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Thomas Jane On TV, American Brainwashing, DUI Suicide

Thomas Jane

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/20/11 07:02 AM ET Updated: 12/20/11 01:08 PM ET

Thomas Jane was nominated for a Golden Globe last week, but don't expect him to go check out his competition. In fact, unless he's forced to, he doesn't even watch his own show, "Hung." Or, as he tells TheFix.com, any of the other "in depth brainwashing that's done by CNN or any news show or any television show."

The 42-year old actor is a different breed in Hollywood, one who favors meditation over partying and gets his news from word of mouth and an occasional caught web headline, not cable news and Google alerts about himself. In his new interview with The Fix's editor Anna David, the transcript of which The Huffington Post has obtained exclusively, Jane says that the corporate-driven media, liquor, the education system and the collusion of big business and the government have brainwashed Americans into complacency.

"People's reactions to the world around them, if you give them drugs and alcohol, they tend to not worry too much that you're ripping them off on the parking meters and you're putting people in office that don't know what the f*ck they're doing," the actor says. "We can go down to the bar and complain about it there instead of going down to f*cking Congress and complaining to the people who really f*cking need to hear it, you'll find yourself down at the corner bar, yelling at the f*cking bartender, who could give a f*ck, is just waiting to go home and turn on the goddamn TV.

"I find a nation of sleepers and slackers, and it's not our fault, we've been conditioned to stay asleep... We wake up briefly, but by then we're too tired and shell shocked and beaten down to do anything about it, because we realize half of our life is gone," Jane continues. "Generally, the easiest thing to do is to fall back asleep and just sort of nestle in and wait for a bit until we slough off the mortal coil and call it quits. That's the metaphor in our film of death."

Jane has battled his own addiction issues, giving him an insight into the liquor-soaked despair that he says pervades the nation. That film of death, "I Melt With You," a Mark Pellington-directed drama about four friends (including co-stars Jeremy Piven and Rob Lowe) who get together every year for a lost weekend of drugs and partying to relieve the monotony of their lives, reflects this condition and despair. But while substances create some of our problems, Jane says they're really just a symptom of a brainwashing that starts at a very early age.

"That's what school is, it's a prison for your mind, and it's a travesty that we do this to our children, it's an open letter that Rockefeller wrote to the President of the United States saying, 'We need workers,'" he says, noting that he does not send his own children to American public schools. "And that's why we have the school system that we have in our country, is that Rockefeller said we need workers, people who follow directions, who are able to stay in one place for about eight hours a day, and people who fear authority."

John D. Rockefeller is famous for having said, "I don't want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers," the quote to which Jane is referring.

As he told The Huffington Post in November, Jane sees the world waking up far too late in life to reclaim what has been taken.

"Really? I'm 40 years old and still wearing the same goddamn uniform that I wore in my 20s? So what's the new uniform -- a suit?" he asked rhetorically. "Well, okay, everyone wears a f*cking suit. With that, you're just a suit, you're a zombie, there's no self-expression. There's no individuality within that. So it's either blend in and become a zombie, or revert to your 20s. We got nothing."

Jane, for his part, says he has transcended that despair, but it took a real wakeup call: the night that he was hit with a DUI in 2008, he had been pulled over four times, including one time while asleep behind the wheel.

"I had just lost the will to be a part of the planet. It was a tough time. My friend died suddenly, and it was just a hard time. I was driving home from the funeral and it was late at night and I had a couple of whiskeys in me, and it was a very nihilistic time," he says. Coincidentally, he tells David his own TV celebrity also saved his life, when a cop asked him for his autograph. That, he says, made him reevaluate everything.

As he told Stumped.com in 2004, he understood, even before the arrest and the subsequent end of his substance abuse, that finding happiness is a matter of negotiating society's expectations and its confliction with natural impulses.

"Conformity is painful. You know it's too tight. Conformity leads to rebellion. So a desire for happiness is in direct conflict with a desire for freedom. You want to please society, you want to be happy, you want to be well liked, you want to be held in high esteem and be respected. These are real things. You want respect from your peers, respect from your loved ones, you want to be looked up to for your achievements and your accomplishments," he told the site. "All of this requires conformity in some form or another. It requires you to conform to laws or social norms or to societal pressures that we all abide by to get what we want which is respect. On the other hand there's a yearning for freedom, freedom from constricting bonds, freedom of the spirit, animal lust for life which is a very strong, compelling life force to follow our impulses, to be free."

For more from Jane, click over to TheFix.com.

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The nominees:
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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Actor George Clooney arrives at the Premiere Of Fox Searchlight's 'The Descendants' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 15, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Brad Pitt in ''Moneyball''

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 08: Actor Brad Pitt arrives at 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' premiere held at ArcLight Cinemas on December 8, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Leonardo DiCaprio in ''J.Edgar''

    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Actor and co-chair Leonardo DiCaprio attends LACMA Art Film Gala Honoring Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari Presented By Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Ryan Gosling in ''The Ides of March''

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Actor Ryan Gosling attends the Premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'The Ides Of March' held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre on September 27, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Michael Fassbender in ''Shame''

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Michael Fassbender attends The Moet British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate Market on December 4, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Viola Davis in ''The Help''

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 07: Actress Viola Davis arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's Annual 'Power 100: Women In Entertainment Breakfast' at The Beverly Hills Hotel on December 7, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Meryl Streep in ''The Iron Lady''

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Meryl Streep attends the 'The Iron Lady' New York premiere after party at The Royalton Hotel on December 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Tilda Swinton in ''We Need to Talk About Kevin''

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Tilda Swinton attends IFP's 21st annual Gotham Independent Film awards at Cipriani, Wall Street on November 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Rooney Mara in ''The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo''

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Rooney Mara attends the 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Glenn Close in ''Albert Nobbs''

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Actress/producer Glenn Close attends the Giorgio Armani & Cinema Society screening of 'Albert Nobbs' at the Museum of Modern Art on December 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Jean Dujardin in ''The Artist''

    BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 03: Actor Jean Dujardin arrives for the 24th European Film Awards 2011 at Tempodrom on December 3, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Brendan Gleeson in ''The Guard''

    LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Brendan Gleeson attends The Moet British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate Market on December 4, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Owen Wilson in ''Midnight in Paris''

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 10: Actor Owen Wilson poses during a portrait session at the 8th Annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the Madinat Jumeriah Complex on December 10, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for DIFF)

  • BEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Joseph Gordon-Levitt in ''50/50''

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the 'Long Live Imagination' campaign screening of 'When You Find Me' at the American Museum of Natural History on November 15, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Ryan Gosling in ''Crazy, Stupid, Love'

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Actor Ryan Gosling attends the Premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'The Ides Of March' held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theatre on September 27, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Michelle Williams, ''My Week With Marilyn''

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Actress Michelle Williams poses for a photo at the 'My Week With Marilyn' New York premiere at The Paris Theatre on November 13, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Jodie Foster, ''Carnage''

    WESTWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 06: Actress Jodie Foster arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows' at Regency Village Theatre on December 6, 2011 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Kristen Wiig, ''Bridesmaids''

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Kristen Wiig attends the 2011 American Museum of Natural History gala at the American Museum of Natural History on November 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Charlize Theron, ''Young Adult''

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 09: Actress Charlize Theron attends the New York Times TimesTalk at the Times Center on December 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Marc Stamas/Getty Images)

  • BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Kate Winslet, ''Carnage''

    PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 20: Kate Winslet attends 'Carnage Paris premiere at Cinema Gaumont Marignan on November 20, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks for "Drive"

    SANTA MONICA, CA - DECEMBER 06: Actor Albert Brooks attends TheWrap's Awards Season Screening Series Presents 'Drive' at the Aero Theatre on December 6, 2011 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for 'TheWrap')

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer, ''Beginners''

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Actor Christopher Plummer attends IFP's 21st annual Gotham Independent Film awards at Cipriani, Wall Street on November 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kenneth Branagh, ''My Week With Marilyn''

    British actor and director Kenneth Branagh arrives for the Moet Independent British Film Awards in the City of London December 4,2011. AFP PHOTO/Max Nash (Photo credit should read MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jonah Hill, ''Moneyball''

    NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Jonah Hill attends 'The Sitter' premiere at Chelsea Clearview Cinemas on December 6, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Viggo Mortensen, ''A Dangerous Method''

    PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 12: Viggo Mortensen attends 'A Dangerous Method' Premiere at Cinema UGC Normandie on December 12, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Berenice Bejo, ''The Artist''

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Actress Berenice Bejo arrives to a special screening of The Weinstein Company's 'The Artist' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 21, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Octavia Spencer, ''The Help''

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 07: Actress Octavia Spencer arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's Annual 'Power 100: Women In Entertainment Breakfast' at The Beverly Hills Hotel on December 7, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jessica Chastain, ''The Help''

    MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - DECEMBER 07: US Actress Jessica Chastain attends 'Another Happy Day' red carpet premiere during Marrakech International Film Festival 2011 on December 7, 2011 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Janet McTeer, ''Albert Nobbs''

    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Actress Janet McTeer attends the opening night of 'Jerusalem' on Broadway at The Music Box Theatre on April 21, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 10: Actress Shailene Woodley attends 'The Descendants' premiere during day four of the 8th Annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the Madinat Jumeriah Complex on December 10, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for DIFF)

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