Thursday, August 10, 2017


No matter the language, it all comes down to
What, her again?
Judging by the recent spate of TV specials and magazine pieces, it appears that Diana Frances Mountbatten-Windsor, aka Princess Diana, is ready to take her place alongside Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in the Dead Cover Girls Hall of Fame, an institution co-founded by Vanity Fair and People.

For reasons utterly unknown, these three women -- dead 20, 55, and 23 years respectively -- are still considered "fascinating" by editors who perhaps never heard of Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, or even Hedy Lamarr (the Austrian-born actress who, during World War II, only invented Wi-Fi, for God's sakes.)

Why do magazines and TV news programs insist on going back to that increasingly moldy well? Got me. The only thing fascinating about Jackie is that, in the mid-70's, she dated Frank Sinatra -- her first husband's pimp. And by fascinating, I mean, Well, isn't it clear that whole Camelot thing was bullshit? And by the way, Jackie, we fought a revolution to make sure that we weren't ruled by royalty.

Jackie, you're so camera-shy!
Well, wait, there is one more fascinating thing -- that for all the hubbub regarding her becoming an editor in 1976, the most famous book was Michael Jackson's Moonwalk. Take a look at all her titles: how many have you read? How many have you heard of?
Let's go back further in time to discuss Marilyn Monroe, the woman who Jackie's first husband was screwing during their marriage.

Beautiful woman, no doubt, and a fine
In case you were wondering.
actress, but there's nothing inherently fascinating about that. Now, someone like ZaSu Pitts making movies continuously from 1917 to 1963 -- that's fascinating.

No, what cemented her as a Legend was her death (Suicide? Accidental overdose? Murder by Kennedys?) at the age of 36 -- as with Jim Morrison and Elvis Presley, her best career move. For it saved her from gradually becoming a latter-day Joan Blondell, a once-hot star-turned-frowsy character actor.

Can you imagine Marilyn Monroe in her 50s? Instead of being remembered in annual posthumous tributes, she'd have been washed-up when women like Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, and Faye Dunaway were coming into their own. At best, you'd have heard announcers say "And special guest star, Marilyn Monroe" during the credits of Marcus Welby MD, Knots Landing, and Wonder Woman (and being compared unfavorably in the latter to star Lynda Carter). 

"Oh Rochester, could you make
yourself scarce for a while?"
You know what the really fascinating thing about Marilyn Monroe was? She once went to a nude beach with Jack Benny. And Jack was disguised with a phony beard (on his face, that is). I dare you not to picture that.

Which brings us to the self-proclaimed "Queen of People's Hearts" Princess Diana, the woman who Jackie's first husband would have screwed during their marriage if he lived long enough.

Unlike her sisters-in-death, at least Diana found a worthy cause -- the elimination of landmines -- where her name could do some good. A good mother, too, a job that will always rank above royalty.

Aaaannnnddd... that's about it. Like Jackie, married the wrong guy. (To further her questionable taste in men, she had a crush on John Travolta.) Like Marilyn, suicidal -- first time while pregnant with William! Maybe I should rethink that "good mom" business. 

You could open up a phone book and find hundreds of women more fascinating than this celebrity trio. Women who raise kids without the benefit of a nanny, work regular jobs, get by in life without flashbulbs going off every 10 seconds, and still find life worthwhile. My wife, for instance. Yours, too, I bet. 

Put it another way -- would you want to have been married to any of these women?

Well, ZaSu, maybe.


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