Wed 05

If you blink really fast it kind of moves

Jennifer Government Who do I have to hug to get a Jennifer Government movie made, that’s what I want to know. It’s been like seven years. Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to make a story work in 100 minutes when you’ve got six major characters and nine interconnected plots. Boo hoo. You know what that sounds like? “I’m a crappy screenwriter.”

In the meantime, here’s something almost as good: a wallpaper! I stumbled across this a year ago but it took that long to track down the original artist: it started as a sketch by Patrick Shettlesworth that had nothing to do with Jennifer Government until lordkelvos of deviantART reworked it and added a barcode tattoo, which I stuck in front of a background designed by Michael J. Windsor. That’s three different people who can now sue me for copyright infringement. But at least two of them said it was okay so here you go:

Jennifer Government wallpaper

It may help you enjoy this image if you imagine you’re a teenage boy. I don’t need to do that. But you might. Here it is in different sizes: 1920x1200 (widescreen), 1280x800 (widescreen), 1440x900 (widescreen), 1600x1200, 1024x768.


This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Mats (#1057)

Location: Turku, Finland, Europe, Earth
Quote: ""The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it." James Branch Cabell via Robert Oppenheimer"
Posted: 4955 days ago

yay, first to comment!

Congratulations on the baby, I just posted on your previous blog, then hit refresh and... another blog!

Thanks for writing!

Machine Man subscriber fredzfrog (#2368)

Location: Moe
Quote: "Fredzfrog"
Posted: 4955 days ago

interesting.. i will consider for my next build... i am kinda hooked on this awesome pirate ship battle scene i have atm..

Machine Man subscriber Electrichead (#3898)

Location: Toronto
Posted: 4955 days ago

It does look cool when you blink really fast, but now I have a headache :( Thanks, Max!

I wonder if there was some kind of fitting marketing ploy we could use to encourage people to see this movie. Something to do when people are lining up in a mall to see it. Something like that. I'm not giving any ideas, just saying is all.

David Needham (#3566)

Location: USA
Quote: "I would gladly give what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose."
Posted: 4955 days ago

Awesome! Jennifer Garner could play Jennifer Government (same first name, seems like an obvious choice, right?)

Where could I view that map in the background? It looks interesting and I don't remember seeing it before.

Mary Rose (#2854)

Location: San Francisco, CA
Quote: "go big or stay home"
Posted: 4955 days ago

Too skinny.

Machine Man subscriber Roger (#1653)

Posted: 4955 days ago

ehh...doubt this will find its way into my wallpaper folder anytime soon...

metalbiteme (#1495)

Location: WALES UK
Quote: "Welcome to nowhere fast. Nothing here ever lasts."
Posted: 4955 days ago

eewww, Jennifer Garner...
Jennifer Ingrum maybe...

Getting back to the point... The film 'Love Actually' is quite similar with all the different characters, stories and relations.
Why can't it be made Max? prehaps you haven't found the right people for the job.

Machine Man subscriber Alan W (#1427)

Location: Spokane, Washington
Quote: "Corgis are like potato chips"
Posted: 4955 days ago

'hug'? Why do I have the feeling that there might have been another word you really wanted to use?

I've got a Nikon d90, it's got some sort of a movie mode, I'll see what I can do!


Machine Man subscriber Mapuche (#1184)

Location: Darwin, Australia
Quote: "Inconceivable!"
Posted: 4954 days ago

Tarantino could do something interesting with JG - though it might come out completely unrecognisable. That female looks sexy in a trashy kind of way I never associated with JG - maybe that's just me. I do like the artwork, though the association seems a little wrong, probably because of that factor.

Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "vote with your wallet"
Posted: 4954 days ago

Julia Stiles!

But ummm less bellybutton more pantsuit - even in the sex scenes if any.

Machine Man subscriber Randy (#2374)

Location: Ravena, NY
Quote: "I could write a book about being lazy. I just don't feel like it."
Posted: 4954 days ago

Jennifer Government was the novel that intoduced me to your writing. Still my favorite--although working as a HR professional I found myself sharing Company with a co-worker on more than on occasion. I always felt that David Fincher could do one heck of a job directing a Jenn Gov movie.

Janet (#2030)

Location: California
Quote: "There are three kinds of people in this world: Those that can count and those that can't. Which one are you?"
Posted: 4954 days ago


But hey, let's get together and make a movie! Who needs to hire famous movie star divas?

Machine Man subscriber Yannick (#3858)

Location: Heist, Belgium
Quote: "he reads things"
Posted: 4954 days ago

this isn't how I envisioned Jennifer Governement

at all


metalbiteme (#1495)

Location: WALES UK
Quote: "Welcome to nowhere fast. Nothing here ever lasts."
Posted: 4954 days ago

Janet i was thinking that too. All Max Barry fans in unison making a film. Acting, writing everything.
I'm sure some of us are Media students (i am)

Machine Man subscriber Randy (#2374)

Location: Ravena, NY
Quote: "I could write a book about being lazy. I just don't feel like it."
Posted: 4954 days ago

I was a mediocre student. It that close?

Machine Man subscriber Russell (#3897)

Location: USA
Quote: "O Lord, Protect us from those to whom you speak directly"
Posted: 4954 days ago

Katie Holmes as Jennifer Government. For Srs.
George Clooney as one of the Johns. Preferably the one that [[Spoiler Censor]]. Yeah, that one.

Linus Roache as Calvin.



In the meantime, when it comes out i will have a fistful of american dollars to spend on it.

Smoothfonzo (#4852)

Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Posted: 4948 days ago

Hi Max,

I thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer Government, and I've always thought it would make a good movie. It even reads like a movie the way you've written it. All in all, a very fun book.

Although the more I think about it, I'm thinking it might be better off as a TV series or a miniseries. You've created a very unique world that wouldn't quite be done justice with a movie. It would be quite a blur, if you know what I mean. The concept and ideas in the book are interesting. A series would allow you to explore these ideas and allow people to ingest what you've created. I think people are hungry for the kind of social and economic commentary you've made in the story.

I'm guessing one of the reasons it's been so hard to get the movie made is the double-edged sword of what essentially would be product placement. It's usually a dream for companies to get product placement, and your big one is Nike, but unless I'm wrong, I'd imagine it would be hard to convince them when they're being lampooned in a negative fashion.

Anyhow, I'll be looking forward to it. I hope something comes of it. I wish you luck in finally getting it to the big or small screen.

Andrea (#2583)

Location: New York City
Quote: "I Hate My Job"
Posted: 4947 days ago

yeah, I for one don't see why a movie hasn't been made of Jennifer Government.

though if Syfy offers you a deal beware!

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#4052)

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Quote: ""I hate quotations." - Ralph Waldo Emerson"
Posted: 4943 days ago

Hey Max, I just sent you an email with the subject "duck Jennifer Government movie screenplay". I look forward to hearing back from you.

Machine Man subscriber SRD (#2889)

Location: Ogden, Utah
Posted: 4942 days ago

Have you considered pitching it as a mini-series to a cable network? I have always considered Jennifer Government to be on the same literary level as David McCullough's John Adams, you know. :)

Machine Man subscriber Katie Ellert (#207)

Location: Calgary AB Canada
Quote: "Where's Lola? WHERE'S LOLA?!?!"
Posted: 4936 days ago

If he did a mini series and it didn't end up working out I would be so sad (kind of like jPod, so disappointing).
Even though we seem to be waiting a loooong time for the movie to come out, it will totally be worth it.

Daniel Penny (#4935)

Location: Iowa
Posted: 4871 days ago


I'm sorry to see that you're having difficulties making JG into a film. It has also always been my favorite of your books, but perhaps it is too ambitious a project for an entree into Hollywood. Does Syrup or Company have potential? (I would italicize, but I'm not sure how to do that in a comments section). You have a vastly under-appreciated ouvre and I would be thrilled to see any of your work on a big or small screen.

Don't feel discouraged.

Andrew (#4967)

Location: KS
Posted: 4834 days ago

I'm all for a JG movie, but only (ONLY) if Will Arnett plays Nike. Just sayin.

Renegade Division (#4971)

Posted: 4831 days ago

I really loved your book 'Jennifer Government', it introduced me to Anarcho-capitalism(even though you intended it to be like 1984 for the Capitalism).

It was through your book I saw the possibility of a society without a government and completely run through voluntary organizations.

I wonder if you have read Murray Rothbard and various other stuff written about Anarcho-capitalism.

Esp this which talks about how private prison and courts would work:

Chris Price (#4980)

Location: U.S. of A.
Quote: "I amuse myself if I have to, but usually it's because I want to."
Posted: 4819 days ago

Dear Mr. Barry:

I have a few questions and/or comments. The drawing is cute. But, has Nicole Kidman said no to portraying JG on screen? Have you asked her? Has anyone dared to say "Yes, I can!" to this ambitious film project? In asking, perhaps I misplace the cart before the cinematic pony, but your loyal fans would like to know.

That said, I was a little disappointed when I came to Oz to apply for a job last May. Although it distinguishes itself as a glorious work of contempo-rare fiction, JG had me believing, somewhat foolishly, that a work visa would be easier to obtain for a poor, under-educated, white trash American such as myself. But, no. Oz has yet to fully join forces with America: perhaps less so now than at the time you wrote your book.

However, it genuinely disturbed me, nonetheless, to see just how much American culture had pervaded the lovely, well-shaped arse end of the world. In Melbourne I found myself in wanting of no KFCs, shopping malls, and muzak ditties blanketing the biosphere of commercial hubbub; I could indeed get all of the same hubbub here. Be that as it may, <b>thank goodness</b> Oz still has its breathtaking natural beauty, pristine beaches, and friendly people with dazzling openness and colourful personalities.

And yet, I found myself wistful that the mass transport was not yet free. What's an outsider, or successful published author, to do?

Oh, and here is a heads-up: America now dispenses its gasoline from "talking" pumps which, in an electronic voice, plead you to dash inside the convenience store for plump and juicy hot dogs and other such nibblies, engineered and processed so that you would some day fit into American-sized apparel. So, be forewarned: Oz will see that next. Let us hope it is not for another ten to twenty years. Perhaps you could include that in your film. (As I type this, my thumbs bobble bloody and mangled from pressing away at the 'mute' button of the talkyword-generating pump machine. Rather than a work permit, should I have instead applied for asylum? Hmm . . .)

Capitalizm notwithstanding, I look forward to an eventual JG film of some sort. Thunderous applause to you for having the gusto to see it lunge forward.

Yours faithfully in Yankdom,


P.S. Please post news about some sort of international contest soon; it can get quite lonely over here. And hearty congratulations to your fam on the new bundle of joy.

AndmaxB (#4986)

Location: California
Quote: "Jen Government is Like 2004 (like 1984)"
Posted: 4813 days ago


The book was excellant! Jennifer Government. Loved the premise. It does read like a movie but no blame there. Listen I think it would make a great movie! Especially the violence, everybody loves that shit these days (except me) so I probably wouldn't see it.

Anyway just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book and appreciate the diversion. I picked it up at the library because I am a cheap fu...

So congrats on new baby and wish you the best in life.

Hey you know I did know a guy in LA who I grew up with in Dallas, Tx who is now a big producer, and maybe he would make your movie.
I really haven't talked to him in 30 years but I could probably get my brother ( he is in touch with him, I think) to mention it to him.
Let me know. He produces Monk (Randy, not my brother) which I think is very entertaining.

I'm not in the movie business by any stretch but hey if I can put together that deal and I know this other girl who is doing screen writing but really you probably are much more connected.

You have probably optioned the book I suppose, see I know some lingo, I had a girlfriend in licensing at Mattel (yeah that is funny) and she might talk to me now after so many years or maybe not.

This is probably pretty wierd sounding to you and well to me also.



Edward Havens (#5233)

Location: [email protected]
Quote: "[email protected]"
Posted: 4689 days ago

I did an adaptation of Jennifer Government as a writing example, and was able to get the thrust of the story down to 140 pages, by doing some judicious cutting, melding of characters and moving a couple sequences around.

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