Spoiler alert, circa 1974: “[Robert] Towne is legendary and I think that both Shampoo and Chinatown were brilliantly written. Towne tells me his ending to Chinatown, which would have made it a much bigger movie… Instead of Faye Dunaway buying it at the end they get away–via a stretch of Mulholland that affords the Valley view, filled with orange groves. Their car passes out of frame and the camera freezes over the background. Towne tells me that he has collected seventeen stills, all approximately from the same POV, which cover the intervening years from then to the present. They show the death of the orange groves and the birth of the San Fernando Valley with all the overdeveloped living spaces for humans, trapped in the basin of the mountains. The last couple of stills, he says, were the most damning, because you couldn’t even see the ugliness of the development, because the smog obliterated everything. I tell him I love his ending. ‘Yeah, well, Roman had some things to work out,’ re replies in a long-suffering tone. He has told this story a lot of times, but I don’t blame him– it is so much better an ending.”
You’ll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again, Julia Phillips, Random House, 1991.
Hillary Clinton’s tempestuous affair with an alien named P’Lod was a popular storyline in the late, great Weekly World News. Memorable covers included “Alien in Slammer After Fistfight with Bill… Over Hillary!”, “Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby: Secret Service building special nursery in the White House!” and “My Steamy Nights with Hillary in UFO Love Nest.” The February 19, 2002 issue described the extraterrestrial’s Valentine’s Day present, “risque lingerie from P’Lod’s homeworld, a super-advanced planet many light years away.”
“Washington- U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton got an out-of-this-world Valentine’s present from her space-alien boyfriend P’Lod–a pair of racy extraterrestrial undies from his home planet.
And while the peculiar cut and purplish color may appear cheap to human eyes, on the alien’s world they are considered both tasteful and sexy.
The former First Lady reportedly blushed beet-red then laughed and hastily stuffed the gift in a drawer saying ‘They’re awesome! I guess I’ll try these on tonight,’ eyewitnesses at her senate office report.
‘Hillary tried to laugh it off as a gag gift, but you could tell the sexy underwear was a big hit with her,’ revealed an aide who took a snapshot of the scene.
‘All day, she kept opening the drawer and caressing the panties with a dreamy, far-away look in her eyes. Her husband Bill never gave her anything that intimate for Valentine’s Day– his idea of a romantic gift is a new set of kitchen knives…’
Weekly World News, February, 2002.
“Casting for new reality show that’s more entertaining than ‘The O.C.’, ‘Laguna Beach’ and ‘Desperate Housewives.’ Searching for great characters with fascinating lives who want to become the hottest new reality stars. Producers are seeking both families and individuals. Email or fax personal details/ stories/ photos with contact info by January 14 to….”
Flyers distributed in the guard-gated master-planned private community of Coto de Caza in early 2005. The show Real Housewives of Orange County would premier in March 2006.
Vance Packard’s 1957 monster bestseller The Hidden Persuaders introduced Americans to the Freudian implications behind lipstick and cigarette advertisements. He described how promoters used Oedipus symbolism to sell the pianist Liberace, preying upon the supposed desire of older women to mother someone adorable– a role enjoyed today by the cherubic-faced SoundCloud rapper Lil Pump, who melts aging hearts as he shouts, ‘And your baby momma laying next to me!” with childlike glee.
“Selling love objects. This might seem a weird kind of merchandising but the promoters of Liberace, the TV pianist, have manipulated–with apparent premeditation–the trappings of Oedipus symbolism in selling him to women past the child-bearing age (where much of his following is concentrated). The TV columnist John Crosby alluded to this when he described the reception Liberace was receiving in England, where, according to Mr. Crosby, he was ‘visible in all his redundant dimples’ on British commercial TV. Mr. Crosby quoted the New Statesman and Nation as follows: ‘Every American mom is longing to stroke the greasy, roguish curls. The wide, trustful childlike smile persists, even when the voice is in full song.’ TV viewers who have had an opportunity to sit in Mr. Liberace’s TV presence may recall that in his TV presentations a picture of his real-life mom is frequently flashed on screen, beaming in her rocking chair or divan while her son performs.”
The Hidden Persuaders, Vance Packard, McKay, 1957.
On back: Echte Photographie Re, Febr. Metz, Tubingen