Mr. Wow Blog
Mr Wow on Paula Deen…Edward Snowden..George Zimmerman and…Judy!
9:17 pm | June 24, 2013

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 80



Mr. Wow Opines:



I’m not particularly a fan of Paula Deen.  Although I love her buttery, fat-drenched food.  Which, by the way, she has never encouraged people to eat everyday.  I always thought she was  a bit much with her constant “you’ alls” and she is obviously a tough cookie under the cholesterol.   Well, she’s a woman who made herself a multi-millionaire.  Of course she’s tough.  As nails.  She has big hair, too.  Which is always a good thing, in Mr. W-land.  The higher the hair the closer to God, as the saying goes.


Now she’s out of her job on Food Network and other sponsors threaten to drop her, because she admitted that back in the day (1986, she says) she probably used the “N-word.”   This came out—via the National Enquirer—because she’s currently being sued by an ex-employee for all sorts of alleged harassment.


Again—not a fan.  But I am soooooooooooooooo tired of people being fired and censured; driven out of work because they exercise the right of free (if sometimes repugnant) speech.   Ms. Deen did not use any racial slurs publicly.   She admitted to having used the word a long time ago, and added that times have changed and her family doesn’t tolerate such talk and she has moderated her vocabulary.  She was perhaps too honest in her deposition.  After all those years, a simple  “I can’t quite recall” might have sufficed.

     I’m not worried about Deen financially. She has millions.  But I am increasingly worried that speaking one’s mind—even if it’s the worst thing in the world—is cause for loss of employment.

    Look,  make these bad-speaking people—or more likely their lawyers and PR staff—draft an apology and accept the fact that the apology is probably not sincere but the existence of it and the furor has raised some consciousness. In the privacy of their homes these bigots will rant as is their right.  But they won’t be careless in any place they might be “caught.”  Not a perfect solution but prejudice is not going away—I hate to burst anybody’s bubble on that one. 

     I certainly wouldn’t  want to judged on my words—and especially my actions—of almost 30 years ago.  (Or even yesterday, to be honest.  I had a very frank conversation with two friends regarding Europe, and the Mid-East and Muslims that would not stand up at any respectable—or hypocritical—liberal dinner table.)


I also find it hilarious, in a gallows humor way, that The Food Network, which is almost lily white, in terms of its hosts and chefs, got rid of Ms. Deen for her “racist” views.  How about a few more black people stirring the pots at  FN? 


By the way, if somebody called me a “faggot” I wouldn’t sue them or expect an apology.   I’d pray to the God I’m not sure at all exists to free hatred from people’s souls. 



The first time I watched all of fugitive Edward Snowden’s video interview to The Guardian—from Hong Kong– I thought, “What a smug, narcissistic little shit.”   Events since then have only hardened my opinion.   As I write this he is ensconced in Moscow, asking for asylum in Ecuador.  He claims to be a freedom fighter, raising awareness of the extreme security measures that have taken place and continue since 9/11.   Invasive and intrusive security measures, by his reckoning.  He worked for the NSA, stole info, and leaked it.  He signed a confidentiality agreement before he took his job.  Like when you have sex with a famous person—they make you sign something, to avert blabber-mouths.  (Well, the smart ones, do, anyway.) 


   Was I shocked and surprised that we’re “being monitored”   Of course not.  Look, all empires, dictatorships, democracies, monitor its subjects.  Whether it’s the guy in the silken stockings putting his ear to the wall of a bedroom at Versailles or our e-mails and phone calls on tap, it’s all the same thing.  Do I think my own e-mails and phone calls are up for investigation?  Nope.  Tho anyone who tracked my Internet history would get a fine lesson on Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, old movies, and gay porn.(Oy, the porn!)   I don’t expect privacy these days.   And why should anybody?   I’m not even a part of the social network.  Not on Facebook, not on Twitter.  But I’ve got this here.  And the real Mr. Wow could certainly be tracked down and confronted—“You were a whore and an alcoholic!”   Ooops.  Caught.


Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke Snowden’s story in The Guardian, thinks Snowden is a hero.  Really?  Tell that to Nelson Mandella (who might be dead by the time this appears.)   He went to prison for his beliefs.    Tell that to Daniel Ellsberg who broke The Pentagon Papers.  Tell it to the young men and women who fought (and were beaten and jailed)  outside The Stonewall bar, ushering in, in one night, gay liberation.  Tell it to the black men, women and children who were hosed and brutalized and lynched and bombed, who sat at lunch counters and were spat at. 


Snowden is an opportunist.  And if indeed he carries with him, laptops full of top secret information he is dangerous and needs to be stopped.  Even if he has no intention of sharing this vital info, what is to prevent any power unfriendly to the U.S. to wrest it from him?   (And please note, as of this post, he has only popped up in countries not in sync with U.S. policies.) 


It continues to be a perfect storm of controversy and “scandal” for President Obama, barely into the first year of his second term—Bengazi, the IRS, the NSA, the AP debacle.    I wonder—does he regret getting re-elected?  He’s grayer, that’s for sure.  But as timorous and careful as ever.  Too much for my taste.  I know—well, I think and hope—he’s on the right course, on the right side—but he can’t convey righteous indignation, real passion, a true sense of governing.  (As much as any president really “governs.)   He can’t “act.”  Obama is a man of reason in a job and an atmosphere that confounds all reason.  (Thomas Jefferson called the presidency—then in its infancy–“painful and thankless.”)  Obama will leave office in 2016 as one of the most relieved and justifiably embittered Chief Executives ever.



Snowden?  Brought back to face the music.  He did the crime…etc. 


Oh, and I loved Glenn Greenwald’s  huffy, sanctimonious response to “Meet The Press” David Gregory’s question—should Greenwald himself be charged with a crime, now that Snowden is wanted for espionage?  Did he aid and abet Snowden’s worldwide flight?   Instead of saying, “I didn’t aid and abet anything,” Greenwald attacked Gregory for even asking the question.  Ummmm…Glenn, if nobody asked a question, you and your friend Mr. Snowden wouldn’t be famous, and the nefarious doings of the NSA—at least as you see it—wouldn’t be out there. 


Take it like a man and answer like a man. 


P.S.  I am on board with the drones.  Yes, there are going to be civilian deaths.  Yes, those civilian deaths will harden the feelings against us.  But, let’s be real.  Nothing but the complete withdrawal of every American troop and American government entity will soften how the mid-east views us.  It is either drones to kill terrorists or troops on the ground.  And when there are troops on the ground, do you think atrocities and “collateral damage” still  doesn’t happen?   As far as I’m concerned, let the mid-east implode on itself, by itself.  We have no business there.  This world we want to democratize, America-style, will never be ready for it.   Bring our men and women home.  Let’s save Detroit.  Let’s rebuild our infrastructure. Let’s have a few billion extra dollars for the poor and needy and the youth of this country.  Leave the rest to Allah.



Let me take a great big leap here.  George Zimmerman will be acquitted of the murder of Skittle-armed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.  Or there will be a hung jury and another trial. (Although with only six jurors, the latter seems unlikely.) 


I think Trayvon would be alive if Mr. Zimmerman had done what the police asked and not followed the boy.  (“They always get away with it” Zimmerman muttered to the cops as he reported Trayvon’s movements—which was just getting back to his father’s house.) 


 But, Zimmerman is alive and Trayvon is dead.  Nobody saw the final confrontation.  Who threw the first punch, who first exchanged words?  Zimmerman will claim he didn’t know Trayvon was on his way home with Skittles.  But nobody can speak for the dead youth.  What did he think was going on with some guy following him at night?   Didn’t Trayvon have a right to “stand his ground?” as Florida law permits?  


The only trump card for the Martin family is Trayvon’s mother, who has been a model of dignity.  It was unfortunate that she allowed herself to be aligned with the disreputable MSNBC “anchor” Al Sharpton, but desperate times call for desperate measures.   She is a far more appealing and compelling figure than Zimmerman (who seems to be a dolt) or his brother, who seems to be a smart, arrogant prick. (They were not close until this crisis.)   Both Trayvon’s mother and Zimmerman’s brother I am sure will be called to testify.  Perhaps dignity will win out over arrogance, but the justice system is what it is. 


If Zimmerman is found not guilty, I hope he has cry-babied and begged enough cash from his supporters to leave the country.   Best for him.  And best for us.  I don’t want him on my neighborhood watch.   I often wear hoodies.


And now for the entertainment portion of the evening:



Watched “The Pirate” the other night on TCM.    Way  too extravagantly campy to have been a  success in 1948.   Gene Kelly was a big ham (as the role required) with  an impossible-to-ignore perfect ass in tight pants and killer thighs in short shorts.  Miss G. was not in Kansas anymore.  She was hot and funny and deliciously strident.  She wasn’t the girl next door.  She hadn’t been for many years.  Well, she was the girl next door who might invite you over for a drink—or ten—and some fucking.  But nobody knew that yet about MGM’s top moneymaker. 

     Cole Porter’s score for “The Pirate” is sub-par but Judy does her best with truly inferior material.    And she is so modern and madcap.  She has fainting scene that to this day, makes me laugh out loud. 

    It turned out like crap for Judy—she made a lot of her own crap, too, despite her iffy horror stories of abuse.  But she was a true genius, and we have so much left of that genius to appreciate.  


Mr. Wow–Wasting Away (Again) in Margaritaville
9:22 pm | June 19, 2013

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 54

MR WOW—Wasting Away (Again)  in Margaritaville.  

   With a Few movies thrown in to lighten the mood.



“Happy drunks are clowns—big smiles, warm eyes, over-affection.  A happy drunk wants everything to last forever: moments, talks, smiles.”


Well, the happy drunk certainly describes Mr. Wow to a T. (I read the above in GQ recently.)

     Most of you know I came to drinking late in life, especially considering I’d been knocking around Manhattan since I was 15.  But once convinced to try it (“Come on, you’re nearly 20.  You can’t go into bars and not drink!”)  I found I had quite a taste for it. Unlike my fears about drugs—though I’d had my share of LSD—drinking seemed safe and simple and oh, so much fun.  Back then, I wasn’t in the least depressed.  Or I didn’t manifest any outward signs of it anyway. 

     I was pretty happy guy.  Tipsy I was a riot.  And a great big slut.  (This led to disastrous health woes way down the road.)


After I moved in with B. in 1976, I drank less.  He had his own issues at that time with over-indulging, and I felt it was better not to become Edward Albee’s George and Martha right away.  Of course there was the occasional slip-up, but I kept myself in check more or less, until I began working in Manhattan.  Right downstairs was a terrific restaurant that served margaritas made from gasoline.  This was difficult to ignore.  I also began keeping giant jugs of white wine in the fridge and the omnipresent vodka in the freezer. 

      As my responsibilities (and anxieties) at work grew, so did my “need” to relax with a few drinks.  Like–a slug of vodka in the a.m. to the wine at night.  In between—who the hell knew?   My work never suffered, though I often worked with a hangover.  Even at late-night events, I stayed on my feet, charming and able to remember everything I was supposed to remember.   However, this was a far from healthy way to treat my kidneys.  And there were blackouts and nights I came home sodden, ripe,  and  suspiciously…rumpled.  B. looked away, for the most part.  I said, more than once “I think I have a drinking problem”…”I think maybe I should go to AA.”   B. would pish-posh this, “Oh, it’s just the people you hang out with…it’s your work.”  

    B. himself still had the occasional beer-induced outburst, which were scary, not at all happy.  Maybe he just didn’t want to face that. Or that my problem was real and could be ruinous. I talk.  He listens.  He hopes I can generally talk myself to sense. If it’s my  problem. 

    Also my wariness about his drinking, all but destroyed our social life.  I couldn’t relax, and when I can’t relax, neither can the world. Every time we were out and he picked up a beer I froze and frowned ominously—what would this lead to?  He’d always start out cheery and flirty, but that could move swiftly to other moods. My fretfulness annoyed him, and he got caught up in my mental hand-wringing, which resulted in dark looks and nervous, warnings/questions from me—“You’ll be okay, right?  You promised. Don’t  do this to me.”  (He had his issues, which are not my right to tell.)

    In time, however, my own imbibing became way too much, and I ‘fessed up to friends, my boss, and others that I was becoming a dangerously heavy drinker. I vowed to stop. Most everybody was shocked.  “We know you like to drink, but—I’ve never seen you drunk!   I did stop, for six months.  It wasn’t a problem.  I didn’t see spiders on the wall, thank you very much, “The Lost Weekend.”

     Then, one night, at an event, I absentmindedly picked up a glass of white wine and sipped slowly it all night.  I impressed myself with my restraint and thought, “Well, maybe I can be a normal social drinker.” I impress myself easily when I want to.  The house was already dry—no wine, no vodka.  (B. preferred beer, which made me gag.)    So, I did begin to drink socially, and I was pretty good.  But—those margaritas downstairs in the city were a siren song, and now and again there’d be a bad night—almost always a school night, too.  But I never thought about having a drink at home anymore. 

   The years rolled on.  Finally, after one last outburst, B. stopped keeping beer in the house. (It came after a visit with his parents—never a happy experience.)   He is now abstemious.   Me?  Mostly good.  Sometimes not so much.  Always on a slippery slope.

   Flash forward to this past year.  Stressed; out of a salary, but still coming in to “work.”  I began having two margaritas at lunch.  That was okay. Sorta.  I was often better after getting a bit oiled—more relaxed, more creative. Less inclined to allow office politics or personalities to get me down.  The real problem was after work.  Sometimes as many as four more margaritas.  Or six.  And a few times, more than six.  I was coming home obviously buzzed, if not downright drunk.    Then there were the falls.  I bashed up my arms, my hand, my ass (yes, I fell on my ass twice in one night, on the same cheek.  Took three weeks to finally fade. ) I walked into walls, literally. I tripped down steps.  I tore the knees of my jeans.  I wasn’t happy about all this.  I worried. 

    But then I’d think, once I was near my beloved margaritas, “Oh, poor baby.  Don’t you think you deserve a few drinks?  Look at what your situation is.  Have another, sweetie.”  (My “situation” would have been considerably improved if I didn’t spend a small fortune drinking, though I certainly got plenty of free drinks or half price—I was an old and valued customer, after all.)   Let’s just say most of 2012 and quite a bit of 2013 so far has been fuzzy, painful, more than usually depressing.  You can see why I haven’t been in touch too often. To be frank, I’ve been ashamed.  I hated falling back.


Then, about four weeks ago, I went out with a friend, someone I hadn’t seen in a while.  But instead of telling B. the truth—that it was just a casual night out–I lied and said I had to go to a screening.  I don’t know why I lied.  I often have problems announcing to B. that I am committed to this or that event.  It’s very childish, almost fearful.  Not that he has ever demanded me to stay home, but an aspect of all my relationships is like this—I have to feel I’m doing something wrong…that whatever I do I’ll be chided for…and so I’ll procrastinate and suffer over something simple, something B. would not object to.


My friend and I went out.  I had a small salad for lunch and two margaritas so strong I could smell them as the waiter brought them to the table!  I was mildly intoxicated by the time I met my friend.  Merely cheery.  But he knows me well.  He laughed and said, “Are you stoned already?!” I drew myself up in my best Greer Garson manner and said, “Certainly not!”  Yeah, well, I certainly was.  Four drinks and several hours later my friend and I headed back to Hoboken, on the bus, a trip that has been lost to memory.  I was home later than is usual for a screening and after-party.  B. was awake, concerned, and then baleful when he saw me tumble in.  “Oh” I said dismissively, before he could speak, “It went later than I thought it would.”  (I was trying not to slur and to be deliberate in my movements—like drunk people are, trying not to act drunk, usually when confronted by the sober.)

   “You’re drunk” said B. with grim certainty.     

“I’m just a little ‘happy’” I said, and with that, took a step back and fell down with a frightening “clunk!”  I laughed.  “I guess maybe a little drunk.”   B. was not amused.  “You are disgusting!” he admonished.  And I couldn’t disagree, but still found the whole thing hilarious. 

   Less hilarious was the next morning, a Saturday.  I was, incredibly, not terribly hung over (It was drinking on an almost empty stomach that really did me in.)  But I’d realized the night before that something had happened to my glasses.  As soon as I got in the door, before falling over, I searched through my bag for an alternate pair I always carried with me.   I put those on.  Awake and reasonably coherent, I looked through my bag again.  The glasses I usually wore were not there.  Nor were they in the hallway, or on the street outside the house nor anywhere on the pavements around the house.  Both directions—since I couldn’t recall by which street I came home.  Somehow, I’d lost them.    I also found a dreadful scrape on my shoulder/collarbone.  My shirt wasn’t torn, but apparently I’d fallen in a very peculiar way.

   B. was sweet, more concerned about how I felt than how I got to feel so bad. Still, no conversation about how I must stop drinking.  He knows I am often perversely resistant to criticism, and that his manner of criticism—having once been a professor– is very, “Do as I say, now!” Icy and stern. I get my back up, and nothing is ever accomplished.  I feel bullied and inept and he feels—I guess—that I am a spiritually empty child in the body of a (now) very middle-aged man. 

     But, enough was enough. One more night of falling might be my last.    I visited my best friend the next day.  She had once, at the peak of my “old” drinking problem, initiated a conversation with me about what was happening.  This time, I initiated the conversation.   She said: “Oh, Wow, I’ve been worried.  But I didn’t want to say anything yet because you are under so much stress, and I know that’s where the drinking comes from.”  (Yeah, that and the fact I like to drink.)

    So, I’ve been trying hard to keep it down to one at lunch Maybe two if I’m especially stressed—or happy—and avoiding the place after work, where my real problem takes a grip.   I’d like to say, for propriety’s sake, “I’ll never drink again.”   But that would be a lie.  I’ll always love a cocktail or two.   If I could keep it to that, it would be okay. (Or would it?)   Right now, it’s working. I’m less sodden when I arrive home. I don’t know what the future holds.  AA seems so fucking Evangelical. 

   Hold a good thought for me.   And keep that hand steady as you pour me a drink.

    By the way, I don’t mean to make light of my drinking, or anybody’s alcoholism.  But I can’t wallow in depressing angst over it.  I have to be active and strong.  Avoid temptation and ignore it if I can’t.   I enjoy being a “happy drunk.”  But realistically I know I can be just as happy, charming, smart and certainly less unbearably sloppy when I am sober.  (What is amusing in ones’ teens. 20s 30s and even youthful-looking 40s, isn’t nice later on.)


But we’ve lingered long enough over the disintegration of my kidneys and liver.  Not to mention all the dead brain cells.  If there is even one left, I wonder?



I have been watching films.  Recently TCM ran an entire weekend of musicals.  I began with “Gold Diggers of 1933” which has Joan Blondell’s great rendition of “My Forgotten Man.”  (She’s dubbed in the middle, but her intro and the end are all Joan, and she’s terriff.)   Amazing what they could get away with Pre-Code.  Then onto “42nd Street” starring Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels and an outrageously young and snappy Ginger Rogers (“That’s Anytime Annie—the only time she said ‘no’ she didn’t hear the question.”)  

     Now, not to be mean, but Ruby Keeler, who was supposed to be this dynamo of talent who takes over the starring role when Bebe Daniels sprains her ankle, is, well—terrible.  She can’t act, she can’t sing and she dances like she’s wearing ankle weights.  She’s pretty, however, and I guess her earnest gaucherie appealed to Depression-era audiences.  She was married, at that time, to Al Jolson, the great stage vaudevillian.  But I doubt by ’33 Jolson had much power in Hollywood.  I don’t think her brief career was the result of “inside” deals, as was often rumored.  She was in the right place at the right time.  However, the hugely talented Ginger Rogers must have gone home shrieking when her onscreen character had to put Ruby forward as “the best” girl in the company, refusing the star role herself.   

      P.S.  I saw Keeler in the 1971 revival of “No, No, Nanette.” The audience (And young Mr. Wow) went insane when Ruby appeared at the top of a staircase, in her tap shoes, ready to go into her dance.  She still delivered her lines robotically, and moved awkwardly, but it was a sweet, splendid moment of nostalgia nonetheless.  We stood and screamed.


Then came 1963’s “Bye Bye Birdie” the movie version of the stage show that director George Sidney used as a vehicle to catapult red-hot Ann-Margret to stardom. (Sidney was literally obsessed by the titan-haired kitten.)   The movie is still a lot of fun. A-M’s opening and closing numbers, running toward the camera, against a vivid blue backdrop, was a jaw-dropping experience for Mr. Wow and millions of other movie-goers.  It looked for a minute like she was the new MM.  But a restrictive contract, too many bad films, and nobody around to tone down her wild flamboyance, destroyed her screen career by 1966.  She would come back, eventually with Oscar nominations for “Carnal Knowledge” and “Tommy” but her handlers wisely knew the moment for true movie stardom had passed.  She made a fortune in nightclubs (especially after she put in those huge gravity-defying implants) and proved her mettle as an actress in a series of fabulous TV movies, and interesting character roles in smaller films. 


After that I got a big dose of Miss Barbra Streisand in “Hello Dolly” and “Funny Girl.”    The latter I saw 15 times at the Criterion Theater on Broadway.  I can still sing the entire score.  Not kidding.   However, I thought now what I did then—the movie kinda falls apart in the second half, and Barbra, at this point, was a wobbly, overwrought dramatic actress.   It is saved by her tour de force live rendition of “My Man” at the end.  


As for “Dolly” it looks better than it did upon release.  At least Barbara does.  There’s no chemistry between Streisand and Walter Matthau. She is too young, and photographed too ravishingly to be at all interested in him.  (Just as in “Funny Girl” we don’t believe for a minute she’s an insecure ugly duckling. She is filtered and shadowed and angled like a goddess.)   The direction of “Dolly” by Gene Kelly is laborious and film goes on and on.  But Barbra is lusciously lively and funny.  Had Carol Channing, the stage originator of Dolly Levi done it, the movie would have been an exercise in  the grotesque.  Brilliant on stage, Carol was not meant for the movies.  She was never ever ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille.



I treated myself to another viewing of the most ravishing color noir ever—“Leave Her to Heaven.”  This starred Gene Tierney as one of the coldest, sickest villainesses in screen history.  She is unrepentant, and claims all her crimes were done for love of Cornel Wilde—she had to have him all for herself.  With her exquisite face an immobile mask of Max Factor, Tierney with an economy of movement and expression, conveys pure evil.  I won’t spoil the movie, for those who possibly haven’t seen it, but in 1946, people must have been gasping.  Especially when Cornel Wilde finally confronts her: “Yes, I did it, and I’d do it again!”  she admits.  Great stuff. (And you’ve never seen color so vivid and atmospheric, with the exceptions of “The Red Shoes” and “Black Narcissus.”)

   Interestingly, though not an out-and-out killer in “The Razor’s Edge” Gene plays a similarly obsessed woman, whose actions lead to death of another character.  When Tyrone Power—as the bore with whom she is obsessed—corners her, she says almost exactly the same thing, “I did it, and I’d do it again!”  She appears shocked when she finds her cruelty had led to a death, but…she recovers. 


I think the last real color noir was Henry Hathaway’s Technicolor-drenched “Niagara. This starred Marilyn Monroe as a woman who for some reason or another, wants to murder her wimpy, slightly nutty hubby, Joseph Cotton,  with the help of her sexy lover. (Divorce, or even just taking off, apparently wasn’t an option.)  Monroe is at the peak of her lush beauty, sauntering around sans underwear, waggling her rear, pushing her pelvis forward, trying to be bad. But husky-voiced or not, there’s an essential vulnerability that peeps out.  Still, it is fun to see her in a role like this—tough, determined and genuinely sensual.   Until the vengeful Cotton chases her up the stairs at the Niagara belltower; then she is convincingly terrified—but still a stunner in her fitted black suit and ankle-strap high heels.   She’s done terrible things, but you want her to survive.



Then, a great night with Lana Turner.  First, 1959’s “Imitation of Life” which never fails to have me sobbing—the famous hotel room scene with Juanita Moore, and her rebellious, tormented, passing-for-white daughter, played by the sizzling Susan Kohner. (“I’m white! White! White!”)   And the funeral to end all funerals, with Mahalia Jackson wailing “Trouble In the World” and Kohner collapsing on her mother’s flower-draped coffin, crying, “I killed my mother!”   Lana is very good indeed as the somewhat clueless, selfish stage star, who ignores her own daughter (Sandra Dee) along with most other of life’s realities. But push the Jean Louis wardrobe aside and the movie belongs to the gritty Moore/Kohner storyline.  (Lana’s real daughter, Cheryl Crane wrote later that she couldn’t bear to watch “Imitation” because the mother/daughter relationship between Lana and Sandra was way too close to home.)



Next came 1955’s “The Rains of Ranchipur.”  Lana is an immoral, decadent, high-class nympho—married to a penniless nobleman–who falls for dedicated (and apparently virginal) Indian doctor, Richard Burton.   It finally rains on Ranchipur  and Miss Turner is more or less redeemed. (Unlike Myrna Loy in the original, “The Rains Came” who suffers the fate of the unfaithful.)  Burton is laughable in his turban, bronze make-up and pre-Liz Taylor posturing. Turner however, is in full star mode, blindingly gorgeous, giving more to the script than it deserves, and displaying the very best posture in Hollywood history.  No leading lady ever walked like Turner—half goddess, half slut.   Ava Gardner came close, but Turner takes the prize; ramrod straight, gently but invitingly swaying those trim hips. (She is not particularly busty at all, for all her early “Sweater Girl” fame.  She has a broad back and an impossibly pert backside.  It’s really a rather odd figure. But again—that posture!)  Turner is hypnotically beautiful.  Later, by the time of “Imitation of Life” she had hardened.  Striking, but impossibly lacquered.


I’m reading a lot of escapist thrillers and deep into Jon Meacham’s book on Thomas Jefferson, “The Art of Power.”  I also discovered a nifty new makeup.    So, don’t worry too much, you all.  When I can still drift dreamily through Sephora, the bell hasn’t tolled for me yet.


Love you all!  I really will try to stay away from tequila.  And stay in touch.


Love, Mr. W.