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You know those philosophical and artistic conversations you overheard in college that inspired really aggressive eye rolls? The ones that were so pretentious and foolish they made you slightly embarrassed to even exist near them. Well, Shia LaBeouf is having one of those conversations right now on his Twitter, though instead of bantering with one specific person or group, he seems to be ranting or preaching at the entire world.
Ordinarily, the philosophizing would come and go without a ton of doubletakes, but if LaBeouf is to be taken at his word, the larger issue may cause him to give up being a celebrity and everything that entails. Seriously. Here are some of the tweets in question…
In case you’ve tuned out everything LaBeouf-related for the past few weeks, let me give you a quick rehash of what’s happened. The ex-Transformers star wrote a play called HowardCantour.com. He hired Jim Gaffigan to star in it, and people were, in general, pretty pleased with how it turned out. Upon further review, however, it was discovered many lines of dialogue were directly lifted from Daniel Clowes’ novella Justin M. Damiano.
Sounds like a cut and dry case of plagiarism, right? Well, LaBeouf would have you believe it’s more complicated. He’s used a long series of apologies he’s plagiarized from other people to basically let fans know that he was inspired by Clowes’ work and was trying to take it a step further, not full on steal his work. I can wrap my head around that, but clearly, in retrospect, he should have actually credited Clowes or maybe asked for his permission. He didn’t and now he’s had to spend the last few weeks getting snippy on Twitter, paying for elaborate skywriting displays and beating back cease and desist orders.
I have no idea if LaBeouf will actually follow through on his threat to quit public life. In fact, I don't even know what the hell public life means. Could he Daniel Day-Lewis it, become a secretive weirdo and still act now and again? I have no idea, but I, for one, hope he just remains a full-on celebrity. He’s totally wrong about this plagiarism thing, but he’s a damn good actor and he’s got a personality that makes him uniquely suited to make headlines, stupid as many of them may be.