Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's complicated

My little blog is under attack again. Some time back this site was discovered by spam bots which post voluminously and mercilessly at times. Their favorite choices for attack are "Uh, oh", which has (in two segments) a great piece from the Daily Show class warfare files, and "A Meditation on Valentine's Day". Most of their droppings push pills at discount prices. We are now knee deep in synchronicity, folks. Over at Austanspace Laura posted about the poor, and finished up with a clip from the movie "Caberet" in which Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey perform "The Money Song". As I was web gliding (I'm becoming more of a glider than a surfer these days, 'surfing' sounds too active), I chanced upon a blog with a video of Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey at an event for a restoration job on the movie. All I will say is that time is not on our side. Oh - the restored footage chosen for the video was of "The Money Song". Liza, of course, is the daughter of Judy Garland. And you have no idea what restraint I am exercising in letting that description stand as is. The Meditation on Valentine's Day post used a song lyric written by Johnny Mercer. He wrote it to Garland as in, well, as in a love song. (Rather inconvenient as he met Garland at the time of her wedding to David Rose, but that's all another story. Maybe. It's complicated.)

Anyway, this past Sunday, I noted a couple of my personal reverberations for this time of year and the date of June the 10th. I left several things out (historically speaking, it's a busy day). The 10th was Judy Garland's birthday. To be honest, I avoided mentioning it because I didn't quite know what to say or do.

Garland was born on a June the 10th and died on June the 22nd. A friend of mine noticed that if you count it, as on a calendar, there are Twelve Days of Judy. "...on the sixth day of Judy my true love gave to me, six numbutol, five black bea-u-ties, four seconal, three... and a vodka chassseeerrrr". Well, you get the idea even if I can't sing.

What is there to say? The world has changed so much. Does the story still resonate with people today? Her parents vaudevillians who ran a movie house. Onstage at and from the age of two. Had to move when the stories about her father and the ushers started getting around. Resettled to the California promised land with a stage mother determined to give Rose Hovick a run for her money. Or in this case, her child's money. Under contract to the biggest, most powerful movie studio of the day, where the studio chief famously referred to her as his "little hunchback", and where she was given pills to keep her going, and pills to go to sleep. Hell of a story. Proclivity for drugs, alcohol, marrying gay men. Proverbial train wreck, multi car pile up. Pathos and bathos. It's one of those "when the legend becomes fact, print the legend" kinds of things. The story, and all that goes with it, the whole mythos, none of it really matters. What matters is that she was probably the best Goddamned entertainer who ever lived or who will ever live. For her last two birthdays, I unintentionally posted the same clip. Last year, I titled the post "Once every eternity". That about sums it up. See folks, this is what matters:

Happy Birthday, Judy. 

and Thank You.

No comments: