“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Midnight, the Stars and You

Before the days of Madonna and Marilyn Monroe, the "Original Blonde Bombshell" made her mark on Hollywood and the world, leaving behind a new image of the Hollywood sex goddess. Harlean Carpenter, later known as Jean Harlow, was born on March 3, 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri. Although she would sadly only live to age 26, Jean achieved a great deal of success during her lifetime. In an acting career that lasted 10 short years, Jean made 36 movies. Some of her other achievements included being voted No. 22 on the American Film Institute's list of the "Greatest American Screen Legends" (female), and becoming the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine.

Jean displayed talent in both her sensual and comedic performances, but she initially captivated fans with her trendsetting platinum blonde hair. As she gained fame, peroxide sales in the United States skyrocketed. Botched attempts to look like Jean forced thousands of women to cut their hair. Hollywood producers of the past had consistently cast dark-haired women to play the parts of vixens, but Jean emerged as the first star to incorporate the platinum blonde look into her acting.

Jean was born the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. Jean's mother, known as Mother Jean, had dreams of becoming an actress, which led her to divorce her husband and move to Hollywood with her young daughter. Jean's mother never allowed her to see her father, however Jean would sneak visits with him throughout her life. Mother Jean soon remarried a man named Marino Bello and the family moved to Chicago, where Jean attended high school.

Poor health afflicted Jean throughout her childhood. At age five, she contracted meningitis and suffered from scarlet fever at age 15. Jean left home at age 16 to marry 23-year-old Charles McGrew. Shortly after the wedding the couple left Chicago and moved to Beverly Hills. Jean's true aspiration in life was to be a wife and mother, however she sought work as an extra in films to please Mother Jean. Although at first Jean was not interested in making films, she received her first role in Why is a Plumber? in 1927. She and McGrew divorced after two years, but her big career break was about to occur.

In 1930, movie producer and entrepreneur Howard Hughes became interested in Jean and cast her in Hell's Angels. In Hell's Angels, she spoke the now famous line, "Would you be shocked if I changed into something more comfortable?" Jean's appearance in Hell's Angels solidified her role as America's new sex symbol. This victory was followed by another hit, Platinum Blonde, and several films with Clark Gable. In total, she and Gable would star in six movies together including Red Dust, The Secret Six and Wife vs. Secretary. During the filming of Red Dust, Jean's second husband of only two months, producer Paul Bern, committed suicide.

In 1933's Dinner at Eight, Jean was at her comedic best. Later that year she starred in Bombshell, a Hollywood parody based loosely on her real-life experiences with her controlling mother and greedy stepfather. Also in 1933, Jean married cinematographer Harold Rosson in a union that would only last eight months. To accompany her escalating career, in 1935 she legally changed her name to Jean Harlow, her mother's maiden name.

Following the end of her marriage, Jean found the love of her life in actor William Powell. They were together for two years, however before they could wed, Jean's health declined. While filming Saratoga in 1937, Jean was hospitalized with uremic poisoning and kidney failure, a result of the scarlet fever she had suffered during childhood. In the days before dialysis and kidney transplants, nothing could be done and Jean died on June 7, 1937. The film had to be finished using long angle shots and a double, Mary Dees. Clark Gable was reported to have said that he felt as if he was "in the arms of a ghost." After a large Hollywood funeral organized by Louis B. Mayer of MGM, Jean was buried in the mausoleum in Forest Lawn Glendale, in Los Angeles.

Jean was labeled a "screen siren" for her sensational dialogue and revealing costumes, but audiences, directors and producers alike appreciated her flair for comedy and drama. Had she lived longer, it is likely that she would have stayed on a successful path in Hollywood for years to come. In an acting career that lasted only 10 years, Jean Harlow forever established herself as one of the most captivating actresses of all time. Jean


  1. I'm a sucker, but I love that little dimple on her left cheek.

    That was well spoken, Trish, on the last page.

    Very well spoken.

  2. trish said...
    "It's NOT Ayn Rand."

    I've long since passed my Rand days. But had I never read her?

    I'm really glad I did. Like Buckley before her.

    I don't find any of this captivating. Or illuminating. Or instructive.

    Which is not to say it isn't or shouldn't be to some, on some level.

    And I'm certainly not into arguing. With anyone but myself. I don't have a real interest in it anymore.

    My son says, "That's the problem."

    If that's the problem, I cherish being one.

    Mon Dec 13, 04:21:00 AM EST

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. What I don't like about Rand is there is no transcendence.

    I want something more, damnit.

    I would love to have "The Little Drummer Boy" one of these cold days.


  5. Rufus said...

    "Not a "Communist," Doug. Just one who recognizes that you can't have a great country without schools, roads, law enforcement, fire departments, and a military to protect your sovereignty. "

    Whatever the label:

    It's one sorry assed mofo that argues the case that current levels of government spending, and the current SIZE of our government is NEEDED to have

    "schools, roads, law enforcement, fire departments, and a military to protect our sovereignty. "

    We could have MORE of all that with LESS Big Govt and big spending.

    In your World, "letting" people keep 60 percent of the earnings from the nestegg they accumulated by saving and investing the 60 percent that your government LET them keep of their wages makes sense.
    Your World, not mine.

    Since you and Bernie know so much better what to do with other people's money, here's a BETTER idea:

    Bernie decides how much that truck driver NEEDS to get by, and Comrade Rufus sees to it that the truck driver and his neighbors get what Bernie has decided they need.

    That way all that extra money could be better used by your government to make the lives of the truck driver and his neighbors BETTER than they could ever enjoy, if they in their ignorance were left to decide HOW to spend their own money.

    Likewise with healthcare, of course:
    Since Bernie and your government would have all the money and expertise, they could decide which doctor the truck driver could see, when, and for how long.

    MUCH more efficient than letting the ignorant masses decide for themselves, as all you enlightened statists know so well.

  6. The wife and I paid for other people's kids "educations."

    We also paid for, and saw to it that our kid was not polluted by those same "educators" that you argue we need so dearly that we need to take more of other people's money to provide.

  7. Everybody sings the praises about how great the patrons of this establishment are:

    I find it disgusting that so few defend the values and beliefs of our founders in the face of banal apologies for Socialism and Big Government when they are brought up here again and again.

  8. That no one but me has argued with Rufus's advocacy for Obamacare is pathetic.

  9. Elephant Knitting and Supper Club.

  10. Rufus said...

    "We have to keep a baleful eye upon Washington, and the "Spooks," and Dilletants that inhabit that perverted place, boys. They've been pissing down our leg for a long time. They'll drown us if we give them enough opportunity."

    MORE money should fix it:
    Tax and Spend, Baby!

    ...not to mention giving the Feds MORE oversight and control of our private lives with Socialised Medical Care.

    Makes Perfect Sense.

  11. Over a quarter trillion of new spending (and still counting) in the "Bush Tax Cuts" fiasco.

    No mention here, except,

    "Obama Folded"

    My Ass

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Why Not Soak the Rich?

    Not all of them are that wealthy, and hurting them won’t help the rest of us.

    - VDH

  14. Re: contentious Obamacare

    You are not reading the posts.

  15. .

    That no one but me has argued with Rufus's advocacy for Obamacare is pathetic.

    The memory is the second thing to go as one ages.

    You seem to forget that during the height of the debate the only ones supporting Obamacare here were Rufus and (I believe) Ash. There were heated debates every day.

    The fact that you come in for a period, rant, and then all but disappear for weeks at a time cannot be blamed on the bar.

    Besides o seeker of the truth and defender of the American way, you have assured us that the new GOP majority in the House will dismantle Obamacare.

    What's to worry?


  16. I am the only one here pointing out that the Post Election GOP, rather than fighting for all that's good and true is folding WRT MORE outrageous government spending.
    I was wrong.
    You all are silent.

  17. .

    And I personally would like to thank you for being the 'true voice of conservatism' here at the bar Dougo.

    (Or perhaps that should be 'voice of neoconservatism'. Not sure how you view yourself these days.)

    What would we do without you to stir us from our apathy into justified rage?

    As Hannity would say, you my man are one 'Great American', a patriot and a hero.

    Go girl.


  18. The deal, doug, is that there is no constituency for "rolling back" the Big Government and Socialization you decry.

    Not on the "Right", nor on the "Left".

    Certainly not amongst Republicans.
    While the Democrats are trying to grab the mantle of "fiscal conservatives".

    The entire DC story is comical, as in farcical.

    From the "need" of the Coast Guard for more boats, illustrated by the Gulf oil spill and some comments here.

    To the "Long War" against uncommon criminals in Yemen and Pakistan.

    To bob fighting for the zoning approval for 110 new building lots, in Idaho.
    More McMansions for Moscow?
    Not likely.

    Living in the past.
    Focused upon the 20th century.

    The comments that support the Federals maintaining control of 20% of the land, in the US, those are truly telling.

    Collective ownership and Federal control, those are required to preserve our "American Heritage".

    Funny stuff, if it were not so depressing, too.

  19. Those two comments do not address the fact that Rufus has regularly argued for Big Govt post the Obamacare debates.

    Such as touting Socialist Bernie Sanders.

    To deafening silence.

    Except for Doug

  20. .

    I am the only one here pointing out that the Post Election GOP, rather than fighting for all that's good and true is folding WRT MORE outrageous government spending.

    It appears the only posts you read here are your own.

    That must be somewhat comforting.

    Trish probably has some advise for you.


  21. Shit, doug, I knew in '08 that the election would make no difference.

    Same said for '10, too.

    Co-opted was the word, for November.

    Washington DC won, the rest of US, along for the ride.

  22. quirk
    Mon Dec 13, 08:04:00 AM EST

    No points for pithy banality.

    'Rat's comment, otoh, substantive.

  23. Bernie Sanders for EB Bar President!

  24. 110 lots, @ $100,000 per ...

    And bob says I have "rich" friends.

    But then he has yet to sell a lot.
    Though four are reserved.

    Back to the future.

    Far behind the learning curve.

    The Lady Lawyer and the Bureaucrats, all that have made a gain, in bob's Moscow.

  25. .

    To deafening silence.

    Except for Doug

    Your self-absorbed rants and constant repetition reminds one of Rufus' fixation with ethanol, and rat and WiO's discussions on the Middle East.

    Interesting even compelling to you but it wears the rest of us down.

    Occasional silence doesn't bespeak of indifference.

    Once someone agrees with you isn't that enough? Must they continue to constantly provide you with and echo chamber, a Greek chorus jumping in with the constant chant "Doug, you da man"?


  26. Moscow, Idaho and bob.

    America's challenge, in miniature.

  27. .

    No points for pithy banality.

    Pithy is good.


    What do you call the repetition and redundancy of your posts?


  28. .

    Not knowing anything about real estate all I can do is congratulate Bob on his good fortune.

    It's good to see someone hit the jackpot.

    On the other hand, not knowing anything about real estate, I am reminded of the Chinese's second curse "May you get what you wish for."

    But then, I'm a 'glass half empty' kind of guy. I'm sure things will work out well for our new 'gentleman farmer'.


  29. I know a little bit, about Real Estate.

    He's in a whirled of hurt.

    Really far behind the curve, in so far as cashin' out is concerned.

    All he has done, provide opportunities for further employment, for the Lady Lawyer.

    And the Town Bureaucrats, of course.

    It just takes a pencil, and a napkin, to figure out. tells the tale of housing sales, in Moscow.

    Few and far between, with none at the $400,000 plus that is needed to float a $100,000 lot.

    bob now has a proposal approved for a 20th century product, not so timely in the 21st century market.

    The Zoning change, without a build out, is just an open can of worms, for the Town Bureaucrats to meddle with.

  30. His story of the required "Land Swap" just the tip of the iceberg.

    The City will claim unimproved ag land for unimproved ag land.

    bob and his boy are going to go argue that their unimproved ag land is really superior to the city's, because it is not "really" unimproved ag land, but that it has a higher and better use, than that.

    For which they should be compensated, but not taxed for.

    That is what his battle with the Town will show, that he is being under taxed and that his "farming" is a fraud to avoid the proper property tax rates.

    He may, in Court, win the day.

    But that battle will not come cheap. The Lady Lawyer will reap the financial benefits, while his daughter shovels shit, for pony rides.

  31. A minimum of $2,000,000 in infrastructure build out.

    Roads, sidewalks & sewer.

    A certain percentage of which has to be in place, before a lot can be sold or built on.

    No commercial builder will buy-in without the infrastructure being contracted for.

    The Town will not allow building permits, either, without the sewers, sidewalks & streets.

  32. We pay for our federal government through "income" taxes, Doug. I've never paid less than 30% that I can remember. Buffet pays 17%. That doesn't strike me as being "right."

    You want to live in a "low-tax" country, move to Mexico. They collect about 9% the last I heard. Tijuana is nice this time of year.

  33. Doug, I'm kind of tired of your juvenile bitching, and whining. We have a Trillion Dollar Deficit. Please enumerate the Budget Cuts you would make to get it down to "Balanced."

    Please be Specific as regards the cuts, and the amount of budget Reduction each one would account for.

  34. And as for you, Q, Fuck You.

    We have an Energy Crisis heading straight at us, and all you want to do is sit around and snark at me for addressing it.

  35. .

    And as for you, Q, Fuck You.

    Apologies Ruf.

    My fault. Again.

    The remark wasn't directed towards you. Collateral damage in making a point to Doug.

    The real point is, at least as I recall, although you post often on the same subject, I don't recall you leturing the bar for not responding as in,

    Everybody sings the praises about how great the patrons of this establishment are:

    I find it disgusting that so few defend the values and beliefs of our founders in the face of banal apologies for Socialism and Big Government when they are brought up here again and again...

    That no one but me has argued with Rufus's advocacy for Obamacare is pathetic...

    Elephant Knitting and Supper Club...

    Over a quarter trillion of new spending (and still counting) in the "Bush Tax Cuts" fiasco.

    No mention here, except, "Obama Folded" My Ass...

    To deafening silence. Except for Doug...

    As I pointed out to Doug, silence doesn't necessarily indicate indifference.


  36. And, my apologies to you, Q, for the profanity. I guess I'm a bit grouchy this morning.

  37. "Elephant Knitting and Supper Club…"

    I don't knit and I don't cook.