Breaking a leg's for amateurs: actor cut off his own arm to land more roles


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/02/breaking-a-legs-for-amateurs.html


#2

Or he’s making all this up now in order to gain attention.

Honestly, which is more believable - that someone would cut off his own arm to increase his visibility, or that someone would make up a story about cutting off his own arm to increase his visibility?


#3

Stealing valor is shitty

Can we do without the terrible militaristic jingoism of “stolen valor” on boingboing?

This dude lied on his resume to get a job. Let he who hath not sinned cast the first stone and all that.


#4

None of the linked articles indicate that he ever said he cut off his arm to increase visibility.

All he says is that he was off his meds and cut off his arm in a psychotic episode. He then says that his acting career took off because he was perceived as different due to lacking the arm and that he started to claim to be a combat-injured vet.

The ‘he cut off his arm to land more roles’ bit seems to be pure editorialising (to be polite) or making it up (to be less polite).

Not @SeamusBellamy’s fault, he’s just repeating what KOB4 said.


#5

How can I give more than one heart to a single post?


#6

Eh… I kind of think if you cut of an arm or had an arm cut off for any reason really, you get the props. Mental illness and desperation may have fueled his motivation more than say, enthusiasm for war or lack of viable other options, but at the end of the day he’s still down an arm.


#7

I wonder if the guy suffered from body integrity identity disorder.


#8

No.

And just to be clear, using the term “terrible militaristic jingoism” is just as bad as terrible militaristic jingoism.

And saying that lying about national service is equivalent to lying on your resume is asinine.


#9

Well only because it’s redundant.


#10

“The state of my mind was a psychotic episode.”

"“The film industry obviously took a different angle,” Latourette said in the interview. “That I was different. And so they liked that.”

But Latourette said the lie has been hard to live with, and hinted that it’s because he stole the limelight by claiming to be a veteran, when he wasn’t. So he decided to come forward to make amends.

“I was dishonorable. I’m killing my career by doing this, if anyone thinks this was for personal edification, that’s not the case,” Latourette said. “I’m ousting myself from the New Mexico Film Industry. And gladly so, just to say what I’ve said.”


#11

When you present yourself as a wounded veteran you’re doing quite a bit more than that. As your taking advantage of people’s charitable feelings to benefit yourself.

It’s the difference between your friend who brings tarot cards to a party and the fortune teller who extracts money from people who can’t afford it using their “powers”.


#12

In the land of the blind, the one-armed man is king.


#13

And then there’s Nub City:

Vernon, Florida became known as “nub city” in the 1950s and 1960s for a high number of limb loss insurance claims made in the area.

By the end of the ’50s, the Florida Panhandle was responsible for two-thirds of all loss-of-limb accident claims in the United States. And Vernon, Florida, was the epicenter.

It’s not clear whether the first member of the Nub Club, the unintentional founder, entered by choice or by accident. Maybe there was an accident at the factory. Or maybe it was a calculated choice—brought on by the sputtering economics of small town America.

What is clear is that, at some point in the early ’50s, the idea of trading one’s limb for a few thousand dollars became seductive enough an option to a significant percentage of Vernon’s population. By the mid '60s, at least 50 of Vernon’s 700 residents had joined the Nub Club by way of farming accidents, garage mishaps, hunting incidents, and so on.


#14

That’s interesting. Thank you.

It’s apparently a real problem for insurers with surgeons and dentists. Lots of ‘woodwork accidents’ taking off fingers or thumbs in suspiciously neat ways…


#15

This is interesting, to equate the US sacred cow of the Holy Military with the credulousness of those who give substantial sums to fortune tellers. I agree that both manners of thought are very exploitable, but the former is rarely pointed out for being such.

That said, a misrepresentation on a resume, whether it can exploit the highly-exploitable mind or not, seems to be the same level of act on the part of the perpetrator. I would give agency to those who fall for scams and say they bare some responsibility for subscribing to exploitable mindsets and behaviors. They certainly don’t bare all the responsibility though… our society strongly encourages a lack of critical thinking.


#16

Wait until the poor bastard finds out that Gary Sinise didn’t actually have to cut off his legs to get that supporting role in Forrest Gump.


#17

I thank you for your service in this matter.


#18

The stollen valor thing isn’t much connected to that. There’s a military machismo element to how personally offended military members get. And the flag wanking is certainly a reason some people are so obsessed with it.

But veterans in the US get a raw deal. They typically leave the service with few applicable job skills. Injured or with severe psychological problems. They have more difficulty finding work, higher rates of addiction. A big chunk of the US homeless population have traditionally been veterans in need of mental health or addiction treatement. Among other things. And at the same time the government is often cutting benefits or denying these people diagnoses and eligibility for programs designed to help. Their financial outlook is often worse than people of the same age who entered the work pool through civilian pathways.

However you feel about the military that’s bad.

There are large numbers of charities built to help these people out. And a lot of people actively interested in giving them a leg up. Veterans often get a bonus on things like civil service tests, or preferential highering. There are medical benefits they’re entitiled to. Many people are just more likely to hire a veteran, especially if they’re a veteran who seems like they need help.

Faking a military career gives you access to that. In a way other lies on your resume don’t Taking resources from actual other people who actually need help, and conning support you don’t need or deserve from people who just want to help. That’s wrong ,that’s fraud, and that’s illegal. Noones getting free medical treatment at the VA because they made up a college degree.

The fetish for militarism, blanket worship of the troops is a contributing factor. There’s a whole industry of mostly bullshit “military experts”, special forces wank media publishing, and horse shit tactical products pushed through it. Mostly populated by people who have invented or exaggerated their military service. It like psychics is a full on for profit fraud industry.

The support the troops uncritically mentality makes it far more likely the general public will accept such claims. Makes it more likely people will fall for fake veterans and increases the rewards for doing this. People who are concerned about the problem, are often involved in pushing back on the self same military worship you’re dismissing the problem as.


#19

Well some forms of resume padding are more odious than others.

Imagine a job applicant told you that his body was covered in burn scars because, as a firefighter, he was trapped in a burning building while helping save the lives a bunch of preschoolers. This tugs at your heartstrings because you come from a family of firefighters, and even lost a beloved uncle who was a first responder in a terrible inferno.

Later, you learn this applicant’s burn scars were actually the result of an accidental explosion in his homemade meth lab.

That’s the kind of lie that would probably stick in your craw more than the part where he inflated his college GPA, no?


#20

LaTourette? No one has mentioned the nominative determinism?