaman movie with Jason Mamoa. It’s about time someone did that story right.

But then I read this anecdote from Amber Heard, his co-star. She liked to read between takes.

“He adopted this method of ripping out the pages of my book so I would pay attention to him,” she said on Good Morning America. “It would drive me crazy because I’d have 30 pages left and it would be gone.”

I literally gasped in horror. Defacing books is an extreme, radical act, not to be done lightly. He was doing it just to get attention, and he was doing it to someone else’s books.

I hope Heard has a big part in the movie, because I’m going to watch it as if her character is the true protagonist, and Mamoa is the nasty big lunk she’s got to work around.


  1. lakitha tolbert says

    But then he generally comes across (at least in the Instagram images I’ve seen on Tumblr) as a mindless lunkhead, so naw! I’m not at all surprised by this.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I can’t imagine ripping apart a book. Most I can imagine is wrapping it in duck [NB, not duct ] tape to make her drop the book. Ripping one apart is inconceivable.

  3. angela78 says

    Defacing books is an extreme, radical act, not to be done lightly.

    Books are object. They are not holy. Defacing a book is just like defacing any other personal object belonging to someone else.
    It’s a violation of personal property, I’d send the asshole to a court for that. But I’d do the same if he willingly ripped my handkerchief, or smashed my watch.

  4. Jazzlet says

    I have essentially burnt books, in that I put them in a skip of things that were gong to be put in an incinerator. I did this because I couldn’t, after considerable thought, justify putting these books, that I no longer wanted, out in the world for others to read. This was because they were bible commentaries and other christian books dating from before I was unborn, which spread a profoundly wrong way to look at the world. I wouldn’t go out and burn a christain bookshop, but these were books I owned, and I didn’t want to be responsible for them spreading that perverted view of the world to anyone else.

  5. pinocchio says

    What if the book was “The Wit and Wisdom of Gwyneth Paltrow” or “Antivaxxi g for Dummies”?

  6. asoricaho says

    From the previews I’ve seen, that’s pretty much exactly how it goes – Aquaman is a lunkhead and Mera is the one with sense.

  7. says

    “The Wit and Wisdom of Gwyneth Paltrow” (if it existed) would be to ‘Goodnight Moon’ as ‘Goodnight Moon’ is to ‘Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica’.
    And still it shouldn’t be defaced.
    As an aside, I really hate to see a book in which someone has highlighted all the bits that (usually) demonstrate that they missed the point entirely—Hell I hate it even it they did get it right. Grrrrrrrr!

  8. zetopan says

    “The Wit and Wisdom of Gwyneth Paltrow”

    Curious minds want to know if that book has zero pages or if all the pages are blank? The antivax book could be much thicker but suffer from the same problems.

  9. says

    Ehhhh…grain (or 12) of salt here. Amber Heard is both a known pity grubber and abuser. She’s also a Randroid, and I don’t have a whole lot of empathy for people who have none for others.

    That’s not to say Momoa is above reproach or anything. I’ll just need corroboration for anything that comes out of Heard’s mouth.

  10. says

    How low have my expectations fallen when I see “he’s an attention seeking asshole with no respect for other people’s property” and feel it could have been worse?

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    Pablo @12: Momoa mentioned the incident himself on a Conan O’Brien interview with the cast months ago. You can probably find it on youtube.

  12. says

    Pablo @12

    “Amber Heard is both a known pity grubber and abuser.”

    From that first link…

    Van Ree, however, says Heard was “wrongfully” accused and the incident was blown out of proportion. In a statement issued by Heard’s publicist Wednesday, van Ree said two cops “misinterpreted and over-sensationalized” the incident.

    “I (recall) hints of misogynistic attitudes toward us which later appeared to be homophobic when they found out we were domestic partners and not just ‘friends,’ ” the statement said. “It’s disheartening that Amber’s integrity and story are being questioned yet again. Amber is a brilliant, honest and beautiful woman and I have the utmost respect for her. We shared 5 wonderful years together and remain close to this day.”

    That’s the woman who Heard was accused of abusing. Yes, there are a lot of victims who find excuses for their abusers, but I’m inclined to believe Van Ree here. If this link is the most damning you can find in addition to your use of “pity grubber”, I have to wonder if you’re more pissed at her accusations against Johnny Depp than anything else.

    The Rand stuff, yeah, that’s a whole other thing and Objectivists are objectively awful people, but it seems like you’re just using it as another reason to hate her.

  13. angela78 says

    @8 James Hammond
    So that was ironic, and I totally missed that? Thanks for pointing out. I’m possibly sleeping too little and working too much.

  14. gijoel says

    I guess this is the Hollywood version of yanking a book out of a woman’s hands on a subway, so she’ll talk to you.

  15. methuseus says

    I can ascribe to the idea that, if a book’s content is abhorrent enough, you can destroy your own copy to keep it from possibly harming anyone else. Other than that, this is horrible. I would be very angry if anyone did something like that. I could not possibly be friends with anyone who did that sort of thing. That’s akin to breaking someone’s phone, etc.

  16. Hazelwood says

    I know he subsequently apologised (and quite unreservedly so), but his jokes about getting to ‘rape beautiful women’ on Game of Thrones, has meant I’ve never seen him as attractive since. Sounds like he might not be as ‘woke’ to his behaviour as I had hoped.

  17. Matrim says

    That sucks. Not because he was defacing a book (unless it was a rare 1st edition or something Heard is wealthy enough that it’s an inconvenience more than anything), but because he’s a pest with no respect for personal property or boundaries.

  18. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Not that I approve of book destruction for no reason, but that was probably the least troubling part of the event.

  19. ColonelZen says

    “The time has come, the walrus said, to speak of many things …”

    Like how its time to recognize that people are damnably complex. That the same individual person can have virtues worthy, perhaps demanding admiration, while the same person that same day can in other ways have active vices meriting deepest contempt.

    Recognize that the virtues effectively never excuse the vices, and its quite rare that the vices completely oblitierate the genuine value – personal and social as experienced by their benefactors – of the virtues. Would we rather LIncoln not issued Emancipation Proclamation because he was himself a racist a-hole with melodramatically despotic tendancies? Would we rather Dawkins not written TGD because he has since demonstrated an (at best) malignant insensitivity to socially ingrained male privilege?

    I’ve no prior recognition and knowledge of Aquaman and his co-star. He sounds like an orifice from the claim and that he’s effectively admitted the habit elsewhere. OK, he’s an an a-hole. We probably all have reprehensible habits or ways of acting and thinking that we haven’t yet recognized or confronted. With public figures … especially those who’s fame comes suddenly they have less time to learn and adjust gracefully where we in our blessed obscurity get to nurture our vices for years with only occasional external criticism we usually barely notice.

    The classic example in my book is Tom Cruise, total imbecile and interpersonally atrocious in his behavior and beliefs from what I’ve read … but there ain’t any doubt at all that the dude can act. It’s pretty much a personal judgment whether one wishes to deny patronage to someone’s virtues due to their venalities. But if you refuse to treat with anyone who doesn’t live up to some set of ideal standards, you’re going to be living alone in a cave somewhere.

    Me, I’ll likely see Aquaman. I expect mindless fun. Elsewise we can publicly kvetch about people who boorishly invade others personal property on a petty scale for their own vanity. Maybe someone coming up will get the message. If early reviews say it’s only so-so maybe reports of such behavior will push some of us into the “don’t bother” category …. enough that his future options are circumscribed. But pepole (including me though I do try to at least be aware. but probably sometimes fail) tend to find excuses for themselves.

    My advice … by all means keep up commentary on boorish behavior. But try to keep a sense of proportion. One actor with a multi-million dollar contract tearing up the paperback book of another million dollar actor isn’t on the same scale as many social crimes that have until recently passed silently (and too many still do … if he pulled the same stunt with say an extra who got a one only a one shot hundred dollars – and may be a student or somebody struggling at the social bottom – THAT would be worth a NO, I ain’t patronizing this).

    — TWZ

  20. Matrim says

    The classic example in my book is Tom Cruise, total imbecile and interpersonally atrocious in his behavior and beliefs from what I’ve read … but there ain’t any doubt at all that the dude can act. It’s pretty much a personal judgment whether one wishes to deny patronage to someone’s virtues due to their venalities. But if you refuse to treat with anyone who doesn’t live up to some set of ideal standards, you’re going to be living alone in a cave somewhere.

    Ehhhhhh…probably should have picked a different “classic example.” Being able to act doesn’t really offset the whole “exploiting church provided slave labor” thing.

  21. Matrim says

    Plus, really, being able to act should offset anything really. Being skilled isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. I mean, that’s the exact kind of rhetoric people use to defend/excuse sexual predators in show business.

    And, no, I’m not saying what Mamoa did was anything approaching that, but it’s still shitty behavior worth commentary, and it’s as good a reason as any to avoid the film if people so choose.

  22. drst says

    @Colonel Zen
    “but there ain’t any doubt at all that the dude can act”
    Um, yeah, I have plenty of doubts. Tom Cruise actually cannot act. At all. He is always Tom Cruise, he’s just “Tom Cruise Being _____” of whatever his character is. There’s literally never a moment of his career that you’re not aware you’re watching Tom Cruise pretending to do stuff.

    Jason Mamoa can act, at least a bit better than Cruise. In neither case does that excuse their behavior.

  23. DanDare says

    Angela @7 no books are not any other object. They are a deep communication of facts, feelings, concepts and insight. Even trashy romance novels. Defacing a book is a crime.

  24. ColonelZen says

    I used to feel that way about books… the digital revolution seems to have changed me. Sigh. The number of books on my Kindle I’ve owned about five years is approaching rivalry of the physical books I’ve gathered over fifty years…. (not that I’ve read all of either set, though I’ve a higher percentage on the Kindlle).

    Emphasis point. I did say that virtues never excuse vices … but likewise that while vices may merit a choice to obviate patronage of an individuals virtues, they don’t make the value of what they’ve done go away. The whole point of my post is that we’ve got to get away from the idea that we have to group everything about everyhting into one box. Almost all people have traits worthy of emulation. And almost all people have habits and practices worthy of scorn and contempt. Likewise chocolate is delicious … but it will make you fat (or in some of our cases make us sick if we indulge more than a taste of it). An actor, a politician, a scientists is not just “good” or “bad”. A thing is what it is … and a thing which is or has other things, each of those other things are things in and of themselves no more of the whole than the part they are of it. And no less.

    Remember always Haber. Strutting on the battlefield instructing release fo chlorine gas personally committing what we call war crimes…. and through years of patient experiments perfecting the chemistry without which half the planet would starve in a year.

    Killed thousands … in the most personally contemptibly heinous and vainglorious way …. and yet saved billions. I ain’t god … I can’t say “villain” or “hero”. But then I don’t have to. I can say here is a man who did these things we should view with uttermost contempt. … And here is what this man did that is one of the greatest good that any scientist can hope to aspire to… And it’s the same guy person. Judge the acts for what they are …. influence those you can to do better — and above all try to do better yourself. But cast not stones in the air … others may do as you … and the rock that hits you may be one you yourself have thrown.

    — TWZ