LaBeouf's recent activities have been typified by uncertainty over whether they are performances or indicative of a real-life implosion. The same questions could be asked of Franco's behavior over the last few months.
When you feel passionately about someone or something, it's only natural to feel that passion reignited by their presence. When I saw James Franco, I was reminded that, for being a celebrity, he is human.
It's tempting to gloss over everything Franco is doing as a postmodern exercise in performance. But by accepting him into their universities with such gusto, institutions create a mockery of themselves.