1999 INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST — TAPE #527, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell BellD: Daily Variety voice mail (recorded message)S: second telephone system recorded voiceV: Valerie Vasys-Montague, Daily Variety Talent Account ManagerM: Megan Standish, Daily Variety Advertising Account CoordinatorL: Ellen RussellR: Richard Karn, “Leeza” guest (from television show broadcast)O: Royal Oakes, “Leeza” guest (from television show broadcast)Z: Leeza Gibbons, “Leeza” host (from television show broadcast)C: assorted commercial spokespersonsJ: Jane Pratt, “Leeza” guest (from television show broadcast)
Journal (June 1, 1999)
What a horrendous day. I felt very loving this morning and gradually sunk into total despair. I took my car to the nearby dealership and the service coordinator said that the 30,000 mile maintenance visit was going to cost $590. Later he called and said the front disc brake pads had to be replaced and this would be an additional $175. The total came to $733.17 (I went over the costs with him on the phone so I guess he realized that this was a hardship when I wondered aloud how people can afford these costs). I looked over the bill and saw just standard maintenance procedures listed. It reminds me of my mother’s hospital bill. When I went to wait in the lounge for the shuttle service home, the coordinator said I could have a complimentary donut and coffee and, of course, those are not in my diet. I noticed two separate women without even thinking let their children, a boy and a girl, have a donut — a modern variation on the “Hansel and Gretel” story. Finally someone came in and asked who needed a ride. He inferred that it was my fault for not being more aggressive in getting his attention. I said, “Well frankly I feel so numb right now that I don’t have much energy to do anything. My mother is dying and I was recently cheated in a business transaction.” I’m still transcribing the surreptitious Daily Variety tape as I can practically only do a sentence at a time because it’s so upsetting. Later, someone else picked me up and I mentioned some of my experiences and how telling it was that the person who had cheated me was named Valerie because you have the words ‘evil’ and ‘liar’ in her name. I also warned him about people with variations of ‘Rob’ in their name. I talked a little about how someone should do an investigative piece about car dealerships yet everyone already knows how much corruption there is at these places. It turned out the driver’s name also had ‘evil’ and ‘sin’ in it. Then, I went to the gym like I’ve done hundreds of times (yet less than ten times at this particular one since moving) and I was told my membership had been canceled. What was especially galling was the robotic bitterness of the young woman who brought me into an office to discuss the situation. She could see my card said Bally’s yet was stating that the Sports Connection where I had joined was sold and thus my membership was canceled. I explained that I had to find my contract because it had been clear from the start my membership was with all Bally’s outlets and it was to be good for seven years. To prove the point, when a 24 Hour Fitness facility in Santa Monica was sold, I told her how I wasn’t permitted to attend with my card and yet this was the chain the Sports Connection had belonged to, I guess. I haven’t had time to look for my contract yet, as always, a situation confronting me again shows how individual consumer interests are of the least consequence in corporate thinking. The rep I spoke to seemed to think she was being generous by letting me use the facilities today. I’ve decided to listen to the first part of Art’s show tonight because I want to hear how he addresses his situation. This isn’t to say that I don’t think there won’t be disinformation. I also had to call up one of my storage facilities because it is under new management and I received a bill that didn’t make sense. The new manager’s last name is the same as my dentist and thus has the world ‘evil’ as an anagram in the name. While transcribing Robin’s comments, I began thinking about all the Bob people in my life and remembered that my eye doctor is a Bob yet with last name that seems unusual for a Bob. As I passed by the TV to get my dinner, Ellen was watching “Jag,” one of her favorite shows and a female character was making a discovery that a name was an anagram.
Art said he would wait until the second hour to discuss the reason why he quit last year and then talked about an upcoming The Source book signing for Brad Steiger in Minnesota (his co-author). He promised a free autographed photograph of himself for those who purchased a book. Peter Davenport will guest the first hour so I turned the radio off. After midnight, Art recounted how his son was molested by one of his high school teachers on May 16, 1997. How evasive to hear Art merely read what Matt Drudge wrote, adding “he did not attempt suicide.” And then he talked about allegations raised about him by other radio shows whom he is now suing. His main question now is why are they doing this to him. After the 12:30 break, Art played “If You Could Read My Mind” and ironically said, “Isn’t that pretty music?” He mentioned he’s not going to discuss the topic addressed this night on the air further than what he said about it (in the last half hour). Poor Art. Jr. At one point, Art made some reference to going to great lengths to help his son and I can only imagine what this signified. As I Emailed Art last year, that night he talked about not needing to see a man’s chest was proof of his repressed homosexuality. All people know what their sexuality is yet are afraid of challenging the illusory consensus morality so they can come off sounding quite homophobic like Art, Drudge and so many others so one can only speculate about karmic ramifications. After mentioning Roger Leir’s heart problems with unblocked arteries like Richard Hoagland’s, Art began introducing a guest so I turned the radio off and don’t expect to listen again. Of course, I had my infamous “Dreamland” booking conversation with Ramona on May 22, 1997 after having sent Art Testament in February.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: HERE IS THE INFORMATION FROM THE STATEMENT REGARDING THE CAR MAINTENANCE CHARGES.)
CONCERN 31 MAJOR SERVICE / OPERATION: 23 / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $252.00
CORRECTION MAJOR SERVICE / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $26.72-
REPLACE ENGINE OIL, REPLACE OIL FILTER, ADJUST VALVE CLEARANCE*, INSPECT CHOKE SYSTEM*, REPLACE ENGINE COOLANT, INSPECT AND ADJUST IDLE SPEED, INSPECT IGNITION TIMING, REPLACE AIR FILTER ELEMENT, REPLACE SPARK PLUGS, REPLACE FUEL FILTER, INSPECT & ADJUST BRAKES, INSPECT BRAKE FLUID LEVEL, INSPECT BRAKE PEDAL AND PARKING BRAKE, REPLACE MANUAL TRANSMISSION OIL*, REPLACE TRANSAXLE OIL*, REPLACE REAR AXLE OIL*, INSPECT STEERING OPERATION AND GEAR HOUSING, INSPECT STEERING LINKAGE, TIE ROD ENDS AND ARMS, INSPECT SEATBELTS, INSPECT DRIVE SHAFT DUST BOOTS*, INSPECT RACK SEAL BOOTS*, REPACK REAR WHEEL BEARINGS*, REPACK FRONT WHEEL BEARINGS*, INSPECT CLUTCH FLUID LEVEL*, SERVICE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION* (IF REQUESTED), INSPECT TIRES AND CHECK TIRE PRESSURE, TIGHTEN BOLTS AND NUTS ON CHASSIS AS NEEDED, INSPECT EXHAUST SYSTEM, INSPECT OPERATION OF ALL LIGHTS AND GAUGES, INSPECT EFI SYSTEM*.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE FOLLOWING LISTS “PART NUMBER” FOLLOWED BY “DESCRIPTION,” “QTY,” “SELL” & “AMOUNT.”)
MAZ KITD626934 DSERVICE 1 ** **
MAZ 0000-18-BP01 SPARK PLUG 4 $2.10 $8.40
MAZ FS11-13-Z40 ELEMENT, AIR FILTER 1 $15.55 $15.55
MAZ 9956-21-400 GASKET 1 $.55 $.55
MAZ HE03-10-404 PLUG 1 $2.70 $2.70
MAZ 5555-CL-0100 ANTI-FREEZE 1 $8.95 $8.95
MAZ 666666OIL OILC 5B $1.00 $5.00
MAZ 6666-23-1100 BRAKE FLD 1 $2.99 $2.99
MAZ B6Y1-14-302A FILTER, OIL 1 $7.50 $7.50
MAZ FS56-20-490B FILTER, FUEL 1 $14.15 $14.15
FACTORY TECH: 301 – GREEN TEAM/KENN
TYPE: C LINE FLAGS: HAZ
HAZARDOUS WASTE CHG $4.93
TOTAL CHARGE FOR CONCERN $299.95
CONCERN: 32 TRANS SERVICE
CORRECTION SERVICE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION / OPERATION: TS / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $60.00
MAZ ATF OILC 5B $1.60 $8.00
FACTORY TECH: 301 – GREEN TEAM/KENN
TYPE: C LINE FLAGS: HAZ
HAZARDOUS WASTE CHG $1.33
TOTAL CHARGE FOR CONCERN $69.33
CONCERN: 33 FUEL INJECTOR SERVICE
CORRECTION SERVICE FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM / OPERATION: INJS / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $60.00
MAZ 0000-00-INJE-CT CLEANER 1 $17.50 $17.50
FACTORY TECH: 301 – GREEN TEAM/KENN
TOTAL CHARGE FOR CONCERN: $77.50
CONCERN: 34 ROTATE AND BALANCE
CORRECTION ROTATE & BALANCE / OPERATION: 02 / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $23.95
WHEEL WEIGHTS 2S $5.50 $11.00
FACTORY TECH: 301 – GREEN TEAM/KENN
TOTAL CHARGE FOR CONCERN: $34.95
CONCERN: 35 THROTTLE BODY SERVICE
CORRECTION SERVICE THROTTLE BODY / OPERATION: TB / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $60.00
MAZ 5555-55-CHO -KE CARB CLNR 1 $4.75 $4.75
FACTORY TECH: 301 – GREEN TEAM/KENN
TOTAL CHARGE FOR CONCERN $64.75
CORRECTION REPLACE FRONT DISC BRAKE PADS, MACHINE ROTORS / OPERATION: PADS / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $120
MAZ GBYH-33-23ZB PAD SET, FRT CALIPER 1 $48.60 $48.60
MAZ 5555-55-BRA -KE BRAKECLNR 1 $3.95 $3.95
FACTORY TECH: 301 – GREEN TEAM/KENN
TOTAL CHARGE FOR CONCERN $172.55
CORRECTION REPLACED LEFT OUTER BRAKE LAMB BULB / OPERATION: 00 / TECH: 301 / AMOUNT: $.00
MAZ 0000-11-1157 BULB 1 $.60 $.60
FACTORY TECH: 301 – GREEN TEAM/KENN
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE BLATANT PROBLEM WITH THIS INVOICE IS THE AMOUNT CHARGED FOR MECHANICAL LABOR — SEE SUMMARY BELOW. I BROUGHT THE CAR IN AT APPROXIMATELY TEN MINUTES PAST 8 A.M. THE STATEMENT REVEALS “INVOICED AT: 06/01/99 13:19:13 KL.” AFTER THE DEALERSHIP PICKED ME UP FROM HOME VIA FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE, I PAID VIA CREDIT CARD AT 1:25 P.M.)
SUMMARY OF CHARGES FOR INVOICE C38685
HAZARDOUS WASTE CHG $6.26
SALES TAX $13.54
TOTAL CHARGE $733.17
Journal (June 2, 1999)
Well I found one page from “here’s your Bally Total Fitness membership information” and my credit card report confirming $779 went to “Bally Total Fitness” on 9-9-95. I haven’t found the contract yet remember it was for many years. The representative I spoke to, Alex Bulaon, checked with his manager, Steven Clark, and nothing could be done further than charging me a $50 fee for re-registration and, from now on, a monthly charge of $7 (until I can find my contract and correct matters). He said that the Sports Connection had changed ownership and Bally’s was only managing it. I explained I purchased my “premier member Bally Total Fitness” membership because I could go to any Bally’s and I most certainly did not buy a membership to any other chain, regardless of what claims were being made. I said it isn’t as if Bally has gone out of business. He kept saying the same thing over and I wasn’t permitted to speak to Steven. I told him he sounded like a robotic Nazi refusing to register any awareness of anything I had said. This was not a situation where there was any choice other than being confrontational because this mistake was obviously calculated by the company. It seems like every dealing with every company has become outright larceny and no one is aware that these companies don’t exist as anything other than corrupt frameworks for the top executives to make a fortune regardless of the consequences to others. Andy called recently and said that Yvonne who worked in the office was told that she could keep her job or her apartment at Santa Monica Shores yet not both. She decided to keep the apartment. This is what society has come to. Having material wealth means nothing yet people have no idea that there is such a thing as spiritual wealth and that is where one finds meaning, peace and joy.
I was continuing to transcribe the Daily Variety conversation and think I will probably just send a letter with my check to explain why the premium charge of $260 isn’t being paid on the bill. Robin waived the premium charge and I am not going to pay it. The costs I am paying are $3,380 for the page and production charge of $230. I am client #661160.
Ellen says now that she wants to stay and not move. She has been behaving somewhat better yet today when I was talking to my brother she started screaming that the call was lasting too long and costing too much money. Just think — if everyone with whom I came into contact didn’t only try to take as much money as they can from me, I probably would’ve been able to take out an additional ad in Spirit or some such publication somewhere. I plan to start working next week once Ellen’s transportation has been arranged. The more I think about Art Bell and the way he handles his son’s situation, the more I realize the extent of his selfishness and dishonesty — even where his own son’s welfare is at stake.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOT: I DECIDED TO CALL DAILY VARIETY ON JUNE 4 AFTER NOTICING THE CHECK IS SUPPOSED TO GO TO NEVADA. THE INVOICE SAID TO CALL REGARDING QUESTIONS.)
D: Thank you for calling Variety. If you know the extension number or the last name of the person you wish to reach, please press one now. Otherwise — (one pressed) If you know your party’s extension number, you may enter it now. If you don’t know — (extension entered)
S: Please wait.
V: Valerie Montague.
Q: Oh hi Valerie.
Q: Oh hi. This is Mark Russell.
Q: Hi, I was just calling in reference to the invoice.
Q: Because it said to call for questions.
Q: And, of course, you know about our conference and everything.
Q: How Robyn said she was going to waive the premium. However, on the bill I did see a premium charge listed for $260.
V: Is it a premium or is it production? (“IT”)
Q: Well, no, the production amount was $230.
Q: But there was also a premium that said $260. (“OKAY”)
V: Do you have access to a fax where you can fax it to me?
V: Okay, (“LOOK”) here’s my fax number.
Q: Okay. (momentary listening device malfunction and then I confirm fax number)
V: Right. Fax it over to me and I’ll go to accounting and ask them what that is.
Q: Okay, fine. Meanwhile, was there any response? Did you hear any response to the ad? I don’t get it every day so I don’t know if anyone — (“HAD AN”) letters or any comments?
V: I know through editorial they got a bunch of calls.
V: They had — they were concerned that we used the same font in editorials so — but I know editorial — they got a couple calls.
Q: Oh maybe I’ll check with — who is it? Andrew Hindes?
V: Oh I don’t know who it was. This was just through the grapevine that I heard.
Q: Oh well that’s good.
Q: At least that’s something.
Q: And let’s see what —
V: Did you get a lot of hits?
Q: No. (“YEAH”) That’s what’s — (“I”) I was disappointed somewhat. I do believe that the people who were ready to visit the website did so. (“YET”) There were less visits than I would have expected from a full-page ad. Isn’t it around 25,000 circulation for L.A./New York?
V: It’s more than that. (“YEAH”) Yeah it’s more than that.
Q: Yeah. (“SO”)
V: It’s almost forty (thousand).
Q: Well the week of the ad there were around 250 visits. (“I MEAN”) There are people who knew me from when I worked at Paramount that are more than that. I mean the previous week there were 165 (homepage) visits. I did note that (“THE”) the people who did visit (“SEEMED”) did spend a long time at the website. So I just think it proves how people can be confronted with obvious truths and choose to ignore them. (“YEAH”) Or at least not to risk finding out whether or not something can be. (“TRUE”)
Q: I mean they can’t conceive of how an expanded awareness of God can make them happier. Anyway, what was I going to ask you? (“SO NOW”) And do you have any name picked out for your kid yet?
V: Yeah, we do.
Q: What is it?
V: Her name’s going to be Vasy.
Q: Spell it. V — A —
V: V — A — S — Y.
Q: Oh so that’s similar to your middle name. So you’re (“YEAH”) naming after a — you see, I’m really into this whole name thing because, even though it sounds so outlandish, I really have been finding (“THAT” “Y[OU] KNOW”) words within names are meaningful. Like for example (“LIKE”) your name Montague. You have ‘agent’ there.
V: I used to be an agent.
Q: Yeah, right. I mean —
V: (small laugh)
Q: You have — (“LIKE”) ‘talent’ is in your name altogether. ‘Manager.’ I mean it really is interesting.
V: Yeah, that’s neat.
Q: I mean there are all kinds of things.
V: Oh wow.
Q: So — you know I mean — that’s one thing I was talking . . . (momentary listening device malfunction) . . . with Megan.
V: Yeah, she expressed that to me. (“YOU KNOW” “I MEAN”)
Q: Because — (“I MEAN”) I don’t know. In fact, maybe I should say hello to her too because she wanted me to check with her about the results. (“SO”)
Q: So why don’t you transfer me to her and I’ll go ahead and fax this to you.
V: Alright, great. And I’ll let you know what happens. (“YEAH”)
Q: I mean, see —
V: Hang on one second.
Q: Yeah, okay.
V: She’s just wrapping up a call. Hang on one second.
Q: Okay, great.
( . . . )
Q: Oh hi. Megan?
Q: Oh hi. Did you get your copy of the book?
M: Yeah, I did. Thank you very much.
Q: Okay, good. I also left one for that person in production who was interested. So did he get his copy too?
M: Yeah. He got his.
Q: Oh that’s good. Okay.
M: Yeah. Did you much response to your ad?
Q: Well — but, of course, I never get much response (“I MEAN”) because it’s just so beyond the ordinary for people.
Q: I mean (“NO”) one of the messages of the book, of course — (“SIS AA”) that there is a spiritual accountability and that’s probably one of the big reasons why people don’t want to deal with it. I mean there are so many so-called spiritual books that they can buy that say there’s no such thing as right and wrong. Right?
Q: So I mean this isn’t the kind of thing that people really want to address. (“NO”) Anyway — I mean as you can tell from the coverage in Variety. When the book first came out, I sent a copy to Andrew Hindes. And there was all this nonsense going on with Sherry Lansing and “stalking” — (“ALL”) I mean bullshit. And it didn’t get any coverage anywhere. So, anyway, who knows? But what was I going to ask you? (“UM”) Okay — and of course Valerie said that there were some comments in editorial. (“I”) Did you hear anything? Did it — (“GET ANY”) did you hear of any response? (“SIR”)
M: Within editorial itself?
Q: Yeah. They got some calls.
M: No. I think that Valerie was the one who had most of the — (“OKAY” “SO”)
Q: Anyway, (“MINUTE”) whole trip with the names and everything. I was just talking — doesn’t that sound outlandish to you that words within names — (“ARE” “SORT OF”) things to think about?
M: It’s all stuff to think about. I don’t know what to think about it but — (“WH”)
Q: What I seem to think it is, is based on our previous incarnations — (“WE GET”) either warning or, as I said before, sometimes — if you have, like, the word ‘sin’ in your name, you have to deal with the consequences of sin, etc. I mean it’s sort of scary. I mean you have a scary name. I mean I mu(st say) — it is scary. (“IT’S SORT OF LIKE”) I think it’s sort of like a karmic warning. (“LIKE”) Maybe in your past life something did — (“YES”) something happened or something.
M: I hope something happened in my past life. (laughs)
Q: Well I mean — (“NO I MEAN”) no but I mean something like maybe you dabbled in witchcraft or something.
M: Huh. (“CAUSE YOU”)
Q: I mean you have ‘Satan’ — (“IN YOUR NAME”) which is (or “WHICH IS” or “WITCH IS” or “WITCHES”) — I mean that — I don’t — there are a lot of people who have that. I mean have you ever dabbled in wicca or anything?
M: You know because this is a business relationship —
M: I don’t feel like this is appropriate.
Q: Oh okay. (“WW[L]” “WW[I]” “Y[OU KN]OW”) With me, of course — well you know what happened with that whole business with (“IN A” “THE”) the charges and everything. So, anyway, I’m going to fax this over to Valerie so she can work it all out.
Q: But I must say — (“YOU KNOW I ME”) when these things happen — you know I mean like that’s sort of my (job) — (“I MEAN”) did you read my book? I mean it’s sort of like I am a whistle blower. I mean it’s not something that I really chose to be. (“BUT”) I think (“BUT”) by doing various things (“FOR” “YOU KNOW”) for God and at least showing (“TH”) — I mean somebody has to do something because everyone is ripping — I mean this week alone I took my car in(to) the Mazda dealership. (AND THEY”) It cost over $700 for my 30,000 mile check-up. Of course, they could explain every little, minute aspect of it but that’s ridiculous. It was only in there for hours. And it ended (up) costing me over $700. I mean they’re ripping me off. I mean I can’t prove it but the same thing happened on my mom’s hospital bill. Anyway, so somebody has to do something about and just try to show what’s going on. And then at my gym — I had paid like $700 for a seven year membership. They canceled it because the place where I had originally joined had changed ownership. That money went to my credit card (statement). It said Bally (Total Fitness). And now they’re saying that my deal was with the one gym — you get it, don’t you?
M: Yeah, it’s pretty overwhelming sometimes.
Q: Right. (“EXACTLY” “SO”) Anyway, in my book of course, I have transcripts with Blue Cross and Coca-Cola Foods as sort of a whistle blower. I mean I don’t look for these things. I keep telling people that. But then, you know, you get screwed.
M: Well I hope you’re comfortable with how we resolve things here. (“WELL I’M”)
Q: I will be after — I’m going to fax this over to her because there was still a charge of $260 “premium” even though Robyn said —
M: Right. It takes a while for that to be — they send you one and then they’ll have to send you another one. I imagine they’ll —
Q: By the way, is Robyn’s name R — O — B — I — N?
Q: R — O — B — Y — N?
M: Um. (pause)
Q: I mean I just need to know in case I have to write to her.
M: Right. It’s R — O — B — Y — N.
Q: Y. Okay. And that’s D — U — N — N?
Q: Okay well I think Valerie will probably handle this.
M: I’m sure she will. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. (“WELL”)
Q: Yeah. That’s what I had thought before though too. And then it ended up on page seven instead of page five. And as it turned out I really could’ve used page five because people in Hollywood seem to think that’s important and, perhaps, they might’ve visited my website if it had a better position. (“SO”) Anyway, so let me know if you hear of anything and I hope you enjoy the book. Of course, you can read the sequel on the Internet and, anyway, if you see Andrew you might tell him (“NO”) cover it if he ever gets the urge.
M: Okay. Great. Well —
Q: I mean it’s not my money. (“I MEAN IT”) Let’s face it — it’s God’s money. If this was my money, I wouldn’t want to deal with it. You know? (“I MEAN IT’S”) It’s unpleasant. It’s tacky. If everyone (looked) at it that way and believed it, I think — (“UM”) one hopes, at least, the world would be much different than it is. (“SO”) Anyway, thank you for all your help. I’m sure we’ll all find a way to prove love and all that. I know this sounds crazy but it all does make sense. So thank you.
( . . . )
Q: (speaking into tape recorder) So this is to document me faxing a copy of the invoice to Valerie. (sounds of faxing process) I just pushed the start button and the fax is being sent. I hope I don’t sound too ‘crazy’ in these calls. I’m just in a very difficult predicament. I mean, yes, I’ve heard the new Barenaked Ladies song. So I’m trying to sound very — well you know. Everyone wants to see me as crazy so I’m trying not to give them that chance. Well it went through okay. I didn’t hang up the receiver like you’re supposed to and that’s why it made an extra buzz but it says “okay.” It went through. If I don’t hear anything, I’ll end it again. But now I have to go out and do my laundry.
( . . . )
Q: So on my trip to the laundromat I had mixed messages. First of all, I shouldn’t be doing this. No more interviews. No more journals. I mean I keep a journal but I shouldn’t be talking into the tape recorder. I did see lots of pennies. A lady dropped some pennies and they were all over the place. She didn’t bother picking them up. And when my wash cycle was finished, there was a dime in the machine. (“SO”) Sometimes I think pennies are a good sign but dimes are a bad sign. They’re silver. Anyway, I’m not sure but before that I had seen a car with a “Jesus” bumper sticker or little metal thing attached to it. I can’t even remember. I see so many of them. Just sort of something to make me feel like I’m not alone. Anyway, I have mixed feelings. I do feel that I was a little evil in conducting the call. (“BUT”) Maybe you have to be a little bit to get noticed because nobody wants to notice me. That wasn’t my intention. I don’t even know what my intentions are any more. I don’t even know what I’m trying to do. I’ve always tried to let God be in the driver’s seat and to some extent I think (or “I THINK”) that has happened. When I have been a little bit impatient, I got those messages too. So I’m waiting to hear back from Variety. It’s about 12:30. I’m going to pick up my mother from her treatment in about an hour.
( . . . )
Q: I would’ve liked to have said to Megan that in these situations I like to remind people that the companies they work for are illusions. I mean some people think God is an illusion, which is a very primitive feeling. (“BUT YET”) One that you do notice from time to time in our society. So companies are just names on paper of institutions. I talk a lot about this on various tape sides. (“BUT”) No one hears them. I can’t transcribe them. They (companies) are principalities functioning to make large quantities of money for the people in positions of power at the head of the corporate business roster. I don’t think I said that — did I get that in? I don’t even remember.
( . . . )
Q: So it’s Monday, June 7th. I’ve decided to add a few relevant journal entries to my Daily Variety investigation transcript. I haven’t heard anything back since I faxed over the copy of the invoice so I guess I have to check with Valerie to make sure she received it. If not, I’ll have to fax it again.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOT: THERE ARE MALFUNCTIONS ON THIS PORTION OF THE TAPE SO BRIEF PARTS OF CONVERSATION ARE MISSING AS INDICATED.)
V: Valerie Montague.
Q: Hi, Valerie. . . . Russell.
V: Hey, Mark . . .
Q: . . . you received . . .
V: . . . accounting.
Q: Oh fine. I know it’s no rush . . . have . . . the ten . . . due.
V: Yeah, you . . .
Q: Okay. (or “OKAY”)
Q: Okay. Thanks a lot.
V: You’re welcome. Bye-bye.
( . . . )
Q: So it’s Tuesday June 8th around 6 p.m. and something occurred that just ties in with all of this business unfairness. I just has had a call from Klarisa responding to my letter to Santa Monica Shores about whether or not I’d been paid for turning in the two keys, which I thought cost $25 each as a deposit but may have been $20. So, anyway, she says I’ll have to check and find my original payment — my deposit, my first and last months rent before they can determine whether or not I’ve been refunded the $40 or $50 for the two keys. I mean you would think they would have this information or have access to this information or know what they were doing in the first place. Yet now I have to find this check and you know what that’s like.
( . . . )
Q: She said that once — I’ve got to send them a letter with a photocopy of the original check I paid and then she’ll give me a determination as to whether or not I’ll get the additional $50 or $40. People really don’t think about fulfilling deals. They always want life as easy for themselves as possible. They always want to see things that would be most advantageous to them. If they were to tell me, “Yes, I checked the record and this amount here was for the rent refund — I mean how did they determine the amount they paid me to begin with. They must have some information there. I mean I had spoken to Lucia about this — who’s no longer with the company.
( . . .)
Q: I mean, thinking about the situation, there really isn’t all that much that the office staff have to do in keeping an account. I returned two keys. I did everything on my end of the bargain. I had everything out of the apartment by the deadline so now am I getting what I was told I would get? I mean $40 is a lot of money for me. That’s a half day’s work at temp wages.
( . . . )
Q: So it’s Wednesday. I’ve prepared the fax as per Klarisa’s request. It’s dated June 9 1999 from me. It says:
Following up our conversation yesterday, I paid $1,648.90 (Schwab check #233 as below) on September 4, 1996 for first and last month rent (Santa Monica Shores Apt. 409). I received a $706.12 refund dated 5/11/99, check #80861. There was no explanation for this check and I want to make sure I received the $50 reimbursement for the two building keys that I turned in to Lucia as discussed at that time.
Thanks for your attention to this matter.
Q: It says “FAX” on top and I’m going to fax it. It isn’t a canceled check like she said but it’s a Schwab One® check — a copy, the kind that comes through when you write it. It sort of bleeds through the bottom so that’s your receipt. The account has since been closed since I no longer have any money in any accounts at Schwab. So I can’t ask them for a canceled check but, obviously, it was canceled because I’ve never been evicted or anything. So I think this is proof enough. So I’m going to go ahead and fax this to Klarisa now. (end tone signaling that the fax has gone through)
( . . . )
Q: For old times’ sake, I thought I would share with you what’s on the radio.
. . . There’s vultures and thieves at your back. . . .
. . . In the arms of the Angel, fly away from here. . . .
( . . . )
Q: So it’s June 11th and I still have not heard back from anyone at Variety or from the (old) management company of Santa Monica Shores. Ellen’s watching “Leeza” in the background. Leeza was just talking about prostitutes in Italy not shaving their armpits with a picture of Julia Roberts. Everyone seems to be ignoring the whales dying, the destruction of the eco-system. I mean it’s ridiculous. Diane Sawyer — what did Diane Sawyer talk about today?
L: Called Evolution.
Q: What is? The destruction of the Earth is evolution?
L: Yes, dear. Certain parts are destroyed.
Q: Well what do you think of people like Diane Sawyer who only want to focus on ‘feel good’ issues?
L: Honey, I don’t care. I want to listen to this, dear.
Q: O.J.? It’s O.J. again. (“WHAT”) What could possibly be left to be said about O.J.?
L: He’s a dirty, rotten, stinking dog.
Q: That’s been said before. Why are you looking at the tape recorder as if it’s something horrible? It’s your friend.
( . . . )
R: That is something that’s human nature. These things happen throughout history and a lot of good things came from this. A lot of bad things came from this. I mean O.J.’s doing a commercial for a lawyer right now. . . .
O: You know why I like Richard —
R: . . . he doesn’t need the money because all that money he makes from the commercial goes — I think goes to the Brown family.
Q: Why do they think movie stars and TV stars are experts in any field?
R: Why would a law firm, no (or “NO”) — even if he is innocent, why would a law firm — why would anyone want to — it just seems a little —
O: Amazing. You know why I like Richard’s attitude —
?: Free enterprise. Tacky.
O: — toward this? A lot of people come away from O.J. saying, “Oh we’ve got to reform the system. It’s made such an incredible impact on me.” But that’s a terrible idea because we’re never going to see the likes of the O.J. crisis again.
Q: (reading name designation) Royal Oakes.
O: So if you get rid of the jury system or hire professional jurors because you thought they were idiots or if you bar the cameras from the courtroom and stop the press from informing the public, that’s an overreaction. I don’t think you reform the system based on a unique situation.
R: But you have wonderful information now for kids that are going to school to be lawyers to look at all of the information that got out there — the wrong information, the right information — and it wasn’t communicated correctly or it was. And now if he is innocent, everybody thinks he isn’t. So you . . .
Q: (reading name designation) Richard Karn played Al Borland on “Home Improvement.”
Z: Well in the Ramsey case and the Simpson, the Goldman murders, you wonder if we ever really will know. But one of the things I think that came out of it that has been quite positive is this heightened awareness of domestic violence. And we’ll talk about that coming up. When young love turns deadly. What happens when a date ends in tragedy. And then later on how much privacy should you give kids? . . .
Q: So Richard said that anything he’s not interested in or doesn’t care about, he pushes away. Anything bad in the world. Isn’t that a perfect example of why we are where we are today? People not wanting to deal with problems. All the media care about is what won’t offend their advertisers.
C: . . . the truth will change their lives forever. “Days of Our Lives.” NBC daytime.
L: I don’t care about Nicole . . . she knew what she was getting into. Her family knew what she was getting into. And she only did it because . . .
Q: He had money?
C: . . . I take care of myself and I eat smart. I have a SlimFast® for lunch . . .
Q: The commercials go on relentlessly. On and on and on.
L: . . . making movies and everything.
Q: Do you ever buy things you see advertized on commercials? Does anyone?
C: I’ve finally found the answer.
C: It’s the greatest thing that’s happened to a sandwich since sliced bread. The one and only Vlasic® Sandwich Stackers . . .
L: Anyway, and you know — remember, he got them the dealership . . .
C: Dr. Scholl’s® next stop — San Antonio Zoo. . . .
L: . . . They loved him . . . that’s why they got the kids, you know. I’m sure that’s why they got the kids. . . .
C: Very futuristic.
C: It’s U-shaped design cradles and supports your foot so it hits the ground evenly.
C: Feels real good on these big old feet.
C: I really think these would help my lower back pain.
Q: Did you see — there was a man in that commercial who looked just like Art Bell.
C: Strange? Not as strange as buying Equal® . . .
Q: I couldn’t believe it when that came out about Art Jr. going down on the teacher or the teacher going down on him. It’s like six days later — the same week — Ramona called me to book me on the show. Of course, it didn’t work out but the dates were very startling, to say the least.
C: I guess they just know what we like.
C: A what?
C: He’s a senior.
C: A senior?
Q: I wonder if Art Sr. gave Art Jr. a copy of my book to read. It probably would’ve cheered him up somewhat.
C: The dictionary defines passion as extreme emotions or desires. . . .
L: Honey, that book is — rambling of a deluded mind.
Q: Ellen, look what you’re watching on TV right now.
L: I’m not watching it.
C: . . . intense romantic desire. And this summer all of the above.
L: . . . It’s stupid. Those things are stupid.
C: NBC redefines daytime drama with passion. . . .
Q: Are there more commercials every year or am I imagining things? (reading) “Friday Buzz.” (applause)
Z: We’ve heard so much talk lately about, you know, the pressure that our teens are under and we don’t understand them and we’re not listening.
L: Oh shut up. They shouldn’t have any rights at all.
A: And so many of them feel that they live in isolation. And they can’t express themselves. And is that sort of the undercurrent . . .
Q: What about the environment? I mean we have — the ice shelf is disintegrating.
L: Who cares? . . . I don’t really care. . . .
Z: And, Jane, this is an area where you have particular expertise. Especially going back to your Sassy days.
Q: Who’s that?
Z: One in ten teen relationships abusive?
C: Completely startling. . . .
Q: (reading name designation) Jane Pratt, editor-in-chief, Jane magazine.
L: Never heard of it.
J: . . . So obviously they’re not learning as teens that this is something that they need to speak out about.
L: What time is it?
J: To me, what that shows is that there’s so much shame involved.
Q: Oh my God, it’s 9:24, time for dialysis.
J: For the victims — where the shame should be with the perpetrators. . . . (applause)
Q: Just think, Ellen, if you were a witch in a previous life and you ended up at the Inquisition, the same thing might have happened in this one. You might have followed — made the same mistakes and ended up in the same thematic —
L: Probably . . .
Q: Well obviously.
?: . . . grow up with pagers in high school and junior high; and the boyfriends keeping tabs on them. “If you don’t call me back in five minutes, you’re in trouble.”
?: Where are the parents?
?: Well a lot of the parents are in it themselves.
Q: Who watches these TV shows other than people like you? Why do they think they’re so smart? They’re just actors and actresses.
?: Pagers should be banned. (applause)
Q: (reading designation) Anne-Marie Johnson.
?: I agree.
?: And junior high school.
Q: Somebody else with H — O in her name.
?: But, you know, I used to think that way about cell phones until Columbine happened. Then I thought I’d want my kid with a cell phone to be in the closet calling me. Or calling police.