WEEKEND | Franco, #wellplayedsir

So in the past hour various people, primarily my editors, have asked me — in that tone of voice that implies the futility of resistance — whether or not I would like to write a response to James Franco’s tweet.

I don’t quite know how to approach writing a response to a picture with “F— the Yale Daily News” drawn across it, not to mention the fact that this is all based on the possibly very false assumption that that tweet is itself a response to the blog post I wrote insulting James Franco’s Twitter at 3 in the morning last Thursday. So let me start by saying that if James Franco was in fact referring to Shebani Rao’s recent opinion piece about how crabs can feel pain — perhaps Franco is a big fan of the Soft Shell Crab Roll at Sushi on Chapel, which he should be — I will be even more embarrassed than I already am at the (now-corrected) typo so helpfully pointed out to me in the comments on the post.

But allow me to, just for a second, inflate my self-importance enough to assume that James Franco tweeted a graffitied-up picture in response to something I actually wrote. Basically what this means is that my single meaningful point of contact with the guy who totally hosted the Oscars Sunday night is the fact that he read something snarky I wrote about him, online. I mean, a lot of my life happens online — friends whom I know based only on their avatars, that time I was obsessed with Habbo Hotel in third grade — but this is way bigger than any of that. It’s also possibly the pinnacle of my career as a writer, at least based on the fact that that 200-word blog post officially has the most comments of anything I’ve ever written, even if they are all defending James Franco against my typos and general meanness.

Or rather, defending his Twitter. Because that’s what my blog post was about — what I saw as the lame-ness of James Franco’s Twitter — and, in that context, his visual/performance/Twitter art response was perfect. I said he should Tweet fewer random pictures and instead be more like the Twitter-ranting Kanye. James Franco, in turn, ranted in the form of a random picture. #wellplayedsir.

Besides, combined with his Oscars hosting performance and in accordance with the opinion of commenters on my last blog, I’m becoming convinced that James Franco’s whole life is a form of postmodern performance art. In that context, his Twitter fits right in.



    hurrah! cheers! kudos!

  • uncommons

    hilarious. best way cohen could have replied. well played all around


    can’t wait to see what dalet5770 has to say about this one

  • veganchic

    get a life. who cares what he tweets. if you don’t like it, don’t follow it.

  • alsoanon

    @veganchic oh, the irony of that coming from someone who evidently made an account just to comment on this article…

  • uncommons

    boom. roasted. #wellplayedalsoanon

  • Crandall

    The basic flawed assumption here is that Franco’s life is (or is being turned into) a postmodern performance piece (a delusion he may also believe). The problem? Everybody’s life is pretty much a sprawling postmodern performance piece. What distinguishes painters from politicians is that painters produce paintings. We all produce life (in it’s crazy and indefinable way).

  • wow

    let’s be honest, you said what anyone who’s been following @jamesfranco has thought all along … “he’s doing Twitter wrong”

    it’s very simple to start, just follow some people for a while, get the gist of how conversations flow … but instead, he’s one of those “I don’t need to follow them, they’ll follow me” celebutards and so he basically sucks at it, and now he’s being a petulant brat and whining about your very accurate call-out … simply put, #FrancoFail

  • lb010808

    His assistant confirmed his comment was in a response to your post on her Twitter account. http://twitter.com/daMorganic/status/42729516027756544

  • bdancy

    by him mentioning @YaleDailylNews means he has no beef with you… he single handily landed you a summer internship at the publisher of your choice! He virtually “iced” you and now you are cool…. just email this and your story any editor for a job – that is, it may only work if your other writings are insightful… but most likely you will hold your own for being the guy “who pissed off yale’s famous co-ed” & “now has to watch his every move on campus” …. you can thank @jamesfranco when you are more appreciative 😛

  • GusStella

    Really? Dedicating a whole post at YALE daily news to someone you “don’t really care about”? The shameful part is that you use all your well written sentences to say absolutely nothing, that no one cares about. While you’re there writing this and hoping, praying you’ll get some attention, James is probably making more money than you’ll ever will and enjoying a sweet life. You know why? Because he’s good at what he does. But hey, maybe one day you’ll be successful too. Maybe not, with this ‘kind of’ jealousy attitude. Anyway, if you’ll ever get successful, it obviously won’t be as a writer, so study hard my friend! You’ll need it. Good luck and hopefully you’ll get a less envyous day tomorrow. – Gus Stella.

  • Crandall


    Your words and statements are even more meaningless. The oil companies make plenty of money but we still need people to criticize them. The whole “laughing all the way to the bank” is such an 80s mentality that is out-dated, a needless throw-back and, frankly, irrelevant. Similarly, if criticism is envy, Arthur Danto has a lot of envy… Sorry, I think Cokey is a fan trying to get Franco’s attention (don’t ask me why, but hey)–it’s not like he’s Kanye West belittling Franco’s ineptness with twitter.

    Look, Franco has the money and the power…to be so threatened by an offhand comment from a fellow student that he purposefully has avoided any real comment on the Oscar fiasco and instead launches an attack on somebody ten years younger belies the deep insecurity that Franco suffers from. Cokey is just a surrogate for Franco’s frustration with the Hollywood situation.

    But then again…Franco bombed at the Oscars, he abandoned his much-hyped after-party, his Gagosian Gallery premier featured works that could easily be described as “slightly interesting” DVD extras…his D in his acting class at NYU…his less-than-impressive collection of short stories…the guy seems to have bitten off more than he can chew. …Maybe he should be insecure and whiny. But I don’t think you need to intervene on his behalf with your feckless comments…or do you really think him that helpless?

  • 234Bonjour

    Or, Gus, you could try to employ proper grammar and accurate spelling when forming an argument. That way, people can’t completely dismiss you as an idiot before absorbing the content of your post. It’s a little hypocritical of you to tell a student to “study hard” when you haven’t even mastered basics of the English language yet. Also, how does pointing out the banality of James Franco’s twitter make the author of the post “envyous,” as you so creatively spelled it? It’s not as though we’re required to adore everything the guy touches. He’s a grown man, and if the only way he can respond to a modicum of criticism is by tweeting an obscenity written over his face in Microsoft Paint, then he certainly deserves some of what’s coming to him.

  • lbd821

    Well played, Cokey. I’d be really excited in James Franco took the time out of flying back from the Oscars to respond to ANYTHING I wrote about him too. Your response: hilarious. Awesome.

  • GusStella

    Hello Crandall!
    Ok, you’re focusing WAY too much on the “money” thing. That’s not really relevant at all to what I’m trying to say here. I’m not throwing-back anything. Actually, I don’t hope for any respose from Cokey. I do agree with you on “if criticism is envy, Arthur Danto has a lot of envy…” but the thing is: does the world or anybody needs his own personal critics on what James does with his TWITTER?! I mean, could you be more lifeless? And the real meaningless thing is to go on an Institution Website to complain about what the guy does with his own life, twitter or whatever. And come on, “Franco’s ineptness with twitter”? So what, now everyone out there has to have a good reason and worldwide meanings to TWEET something? And who’s to judge what is “inept” on twitter?! Do you think it makes any sense?! “The deep insecurity that Franco suffers from”, “Franco’s frustration with the Hollywood situation”… Here’s the thing: Just because you saw the guy on TV or bumped into him somewhere, you feel like you know him or even worse, are able to describe the guy. Everybody’s a critic. Everybody feels like it. The real thing is that no one is, you’re a bunch of lifeless sad guys. Cokey, for posting this ridiculous thing, and you, for feeling like something near a critic (lame job, fyi) and pointing out things trying to say where are James’ flaws. Come on: “Abandoning after-parties”, Seriously? Are you picking on his personal life as an argument? “D’s in his acting class at NYU…” What do you want to prove with this? Grades at NYU?! The guy is working with the best actors and directors out there, getting nomminated to Academy Awards (and all types of awards) and you think he can’t be good because he has a D in his acting classes? “Works being described as “slightly interesting”, Man, that’s called “trying out”, anybody can try out as much as they can, no? Being an artist is about to try whatever is on your mind, to put yourself into vunerable situations and to learn something about it, about yourself. I don’t feel like he has to prove anything to anyone. And I don’t think you know the first thing about being an artist. You guys should keep up with the straight A’s and your perfect spelling, seriously. – Gus Stella.

  • GusStella

    Dear 234Bonjour,
    Dear 234Bonjour, You keep up with the better spelling, I keep up with the better convictions. Cuz I don’t feel you have any.

  • Crandall

    Wow, Gus, you really missed the point, didn’t you? Either Franco can speak for himself or he can’t. Given the trappings of success he’s acquired, I think he can speak for himself. Was kinda hoping he would…if James can suffer the LA crowd, I’d think he could handle Yale.

    That said, I’m more than happy to engage you for the moment and point out a few things.
    You’re the one who said, “James is probably making more money than you’ll ever will and enjoying a sweet life.” I call that focusing on money. It’s an attempt to refute criticism by pointing to monetary success. Which is just meaningless…four years ago, Lehman brothers looked pretty good…

    Next, as far as knowing him or thinking I know him, I sincerely hope never to talk with him/see him/interact with him. Never have known him, never will. Don’t want to. My opinion was based on simple facts. Here’s the timeline. Oscars happen. Franco bails (and yes, considering that he was promoting the after-party on a professional level, I think that’s his public life, not private life), tweets nothing, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, attacks Cokey’s comments. Does he say, “Eff you, Roger Ebert.” Or “Eff you, Tim Franco.” No…he went after people who he’s attending school with. I’m sorry, man, but for somebody who has just co-hosted the Oscars, that’s pretty weak…and kinda cowardly. To me, that smacks of self-doubt.

    As far as the D in the NYU class, I have no qualms with Franco’s acting…I liked him in the Spiderman movies and Milk…haven’t seen the rest. I don’t know why he was taking that class at NYU, and I don’t care. What I do think is lame is that he continues to try to claim to be everywhere…he’s getting a degree at RISD, he’s taking classes at Yale, he’s at NYU, he’s…you know…that’s just not cool. He’s basically acting like some guy putting institutional notches on his academic belt. But if he’s not earning degrees at these institutions or even passing the classes, it’s all just…well, pretty fraudlent, I think. People spend their lives studying aspect of some specialized field…and the some actor is going to try to garner bragging rights based on taking a couple of classes somewhere? A Ph.D. from Yale and an MFA from Columbia are more than enough to allow him to do what he wants to do, and also impressive enough.

    As far as my skills as a critic…who cares what you think? Unless you’re Danto your opinion is meaningless to me and holds no weight. Of course you’re going to attack my skills…

    Finally, “trying things” out. I’m glad Franco wrote that collection of stories. Everybody should write… whenever they can. But not everybody has an opportunity to author something and then have it published. That was an opportunity…and one many people would be willing to give up an acting career or art career for. I can see James wants it all…but, yeah, I’m a bit dubious he deserves it all.

  • GusStella

    Hey Crandall.
    Let me try to make things better. First of all, thanks for keeping up with the debating without losing it. Maybe I didn’t do the same. Anyway, this subject is sort of a thing that we could go on and on and on forever. I just made my point and now I got yours. We have different ways to see things and to see this subject speciffically. I just can’t understand all the criticizing and talking about it, you know? I’ll still go with the “let’s worry about our lives” ideal, whatever James is doing with his. But I came back worrying this would become a crazy non-sense talking or attacking. And that’s not what I want.
    Anyway, I say let’s expect James Franco’s next moves (even though I think we shouldn’t) and probably if he’s full of it, he’ll go down, if he’s trying something out, he’ll probably find it. We’ll see.
    Ps – I really recommend to you his latest movies, such as 127 hours and Howl.
    This is me leaving.

  • Robin

    As someone who works in social media, as I understand what you are saying, James’ engagement with his fans is the best way to reach them. Whenever a celebrity or even a normal person on twitter/facebook post photos, their activity with their followers sky rocket. Could he write more, sure, but that’s not his personality. As a fan of his, I would hate to see him go the Kim Kardashian or Kanye West self-indulgent route and tweet everything short of when they are going to the bathroom.

    I say, more pictures with photo-shopped cats on his head…why not?

  • UncR

    Yo, Cokey. So now that you are discussing important stuff like James Franco, I’ve replaced “538” and “RCP” on my Bookmarks Toolbar with “Cokey.” Figuring out how to do that in less than an hour made me feel as cool as Katie Couric, AND this is the first time I’ve ever figured out that your user name can be a nom de tweet. In other age-related news, we saw Randy Newman last night in Charlottesville. That dude is 2 years older than I am but actually sharing the Oscar stage with Franco. WTF. Ralph

  • ByZaika

    Cokey, I had no idea that you were a girl when I read your “article”….
    but now it all makes sense. you are obsessed honey. i say go for it and keep bashing him thus attracting more attention to your persona. men love that.

  • bobjohnson2

    cokey, such a troll… such a troll..

  • nportman

    I’m becoming convinced that Cokey lacks the common sense to be given any type of power, even a writer for a school paper…
    Mr. Franco is a king to your pawn ♙♟
    My advice is to stop digging yourself deeper…
    Stop using fancy words and use your head.


    confidence, cohen!

  • DC

    Just fuel his ego even more, why don’t you? Honestly.

  • PabloAgus

    The “statue of a cat” is the Teddy Award!! I think you are a bit jealous of the incredible life of James Franco

  • MrTwobit

    Cokey doesn’t get it. The Host duties was a job to be done by “the actor”. The Tweets were an expression from the person. So when you said they sucked, you were in fact stating that he sucked. That leaves you open for anything that follows.

  • stef

    Yes @Robin, exactly;
    more photos of James with cats photo-shopped on his head… why not? Hillarious!
    I totally agree with that, the best comment on here.

    So bored of twitter and facebook being used by celebrities to market their movies, events etc. It’s so much more fun when they take us into their lives and minds. Regardless of wether “critics” find them boring or lame…. if your a fan, you appreciate all of it.

    Cokey, you made me laugh all the same; maybe he was upset about the crabs feeling pain…. yes, well played by you both.

  • joe_ec

    “the guy who totally hosted the Oscars Sunday night …”

    You misspelled “hosed”.

  • sassa

    Cokey Cohen looks like Blossom

  • Bookluvr2011

    I think it’s kind of funny that a lot of the comments I see defending Franco are made by women. Not that I’m attacking women (that would be hypocritical), I just find it mildly amusing.

  • yal3luvur

    SADD ST0Riii ~~~
    ~~ 1NCE der waz a boi naemd jamez frinco. he maed a tweeter akkount tew talck tew peepul he luved.
    but denn sum lil betch frum yale skeewl came alung. she ded nut lyke jamez cuz wen dey wur en luv he ceeted un hur wit taylur sweft, so she waz maddur den mad kowz. sew she mayed a post on at hur leetul neewzpeepr abut how she wantzed hem to DDYYEEE. JAMEZ WAZ SCURRD SO HE RIDED HIZ BREECHIN’ WHAEL HOMIE.
    den he maed a pozt on tweetur dat he waz gunna keel cohen. end she creyed and creyed.
    nao evuri1 iz butthurt end u guyz shuld stop hatin’ on dem juzt cuz deer realashionship iz poopi.
    LEVAVE BRITTKNEE ALUNEEEE!!#$%!!!!%$%zdf!!!
    I LUV MICHAEL JACKSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ~~~~~~~~ dee end.
    reblob if bacon

  • sistakind

    God this is sickening.
    First, how can you even feel that writing an “editorial” piece about the importance of Mr. Franco’s tweets. Where is the value in such a story, unless the value is to poke him for a response.

    I hope Mr. Franco’s reaction what in true form, not tongue and cheek. If his tweet pic was in sincerity than I commend Mr. Franco. The news pieces in this paper are severely lacking and I find that I am getting more from a local high newspaper than this garbage.

  • mindart77

    Cokey and others that have recently criticized James Franco may have a point, but regardless of the hosting job that Mr. Franco was perceived to do by them the following facts cannot be disputed:

    1. In spite of the Oscar criticism, Franco is a very talented well-known international acting sensation that has worked with such Oscar winning acting greats including: Robert De Niro, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, and Sean Penn. Unlike Cokey who is barely known by the local entertainment industry, let alone anyone at the Oscars.

    2. In spite of the Oscar criticism, Franco has made enough money that he will not have to worry about how to pay back his Yale college tuition in full, for the short term or long term. Unlike Cokey who needs to generate sensational story blogs in the hopes of potentially landing a job with a newspaper, which may allow her to pay back her Yale college tuition loans in full perhaps in 20 years if she’s lucky.

    3. In spite of the Oscar criticism, Franco got to experience the glitter and glam of the Academy Awards red carpet festivities in person as they unfolded. Unlike Cokey who had to be content with experiencing the Academy Awards events by watching them on tv in order to report on them, because she wasn’t well known enough to receive a personal press invitation by the Academy of Motion Arts.

    4. In spite of the Oscar criticism, Franco’s popularity is not dependent on whether or not he responds to any further comments from Cokey or other fellow students, as he walks the Yale campus. Unlike Cokey, who can only become more popular by following Franco’s life closely, in order to further comment on it with menial reports, which may or may not increase her notoriety.

    Now Tweet that!

  • ByZaika

    ^^^ “In spite of the Oscar criticism,” Franco gets paid for every tweet that he submits…(most likely)
    Unlike Cokey, who doesn’t whore herself around but instead speaks her mind.
    Unlike Franco, who is not capable of speaking….singing….acting…..
    But guess what he got? Looks! and that’s what gets him by.

  • johnnyxpa

    I enjoyed your bit of banter. However I was not aware Yale is now located in a valley. As in “totally” hosted the Oscars.

  • onlineproductmanager

    Thanks for all the hits Cokey 😉

  • saywhat

    Cokey, is it? Perhaps he told you to pound off because as a fellow peer, he feels you should understand he has much better things to do and many more important tasks to complete than to entertain you via Twitter or his performance at the Oscar’s. Maybe you’re just not working as hard, trying to accomplish as much, or being half the student he is, with a quarter of the personality he has. However, as a writer, reporter, blogger, or whatever you are for the YALE DAILY NEWS and not some community college paper(is that right?), maybe you could do some research or consider the known facts, before throwing a juvenile tantrum about how sucky his Tweets are. As you stated Franco’s Twitter account was only a few days old prior to Oscar night, which could mean that because he NEVER had one, he may have been persuaded to open one just to give star chasers like you some sort of false sense of importance by including you in their daily happenings. I actually appreciated him more for NOT having a Twitter account. With that said, also consider that the request to host the Oscar’s is not one many would pass up, whether they actually have an interest or not; it’s something cool to put on the good ole’ resume. I would like to think given Franco’s personality and known aspirations, hosting the Oscar’s may not have been at the top of his to-do list, but when opportunity knocks, open the door. I suppose no one has knocked at your door in a while, hence the unfamiliarity of the sound. So no, he doesn’t need to master Twitpic or Tweet less sucky, for that we have twits, I mean Tweeters like you, who think that what they have to say, about things they don’t know are cool. By the way Cokey, this is the pinnacle of your career, so enjoy it, while your parents pay (or you drown yourself in debt) for the education you don’t seem value as much as disinterested celebrity happenings and social media capabilities. I would also loose any assumptions you have defining the artistic purpose of one’s, life including Franco’s, and focus on carving your own existence, considering how small it is despite these 15mins.

    I look forward to your colorful happenings with every bit of poetic prose and image perfection once you pursue mutiple degrees simultaneously, teach a class, be an A-list anything, eat, breathe, sleep, oh and study, while commuting across the country on a weekly basis…………………………………………………*since you don’t seem to be familiar with genuine disinterest, allow me to clarify: I don’t care about you happenings; it ALL a big joke!

  • lherman22

    I agree—get a life. Maybe if you didn’t type “totally” so many times you wouldn’t sound like a moron. This guy has so many things going on I doubt his twitter is high on the priority list. Enjoy your 15mins while it lasts.

  • zena

    Cokey and James — well played, all around; and kudos to both of you for not taking any of this seriously.

  • natw1978

    Bewildered and I must say bemused by the comments above, I found the provincial attitudes of so many lacking what should be a greater awareness of a person’s choices to exist. Surely we aspire to thought provocation and not attack. But it seems the human condition to denigrate in the guise of social commentary reigns supreme. Maybe we should just realize that what we have in common as human beings is more important than any attempt to admonish another’s existence. Concentration on self awareness and less of the self importance, …. you never know it may give you greater fulfillment in your own lives, is’nt this what we should strive for……..

  • JohnGoldberg

    Cokey Cohen, you sound like a fat, short, ugly dude (no offense to them) who does not have a girlfriend. And the only… yes, the only reason you are trying to be hurtful to a fellow student (just like Brutus) is because you are jealous. If I am wrong on any count in this message then I retract what I said. But I just can not imagine that a normal guy with a normal life would take out so much time to criticize a student at his own college.
    And quite frankly the reply from Franco was pitch-appropriate. You just weren’t worthy of him spending more than two well chosen words.
    I thought 127 Hours sucked and that some of Franco’s movie’s are questionable. But there is no doubt that he is one of the most accomplished actors in the world and a privilege for Yale that he is there. And for a fellow student to go around back biting about him is just pathetic.

  • whatever123

    Are you all kidding me about the D in acting school at NYU? I don’t know if you guys live under one big rock or something, but he was off filming his OSCAR NOMINATED role in 127 Hours during his course at NYU. His acting performance was absolutely stunning in it.
    Yeah, so he’s taking on a lot at the moment, but look how successful he is. I don’t see any of you getting nominated for Oscars or getting asked to host the Oscars. His performance at the Oscars is irrelevant. Like someone else said, it probably wasn’t on the top of his priority list between the 3 schools he’s attending, movies he’s filming, books he’s writing, etc. Believe me, that boy can act his butt off.
    And I’m not even going to address the twitter thing because I think that was one of the most stupid articles I’ve ever read in my entire life. I’m just enraged by the fact that people are addressing his D in acting school when in reality, he was off doing the performance of his life so far in 127 Hours.

  • Crandall

    @ whatever123,

    He got a D…what do you want? He’s not a bad actor, and he certainly is ambitious. He got nominated…but didn’t win. He hosted the Oscars…but bombed. He’s authored a book…from what I’ve read, it’s OK, but he’s not the next Hemingway. Why in the world would you be outraged that people are addressing the D? Are the degrees just for bragging rights or because he’s interested in the materials? If he’s interested in the materials and can’t cut the grades, maybe he should look to produce a more realistic level of output. Sucking somewhat at everything isn’t much of admirable life goal. Just because he’s ambitious doesn’t mean that he’s immune to criticism or somehow not subject to reality checks…anybody can throw money at various colleges and take classes…his output, I think, would benefit from some focus.

  • ByZaika

    @ JohnGoldberg FYI, Cokey is a cute female, so there goes your theory. and what do you consider an accomplished actor?

  • kflow

    cokey — you’re ready for primetime. i see publishing deals in your future. blink off any critics. keep writing. you are fabulous.

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