Ah, The Good Ole Days When Sluts Were Fancier
Modern celebrity scandals are generally weak. Often completely fabricated and publicized inches beyond its life, every so-called scandal accompanies record drops, movie premieres and reality show debuts. These kids today with their Dan Fogelberg, Zima, hula hoops, and Pac Man videogames, they just don’t know how good our grandparents had it. Because back then, shit got real.
I finally got around to reading Furious Love, the book about the relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and it is fascinating. Theirs is the kind of story that gives me the embarrassed ass cringies when I think of Speidi, Britney and KFed and that one time there was footage of Lindsay Lohan blowing that one guy. Dick and Liz’s story is dramatic and crazy and oddly classy, though it shouldn’t have been, what with all the homewrecking and two-timing and probable itchy redness.
News broke yesterday that a new biography is being released about Scarlett O’Hara herself, Vivien Leigh. In it, we discover Ms. Leigh’s predilection for hitting up brothels masquerading as gas stations with her gay friends and never going hungry again all over some gigolo balls. She was also bisexual, bipolar and once got kicked out of a hotel room for having too much sex with too many people at once.
They don’t make them like that anymore.
Well, technically they do. They just don’t star in Gone With The Wind; they star in I Know Who Killed Me.
It’s a strange double standard. It’s weirdly awesome to look back on what crazy skank orgies they had back in the day. Gloria Grahame had sex with her 13-year-old step-son, Rudy Valentino is rumored to have given his lover an art deco dildo that may have killed him, Fatty Arbuckle’s life was ruined with a fake murder rap, and mafias and husbands disappearing under mysterious circumstances and wife-stealing, oh my. And it shouldn’t be. Some of this stuff was genuinely terrible. But enough time passes and it all becomes oddly acceptable (hell, Mickey Rourke only stalked and beat Carré Otis, what, 16 years ago? And people seem pretty cool with that guy.)
In this era of paparazzi, nothing seems to get out without someone wanting it to get out. Stars are much more guarded unless it suits them, and the ones who aren’t are the ones trying to get famous via scandal. The real stars are, at least on the outset, keeping their noses clean. And I eagerly await the tell-alls to be released in their twilight years.
Of course, the other possibility is that the stars with the scandals today will be the ones remembered lovingly down the road. Will Megan Fox be tomorrow’s Marilyn Monroe? I mean, how much different are they, really? We look at Zsa Zsa Gabor at the very least as some kind of socialite and figure of decadence, when in reality she’s basically just an older Paris Hilton, sans visible crotch.
To paraphrase the film starring Brothel Hopper O’Hara, with enough fame and time and attention-span-free fans, you can do without a reputation.
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