Monday, January 30, 2012
THE FALL OF GLAMOR
I am so sad I fear I shall not recover. In my life I have seen the
dawn of television, the genesis of
color television, the dubious move to nothing but
digital television, and the questionable direction our Hollywood enigma has taken.
I remember the glamor and awe of Clarke Gable, Cary Grant,
Barbara Stanwyk, Carole Lombard, Barbara Eden,
Elizabeth Montgomery, James Arness,
George Burns and his delightfully ditzy Gracie Allen.
Where oh where has the glamor gone? Where oh where does humor now hide? Where oh where has the mystery flown?
History is a double-edged sword because we no longer are hidden from the dirtier side the Movie Powerhouses kept from us.
Who among us knew Rock Hudson, that tall, dark, and deliciously comedic actor that co-starred with Doris Day in so many of those movies we all adored seeing, was gay? The powerhouses knew it, but not us.
Can you imagine an up and coming Marilyn Monroe achieving "stardom" because a home-made porn movie of her sexual antics was released for the masses to drool over? What would Mayer have done if such a film existed and
Norma Jean, hungering to become Marilyn, allowed such a film out?
Where has the aura of "special" gone? The Golden Globes...Kim Kardashian,
Paris Hilton...how did it come to pass our measuring stick has sunk so low, these people are now the "STARS" of today?
What, one wonders, could David Selznick think of the reality shows that raise someone to stardom because an old geezer like
Hugh Hefner pops Viagra and then boasts about his forays with children young enough to be his great-granddaughters?
I miss the mystery...the illusion of something special existing beyond the fantasy on the screens.
I miss the glamor...I miss the charm...the exclusivity of old Hollywood. Of course I also miss being able to turn on my TV and actually having my FREE stations without needing to invest in cable, dish, or
high priced antennas I cannot have here in my apartment. Thank you so much for that
Dubya! Couldn't leave well enough alone could you?
Ah...but then again, given what is on television mostly,
perhaps Dubya did me a favor depriving me of my access to free local stations.
Oh I can hear many of you saying, you get free stations with the new TVs and their embedded convertor boxes...and that's somewhat true...I guess...if you live in a house
and can buy a big antenna. Again, I live in an apartment. I get two stations ONLY that come through always without pixelation, signal breaking, or no signal at all. I can't even get
PBS. Do you have any idea how pathetic it is to not be able to get PUBLIC TV?
So again, Geeze thanks so much Dubya. You really IMPROVED my entertainment.
I must qualify some of what I've said...There is SOME glamor and from a surprising corner.
I am of course speaking of Angelina Jolie. Back in her Billie Bob days I despaired for this young woman, but since adopting
Maddox, she has matured, and given us the mystique, once more, that
Jane Russel, and a young
Betty Davis gave our mothers and fathers.
Despite Angelina's youth, we no longer see her strutting around in micro-mini's, bikinis, or other 'inis.
We see her spending time with her children and seeming to enjoy them.
We see her looking decidely elegant, in the same way
Grace Kelly exuded elegance, when she steps out
with the father of her children, Brad Pitt.
Now I can hear some of you arguing...but they're not married! Many other stars have lived outside the boundaries of marriage without a tenth of the hassles
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie get trashed with.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel have been happily unwed now for twenty-five years. Okay, they only had ONE son together, but between them they still had a total of FOUR children.
Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins only just slpit up after 23 unmarried years and two sons. Did they get trashed as much as the Jolie-Pitts?
Ironic that a couple exuding the elegance and mystery of old Hollywood gets hassled the most.
Back to my main topic, I really don't care about
Gene Simmons and his private life. I had no interest at all in
Anna Nicole Smith's private insanity that led to her untimely death.
I didn't want to know what Elvis did behind
the gates of Graceland. I loved his rendering of
Blue Hawaii, and that is what I hold dear to me. Yes, I enjoyed even some of his fluff movies...but I loved
Flaming Star where he played the convincing half breed.
I sooo miss the aura, the mystery, the panache...Hollywood...where have you gone?
Do you think we'll ever return to that time? Or are we stuck with a system that lets those who behave badly
and star on reality shows are the ones that stare back at us from the covers of so many magazines?
Bring back the Gene Tierneys, please!