Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

Christoper Hitchins tells us that he takes great delight in the misfortune of his enemies and I am sad to admit that I can be prone to the same kind of misanthropic pleasures.

So, it was a bitter-sweet moment yesterday morning when I bumped into two recently sacked talent agents eating their breakfast at  Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, one from CAA and the other from William Morris/Endeavour.

One of them had been less than helpful to me when I was actively seeking representation and the other had been less than kind when I lost my representation some years later.

They looked downcast and old.  Their verve and arrogance gone.  Husks of what they once were.  One of them mustering the energy to boast of his young wife’s producing achievements.  The young wife that I never see with him in public anymore.  The young wife I saw kissing a handsome young actor behind the Coffee Bean on Sunset, caught in the full beam of my F150.

It struck me at that moment in Cecconi in West Hollywood that being an artist of any sort elevates not only ones position in life but elevates morally.  An artist will never get the sack.  An artist seeks the truth an agent lies for a living.

As as artist I convince myself that I am what I make.   I am making very little at the moment, (apart from this little blog) perhaps I am very little?

Do I loathe those two men?  Do I derive enjoyment from their demotion?  Perhaps, for one adorable moment.   Yet, however hard I try hanging onto resentments, there is no one that I can’t forgive.

Resentments are exhausting!

Unsurprisingly I have people who resent moi.  Yet, after a few years, a resentment has more to do with them than me.  Why are they holding on?  What’s in it for them?

A forgiving heart is all one strives for.  Surely?

After a couple of years of sobriety I decided that it was time to forgive my violently abusive step father.

I went to see him at his place of work and told him that we both knew what had happened and I wanted him to know that I had forgiven him.  He was struck dumb and tried to hug me.

When I reported this to my Mother she said, “Why did you let him off the hook?”  I replied, “I didn’t let HIM of the hook, I let ME off the hook.”

If I can forgive him, you can forgive anyone.  Including me.

Elton John, might be hard to forgive for performing at Rush Limbaugh‘s wedding.

A despicable act of treason.

I feel great.  Surely this can’t have anything to do with giving up flour based products?

As it turns out…it very well might be.  White flour (the enriched and bleached kind) is apparently the worst thing imaginable, causing not only all sorts of intestinal problems but can severely affect our mood…our temperament.

There is plenty of research to support this.   The consumption of bleached, enriched white flour has also been linked to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

So, I am oddly happy, energised and focused since abandoning all white flour products. No longer taking a nap in the afternoon and last night met Spencer out late at the Coffee Bean and chatted until midnight.

The older one gets perhaps the more careful one has to be with what one puts into ones body.

As much as I love crusty white loaves with marmalade, thick slabs of buttered toast and Marmite this may be the very thing that is compromising my mood day in day out.

The only problem with me being energized is trying to control the ‘high’.  I am feeling far too robust.

I vowed to sit at my desk today and deal with all of the practical papers that need dealing with, like paying my road tax etc.  Forcing myself to sit down and focus like a naughty child.

After my few moments of Schadenfreude I felt rather sad for those abandoned agents who find themselves at the edge of Hollywood’s universe.  It is a cold and lonely place for those who hanker after the life they once had at the very center of the entertainment community.

They miss the endless phone calls, the paid trips to Cannes and Sundance and the kudos bestowed upon them daily for no damned good reason.

It won’t be long before the elder of the two ex agents will get hair plugs and a face lift and like Gustav von Aschenbach from Mann’s Death in Venice will sweat rivulets of black hair dye onto his pallid cheeks.  Propped up in a musty deck chair behind The Chateau Marmont, will die of metaphorical typhoid on the beautiful beaches of California.

There is nothing sadder than a clapped out agent.  After all, they have nothing to fall back on apart from past glories.  An agent’s past glories in Hollywood are not worth the Hollywood Reporter they are printed on.

An artist will always have art no matter what age he/she is.  An artist will always have currency.

Finally, there is one particularly nasty agent, the vile and despicable Jeremy Zimmer.

I have had much reason to put him at the top of my list of those whom I loathe most in Hollywood.

Yet, even he will end up on the agent scrap heap…albeit counting his millions, wishing the phone still rang.  That he hadn’t made half the enemies he ‘went after’ during his years running UTA.

Agents are never respected, always reviled.   Dressed like Mormon missionaries they stalk the lunchtime streets of Beverly Hills.  Unlike Mormon missionaries they are bloated with self-congratulation.

Knowing, surely, that one day they will be humbled by obscurity.

I know Jeremy Zimmer very well.  We sat in the same AA meeting day after day for nearly three years.

His story never changes, battling with everyone he comes into contact with, his partners at UTA, his wife (in couples therapy) and his poor teenage daughter whose only act of rebellion was to pile on weight like her fat, arrogant father.

Although occasionally amusing one quickly tires of his acerbic assessment of everyone but himself.

I once flew to NYC in the same plane as Jeremy Zimmer.  He was in First Class I was in coach.  An amazing transformation took place .  At LAX he was ‘Jeremy Zimmer, partner at UTA’ demanding special privilege at the check in.  On the plane he was ‘Jeremy Zimmer, partner at UTA’ walking up and down the aisle as if he owned the airline.

In NYC, however, he was just another fat Jewish dad at the carousel with his surly, argumentative daughter waiting for their luggage.

Lugging their own bags, cutting a slight and meagre route through the crowd of other travellers.

It was a portent.  Eventually the phone stops ringing and those he has treated so shoddily will revel in his eventual fall from grace.  He will be replaced by younger, more astute, smarter…more ambitious men and women.

And as he gasps his last breath…will he be remembered like Irving (Shifty) Lazar?   Or forgotten and reviled like the capricious Henry Wilson?  What will Jeremy Zimmer’s legacy be?  Let me guess.