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Entries in Marilyn Monroe (2)

Monday
Jun222009

Hands of Gemini 7: Marilyn Monroe

Leaving her handprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, after the filming of Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, in which she figures as one of a pair (with Jane Russell), bon vivante and gender-bending. Granted, the hand is not the first body part one associates with Monroe, nor is Gemini the sign one might guess for her.  Yet that might be the very disjunction that explains her anguish. She gave herself to the camera, that is, to the state of being duplicated and multiplied, promiscuously and compulsively. Hedda Hopper, herself a Gemini (and note that both ladies rechristened themselves with alliterative names, gracing their self-created identities with the primitive charm of doubleness), observed Monroe's relation to the camera:

“No one in my memory hypnotized the camera as she did. . . In her brain and body the distinction between woman and actress had edges sharp as razor blades. Off camera she was a nervous, amazingly fair-skinned creature almost beside herself with anxiety about her roles, driven to seek relief in vodka, champagne, sleeping pills—anything to blunt the pain of her existence. When the camera was there she became an actress, using her eyes, her hands, every muscle in her body to court and conquer the camera as though it were her lover, whom she dominated and was dominated by, adored and feared.”   ---Hedda Hopper, The Truth and Nothing But (sic)

MM & HH: 2 Geminis and a mirror

As a hypermediated Gemini she was also a reader, fully entitled to wear glasses without joking. She married a writer, after all, not a bodyguard or back-up dancer. She was continually communicative, on the phone, kept in touch with everybody, even her distant half-sister, who wrote a book about her.

As Geminis do, she paired off with other Geminis.  Most memorably, Tony Curtis, JFK, and Joyce Carol Oates.Two Geminis with cameras

 

Gemini JFK avoided being caught in a photo with her, save in this rare shot taken on the sly, which includes the bonus features treasured by Gemini watchers: the Brother and the Library.

Two Geminis with phone

Gemini novelist Joyce Carol Oates announced Marilyn as her alter-ego or secret twin in the jacket art of her novel BLONDE, which had the working title of GEMINI, and is full of reflections on Gemini, including an extended fantasy of a sexual relationship between Monroe and a pair of handsome twins. A powerful chapter treats the occasion on which Monroe sang Happy Birthday to JFK. Years later tragic history repeated itself as farce when Gemini opera singer Beverly Sills sang Happy Birthday to Gemini Henry Kissinger.

(found stereogram)

(photo by Milton H. Greene)

 

reading Ulysses

Thursday
Aug142008

John Edwards, Gemini behaving badly.

 

 

He of  the “Two Americas”,  with the inherent duplicity of the Twins, called LIAR in 4 inch letters on the front pages of the tabloids. Months ago he was caught by YouTube preening in a mirror. Narcissus, a Gemini without a brother, yearns after his own image, never matures. Dowd in the Times made merciless fun of him for hiring his lover to make videos of himself (“His self-diagnosis of narcissism was weirdly narcissistic . . . ”).  

Mentally fluent Twins fill the ranks of Edwards’s profession, lawyering,  fascinated by the dynamic of justice’s two-panned scale and the power of the word.  As a Gemini, the lawyer enjoys  in-betweening and pairing off in so many ways: as an advocate, a mediator, a communicator, a representative,  an opponent whose strength lies in the ability to argue either side;  also,  she exploits to the hilt her network of personal relationships and inter-obligations, contacts and introductions.  Some prominent  attorneys immediately come to my mind: F. Lee Bailey (10 June 1933, with the Geminian lightness of the aviator/playboy), and Palm Beach’s Robert Montgomery (9 June 1930, who died last week),  a tort litigator like Edwards, a Democrat with Republican clients, and the man responsible for the multi-billion dollar finding against the tobacco industry. Closer to Edwards’s current dilemma are two recent New York Attorneys General: Eliot Spitzer (June 10, 1959), who projected an image clear as a bell, then suddenly proved schizoid, two-faced; and Rudolph Giuliani (28 May 1944), whose idiosyncratic infidelities and cellphone antics are the least of his Geminian displays.                                                         

 

(Marilyn Monroe & Donald Trump are also Geminis.)