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13 March 2011

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Marilyn vs. Jackie? If he was a jerk, then I would've loved to be a jerk, too.

Brandon,
Did anyone say you're not a jerk?
Come on...you leave the door that wide open, you know I'm going to have to stroll through.
There are pictures in this book of Marilyn in the dress she had to be sewn into to sing happy birthday to the womanizing jerk, but I can never look at Marilyn without feeling sad. I get this feeling she was kind of sad herself, and that makes thinking about her and Kennedy all the more depressing. I've never thought much about Jackie, but she gives me the idea she had some self-confidence--a trait that doesn't seem over-appreciated by all men.

Of course I also can't think of Marilyn without thinking of the time my mom called and left a message on my birthday, doing her impression of Marilyn singing happy birthday, mr. president (all breathy-like). Nothing deflates sexy like your mom mocking it and then cracking herself up.

Marilyn was an intelligent woman and aspired to be more so, but let's face it - she was "typecast" in every aspect of her life. No wonder she was sad. She was probably depressed.

Jackie's career as an editor was a source of great fulfillment for her - and she was a very hands-on editor.

Why am I using their first names?

Well, we started it, Sarah (re: first names). That is the nature of celebrity.

I don't think Marilyn was dumb at all--but I do still have this feeling she wasn't very happy. Ever seen the movie "The Misfits," with her? Fantastic stuff, but sad.

Oh, I'm a jerk, no doubt.

I agree with you about Marilyn. I've never seen any of her movies, but I imagine she inadvertently started the whole dumb blonde thing. I have no doubt that she was depressed--she overdosed on sleeping pills, didn't she? (She also died on my birthday.) But when there's a picture of her reading "Ulysses" (and she looks either completely engrossed or completely confused in the picture), how dumb can she be?

Not very, I think. Which makes me sad for her, since she was probably more than just a sexpot. But Christ, she was gorgeous.

Here's that picture: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/ransomedition/2001/fall/images/fellowshipsb.jpg

I loved this book, even wrote a Madreads about it back in January. I just had lunch with my sister in law and she told me JFK was the only democrat my father in law ever voted for in his life when he was under the Camelot spell during his young twenties. He regrets it to this day, which is both sad and amusing. Lets just say we're not going to be talking about union busting at our next Easter dinner. Great review, great book.

Brandon,
DO see some of Marilyn's movies. "Some Like It Hot" because it's a classic and "The Misfits" because it's awesome. Two more different movies would be hard to find. And this is a woman who was married to both Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio; that's interesting.
And I don't think you're a jerk. Good try, though.

Katharine!
Ha, your MadREADS post! I'll bet that's how I found this one. Thank you so much--
Evidently my dad was a sucker for the young family too, he also voted for JFK, which was an unexpected thing to learn. I don't know how much he regrets it--I think he's pretty much given up on politics too.

I was in eighth grade when JFK was elected and, even thought I am now 60+ and know all the bad stuff about him, he is still high on my list of great presidents. As a reader you should look at some of his speeches; today no one would dream to make the references to poetry and historic figures that he made. His ability to make politics and serving your government a career to aspire to changed American society. You don't have to look far to see politicians, teachers and social workers who all took something positive from his presidency.

As an aside, TV and daily papers were all in black and white in those days, so one of the most shocking things was to see those photos of Jackie in color in Life and Look magazines the following week with blood on her clothing and legs.

Am going to march with librarians next week for Library Legislative Day at the Capitol.

Linda,
I agree with you about JFK's speeches (RFK knew how to drop in the classical quotes too) but did he write them? I'll say this--at least that seemed like a time in American history when it was perceived as a good thing to be well-read and educated (or at least maybe a little something to aspire to). Not so any more.

I know just what you mean about Jackie's suit--every time I see that famous picture with LBJ getting sworn in on the plane, and her still in that suit, all I can think is, man, I would want to take that suit off. Leaving the White House just a couple of weeks later must have been hard too with the little kids; man, lose your Dad, and then have to leave your house too. Sad situation.

You should design curriculum. You're so right about pitching textbooks. The time has come.

Susan,
Well, I have some strongly held beliefs about education (pitch those textbooks! the time has come indeed) but I would never have the patience or strength to work anywhere near education or curriculum. Ugh. I get the feeling a lot of meetings and pointless work hours go into that sort of thing.

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