One of the great actresses of all time. Beautiful, sexy, a woman who wasn't controlled by the studios and shaped a career that lasted for decades and then moved into TV where she found huge success with projects like The Big Valley and Thornbirds.
Barbara Stanwyck whose first husband beat her.
Whose best friend Joan Crawford would take her in when she was running out of the house in the middle of the night to avoid that abusive husband.
Who supposedly had an affair with Joan.
Who was a lesbian and angrily ended an interview late in life when the issue was brought up.
Who was a voracious reader.
Who was a Republican.
(I don't mean that as an insult. I'm not a Republican but I find it fascinating Barbara was.)
Who was an independent woman at a time when few existed.
Unlike lesbian Katharine Hepburn, Barbara wasn't 'muted' on screen by repeat parings with a man. (Henry Fonda may have been the co-star she worked most often with. And maybe they'd be remembered as a team if it weren't for Jane Fonda casting the by-then ridiculous Hepburn in On Golden Pond.)
With all of that material to work with, how do you end up with a bad and boring book?
Ask Victoria Wilson who has written A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel True 1907 -1940.
Wilson alledgedly spent 15 years writing this book.
I'll assume about 90 minutes of that 15 years was in actual writing and the rest was snoozing -- she must have put herself to sleep writing this dreadful book.
She avoids any mention of Stanwyck's sex life. She mutes the domestic abuse.
She tries to play up Stanwyck as a mother.
Stanwyck's adopted son would grow up not close to his mother, to put it mildly -- a detail Wilson ignores.
You can say, "Well, it stops at 1940!"
Yes, you can say that.
There's a thing called foreshadowing.
At any rate, it's a boring book that really doesn't even address Barbara's classic films with the exception of Stella Dallas.
All of these films -- many of them classics -- are ignored:
The Lady Eve (1941)
- Meet John Doe (1941)
- You Belong to Me (1941)
- Ball of Fire (1941)
- The Great Man's Lady (1942)
- The Gay Sisters (1942)
- Lady of Burlesque (1943)
- Flesh and Fantasy (1943)
- Double Indemnity (1944)
- Hollywood Canteen (1944)
- Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
- My Reputation (1946)
- The Bride Wore Boots (1946)
- The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
- California (1947)
- The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947)
- The Other Love (1947)
- Cry Wolf (1947)
- Variety Girl (1947)
- B.F.'s Daughter (1948)
- Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
- The Lady Gambles (1949)
- East Side, West Side (1949)
- The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)
- No Man of Her Own (1950)
- The Furies (1950)
- To Please a Lady (1950)
- The Man with a Cloak (1951)
- Clash by Night (1952)
- Jeopardy (1953)
- Titanic (1953)
- All I Desire (1953)
- The Moonlighter (1953)
- Blowing Wild (1953)
- Witness to Murder (1954)
- Executive Suite (1954)
- Cattle Queen of Montana (1954)
- The Violent Men (1955)
- Escape to Burma (1955)
- There's Always Tomorrow (1956)
- The Maverick Queen (1956)
- These Wilder Years (1956)
- Crime of Passion (1957)
- Trooper Hook (1957)
- Forty Guns (1957)
- Walk on the Wild Side (1962)
- Roustabout (1964)
- The Night Walker (1964)
'But, Marcia, the book ends in 1940! Those films are later on!'
Maybe so, but I didn't ask Wilson to write over a thousand bad pages on Stanywck's early films.
Avoid this book. Even the photos aren't worth it.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:" for Thursday:
The editorial board of the Macon Telegraph weighs in on Iraq -- apparently to demonstrate their brains are as soft as an overripe Georgia peach.
All must come together and support US President Barack Obama's plan, declares a body determined to sport their ignorance.
There is no plan -- just more of the same.
Dissent is the hallmark of democracy.
How sad but telling: Journalists who rush to give up freedom and to censor and bully others.
They grow 'em mighty pathetic at the Telegraph.
Most of all, the scared little puppies can't stop wimpering -- such as here: "We need our lawmakers to act and act quickly. This is a case of national security. We would caution the president about making statements about what we won’t do. As the evolving situation in Syria and Iraq has shown, there may come a time in the not-too-distant future when more American boots are needed on the ground fighting next to Iraqis and Kurds."
You sort of picture them cowering in their own filth, don't you?
What national security?
Do the morons not even know how to listen?
In the speech, Barack declared, "While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies."
Where's the threat?
In the horror porn fantasies of those who work for the Telegraph.
Barack's unveiled plan turned out to be the same thing he was already doing but on a little bit wider scope.
And how's that been working out?
One sign of the failure of Barack's action would be membership in the Islamic State increasing.
AP notes CIA spokesperson Ryan Trapani declared today that there had been rapid growth in IS membership since June and that they now have "between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria, up from a previous figure of 10,000."
Not only have Barack's actions not reduced membership in the Islamic State, they also have increased it -- at a rate that not even Nouri managed.
Matthew Rothschild (The Progressive) grasps what the Telegraph's editorial board can't:
Another President who fails to recognize how counterproductive war can be.
In Iraq, there are 6 million Sunnis who, with every bombing against ISIS, will be pushed more and more into the extremists' arms, as they see the United States waging war against fellow Sunnis.
In Syria, 60 percent of the country is Sunni, and bombing ISIS is likely to have a similar effect, further tearing that country apart. And if somehow the bombing "degrades" ISIS, it will serve to solidify Assad in power.
Barack had a chance to offer something new and didn't. What he's planning to do is the same things that have allowed the Islamic State to significantly increase their own membership.
Even Ruth Conniff is dismayed. And I believe she is (I know Matt is).
But over at The Daily Warren -- excuse me, The Nation. It just feels like The Daily Warren.
There's something really sick about a political magazine grabbing onto politicians with all the desperation of a Jimmy Page groupie and running from one celebrity crush to another like a 12-year-old.
If only Elizabeth Warren had a third nipple -- like Harry Styles! -- the staff of The Nation could serenade Warren with "What Makes You Beautiful."
Instead, we're stuck with Leslie Savan and her tired horse face.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Is that the 'optics' Leslie rails against?
Well you know what I don't like?
I don't like the useless -- whether their name is Ralph Nader or Leslie Savin, I don't like 'em.
And you're useless if, like Leslie, you whine that Barack's speech was reduced to 'optics.' No, she doesn't know what she's writing about. Some believe they have an excuse to avoid doing the work.
Which is what she did: avoided doing the work.
First, the press did not dub Barack's suit 'tan.'
The tan suit -- I have no idea if it's tan or not nor did I obsess over it -- check the archives -- came from Twitter and other social media as Barack was delivering his speech.
The press even reported on that.
Leslie missed it.
She misses a great deal. Such as, repeating someone else's criticism -- huge chunks of it -- is not doing any of your own work.
She's so useless that she's written (and copied and pasted) a huge number of words whining about Maureen Dowd and others and how they covered the speech.
What Leslie never did?
Write about the damn speech.
We did. We wrote about it last week when he gave it in the 'tan' suit or whatever.
We wrote about it and we critiqued it.
It's a week later and all useless Leslie and her ugly horseface can do is whinny in the words of others.
Whether you agreed with Maureen Dowd or not, she's always one up on Leslie because Maureen puts her own thoughts in.
Doing a slightly better job than Leslie is Zoe Carpenter who asks "Is the War on ISIS Illegal?"
Zoe never took the time to weigh in herself -- an opinion writer at an opinion journal who can't share her own thoughts?
Patrick Martin (WSWS) shares these thoughts:
In pursuing its objectives in the Middle East, Obama’s pledge not to resort to “boots on the ground” has zero credibility. Already, hundreds of US troops and advisors have been dispatched to the region. Even before Obama went on national television, his secretary of state, John Kerry, was telling a Baghdad press conference that US combat troops would not return to Iraq unless “obviously, something very dramatic changes.” As former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton, a fixture in the foreign policy establishment, observed, “That’s a loophole a mile wide.”
As always, decisions that effect the lives of hundreds of millions of people have been decided behind closed doors, by a small cabal, with plans drawn up in advance presented as a fait accompli to be rubber stamped by Congress and sold by the media on the basis of lies.
And that's how it went. What should have been a discussion with the American people never took place.
It should have been demanded.
But our big brave 'leaders' instead were focused on Hobby Lobby and other 'pressing' issues.
Justin Raimondo has a column on the topic of Barack's speech here.