Sunday, March 25, 2007
A couple of weeks ago I was walking past Chapters, doing my level best not to go in and spend all of my rent money, when a familiar face beckoned to me from a shelf inside. It was the face above, a face known to a few of you no doubt, which was at one time one of the most familiar faces in the world, and for a good reason.
The fact that the large, lush book it accompanied was remaindered at $14.99 made the sale even before I'd gotten to the front door. Retail therapy, even to the extent I practice it, is still cheaper than psychiatry. At least, that's what I usually tell myself as I find myself in a queue clutching some new treasure. I doubt there's any collection of ephemera anywhere as loved as the one held here at the Pop Culture Institute.
When I was a young homo I was drawn irrevocably to the movies, to the gods and goddesses the medium created back in the day before telephoto lenses could show us every zit on their asses, when the movie studios enforced their oligarchy with liberal helpings of mythmaking and the stars themselves played along, because when you get right down to it, it's nice to be admired.
The book, published in England, is lavish and contains glimpses into Marlene Dietrich's life which were unfamiliar even to me. I kept it beside my bed, and so every day for a week this is how I dragged myself into full consciousness. A couple of evenings that week I took out one of her movies and was then lulled back into unconsciousness by the voice and the face that made her a legend.
In the relentless pursuit of the new, there's something very gratifying about rediscovering something (or someone) I'd once spent countless hours studying. Besides which, what a smart rebuke it was to my own arrogance; I, who thought I knew all there was to know about her, brought up short by the unknowable enigma of the immortal Dietrich.
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It scarcely seems possible, but the accelerated pace at which I've been posting means there's another one of these milestones every couple of weeks or so.
The greatest challenge in these posts is finding a suitable image to accompany it. Too obscure and I run the risk of alienating readers, too obvious and I run the risk of being myself. I love the obscure, though I tend to be the obvious; which is just another one of those adorable contradictions that comprises me, I guess.
I ran across this charming piece of grafitti in the course of my day job, took it's picture knowing that my 400th post was fast approaching, but never thought of it in those terms until this afternoon when I went in search of something, anything suitable to depict 400 posts.
Today's lesson, then, is: Seek and ye shall find.
300th post (10 MAR 07)
200th post (23 FEB 07)
100th post (03 FEB 07)
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Posted by michael sean morris at 18:05