And more from our Liz: The frou-frou of Marc Jacobs … Cherie Blair empowers women around the world
“THERE IS no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.”
Thus spake Gore Vidal.
* * *
GORE VIDAL is, at 85, one of the grand old men of American letters, still the smartest, brightest, most cynical and greatest of American history writers, of gay fiction, of straight fiction, of the theater and anywhere else there has to be a scribble so that art can emerge.
They have just let him have his say in the New York Times magazine when his so-called Edgar Box mysteries were newly issued recently by Vintage. For instance, there was “Death in the Fifth Position,” which first appeared in 1952 under a pseudonym, Edgar Box.
Why did he write these potboilers under an assumed name?
Here’s Gore: “After ‘The City and the Pillar,’ which was a cheery tale of two boys who were in love … Orville Prescott of the New York Times, a very distinguished newspaper of yesteryear, said that he would never review a book by me, much less read one … it is kind of a lousy paper and deserves everything that is coming its way … Give my best to Orville Prescott in whatever retirement home you may find him. He caused more damage to American literature, well, than anything else.”
* * *
Was fashion designer Marc Jacobs simply kidding around when he showed his autumn/winter collection for Louis Vuitton in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum recently?
He had his models decked out in short shorts with lots of frou frou on top and rubber wellies and other types of ridiculous boots on the bottom.
But Jacobs said his autumn/winter collection was really for calling attention to what he referred to as “our inexplicable obsession with handbags, which have become like a fetish object.” Jacobs seemed to be asking if this was really an aspect of passion for fashion or just obsessional behavior?
And for controversy’s sake, he let Kate Moss come out with a lit cigarette on the runway. Sometimes fashion is just plain foolish, as it was in the Marie Antoinette era.
* * *
THE BRITISH public hated Cherie Blair when she was living at 10 Downing Street as the wife of the Prime Minister, but I wonder if any of them have changed their minds about her nowadays?
She is now outshining her husband in her charity work. His Tony Blair Sports Foundation generated about $500,000 during its first eight months of life.
Her Cherie Blair Foundation, which “encourages sustainable empowerment of women in the developing world” raised almost $2 million.
But the former P.M. is still ahead when it comes to his Faith Foundation, which did about $6 million.
* * *
CONDOLENCES to the surviving daughter of former L.A. prosecutor John Miner who recently passed away.
That’s the nice part of this item.
Mr. Miner was among the last of the Marilyn Monroe conspiracy theorists/fantasists who are now meeting La Monroe in the hereafter.
Mr. Miner made himself a major player in the Monroe myth by insisting the star had been murdered. He went on and on for years with his assertions and assumptions, culminating in his insistence that he had heard “free association” tapes Monroe had made for her last, controversial therapist, Dr. Ralph Greenson.
Miner claimed he heard these tapes, made notes of them, then couldn’t find the notes, but recalled it all for the author of a book on MM. (Vanity Fair magazine found Miner’s claims so sketchy they demurred on doing a story about him.) The tapes had been made, according to Miner, just days before MM’s death. And yet — quite oddly — Monroe explained her entire life to Greenson on these recordings. She’d been seeing Greenson for two years steadily. Surely by then he’d already heard her tales of Joe and Arthur, etc?
Miner claimed the tapes proved MM could not possibly have committed suicide. The so-called transcripts of the “tapes” would convince you otherwise — 36-year-old Monroe playing Juliet to Marlon Brando’s Romeo? This is crazy talk, and though troubled, Monroe was not crazy.
I do not believe Marilyn Monroe intended to kill herself. I doubt any such thing was on her mind the morning of August 4th, 1962. She indeed had many positive plans, including a resumption of the film from which she had been fired. Why, she was out buying plants for her garden the very day of her death? But she was, nevertheless, addicted to drugs, drinking too much and (as always) prone to leap from zero to a hundred, mood-wise, within minutes. At this juncture, she could go from ravishing to haggard in a matter hours, depending on her substance intake.
However it happened, it happened. Alone in her bedroom. Later, there were indeed delays, clean-ups and a coverup, as there almost always is in the sudden death of a famous person. (Whatever the extent of her involvement with the Kennedy brothers, it was enough to cause grave concern in the wake of her death.)
Today, most people believe Monroe was murdered, for all sorts of sordid reasons — including the threat of her “telling all” on the Kennedys. Like such a thing ever could have happened in 1962. Or that Monroe — not vindictive by nature — would have wanted that. She was desperate to salvage her career. She would have been the world’s biggest freak show after any Kennedy confession, employable only in Europe. To make her the loony blonde cog in a Byzantine murder plot robs this most human of stars of her humanity.
Rest in peace, John Miner. And explain yourself to the lady once you get where you’re going.