Golliwogs and dandelions, it’s that time again! Well, as you might recall, I, Nicolas Cage, slipped a bit of a sneaky peek of this here academic discourse into that last week’s chat we had, you and I, about how I’d patched up this here mighty testament to the perseverance of Western virtue, this ‘blog’, if you will, with the noble intention of spinning a ditty or two, and had yet left those pre-arranged ditties thoroughly under-spun, blaming the whole affair on my overwhelmingly incompetent nephew. Well, my nephew’s spoilt ingratitude, and annoying, overfed friends aside, I’ll return our discussion to that bespectacled gentlewoman so sneakily peeked at in our last address, that mentioned Madame being the innocent, the Christian, the adored and desired, our friend and teacher, the electrically eclectic Marilyn Monroe - actress, philosophess, and all around good guy.
So, round up your uncle, get your cat out of the washing machine, and rub your finger on your mouse-wheel, as I, the Cage-Mage, take to the operating table with my first ever posthumous review, and sift the pulp of popular opinion from the juice of Marilyn Monroe, her journey, her chronicle, and her legacy.
First, I think, it’s important that we defined the good Norma Jeane Mortenson; slyly become the glassy Marilyn Monroe. Was she but an image? A Joseph Goebells-esque caricature of the ideal capitalist, and American woman? Or, was hers a libertarian campaign, serving to refuel the virtue of independence, and to reignite the contrarian’s dignity? Marilyn’s commentary on her own beliefs, made in the closing of her final interview, goes as follows:
“What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers. Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.”
~ Copied hot from Wikipedia.
Now, while this might seem like an acutely intellectual, and radically advanced notion, it is in fact utterly redundant - there is almost no one who would have disagreed with this off-topic outburst. Really, Marilyn had all the revolutionary merit of a college kid, blazed and politicking at 3am. The cold, listless reality is that she would sooner have been scoffed at in bars and coffee houses across the nation; made a ‘joke’, even. This declaration of hers, as with her famous, “if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best”, an idea so clearly skewed by her celebrity status and neurotic psychology, mostly surmises her grand additions to Western thought. I called her a ‘philosophess’ in my rambling introduction, and I’d be offended if no one took offence to the arbitrary feminization of that word, but I’ll be both unsurprised and offended when no one takes offence to the suggestion that she was somehow a philosopher in any right. When you look to her advice on your immediate world, and on how to feel about that guy who’s always harshing on your buzz with his constructive, and incisively accurate, criticisms, you’re caught in a wave of powerful, seemingly self-evident ideas. But, in the real, middle-class world, no one can afford to believe things like this;
“When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.”
In that abundant narcissism, and within that indigestible non-sequitur between “If they care”, and “I’m better than them”, we can’t fail to recall that these are the thoughts of a woman with an illicit drug-dependency, a woman who paid her way out of mental institutions, and a woman who fucking killed herself. So, how to rank this benevolent avatar of promiscuousness? Well, I like the guy. Despite what I’ve said, Monroe has some uniquely redeeming aspects, and I’ve waited until now to mention these because, well, if the correctness of these things requires any explanation, then I just don’t like you. Marilyn freely associated with members of the gay community, and with communists; this in an era where suspicion, paranoia, and McCarthy were rampant. She was likewise active in the campaign for a controlled and morally sensible nuclear policy, even securing a discussion on the subject with President Kennedy, by obvious means.
Essentially, her intention merit’s been a difficult egg to juggle, as, post-investigation, I found her downright apolitical. However, with respect to the friends she chose, and to the causes she supported, I’m letting her snuggle into a cosy and unimposing 6/10.
Coming now, finally, to the Madame’s practical merit, we’re no longer asking who she was, but asking what she did. What did she do for you, for me, for America, and for the world? Well, she was an actress, a model, a singer, a sex symbol, and, yes, an example of social propagandism. She effectively perpetuated a shame culture, arguing for the ridicule of introverts, and childishly glorifying the traits of ‘bitchiness’, melancholia, and corset-strangled waistlines. People like her, no matter their willingness, do not benefit the world, and almost exclusively decay it. She’s due an unfortunate tumble down the bum-littered back annals of negative-meritia, district 3/10.
Practical merit: 3/10
Intention merit: 6/10
Hot from my mouth, to your ears, that’s the Cage Equation, and you were asking for it.