Reality TV Isn’t Reality. THIS is Reality. A Drunk Naked Narcissist.

This is perhaps one of the most memorable moments of online video I’ve seen, and it’s from regular WillVideoForFood reader/commenter James Jarvis (Marquisdejolie). The former homeless man lives in Marshall, Texas and has posted 852 videos to date (and for reasons I can’t understand, has fewer subscribers than videos).

Before you comment on “Drunk Naked Narcissist,” please recognize that he may well read your observations. And this is tragedy not comedy (of course comedy is tragedy plus time). Marquis was the first person with whom I interacted in online video (via Revver), and the first person that appeared in a dream. He was disk jockeying a party not chasing me with a pitch fork.

I find it remarkable that James permits us into to observe a fight between he and his alcoholic mother — who appears tortured by her past and resentful of her son for not providing more support. We join him from a safe perch behind the camera. But he occasionally leaves us alone as he defends his behavior and challenges his mother’s views of him and his siblings.

It’s more shocking than anything I’ve seen on Jerry Springfield, but curiously artistic. Marquis explains in his video description, “Mom and I performing a scene from my play entitled “A Simple Life.” While it’s clear that his mother isn’t acting (unless she’s Julliard trained), it’s unclear how many of Marquis’ “lines” are provocations of his subject… or a visceral response by a son being blamed for his mother’s sad state.

One thing’s for sure. This is reality. Unscripted, unedited and raw. Marquis sometimes goes live on Stickam and the arguments continue. I submit that if he and mom did regular live Blogtv shows he’d make enough money cover’s mom’s missing bonds. If nothing else, they’d remind us that no matter how strange our lives get we’re not alone.

55 Replies to “Reality TV Isn’t Reality. THIS is Reality. A Drunk Naked Narcissist.”

  1. Saw that video yesterday and was astounded. I asked if his mom knew he posted it on YT and he said yes. Had online video been around when my father was alive, maybe I could have shamed him into quitting drinking. God knows I tried everything else, but my mom was an enabler, so nothing worked until the doctor told him his liver was shot. He finally quit, but by that time, it was too late. I feel your pain, MDJ.

  2. Well God Bless America!

    Man you just can’t script that shit. So many wounded people. I’m far too waspie and bottled up to ever go that far with a camera, but I’m not going to sit and judge what I just watched as a big glass of wrong, because I picture more than half the US filled with such anger and broken hearts. I hope some professional will see this and offer help.

    and I don’t mean to be flip, I do volunteer work with the homeless, the effects of alcohol has been one of the hardest things for me ever to face and accept, simply because the money, facilities and the will to care just aren’t there. I’ve learned that the system prefers that you die quietly. If anything I hope people will see this film in that light and do something progressive because it’s not going to come out of the likes of McCain and Obama, it’s going to have to come from people, you and your neighbors.

  3. I sent momma tens of thousands of dollars over the years from L.A. which I suspect was sucked up my sisters’ noses. Mom doesn’t want to remember that. When one sister was charged with domestic abuse of the elderly, I came. I’ve run off all the drug addicts and thieves and purse bums from my mother’s couches. I fixed it so she could shit and shower indoors again. I had the bad house wiring and unmaintenanced plumbing fixed, bought her a washing machine and dryer and a stove and a microwave and window unit ACs and fixed a car for her to drive, all off of the money I’ve made with online videos. Each and every improvement to momma’s living conditions was met with a ton of resistence–from HER! I know, it’s weird.

    I pay all mom’s utility bills every month out of my meager military disability check. My sisters and their children still come by once in a while to bum money from mom when I’m not looking. I hope there’s a speacial place in hell reserved for them.

    And still I’m the bad guy, the disfavored child, the uppity kid who thinks he’s so smart because he knows them computers.

    Go figure.

    The piney woods are a dark and disturbing place. Good thing I still have my sense of humor. “A Simple Life.” Hahahaha!

  4. It’s easy for me to say this because I’m not in your situation, but sometimes you just gotta cut your losses and let people sink or swim on their own. You’ve already done way more than most kids do for their parents, and yet nothing changes, and you’re still being tortured in so many different ways. The rage I heard in your voice is a cover for some deep, deep, terrible sadness and grief that I would not wish on anyone. No one should have to live like that.

    I really wish you would get out of that house so that you don’t have to face it on a daily and nightly basis. You could still come by and check on her every day but have your own little oasis to go to each night.

    Good luck buddy.

  5. My sister sucked my parents dry to the point that when my mother died (my father predeceased her), she was in debt, even though my father made an excellent wage before he retired with a full pension. I never once asked my parents for any monetary assistance, yet I was always the disfavored one. Go figure.

  6. ^That because you wouldn’t play.

    sukatra sorry, I have to say you’re so wrong on this one. He can’t do that, the varmints will crawl in while his back is turned. He’s on high alert, he needs to kidnap her and move from that cursed town. She needs to be in a senior home where they specialize in her condition. This situation is not uncommon in the US, how the system treats and abandons the elderly in this country borders on criminal. Like I said before itโ€™s not going to change with McCain or Obama, it has to come from people like us and that means getting involved politically and demanding solutions. Put an end to compartmentalizing.

  7. Lord have mercy…

    I think it’s wrong for us all to be able to get our voyeuristic thrills watching this. I think this whole scene is dreadful, and I shudder to think about what my life could have been like if I had made some different choices. The fact that we all look at this, and use it as a measuring stick for our lives, and as a way to say “well, at least my life isn’t THAT bad!” is kinda icky.

    I have to say that, even though this kind of situation exists everywhere, I think there is something about Texas that breeds a particular kind of hopelessness. My sense, from having been raised in Texas, and then living other places, is that people feel particularly disconnected living there. Disconnected from society, from a sense of community, from their families. From any sense of responsibility to something greater than themselves. Except, of course, the whole Church thing. Especially the Mega-Churches now. But that whole thing often seems morally bankrupt somehow, and bereft of any real sustenance.

    Maybe I’m talkin’ out my ass…

    On a lighter note, I like that dog.

  8. I love that dog, Bob. She’s affectionate and tries to be helpful every way she can. My sister poisoned her once, but doctors pulled her through.

    You’re absolutely right, Jis. The creepies who used to live in my mother’s purse would LOVE for me to kick the bucket or move across town so they could crawl back in. I am like Cerberus in the doorway of my mom’s house, keeping the undead out. I’m just the dog for the job.

  9. About Texas:
    There’s a great opening monologue in the cult classic “Blood Simple” that talks about the hopelessness of Texas:

    The world is full o’ complainers. An’ the fact is, nothin’ comes with a guarantee. Now I don’t care if you’re the pope of Rome, President of the United States or Man of the Year; somethin’ can all go wrong. Now go on ahead, y’know, complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help, ‘n watch him fly. Now, in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else… that’s the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas, an’ down here… you’re on your own.

  10. Marquis- thanks for contributing to the analysis. I almost feel like we’re in class analyzing literature but the author is making a celebrity appearance from the window. Bob- well put on your quote “I think itโ€™s wrong for us all to be able to get our voyeuristic thrills watching this. I think this whole scene is dreadful… and as a way to say โ€œwell, at least my life isnโ€™t THAT bad!โ€ is kinda icky.”

    To that end, I almost didn’t post it. I guess I think it’s brave that someone can show the highs and lows. For the sake of my kids, I can’t very well show videos of the tantrums and fights (which are constant). And by the time I’m full of pills and wine, I usually can’t hold the camera.

  11. Marquis- I gotta say this too. If you can love yourself regardless of what your mother thinks of you, you’ve found the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. And I suppose the most ironic moment (other than the unphased dog who is clearly ready for dress rehearsal) is the fact that someone with ADD gets the benefit of doubt versus the smart computer guy. Get yourself diagnosed with ADHD and maybe she’ll give you some room.

  12. This video makes me cringe. There are parts of my family very much like this and I do everything I can to distance myself from them. James, I respect that you can air this. Is it somehow cathartic to show you mother this way? I can see that it might be.

    Massively damaged people are difficult to live with. And inevitably they DO try to drag you into their illusion. Having to decide between taking part in their drama or leaving them to their own devices is heart wrenching, but you have to look out for your own mental health. This can be a black hole.

    From a shallow YT watcher perspective: Wow! This is raw! I can see the exposed nerve endings twitching in the light. This video is so real it can only be real.

  13. I thought this video would make an interesting break from my usual fare. Clears the palate. I’ll get back to my nonfiction surrealism mos rickey tik.

    Mom wants to do “something really interesting and fun” today. I suggested movies, but she wants me to drive her out to my sister’s trailer in the woods.


  14. JIschinger, I agree she belongs in a home. But from my interactions with marquis on the video, it is clear that money is a bar to that, as well as his own noble but stubborn belief that it is his responsibility to take care of her full time.

    I personally would cut her out of my life. I did that to my dad, who was a different type of toxic personality, and I never regretted it for a second. he just became too difficult to deal with, and life is too short to be consistently beaten down and controlled in the way he was doing. Now he’s a sick old man and is so desperate to have his children back in his life that he has become a totally different kind of human being.I I recently reestablished contact with him, and am enjoying our relationship, but still do not regret the passage of 20 years with no contact. I needed to do it to save myself.

  15. MDJ,

    All I can say is WOW! I have to admit that this video made me sad, I even teared up to how pathetic is all seemed. It was totally unexpected and my emotional state became of the same sensitivity. That is how much this affected me. This, in some weird way, made me realize how much I have to be thankful for. My relationship with my parents is totally different from you and your mothers. I truly feel blessed in that catagory. I wish you all the best in your situation and hope that you will be able to cope with all you have to.

    Thanks for sharing.

    This video made me think of the Serenity prayer…

    God, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I can not change;
    the courage to change the things I can;
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace…

    God bless.


  16. As I’m sitting here watching this video…my wife looks at me and says, “what are you watching? YouTube, Right?” I give her a head nod. She then says, “You have a problem! You are addicted to YouTube” Well maybe I am, but as this video shows, there are MUCH worse things to addicted to.

    I think all of us have moments in our life that we aren’t proud of, but having it displayed for all to see is pure REALITY!

    Kevin, thanks for posting this on your blog and Marquis thanks for making this video!

  17. Thanks for posting this. I usually watch shallow cheerful stuff on youtube, and this makes me think and realize how lucky I am.

  18. All I can say is, to everyone who thinks he shouldn’t have posted it, this is the reality for many people in this country.

    For years, I was estranged from my father because I just couldn’t handle being around a drunk all the time. He, however, was a “responsible” drunk (if there is such a ting) in that he managed to keep and succeed at his job and earn a good wage and was able to retire well.

    I was lucky in that I was away at college for 4 years and was able to avoid a lot of his tirades, although growing up with him was difficult, to say the least. After college I moved out of town in an effort to stay away from him. Years later we reconciled and I was able to have a good relationship with him in the years prior to his death. I can completely see where you are coming from, sukatra, in that regard.

  19. Thanks, y’all, for your kind words. My family sucks, but I’ve seen worse. Once, a crackhead neighbor in the luxury apartment complex I was living in just off Wilshire Blvd tried to sell me the sexual services of her 10 year-old daughter. And I’ve seen worse than that. I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad I never became a drug addict! Tried drugs. Most of them. Prefer sobriety.

  20. If there was a drug out there, I tried it in college – except heroin, of course. Haven’t even smoked pot since before my boys were born, and now that I am on Prozac, I rarely even drink (Prozac and alcohol don’t mix well; it puts me to sleep, except when I want it to, that is).

  21. All y’all make me feel so stultifyingly normal.

    Marquis, I wouldn’t have put up this footage. It’s undignified, which I realize is your point, but I would probably just walk away from the situation, which may make you a better and braver person than I am, but hell, I know my limits.

    As to the rest of the commenters (excepting Nalts): I now know way more about your personal lives than I wanted to. Thanks.

  22. Dahliak -You’re right – no one wants to know more than they have to about complete strangers, especially online; social networking is a fabricated myth. I’ll be sure never to do that again. You’d think I’d learn by now. Thanks for the heads up and reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Jeez, Dahlia, you’d think people were talking about their bodily functions. Like menstruation. Which I’m doing right now, goddam it.

  24. On a note lighter than menstration, my sister Beth is getting an EXTRA $300 a month on her SSI check because she claims to be living with and supporting my mom, neither of which is true. At this very moment Beth is lying in her back woods trailer bed with a hangover waiting for mom to finish driving around town buying Beth food and pills mom will need to deliver.

    Funny, huh? your tax dollars at work. The state is paying a felon ex-con to lay on her back calling my mom for food and drug delivery while it won’t give a disabled veteran $100 a month in food stamps because his $377 a month disability check disqualifies him from buying his mom bread?

    Our government is a wet snot mess.

  25. mdj just stop you’re whining fer krist sake! your sister’s got every right to cheat the tax payers just like big oil big insurance and big medical – this is a capitalist society, free markets with loose borders and a nurtured government.

    sheesh honestly!

  26. sukatra: I SO don’t miss menstruating. The happiest day of my life was when I made the one year mark with no periods. Well, maybe not THE happiest, but pretty close.

  27. Just trying to point out once again, Jan, that the system values goodfornothing drug addict felons over honorably discharged disabled veterans.

    Bleed me a river.

    ( Uh, as in “bleeding heart liberals”, not menstration. Wouldn’t want anyone thinking I’m a misogynist. )

  28. I hear ya, mdj.

    For a couple years, I worked as a public relations director for a local nonprofit that’s sole purpose was to try to fill in the gaps that the government’s bass-ackwards system creates. The really funny thing was that our little nonprofit, with an average annual income of just a hair more than about what three executives would make in a year, somehow was able to do more for these folks than what several multi-billion dollar government programs could. Very sad.

  29. WTF are you guys working for Monsanto?! Bitching and crying that big business can do better at the same time lobbying for corporate welfare! gimmeabreakman!

    this is capitalism buddy sink or swim –

    side note: 23% of your medical bills are admin fees – not including billions billed for waste fraud and abuse.

    the VA Admin fees are 2%

    you do the math

  30. Marquis-

    Anything I could ever say probably has been said and it probably won’t make a lick of difference. However I’ll say this anyway (if nothing else just to make the human contact), at this point one thing you might want to think about is that your Mom will never be able to recognize anything you’ve done. Some mental traumas can be so overwhelming to the person that they get stuck there. You’ve probably seen and recognized this in other people but are just to close to this one. She may have hit bottom and just never come up yet. Stop looking to her for validation you won’t get it. Yet here you have a ton of supporters many of whom don’t know 1/10th of what you’ve done but with little they do know, know just what kind of person you really are.

  31. Sukatra: This past school year, during my lunch period, there was one male teacher in the faculty room. The rest of us would talk about our periods, menopause, and childbirth. He eventually took a job at the high school. I wonder why?

  32. My mother wouldn’t even HAVE a house to live in if I hadn’t paid the property taxes on it for 2 years while my sisters were living on mom’s couches and I was living in the homeless veterans shelter 2,000 miles away. And people want to pretend that evil doesn’t exist, that there are no ‘bad’ people, just sick ones.


    Okay. I think I’ve gotten it all out now. Cheese anyone?

  33. MJD:

    Hope you received my message at your home e-mail. Let me know if you need the book. Best of luck.

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