Archive for January, 2012
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
We’re getting ready to head off to Vegas. Doc has put ME in charge of making sure we don’t get roofied. I’m torn between pointing out to him that The Hangover was fictional, and being offended that he doesn’t consider me to be the likeliest candidate to actually put roofies in his drink. I don’t think that’s the biggest worry though – I’m concerned about accidentally ordering a hooker by saying the wrong catch phrase to the wrong person.
At any rate, this will be my last post for a week, and I’d like this one to be up for the week – the 24 Hours of Homelessness event is coming up next Thursday. On the William Street mall (near the Sugar Mountain, just off Rideau Street), from 4:00 Thursday to 4:00 Friday, I will be sleeping outside to raise money and awareness for Operation Come Home.
I don’t know who’s going to be joining me this year, but usually some college kids and intrepid OCH volunteers join me, and I’m sure this year will be no exception. We spend the 24 hours outside, trying to draw attention to the fact that on any given night in Ottawa, 100 street youth will have to do the same, whether it’s wet, snowy or bitterly cold.
Any donations to Operation Come Home can be made by clicking that link, and be sure to tune in to the Doc and Woody show Friday morning, as I will be waking up on the street, trying to gather my thoughts and doing my best to speak through the cold in order to make sense on the radio.
Friday, January 13th, 2012
I know a lot of you clicked on this link hoping for pictures of women in bikinis. I am sorry. But I do hope that you stick around to watch this video, which is totally amazing. Here is the greatest rally I have ever seen in sports.
Another bonus here – this will be the only post about sports you will see all weekend that doesn’t mention Tim Tebow in any way. Oh. Oops.
Monday, January 9th, 2012
Frederica Sagor Maas (Freddie Maas in many of her credits) died just before New Years at the age of 111. One hundred and eleven. Years old. She was maybe the last survivor of Hollywood’s silent movie era, where she was a screenwriter for films such as Greta Garbo’s Flesh and the Devil and Norma Shearer’s His Secretary and The Waning Sex. She also wrote The Rolled Stockings, The Way of All Flesh and The Plastic Age.
Weird how silent movie titles from the 20s could easily work as porno titles today, huh?
Anyway, I think the coolest thing about Maas, (and the reason I’m writing about her at all) is that she was pretty badass! She had to write mostly “flapper” comedies with Clara Bow and Betty Grable because the studio honchos figured that was all a woman could do. She and her husband, Ernest Maas, became a fairly prolific writing team, but studios wouldn’t take anything of substance from them.
They continued writing after the silent era, doing a few talkies through the 30s and 40s. Finally, in the late 40s, Maas wrote a deeply personal, powerful movie script about womens’ struggles. Hollywood took that script and turned it into the fluffy, utterly vacuous musical The Shocking Miss Pilgrim starring Betty Grable in 1947. Freddie Maas had had enough, gave the finger to the whole industry and quit in disgust.
The industry was a little sour about that. So even though she was out of Hollywood by 1950, they still had her interrogated by the FBI for suspected communist activities, and she and her husband were placed on the Hollywood blacklist. This is 1950 now, she was already fifty years old. And she had another 61 years to live.
So what do you do? Well, she wrote. And in 1999, at age 99, she published her autobiography, called The Shocking Miss Pilgrim: A Writer in Early Hollywood. It was a tell-all book about Hollywood in the 20s, a scathing indictment of the vapidity of the industry, and a series of anecdotes about famous people that by then, almost no one remembered.
Clara Bow once danced nude on a tabletop! That would have been huge news in 1925…Jeanne Eagels pissing out in the open right there on the movie set…Louis B. Mayer being an insecure, pompous douchebag who was apparently disliked by every person he ever met…all of this was great – but sort of irrelevant as everyone else who had co-existed with these people was long dead.
I just love someone who finally decides, at the age of 99, to unleash all of her bitterness toward the industry in a book. And it makes me think that perhaps anger, bitterness and resentment are some of the keys to a long life – the other Hollywood writer-director that comes to mind when I think of centenarians is Leni Riefenstahl, the controversial Nazi film-maker who bitterly raged against her critics until her death at the age of 101.
By this logic, I think a couple of people who post on our facebook page will live a heck of a long time!