WHO RUNS THE YAKUZA, OR THE MASONS, OR THE M15?
The New Yorker this week reports on a Hollywood job opening in this generally deteriorating entertainment economy. The “Talk of the Town” piece by Lizzie Widdicombe quotes an “unofficial” email about what is apparently a real position: cultural attache to Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer. Here’s the email:
This person would be responsible for keeping Brian abreast of everything that’s going on in the world; politically, culturally, musically. . . . They’re also responsible for finding an interesting person for Brian to meet with every week . . . an astronaut, a journalist, a philosopher, a buddhist monk. . . . There is LOTS of reading for this position! Grazer may ask you to read any book he’s interested in. You’ll probably get to read about 4 or 5 books a week and you may be required to travel with him on his private plane to Hawaii, New York, Europe—teaching him anything he asks you about along the way. . . . You will also be provided with an assistant. . . . Salary is around $150,000 a year. . . . You will be to Grazer what Karl Rove was to Bush.
If you haven’t already applied, it may be too late. From the piece:
“I’ve met a lot of good candidates,” Grazer said, reached on his cell phone en route to a meeting with the screenwriter for Angels and Demons. He said that he’d been hiring cultural attachés for twenty years, ever since he asked Jonas Salk’s assistant to help him track down interesting people in science. Fifteen or twenty people have held the job since then. (The “attaché” title started out as a joke.) “They have to be really resourceful,” Grazer said. “I like to meet people in dangerous organizations, and my cultural attaché finds out who that person is—who runs the Yakuza, or the Masons, or MI5.” The best attaché so far, Grazer said, has been Brad Grossman, the current one, who is leaving the post, after four years. Grossman is thirty-two; he owned a tutoring business before taking the job, and Grazer said that he is especially good at explaining the things he’s asked to learn about—bacteria or makeup or superdelegates. “I’m looking for a person who has that teacherlike quality,” Grazer said. “Also, it’s good to have a person who is a connector, who is liked by people.”