Fragments & The Final 24

Ah, Boxing Day. Such a glorious date on the calendar.

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If you are lucky, this is a day to take holiday loafing to a new level.  When all that merriment turns into cellulite.  I am so well fed and relaxed, so dizzy with blessings that I am feeling somewhere between a new born baby…

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…a later-years Elvis.

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with a little bit of this guy over here…

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Perfectly content, but potentially incoherent. I know some of the greatest writers wrote some pretty famous material while under the influence.  But after a sizable amount of champagne, Strongbow, turkey, stuffing, chocolate, cheese, chips, dip and many Kahula/Baileys/coffee combos…I am extremely unfocused. I blogged yesterday Benjamin took a rather sizable nap, when we got back home he took to a post-holiday snooze, and I thought I’d keep that momentum going. Sadly, my creative intentions were far stronger than my literal ambition.  I pondered the number of half-ideas rattling around in my brain. I picked up the book my best friend Evelyn bought at the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, and sent me for Christmas. “Fragments” is a collection of photographs and Marilyn Monroe‘s personally handwritten notes and journal entries.  I flip through it, relishing in the information.

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I return to the task of blogging.  In trying to accurately describe my state of full belly and lethargy I considered making an Anna Nicole Smith joke in lieu of a fat Elvis one; that took me down a very dark road that eventually led to my half-watching the Anna Nicole edition of “Final 24” on YouTube.  Not familiar with “Final 24”? These Canadian made programs are badly re-enacted, poorly scripted yet morbidly fascinating pieces detail the last day in the life of ill-fated celebrity…but mostly told by Z-list hangers-on like chauffeurs and hotel staff. And then it all turns out looking a bit like this…

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Poor old Anna Nicole.  She was like the Hindenberg only sexier.  Her life and death was so scandalous and so very white-trash-turned-yellow-gold that someone literally wrote an opera about her.  Where exactly had this buxom beauty gone wrong? What exactly was her fatal flaw?

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I hear you girlfriend, though I’m pretty sure that mantra didn’t apply on your wedding day.

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My god, I’d rather be the person who clears tables and hands out mints at Wendy’s than to make my fortune this way.  If this what his face looks like just imagine what state his nether regions would be in? The mind reels.  But hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girls gotta do.  That man died victoriously, smothered in platinum blonde hair and double D’s.  As for Smith, it led to another downward spiral.  Her husband died about ten minutes after this photo was taken, and his son took Smith all the way to Supreme Court to protect his father’s billions.  Naturally, the only career options left for the former Playboy Playmate and Guess model were reality television, Trimspa endorsements and general PR prostitution.annanicolesmith2

When Smith arrived on the pop-culture scene, dangerous curves and all, there were obvious comparisons to Marilyn Monroe. Smith happily fueled the fire, and often replicated Monroe’s most famous poses.

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Like Norma Jean Mortenson before her, Vickie Lynn Hogan dreamt of money, fame, attention and love.  They both capitalized on their humble beginnings, often exaggerating their struggles to the press.  They both married young, Marilyn at 16 and Anna at 17.  They both struggled with mental illness, prescription drug addiction and an inability to check themselves before they wrecked themselves.  Monroe died at 36, and Smith only had enough time to flip the 6 to a 9.

Marilyn-Miller-QuoteThe few differences was that Monroe could act and that Smith could procreate;  Monroe was an actual movie star, Smith was a casualty of that pre-Kardashian ”famous for being famous’ tabloid world where people were laughing at her, not with her.  Who knows what it must be like to be beautiful and famous and to crack under the pressure of the very things you craved when you were planning your escape from the misery of a hum-drum, small town life?  In the case of “Fragments”, the editors seek out answers in Monroe’s half written coded chicken scratch, written on the stationary of the most exclusive hotels.  She felt alone in a room full of admirers.  She could never sit back and relax, exhale over a job well done.  Success was all a part of the downward spiral, but it makes you wonder if those poor small town girls would have had it any other way.  It seems for some, the worst thing that can happen are for your dreams to come true.

mmnb562All Images Courtesy of Google

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