Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Taylor’

Letter From New York 06 01 2016 Random Thoughts from the Vineyard…

June 2, 2016

It is Wednesday evening, the 1st of June and it has been a lovely day on the Vineyard.  I woke to a brilliant sun, skiffing off the water in the harbor, glinting up into my room.   

It was a quiet day at Edgartown Books.  I came home relatively early and am sitting down to write a letter while the sun slips away, beneath clouds that are rolling in from the ocean, promising a cooler and less brilliant day tomorrow.

Before his death, my father was the Minneapolis Manager for Taystee Bread and all of his children were taught to straighten up the loaves of our bread in any market we went into.  I am feeling that way about the books in the shop.  If I see something out of alignment, I get itchy to go fix it, make it neat.

Before leaving the house today, I checked the news online.

Documents from Trump University and statements from its former employees  made the “university” sound more a scam than an educational opportunity.  One manager called it a “fraudulent scheme.”  Ouch.  The principle seemed to be sell, not educate.

But, it must be noted, the program did have its supporters.

If elected, Trump could become the first President elect to have to testify in a fraud trial against himself.

Hillary Clinton seized the day and the news, using the Trump University documents as a reason to call Trump a fraud.  I am sure he will call her a loser; he thinks everyone but him is a loser.

Later in the day, my phoned pinged with a news update:  there was an apparent murder/suicide on the campus of UCLA.  The reasons are yet unknown; it appears a student shot a professor and then himself.

A French ship has detected another sort of ping, from one of the Black Box recorders from the Egypt Air Airbus which crashed into the sea.

Saudi Arabia, which is attempting to diversify its oil economy, has invested $3.25 billion in Uber, which also looks at the Mideast as a great place to grow its business.  And since Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow women to drive, having the service may give its women more freedom.

In Mogadishu, capital of tattered Somalia, a car bomb went off and killed at least 15.

While watching the news with Jeffrey, I discovered that today would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 90th birthday, had she not died in 1962.  From the time of her discovery until her death, she lived 17 tumultuous, star crossed years and remains one of Hollywood’s most potent icons.

Once upon a time, in my early days in Hollywood, I did research for some Hollywood writers, among them Richard Lamparski who wrote all the “Whatever Became Of…?” books.  He called her death “a good career move.”

Tragically, he was right.  In death she has earned far more than in life.  While Elizabeth Taylor was earning a million a film, she was being paid a hundred thousand.  Monroe’s estate has carefully managed her assets and through licensing has made millions every year.

I remember as a little boy bringing in the morning paper with huge headlines:  MARILYN MONROE DEAD.  I couldn’t believe it.  But it was true.  And she is wound together in the Kennedy mythology because she reportedly slept both with John F. and Robert Kennedy.

It is even said she called Jackie to tell her that she was having an affair with Jack Kennedy.  Reportedly, Jackie responded: go ahead, marry him.  Then you have all the problems.

My god, but what figures played on the world stage then.  The Kennedys, all of them… Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Martin Luther King, Lyndon Johnson, great figures who dwarf what we offer today. 

Obama and Hillary Clinton will go down in history.  He the first black President, she, win or lose, the first woman to credibly march toward the Presidency. 

But my childhood was filled with giants and there are few of them left.  Jack Kennedy may have been one of the most flawed men to sit in the Oval Office yet we cannot not seem to love him and his era.   

That Trump is a serious contender for the Presidency points to the paucity of spirit in this time.  Really, Trump?  A bombastic, narcissistic loon who seems more related to Mussolini than to Lincoln is going to be the Republican nominee for President?

As someone who is, I think, a thinking American, I am APPALLED.

However, as a commentator said the other day: hey, it’s 2016, anything can happen.

The light has faded over Edgartown harbor and as my battery grows low on my laptop, I must cease. 

Really, Trump? This is the best the Republicans can do?  Where is Everett Dirksen when we need him?

Letter From New York 01 27 16 Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson all get in a car…

January 27, 2016

As I type, the train is sliding south towards New York City.  To my right, the sun is setting and the fading glints of golden sun are reflecting off the ice floes in the Hudson.

Friends warned me yesterday when they heard I was coming in to bring my boots.  The city is warming up and the snow is melting, creating rivers at the intersections.

There are a couple of meetings and then I get to see Kevin, my nephew, and to give him his wedding anniversary present to carry back to Washington, DC, where he and Michelle live.

Ammon Bundy, of the Oregon Stand-Off fame has been captured while one of his top lieutenants and frequent spokesperson for the group, was shot down after, reportedly, charging at the police.  According to reports, the dead rancher, LaVoy Finicum, had vowed to die before he went to jail.

About eight occupiers are still within the Refuge and are managing a live YouTube stream from there.  One faced the camera and said, “They’re coming to kill us.”  The FBI has been taking a patient stance on this one, letting time play out.

Playing up, or perhaps acting out, is Donald Trump who won’t appear on the Fox Republican Debate because Megyn Kelly is one of the moderators.  He used the word “bimbo” in relation to her in a tweet.  The tweet went : “I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!”

What would a day right now be without another piece of mind from The Donald?

Perusing the entertainment news this evening, I fell upon a story of a new film, based on a Vanity Fair story, that has Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando all jumping into a car together to reach New York after 9/11.  The movie that will star Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson.  Brian Cox is Marlon.  Wait, Joseph Fiennes is a white actor best known for “Shakespeare in Love.”  Ahhhhhh, what are they thinking?  We’ll find out someday.

But what a concept, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson in a car crossing America, together!  Sounds like an absurdist play… I think.

The Iranian President is visiting Italy.  A museum there covered its statues of naked men and women to be sure he wasn’t offended. When Italian journalists questioned this, no one has taken responsibility.  It happened but no one seems to have ordered it.  President Rouhani didn’t ask for it.  The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, didn’t suggest it.  The head of the museum is shrugging his shoulders.

Do you remember the DeLorean?  It is making a comeback!  A company has been formed and will make about four a month, to be sold for about $100,000 a piece.   It’s the car Marty McFly and Doc Brown flew into the future with in the “Back to the Future” series of films.

The Fed has hinted today that it is possibly still on track for a March rate hike which caused another day of market swoons.  But not for Facebook, it soared on rising revenue! But Apple, darling Apple, fell after reporting its best quarter ever but folks are worried it doesn’t have much up its sleeve for the future.

After the Nazis occupied Denmark and began ordering Jews to wear a yellow star, the Danish King started doing the same in an act of solidarity with his Jewish subjects.  Today Danish lawmakers passed a law that allows Denmark to seize the valuables of refugees seeking asylum there. 

It doesn’t seem a very Danish thing to do and underscores how frightened Europe is about the influx of immigrants.  The Danes are going to make the immigrants live in specific areas or camps which is going to increase their isolation and their dependance on the Danish government.

The US, historically, simply lets immigrants in and lets them go about their business, making us incredibly diverse and relatively peaceful in our diversity.  Europe doesn’t seem to be following our example — we haven’t done it perfectly but over time we have gotten more right than wrong.

The golden tinged sun has set; it is dark, the city approaches…