There must be something in the water at the Palms Hotel which makes people stupid.
A case in point.
By the 2nd day of the CineVegas Film Festival, it was quite evident that staff members were not dealing with a full deck.
CineVegas started off with high hopes with a big splashy red carpet extravaganza.
For instance, at the high-energy event, appearances by actor Raines Wilson and legendary Dennis Hopper wowed filmgoers there for the 10th annual celebration of excellence (?) in filmmaking.
Then, at a tony party the first weekend, Britney Spears made an impromptu entrance.
Consequently, the following day, there was a buzz around the planet.
But, by the third day, it was obvious that Trevor Groth fumbled the ball.
And - from the get-go - it was evident that employees at the Press desk didn't know their a**es from a hole in the ground. So much so, that one had to wonder whether they landed their posts in a horizontal position or on their knees. After all, they had no skills to speak of.
For starters, Kelly Frey somehow thought she was a hot shot PR maverick; but, it was evident right off-the-bat she couldn't publicize her way out of a paper bag - a wet one - at that!
Meanwhile, Francesca Torre - who was a designated press liaison (???) - was under the mistaken impression that she was a Beauty Queen.
Her nose was stuck so high up in the air that I surmise she has stretch marks on her vagina.
In fact - her attitude was so thick - I doubt it could have been cracked open with a crowbar.
At the press desk - when photographers and members of the press approached her for information - she was aloof, rude, and insulting.
So much so, that I was forced to reprimand the young lady (I use the term lady very loosely) about her lack of class and bad manners.
Later - on the red carpet - Ms. Torre made nasty faces - and shook her head this way and that - and showed her disdain for me. What happened to the old idea of "respect for one's elders?".
The concept is obviously lost to low-lifes like Ms. Torre.
When I complained to another employee - Taylor Banks - he didn't acknowledge the communication.
Instead, he passed on the hot-potato issue to Ms. Frey.
Imagine that, she actually zipped off an e-mail, asserting that I must have misinterpreted Ms. Torre's behavior.
What a whitewash.
Miss, I wasn't born yesterday.
Witnesses at the red carpet affair agreed wholeheartedly that Torre's immature, bratty, reprehensible (shocking) conduct was difficult to misinterpret for anything else than what it was: a temper tantrum from an irate staff member who was angry with the fact I lodged a complaint against her with her superiors.
Then, something odd occurred.
When I attempted to contact Trevor Groth about her misconduct - and the inappropriate way the press desk staff was treating photographers and other press members - the Troth's helpers refused to provide his e-mail address.
Suddenly, it became a "state secret".
One male member of the production staff was shocked.
"It should have been forthcoming," he lamented.
Well, that behind-the-scenes staffer happened to hail from Toronto, like me.
Us Canadians have a strong sense about what is wrong and right - what is ethical - and what is not.
As I thumbed through the Festival Directory, I stumbled across Trevor's smiley face, heading up a paragraph or two of requisite promotional bullsh** about the Festival.
But, guess what?
No contact information was published.
Obviously, Mr. Groth is not interested in feedback about the festival, or even willing to provide information as to how he may be contacted in the event of a complaint issue, whatever.
Does he care?
Don't you think a Festival Director should provide a contact number?
I think it goes without saying.
In fact, it boggles the intelligence of any normal person to fathom how Mr. Groth could be so blatantly ignorant of the fact.
Of course, I could have approached Mr. Groth at one of the scintillating parties we rubbed elbows at; but, I didn't for a couple of reasons.
One, I didn't want to throw a damper on the festivities by griping about staff problems around other festival-goers.
Two, I thought the issues should be discussed in private.
But, you see, I was properly raised and well-bred.
After observing Mr. Groth at the Festival, a couple of clues surfaced about his own background.
The problem with Mr. Groth is obvious: he was left sitting around in shi**y diapers as a child which resulted in the personality disorders which have manifested in his adult life. (Psychology 1; Personality Profiles)
If you want a true take on Mr. Groth's character, listen to this!
When a press person complained about his staff earlier in the week - in spite of the fact he had ample opportunity to contact the individual by e-mail or telephone - he waited until last night's Honoree shindig to have one of his silly bonehead minions (Ian Jankelowitz) inform the person he didn't like their "tone".
For that spurious reason, he barred the newsie from the event, last minute.
Obviously, Mr. Groth's intention amounted to a bold-faced effort to embarrass and humiliate the person at the door of the celebration as party-goers and press arrived for the much-anticipated event.
What a nasty piece of work, eh?
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, other press members and a couple of "Flush Pass" Patrons were denied entrance to the Murakami Art Event so that Mr. Greenspun (Festival President) could savor what was being billed as a - "major cultural event for the Las Vegas Art scene" - for himself and his elitist friends.
And - he did so - at the expense of press members with tickets in tow and filmgoers who paid for their admission in advance!
These are the kind of scuzz-balls who are running CineVegas Film Festival.
I don't now what rock they scurried out from under - but as far as I am concerned - the whole scruffy lot can slither back from whence they came.
After all, they are not only a disgrace to the local Art community, but a discredit to the entire legitimate Festival Circuit.
Ironically, the reprehensible conduct of Terry Groth, Robin (and Amy) Greenspun, Kelly Frey, Francesca Torre, Taylor Banks, and Ian Jankelowitz - caught up with them as key members of the press stayed away from screenings this past week, held back press coverage - and quite generally - stewed on the sidelines vowing never to return to CineVegas again.
Yes, CineVegas was hit with a knock-out punch this week.
And, it is doubtful the annual Fest will recover from the lethal blow.
In the final analysis, CineVegas became a desert joke this week.
Worse than Ishtar, if you can possibly imagine it!
Can you hear the laughter, Trevor?