EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS BEST?

Hat-check girl in Mae West’s first film: “Goodness, what beautiful diamonds.”
Mae West: “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Some actors and actresses (and I don’t mean this pejoratively) basically play themselves in their films, while others are so believable and natural in varied roles and genres, they completely inhabit whatever given character they portray. An example of the latter, going back to Hollywood’s Golden Age, is Henry Fonda (if you think he played only serious parts, you haven’t seen the classic 1941 comedy, THE LADY EVE, in which he co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck — another of the most versatile players of that era).

Mae West was of the first category, very much the Diamond Lil character she created. Today being her birthday (8/17/1893), it’s her day to sparkle:

It has been said that “Mae West literally constituted a one-woman genre.” Basically playing herself, she was one of the country’s biggest box office draws in the 1930s, despite being almost 40 years old when offered her first movie contract (by Paramount) in 1932. Previously, she’d appeared in a number of rather risqué plays, including Diamond Lil and her first starring role on Broadway (appropriately titled Sex), which she wrote, produced and directed. As with all the plays she wrote and performed in, there was much controversy and publicity, and it was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling.

Her first film (see opening quote) was NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, making such an impression that co-star George Raft reportedly said, “She stole everything but the cameras.” Her next film, SHE DONE HIM WRONG (1933), featured Cary Grant in one of his first major roles, and was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. It was such a big moneymaker that it saved Paramount from bankruptcy in the midst of the Great Depression.

West went on to make six more movies in the 1930s, but in 1934, the Production Code began to be strictly enforced, and censors doubled down on her double-entendres. By today’s standards, such censorship seems ludicrous, but those were moralistic times, and after her last ‘naughty’ picture for Paramount in 1937, they thought it best to terminate her contract if they knew what’s good for them. She did manage to make one more hit movie, co-starring with W. C. Fields in My Little Chickadee for Universal Pictures in 1940.

Unbawdied and unbowed, when asked about puritanical attempts to impede her career, West wisecracked, “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.” Not for nothing was one of her nicknames “The Statue of Libido.” She died in 1980 at the age of 87.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Coincidentally, August 17 is also the birthday of my mother, who passed away 17 years ago. Happy Birthday, Mom — YOU WERE THE BEST.

Advertisements

RHYMES AT RANDOM

In a comment to my last post (CERF’S UP), I raised the possibility of re-publishing several of my poetic baubles from THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE. Generous soul that I am, suppose I add a bonus of bangles and beads to the baubles….for man does not live by words alone, but with the inspiration of Blyth spirit beautifully begetting beguiling music, without which our Kismet (fate) would be drab indeed:

Yes, my friends, I have rhymes — or, conversely, should I say….

And now, having strung my lead-in out this far / I wish upon a wishing star / to make appear my Random rhymes / from the pages of bygone times. / These rhymes abode in poems four / nothing less and nothing more / but not having used up all my string / I’ll save one of the poems for my next post-ing:

LOVER BOY

Narcissus was too perfect for sex or pelf —
He longed only to gaze in love at himself….
The moral of which is that, even in myths,
Too much reflection may be your nemesis.

THE BOOK OF WISDOM

Thou shalt not commit adultery;
Nor shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s spouse.
Shouldst thou succumbeth to temptation,
Thou shalt not do it in thy neighbor’s house.

CONCEIVABLY, THE COMPLEAT HISTORY OF HUMAN SEX

Adam and Eve,
I believe,
Were the start of it.

Everyone since,
I’m convinced,
Played a part in it.

NOTE: Ann Blyth, who played Marsinah (daughter of The Poet, played by Howard Keel) in the film version of Kismet, is one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

 

 

THE PUNS OF AUGUST

Disaster is rarely as pervasive as it seems from recorded accounts. After absorbing the news of today, one expects to find a world consisting entirely of strikes, crimes, power failures, stalled trains, shutdowns, muggers, drug addicts, neo-Nazis, and rapists. The fact is that one can come home in the evening –on a lucky day– without having encountered more than one or two of these phenomena.
Barbara Tuchman, author of The Guns of August (1962 Pulitzer Prize winner)
………………..     ………………..     ………………..     ………………..     ………………..     ………………..

I chose the above tongue-in-cheek quote to serve as the introduction to this pun-in-cheek post because….well, because the post’s title had come to me as wordplay based on the title of Tuchman’s book, and I thought the quote would connect the dots….

Now that the dots are taken care of, let us turn to the pun, which, it’s alleged, is mightier than the sword….as long as you don’t get the point. Hahahahaha. The pun has been defined as a short quip followed by a long groan (which is punderstandable if you get the point, assuming it has a point, which would seem to be the point, otherwise what is the point?). It’s all very punfusing.

But enough about whatever that was about. Here are more killer puns (not mine, you’ll be pleased to know) for your edification. If you don’t suffer from edification, take them for anything that ails you.They’re guaranteed to cure every ill known to man. If you’re a woman, take them anyway, just in case you come in contact with man. Why take chances?

What do sea monsters eat for lunch? Fish and ships.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down.

Having sex in an elevator is wrong on so many levels.

What do the Bermuda Triangle and sexy women have in common? They both swallow a lot of seamen.

I told some jokes about the unemployed, but none of them worked.

Thank God for nipples. Without them, boobs would be pointless. 

I accidentally swallowed some Scrabble tiles. My next crap could spell disaster.

Vagina jokes aren’t funny. Period.

Thieves broke into my house and stole everything except my soap, towels and deodorant. Dirty bastards.

I couldn’t figure out how to fasten my seatbelt. Then it clicked!

People who say they suffer from constipation are full of shit.

I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory, when all I did was take a day off.

Speaking of taking a day off, I’m off for the next five days. I leave you with this disclaimer: I assume you are a groan-up and therefore I am NOT RESPUNSIBLE for any side effects, sound effects, after effects or any other effects resulting from reading this post, with the exception of an irresistible urge to send me money (diamonds and gold also accepted).

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAZY DAY

This post marks the second mile, as the frog jumps (or as the crow flies, if you’re a traditionalist), on my post-every-five-days trial run, and already the timetable is beginning to seem unnatural and formulaic — not unlike having sex on a rigid schedule, instead of spontaneously (although there is something to be said for libidinal regularity, if you can keep it up).

At any rate, a palpable angst is creeping over me, as if I’m a character in a Woody Allen film, torn between conflicted and competing neuroses. Not exactly the optimum scenario for a writer of my non compos mentis….or for a Casanova wannabe, for that matter.

Be that as it may or may not be, now is not the time to dwell on second thoughts, ere this noble experiment hath run its allotted August course. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their…. Oops! Wrong speech!

Anyway, as you’ll recall from my August 5 post, August 10 is LAZY DAY, so my duty today is clear: punt, get out of the way, and let Lazy have its day….and then some:

P.S. Although Kermit the Frog said time’s fun when you’re having flies, he probably never had to eat crow flies….and he’s too slow to catch horseflies.

GOD’S QUESTIONNAIRE REVISITED – THE END IS NEAR

From 1977 to 1984, God, in the guise of George Burns, starred as Himself in three OH GOD! movies, the last two of which (by earthly standards) stank to high heaven — indicating that even God can overdo a god thing. With Car Talk’s Nine-Question God Questionnaire, I have a good script to work with, but at the rate of one question per post, it would take six more sequels after this one to finish the job. From both an overkill and a don’t try to out-do the Deity standpoint, it doesn’t seem prudent to do more than three posts….especially if the Trinity Pak turns out to be the One True God. Consolidation is in order, or I be in trouble.

Question #3 asked, Did your God come to you undamaged, with all parts in good working order and no missing attributes, and if not, what was the problem? Choices included:

__Not omniscient
__Not omnipotent
__Permits sex outside of marriage
__Prohibits sex outside of marriage
__Requires virgin sacrifices
__Makes mistakes (Geraldo Rivera & Jesse Helms given as examples)
__Makes or permits bad things to happen to good people
__When beseeched, doesn’t stay beseeched
__Plays dice with the universe

Other than updating early 1990s’ mistake examples (to Rush Limbaugh & Ann Coulter, for example), no quibbles here.

Question #4 dealt with relevant factors in your decision to acquire a Deity, such as

__Hate to think for myself
__Need to feel morally superior
__Indoctrinated by parents/society.
__Needed focus on whom to despise.
__Graduated from the tooth fairy.
__Wanted to meet girls/boys
__Like organ music
__Desperate need for certainty

No updating necessary.

Question #5 wondered which false gods were you fooled by in the past:

__Mick Jagger
__The almighty dollar
__Left-wing liberalism
__The radical right
__Beelzebub
__Barney the Dinosaur
__Elvis
__The Great Pumpkin

Update false gods to include Fox News, Chicago Cubs, New York Jets ( to Don) & SWI (to mistermuse)

Question #6: Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in addition to God?

__Astrology
__Fortune cookies
__Playboy and/or Playgirl
__Self-help books
__Sex
__Drugs, alcohol
__Bill Clinton
__Tea leaves
__Human sacrifice
__Ann Landers

Now that you’ve got the idea, you can do your own #6 updating.

Question #7: Divine intervention-wise, would you prefer:

__More
__Less
__Current level just right
__Don’t know … what’s divine intervention?

Just for the hell of it, I’d add __A helluva lot better choices

Question #8 wants you to rate God’s handling of disasters (such as plague, pestilence and spam) and miracles (such as rescues, spontaneous remissions, crying statues and walking on water).

Who are we to judge?

Question #9: Last but not deist, Do you have any suggestions for improving the quality of God’s services?

Deists don’t believe this is a relevant question. Unluckily, it would appear that
God has Alzheimer’s and has forgotten we exist. –Jane Wagner

 

 

 

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RAUNCH….

As a pubic service, I’ve been gathering up dirty jokes to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, but with winter apparently determined to go on and on, March will probably linger as long as December, January, February and the last Ice Age. And who’s to say that the first twenty-one days of April will go any faster? No, my fellow Cold Wearyers, the time has come to bust out of Mother Nature’s freezer and thaw out our frozen libidos with some hot humor, which, as you may know, is Latin for humor. Funny how the English left a perfectly good word unchanged for a change — they’ve screwed around with so many, if you’ll pardon my French.

Just a reminder that what follows is rated “R” for Raunchy, so if you are under 21, you must be accompanied by an adulterer before proceeding. In the event that an adulterer is unavailable, a prostitute will do the job, but please keep your whore stories to yourself.

What do you call a 13 year old Kentucky girl who can run faster than her brothers?
A virgin.

What did the elephant say to the naked man?
Hey that’s cute, but can you breathe through it?

An envious gal tells her new, more beautiful girlfriend, “I’ve slept with a Brazilian.”
Friend: “What are you, a slut? How many is a brazilian?”

What’s the best thing about dating homeless women?
You can drop them off anywhere.

“Do you want a bag?” the cashier asks the guy buying condoms.
“No. She’s not that ugly.”

What do you call a cheap circumcision?
A rip-off.

How do you find a blind man in a nudist colony?
It’s not hard.

Why do they call it the Wonder bra?
When you take it off, you wonder where her boobs went.

What should you do if your girlfriend starts smoking?
Slow down. Try using a lubricant.

What did the cannibal do after he dumped his girlfriend?
Wiped his rear end.

What do you call a bunny with a bent penis?
Fucks Funny.

That’s all, folks!

FOR DON, THE LATIN LOVER

My good buddy, New Yorker Don Frankel, stated today that he’s into Latin mottos lately (see comments to yesterday’s It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time post under Speak Without Interruption, which you can access and click via the Blogroll in the right column).

Don doesn’t say exactly why the sudden interest in Lingua Latina. Perhaps this beautiful weather we’ve been having lately has him thinking thoughts of spring, when a young man’s fancy turns to amare, and an old man wishes he were young again (not that Don is old, but why wait until the last minute). The time to start practicing those Latin pickup lines is now, because you never know when you might run into a fellow lover of Latin in Manhattan who’s not a fellow.

So, here we go, Don. Start memorizing these now, and before you know it, the feminas will be flocking around you like a reincarnated Rudolpho Valentino:

Nonne alicubi prius convenimus?
Haven’t we met somewhere before?

Apparet te habere ingenium profundum.
You strike me as a very deep person.

Credo fatum nos coegisse.
I think fate brought us together.

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt.
You know, the Romans invented the art of love.

Apudne te vel me?
Your place or mine?

O Deus! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui!
Oh God! More! Go on! Yes! Ooh!

Non sum paratus me committere.
I’m not ready to make a committment.

Spero nos familiares mansuros.
I hope we’ll still be friends.

Likewise.