Like the rest of Danny Schecter's admirers, I was shocked and saddened to hear he died. It seems that my whole relationship with this mighty thinker was about unfinished business.
When my film on Abbie Hoffman, My Dinner With Abbie, played up in Boston, Danny the News Dissecter was the MC at the theater. Unfortunately, I wasn't at the screening but heard from friends in attendance that Danny made a joke that I was too busy to be there. Well, the truth was I didn't have the fare...not something an up and coming filmmaker likes to admit, but Danny didn't know that, so I always thought he had a grudge against me.
Years later when he was living in New York, we reached a sort of detente. He understood that I was a softy in comparison to his political acumen and that I was mostly always broke and mostly always told the truth. I was so glad he was now on my side and introduced him to my partner Howard Katzman, who was swept up in Danny's South Africa world... a sweep that forever changed Howard's life for the good.
Danny and I had dinner a few times and saw a couple of films, but our tracks more recently collided when I found myself way over my head in the Fabrice Tourre computer mix up. I, by some ill luck, owned the Goldman Sachs' brilliant prodigy and sniper's trashed laptop and had spent over a year trying to figure out how to do DIY interpol work from my East Village hovel. I was ill-suited for the tension and when I finally presented the case to Danny, he wanted to run with it. He took my personal comedy tale of computer confusion and placed it inside his own storyline. It was great, but I got chicken shit, not having lawyers at my disposal and insisted on waiting before going public.
When I did, it was with the New York Times who got a front page story out of it but left me high and dry and feeling pretty stupid. Danny tried hard not to do a " I told you so," but he had and I hadn't listened.
I will miss his spark on the planet and his clear eyed gaze into what's wrong with the world. That he died near the solar eclipse is poignant... two forces of nature at a cosmic meet-up.
I promise I will stay open to his communication skills breaking through the fourth wall of my dreams and will not not only listen to him, but report the findings. RIP Danny boy.
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