Brian Presley probably doesn’t remember

From Fu*king Brian: The Attempted Shaming of Melissa Stetten:

Melissa Stetten is the gorgeous model who live tweeted the clichéd alleged pick-up lines of a tipsy D list actor whilst on a red eye from LA to NYC. Turns out said actor is married and claims to be sober and is a big time Christian. Melissa tweeted at one point “Did I ruin Brian’s life?” Prophetic Melissa.

Stage 1: Euphoria – stage one usually occurs during or straight after the first glass. You will feel happy or ‘slightly merry’, which will cause your inhibitions to weaken. You’ll feel more confident, you may say things or do things you wouldn’t usually do and say, or feel a heightened sense of affection towards others. During this stage the length of your attention span will decrease and your reactions will slow down considerably. Stages of drunkenness

Eight days later, in a Q & A from Christianity Today with Ashley Moore, posted 14th June 2012, Brian Presley says this is what happened on the redeye flight out of LA, in the early hours of 6th June:

I was on my way to New York for business, and we were having the screening of Touchback and some other business—two days and [then] back home. I sat next to this person and had a friendly conversation. She seemed like a nice person. She asked why I was going to New York. I said work and shared part of the industry I’m in. She shared what part of the industry she’s in. And I brought up Touchback.

I’m a passionate guy in general and I feel passionate about what I do, but in no way was I rambling on about myself. It was just a small-talk conversation with somebody who I thought shared a similar industry. Probably 10 or 15 minutes max. I put my headphones on, watched a little bit of the movie, and went to sleep. And the next thing, I was in New York and I had meetings the next morning.

At 7 minutes past midnight, Melissa Stetten tweeted

Two minutes later, 00:09:

00:12

00:14

00:23

00:29

00:36

00:41

00:42

Brian Presley on IMDB

At the very least, then, Brian Presley has underestimated the amount of time he spent talking to Melissa Stetten – and I think no one denies Stetten clearly had no idea who Presley was until someone tweeted her the link from IMDB. Presley’s version of events is that after “Probably 10 or 15 minutes max” (at least an hour) during which he made “small-talk conversation” – tried to get the attention of the stunningly beautiful young woman seated next to him while she kept tapping away on her smartphone – he brought up Touchback – and then he went to sleep.

So according to Presley’s version of events, what follows is something that Stetten made up, spontaneously, on the plane, about the chap sitting next to her, after he had gone to sleep.

Stage 2: Excitement – at this stage you will begin to lose control of your emotions and you may experience a reduction in your ability to your perceive, judge, store memories or properly comprehend anything. Your reactions will slow, your vision will blur and you will find it increasingly difficult to keep your balance. At this point you may begin to feel a little drowsy. Stages of drunkenness

00:45

00:51

00:52

00:54

00:57

01:17

The Book of Mormon reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes.com.

01:26

01:37

Q & A from Christianity Today with Ashley Moore, posted 12th April 2012:

After a season of abusing booze and steroids, Brian Presley had a choice: Clean up. Or die.

God has a way of getting your attention like that. And for Presley, who’d grown up a Christian and had the best of intentions when he took on Hollywood as a young, ambitious actor, hitting rock bottom might have been the only way he’d finally sit up and listen.

Funny how life imitates art, then, because Presley’s new movie—Touchback, opening in about 50 theaters this week—is essentially his life story. Handsome, talented guy, with the world at his fingertips, starts making bad decisions, blows it all. Gets depressed, considers (and maybe attempts) suicide, then gets the divine wake-up call. For the real-life Presley, it’s the story of an actor and the CEO of an indie production company, Freedom Films. For his character in Touchback, it’s a football star. Same guy, different uniforms.

01:39

04:33

On 8th June, Brian Presley posted a denial on his Facebook page.

And gets a response:

Tommy Christopher, 11th June, Mediaite:

Rather than pile on Brian Presley, I’ll let the reader judge the relative credibility of these two versions, but what this demonstrates is that, in the brave new world of social media, Twitter is clearly superior to Facebook. While both applications harness their respective users’ self-centeredness, Facebook is like an art museum of narcissism that others can visit, with the expectation that their own narcissism will be fed in return.

All of the analysis of this series of tweets by Stetten that I’ve seen – and most of Presley’s blanket denial – focusses on Presley’s muddled attempts to flirt and Stetten’s livetweeting it. (My own initial reaction was: If you’re trying to chat someone up and she spends the entire time typing, whether or not you realise she’s livetweeting: she’s just not that in to you.)

In fact, you could practically add it up from the reactions: Anyone – male or female – who has had the experience of having a drunk guy tell you all about himself because he’s so interesting and charming and witty and zzzzz, is going to find this funny.

David Woods, Manolith, 6th June:

Though the whole thing is kind of a #humblebrag, it’s hard to blame Stetten for wanting to get the creepiness of it all off her chest. It’s quite likely that she ruined Presley’s life (she not only outed him as an adulterer, but also revealed that he’s off the wagon with regards to his recovery from alcoholism), but he kind of deserves it, right? The story is only breaking now, so there’s a good chance that, as you read this, he doesn’t even know that his life is ruined yet.

Though obviously women are also going to have the added ugh of Drunk Guy Flirting, probably on top of Obliviously Heterosexual Guy Entitlement, otherwise known as “I don’t have to pay attention to how uninterested you are in me because you’re smaller than me and probably scared of making a scene.” (See: Schrödinger’s Rapist.)

Anyone who’s been the drunk guy and who still thinks that when they’ve had a couple of drinks they are interesting and charming and witty and only a “passive-aggressive c*nt” would find them otherwise, is going to find this whole tale completely unnerving.

(Though Alex Clark in the Guardian had a general look at How Twitter is putting an end to our private lives and Lynn Beisner in the Nice Guy TM Project asks: Was Brian Presley actually trying to convert Melissa Stetten? – no, almost certainly not.)

Some men (and a few women) have argued that a beautiful woman who finds herself being flirted at by a married jerk really has an obligation (either to the man himself, or to his wife and children) to keep quiet about it. After all, what are beautiful women for, in this line of thinking?

What you tell to a perfect stranger, you are potentially telling to the whole world. This has always been true. It’s just that it can happen a lot faster now there’s wifi and Twitter. When a man hits on a woman and the woman isn’t interested, a standard kneejerk defense is always “I didn’t want her ANYWAY”. But what about that “diet coke” that Presley says he was drinking?

Moore: She specifically said that you were drinking a Heineken.
Presley: No. I had a Diet Coke.

Heineken Diet Coke

I don’t particularly like Heineken or soda drinks of any variety, but I’ve just spent more time than I ever really wanted to, looking at photos of Heineken and of Diet Coke, in glasses – Diet Coke with ice, with lime, with pomegranate, Coke Zero – and I cannot find any situation in which you could ever visually mistake the light colour of Heineken with the dark colour of Coca-Cola. Diet Pepsi doesn’t look anything like a lager either, if you’re interested.

Not to mention the little facts that (a) on airlines you get your drink handed to you in its can, so your seatmate can in fact see what you’re drinking (b) they smell different.

Melissa Stetten says that Brian Presley had three Heinekens in the first hour or so of the redeye flight. Assuming that he was sober when he got aboard the plane, and assuming he really hadn’t had anything to drink in months, that meant he’d had 4 to 5 units of alcohol in an hour and yeah, he was wasted.

And if I were his wife or his agent, the thing I’d be most concerned about isn’t that he met this beautiful young woman and entirely failed to get off with her, but that he got on a redeye flight and got drunk when he’d claimed to have totally sobered up.

Brian Presley may actually remember that hour-plus on the plane in which he got drunk and had a “nice conversation” (if entirely one-sided) as lasting 10 to 15 minutes. More than likely, though, he doesn’t really remember much of it at all. But he’s a nice guy. He’s not going to “sling it back” about her tweets. Really.

Nice Guy TM - women never date nice guys like me

See, this is how to have a GOOD conversation with a total stranger:

The guy next to me said nonchalantly, “There’s a tomato festival tomorrow, you should go.”

I was not in the mood to talk to anyone. I look like a social vampire demon when I’m on subways. I only smile at babies and guys who give up their seats to old ladies. After he said that, I instantly smiled and said back to him, “No shit, I’m out of tomatoes, maybe I’ll go.”

“I think it’s where people throw tomatoes at each other.” He said while gazing down the subway tracks.

“I don’t want tomato guts on my white t-shirts.” (I own more white t-shirts than Dylan from 90210.)

“Yeah, it’s deep in Brooklyn and it’s fifty dollars to get in.”

They have a bit more conversation about what they do (he’s a lawyer, she’s a model):

Broadway-Lafayette is my stop, which happens to be his too. We both pop out onto the street and smile at each other.

“Nice meeting you.”

“You too.”

And off we went.

It made me remember why talking to people in real life is important and good for me. I can’t be angry talking to strangers. In fact, every time I’ve had a conversation on the subway it has been pleasant.

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Filed under American, Drinking, In The Media

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