Why Everyone Hates Lynn Shelton

by dilettante douchebag

We would never say that we hate Lynn Shelton out loud. We would probably not even say it to our closest friend over a pint of bourbon after yet another failed indie film premiere. I mean, it would be like bad mouthing Julie Andrews–it just isn’t done. But if we are an indie film maker or actor, we do hate Lynn, at our deepest, most primitive, cave wo/man level of being.

Oh sure, we speak in excited, hopeful tones about her latest project, “I hope I get to work on a Lynn Shelton production some day, by golly!” And if the Baby Jesus smiles upon us we may actually get to:  ”Oh, my god, Lynn is A-MAZING! You simply must work with her!” And everyone claps each other on the back because of how great she is, and how lucky they are to be in the same wonderful city as her.

There’s more titty sucking going on around Lynn Shelton than at an erotic lactation night at the Center For Sex Positive Culture.

And when I say that “everyone” hates Lynn Shelton, I mean you. I don’t hate her, not one little bit.

I’ve never met Lynn-The-Person (and I probably never will after this article), but everyone tells me she is very nice, and is very good at her job. I like nice, competent people. But that is not why I don’t hate her. I don’t hate ‘Lynn Shelton’ because I am content with the fact that I suck and may never get anywhere in this business.

The rest of you are all jealous.

Lynn-The-Person isn’t a Spielberg or Scorsese. It’s much worse than that. She’s a local who has accomplished the impossible task of making a living at film. She’s made films that were actually–get this–good, and is considered one of the innovators of an entire genre of film, called “mumblecore’ by some. She continues to work at her job and make things that are–here we go again–good. People pay her to do what thousands of indies can only dream of getting paid to do: make film.

Damn you, ‘Lynn Shelton!’ Fucking Mad Men!

Small wonder then that any time the name ‘Lynn Shelton’ is brought up it is with a sickly combination of reverence and deep seated bitterness and jealousy.

But really, how is it her problem that we suck at this? I mean, do we really think we’re going to get anywhere with our self-funded vanity shorts and web series?  ”Oh my god! My shitty short made it into the SIFF festival! Squeee!” or “My shitty webseries is up on youtube! Derp!”

I don’t even have a shitty short in SIFF. Or a web series. *Sigh*, I guess  I do hate ‘Lynn Shelton.’ Fuck me, I’m so lame.

This perverted combination of reverence and bitterness that hangs like a cloud over every mention of  ’Lynn Shelton’ is not doing anyone any favors, ourselves included. If ‘Lynn Shelton’ were a Spielberg or Scorsese we wouldn’t have this problem, because creatures like that exist on such an elevated plane above us that we can’t even grasp comparing ourselves to them. But Lynn-The-Person  is a real, live human being that we can actually see and touch. We can interact with her, work with her, and actually become her someday–if we have the skill, talent, and drive. And this is why we hate her. And make a construct out of her called ‘Lynn Shelton’. Because Lynn-The-Person reminds us that we have only ourselves to blame if we are not successful.

We don’t hate ‘Lynn Shelton,’ we hate ourselves.

Lynn, I want to apologize for hating you. Because you’re nice and do a good job. I’m trying here. I really am. I’m trying to be a good film maker so I can stop hating you.





  1. Avi the Hitman

    Auf. Strong handed. Good point, and note taken. I’ll try a little harder to not hate myself.

  2. In your case, I think it’s okay if you hate yourself.

  3. 1 1/2 minutes of my life I’ll never get back… Your blog stinks and you’re an underdeveloped ego maniac of a writer – I wonder how many times your read your own articles. My favorite line: “I don’t hate ‘Lynn Shelton’ because I am content with the fact that I suck and may never get anywhere in this business.” Switch ‘may’ with ‘will’.

    • dilettante douchebag

      Mom? Is that you?

      I do mostly read my own articles. Kind of a Narcissus of bloggers, “My god that is hysterical,” I will often be overheard to say as I revisit my musings over and over.

      Your comment is why I keep doing this.

  4. Oh, Dilly-Boy you’re such a fucking stud! Don’t stop writing…if you do I’ll cry (and have no other juicy blog to read). Keep those fingers working ;)

    Love and Kisses,

    Sunni Coxx

  5. The only reason I visit Ben’s blog is for the awesome comments. Thank you for making my visit worthy Eric. You will always have a place in my heart.

  6. Controversial piece. I don’t agree with the tone or share the feelings you imply people have here. People ‘envy’ Ms. Shelton maybe, but that’s normal and it’s not hate or jealousy- I don’t envy Scorsese or Spielberg more or less. It’s ‘this person is making the films they want to make’ that makes them admirable. Being able to survive is enough. Artists aren’t motivated by money unless they’re broke. And who cares about fame? I want only to make films and to entertain people. Having a film that people see- that’s the dream, connecting to people, speaking to them in a language that is, as Bergman wrote, ‘spoken from soul to soul’. I would be fine living in a studio apartment as long as I live if I can survive making films. I guess there is competition in filmmaking, even in little Seattle. But I actually don’t feel it myself at all. To me, Seattle filmmaking is a little team in a way, all connected by one degree of separation, all working and trying to get on the map. Lynn’s success is a success for the whole team and all I am is happy for her and proud of her for setting a good example and helping lead the way. Going to SIFF opening night there was this real sense that Seattle as a whole was winning, was expanding, was getting better. It was touching to me and filled me with joy, I won’t forget that night, when a local film made by like a dozen people (many veterans of the area for a long time) for really cheap opened this big international festival. And I loved her movie, it’s really funny and really sweet and surprisingly touching and resonant; it sticks with you… All I got’s love brother. Go Seattle!!!

Your Comment