Dark Eyed Life

According to @CitizenScreen, doing yeoman’s* work daily on Twitter* relative to the Golden Age of film, today is the birth date of Mabel Normand, Hedy Lamarr, and Dorothy Dandridge —

  • Normand: New York, 1892
  • Lamarr: Vienna, 1914
  • Dandridge: Cleveland, 1922

— which makes for coupla at least interesting, if not compelling or fascinating at the early stages, observations.

First a note, which is the this-week publishing of Dark I’d Love, the second in my Brush Strokes attempts on Kindle. This gets the shill bit — the shilling, if you will — out of the way. Second off, the intersection of story and reality is a recurring and even consistent interest of mine — in fact, it forms part of the subject of the first book in BS, which is On Real. See what I did there?

The attempts, tries … essays of a sort … are less frequent than my interest in story + reality + dark-eyed women. Fortunately for most, perhaps unfortunately for the women … and not unrelated, come to write it — the more time I spend watching film and television, the less time writing. Weird, right?

So here’s the thing.

That these three women share a birthday isn’t all that notable. It’s fun and stuff, like we do when it’s someone’s birthday, the anniversary of their death, whatever. It’s a moment of memory and memory is a good thing. It’s not the worst thing on social media, given that it’s generally a time-suck and worse. Social media itself is about the connection we crave, and it’s fundamentally flawed at that but it’s why we do it.

[Aurora stopped interacting with me after I asked, in the 2020 election cycle, among the crowing about how many people had voted by mail, whether they wd’ve voted anyway. Understand I had no dog in the fight, not being a voter … I think there was another something or other just this week … but there it is. Marred forever. So much for civility, Do still enjoy her tweets, though.]

When I do watch film and television, which is too often for me but as noted perhaps welcome for you, I’m often taking notes, especially on the script, good lines, and so on. On balance, I need to cut back, as I often end up watching subpar stuff simply because it’s a detective show with capable actors and clever lines, even though the plot seems like it’s designed with holes in it, they’re so frequent. Bosch: Legacy, for instance.

Or maybe I’m wrong about that — maybe the overall story is good or important enough, or both, that I oughta overlook the tweaky bits — plot holes — because the story’s the thing. I’ve had several conversations with people on this, given the tendency of my faves in genre fiction — mystery, detective, police procedural — to be rife with such glaring [to me] gaps.

Well … one thing I also do, that is, another thing I do, is look stuff up on the actors involved in the show. The Bosch franchise, for instance, this year lost both Lance Reddick, a series regular, and Annie Wersching, who played Titus Welliver’s Bosch’s unstable redhead [pardon the redundancy; read Dark I’d Love for more] dalliance early in the series.

I look stuff up on the actors and actresses and while these don’t generally become rabbit holes, there’s a little excavating going on. Bruce Willis or Val Kilmer’s health … death of Anton Yelchin, the dude who played Chekov in a Star Trek movie [though I saw him in Odd Thomas] … cute;-as-a-button in High Road to China and also in Bosch for a bit, Bess Armstrong … people involved in Timothy Hutton’s Nero Wolfe from 20 years ago …

I mean, did you know Maury Chaykin had died?

And that’s what you find out.

Deaths of the actual actor involved, of course … but also death of a child [Bess Armstrong again, e.g.] … ways they’ve gotten in trouble [with law, banks, governments, &c] … a where-are-they-now kind of thing but with something more than a tweak: a twist.

They become real.

Sometimes only for a moment … one wldn’t expect it to haunt us forever, perhaps … but, like … these are people.

That sounds like a Duh! but we totes treat them like they’re not.

Notes on Twitter and the little-digging can get us there, sorta-partly.

  • Mabel Normand had a life — a short one, in fact, from tuberculosis, and with multiple scandals, sadness, failure, and despair. Also good things: she grew great enough to also direct films, for instance. In other words, life.

[We don’t have scandals? We’re just not famous enough for them to be scandals.]

  • Hedy Lamarr, too — exploitation from the start [read in a biography or perhaps a memoir once that she’d been told the camera was so far away nobody would see her naked in that early Czech film, and that they poked her repeatedly with a pin to generate the moans of ecstasy], six marriages in 30 years, starting in her teens, then nothing for 35 more years until her death.

[We still kinda see her, I think, as a powerful woman; do we think this pays for it?]

  • Dorothy Dandridge — Hollywood regularly tried to exploit her beauty sexually in film content and marketing, as well as in promotion — a trial against a tabloid, which publication, to be fair, also talked like that about white actress Maureen O’Hara, two marriages within about a decade, death in her mid-40s.

[Accidental overdose? Embolism? Is it OK to most recall her Academy Award nod?]

Focus above is on unhappy bits because our fantasies are of the other sort — that they’re lovely and famous and rich and therefore not unhappy. We aren’t wrong — they’re lovely, lauded, loaded with talent in many cases — but we are wrong, as well. And we know better, but we do it anyway. Until Richard Cory shows up again.

But then we forget anew. Perhaps a grace, that, as self-preservation.

But mostly it’d be better to get stronger, tell the truth, do right.

Good and bad and in other words, life.

 

An expression
* What it is, OK

 

Image compilation:
Public Domain

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent

Can We Tawk?

Comedienne Joan Rivers’ catchphrase was, ‘Can we talk?’ with all that that entails — its rhetorical nature, the Jewish thing, an implication that at least one of the parties will be better off for having done so … Like God. T’other day a priest spoke of ontological remembrance, the immediate and ongoing memory of past-present-future

Read More »

Hide and See

Something lost, Dallas Willard said once, might yet be very valuable. One’s car keys for instance. He was speaking somewhat in the context of salvation, if I recall … the general point was calling something lost doesn’t mean it’s not wanted — quite the opposite. Yet it remains … until finding its way out or being found

Read More »

Greater Love Blah Blah Blah

Do we doubt locals thanked them for their service? I’m not equating the two. They were wrong; glad we crushed them. Only noting it’s likely they thought as much about such things as we do, which is to say not much. German citizens who believed their leaders, loved their country, watched their sons get on

Read More »

Dark Eyed Life

According to @CitizenScreen, doing yeoman’s* work daily on Twitter* relative to the Golden Age of film, today is the birth date of Mabel Normand, Hedy Lamarr, and Dorothy Dandridge — Normand: New York, 1892 Lamarr: Vienna, 1914 Dandridge: Cleveland, 1922 — which makes for coupla at least interesting, if not compelling or fascinating at the

Read More »

Random

How Long O Overlords?

How many more evangelical celebrity figures have to shoot themselves before the church industry stops putting men and women on stages and the rest of evangelical fandom stops putting them on pedestals. This time it was Darrin Patrick. Eight months ago — the news broke on Suicide Awareness Day — it was Jarrid Wilson. Which itself

Read More »

God a Day

My sister gave me a “page-a-day” calendar for Christmas. Michele’s not as fond of them, because of all the paper I think she says. For me, it seems the perfect item: you tear one off, and bam! you’re done. Though it is a lot of paper … But mine is Bible verses, and it’s a

Read More »

Not For Teacher

There’s an unfortunate instructor-y thing where the guy on stage [I’ve found it’s usually a male doing this] asks a question he already knows the answer to, one of the people in the audience … err, classroom … is the target, the answer given is wrong, and the stagehand just goes and gives the answer

Read More »

Ship of Friend

Two dynamics characterize the practice of contemplation: deepening concentration and expanding awareness. These two are one. They give birth to twins: inner solitude and loving solidarity with all. Martin Laird, A Sunlight Absence This post started a little rando, but its contents aren’t … heh — especially where its contents aren’t mine. Elsewhere — possibly

Read More »

Related

Chiclet Chick Lit

In virtue of two females in the house reading it I have discovered a new (to me) genre and given it a new (to all) name, which title appears as the title of this post. Hermione is patron saint of females pre-sexual still satiated when tittering gleefully over Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson, with New

Read More »

You Da Man

   A Good Friday And petulant Pilate as if triumphant — What I have written, I have written! Finally a decision.    

Read More »

Closer

Norm’s is the kind of restaurant where across the street there is a long car wash, a 12-unit apartment building, a donut shop open most of the hours Norm’s is open, a strip mall with a “Luxury Day Spa” between the cigarette store and the cut-rate auto insurance broker: “Free SR-22 Filings!” the sign says. It’s

Read More »