Thursday, July 24, 2008

Speak Up!

There's been a lot of publicity this week about the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce mounting a campaign to raise funds to repair damaged stars on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame. Above are the four stars they cited as "Most severely damaged." I was certainly surprised to see my own star included, since it's only been there for a few weeks, and it looks fine to me. When I inquired about this, I was told first that "We consider Tallulah Morehead the most-severely damaged star on the whole Walk of Fame, even including the Ally of Infamy off of Selma." When I pointed out that my sidewalk star was perfectly fine, they replied, "Who's talking about the sidewalk? Have you looked in a mirror lately?" Well of course I haven't. Why should I hurt my own feelings?

I suspect that the rude butch woman who told me this was a lesbian, and I can say that now, since the residents of the Island of Lesbos lost their absurd suit. They had stopped yodelling in their local canyons long enough to file a lawsuit to prevent lesbians from calling themselves lesbians, despite the patent paradox. They said it defamed residents of Lesbos, although for it to be a defamation, you first have to accept that there's something wrong with being a lesbian, and that's absurd. Aside from their terrible fashion sense and bad breath (well, you know where their mouths have been.), there's nothing wrong with being a lesbian. Why, some of my best friends have drunk from the fairy cup, and when they told me they were lesbians, I was so shocked I fell out of our bed! The whole lawsuit was an assault on Free Speech. Had it held up, next Holland could have sued to stop lesbians from being called dykes!

You know the difference between a Dutch dyke and a lesbian dyke? When you stick your finger in a Dutch dyke, the moisture stops flowing. When you stick your finger in a lesbian dyke, the moisture starts. Anyway, may I suggest that henceforth the residents of Lesbos call themselves Lesbosians? That should put an end to any confusion, and the Lesbosians can go back to performing their quaint native customs for the tourists: muff-diving, clam-tasting, and hands-free organic flossing.

Well, it's about time I got some respect. I have, after all, been a movie star since 1915, and was considered one of the greatest voices in the silent cinema. The kids today won't even watch black and white movies, let alone silent films, yet we shone with a magic light, and acting was so much easier when you didn't have to learn any dialogue, although, as a consummate professional, I memorised all of my title cards. You think The Drunk Night is something new? Batman and The Joker have been around forever. In fact, the first Joker was Conrad Veidt way back in 1927, a amazing feat, given that Bob Kane didn't even create the character for another 13 years. That my darlings is genius!

One of my most popular silent films was the creepy horror movie, The Phantom of the Operetta, in which I co-starred with gorgeous Lon Chaney. Well, when I work with a man that sexy, how can I resist having an affair? Here he is, seducing me with his looks and charm.

Sex appeal must have been in the Chaney Family genes, because later on his son Creighton, better known by the bogus name Lon Chaney Junior, also charmed and drank his way into my panties. That wolf man was an animal. He could drink me under the table. And that wasn't all we did while we were under that table either. It didn't matter to The Chaneys if I was silent or not. They were father and son monsters.

The horror highlight of The Phantom of the Operetta came when Lon crept up behind me and ripped off my mask! There's nothing silent about theaters full of people screaming and vomiting!

At the end-of-shoot party, Lon fingered his organ, while I sang. Here in this picture, you can see Lon reel with - ah - admiration, as he heard my singing voice for the very first time, plus I had made the mistake of exhaling in his face. How much were silent movies loved? Well everyone at that party who heard my singing said that they prayed that the movies would always remain silent.

For the most part, my silent period was fully detailed in my lavish and award-free autobiography, My Lush Life, although all of my many husbands up to about age 40 (An age I reached while still only 28.) all swear that I never had a "Silent Period." However, some details slipped my notoriously slick mind while dictating my memoirs to Little Dougie. For instance, I never mentioned that I played a brief comic cameo role in Harold Lloyd's famous comedy Safety Last. I had wanted to work with Harold as I'd heard that in his movies he was always very well hung. However, my little star turn was cut from the finished film when it was noticed how completely I upstaged the little Republican pisser. Here is my brief shot, seen for the very first time.

One day recently, I glanced over my book when more sober than usual (I'd overslept, and accidentally had time to sleep it off. DOH!), I realized that I had completely omitted one of my most epic silent films, and as this film is now lost, with no print known to have survived a family BBQ the director had one day 65 years ago, few people alive today have ever seen the five hour German-American epic: Der Nibelungen Always Ring Twice.

The movie, directed by the German genius Fritz Bumsen, who had directed my silent science-fiction classic Beyond Belief, was based on the 20 hour Wagner opera Der Ring des Nibelungen, which later became Hitler's favorite opera. Most people familiar with Wagner's slightly overwritten opera agree that by cutting 15 hours, and removing all the music, we had vastly improved it. "At last," one music critic wrote, "a version of The Ring Cycle for people with weak bladders!"

To aid in making the picture more accessible to American audiences not used to stories involving Rhine maidens, Valkyries, and long, long tales in which every woman the hunky blond hero ever meets is one of his aunts, we decided to combine the traditional German legend with the newly-emerging genré of Film Noir, by making it a murder mystery, and sticking a couple of murders and a private eye into the picture.

To help with the box office, my husband at that time, the gorgeous blond closet homosexual Rod Towers was cast opposite me in the film. We were quite the screen team at the time, having co-starred in many films. Plus, I had no idea yet that he was batting for both teams, although I should have suspected something from the fact that he always called me by male names when we made love, an act he would only perform while wearing a blindfold and nose plugs.

Rod played Siegfried, the grandson of the god Wotan, whose parents are siblings. Germans. I played the Valkyrie Boozehilda, a tough-talking dame who is trouble on ice.

When the dragon Fafner gets slain, Sam Spade shows up while Sieggie and I are bathing in the dragon's blood. He finds this suspicious, although dragon's blood is great for your skin.

Not long thereafter, Siegfried is betrayed and slain, and the plot, like the dragon's blood, thickens, in fact, it clots. I am an immediate suspect simply because I had taken out a life insurance policy on Siegfried, with a special clause paying me double indemnity if he is murdered. (You could only get this clause in German life insurance.) Siegfried's widow Krimehild is also a suspect, as is my boyfriend and insurance agent, Walter Neff. (In the Wagner opera, Neff is called Alberech.)

The picture has an unusual conclusion for a murder mystery. Krimehild decides that everyone is guilty, so she throws a dinner party at which she kills the entire cast. Never trust a German widow who serves canned salmon mousse.

The picture was not a success. There were several reasons speculated as being responsible for the film's failure. It was five hours long, with no intermission. It was a huge downer. It glorified the values that were driving the Nazis to make themselves unwelcome all over Europe, and of course, it was a silent movie, despite having been made in 1940. But my own theory is that it was the casting of Sonja Henie as Krimehild that sank the picture. Admittedly, she was so unpleasant that she was totally believable as a woman who would murder the entire cast, but the final scene, where she ice skated on the frozen blood of all her victims, was just wildly over the top. Perhaps one day a print of this unique film will be rediscovered. There are seven or eight film fans clamoring to see it, oddly enough, all of them skinheads.

A last word on another topic, now that Barry O'Bama shows promise of becoming the first black Irish American President, I have realized that none of the husbands I can remember having were black, although Count Vlad Tepes was well-known to be black-hearted. So I have decided I need to marry again, and a well-hung black man this time. I've been watching the dance competition TV show So You Think You Can Prance, and I have fallen in love with the three gorgeous black male contestants. I can't make up my mind which of them to marry: Twitch, the hunky hip-hopper with a natural comic flair, Will, the sleek, trained contemporary disciple of Debbi Allen, or Joshua, the burly boy with the massive, family-size butt. Since I can't decide, I have opted to leave it up to America. Whichever of these three wins the show will be my next husband. I've convinced Nigel Lythgoe to make marrying me part of the winner's prize, unless it's won by a girl (Unlikely given these three men), or by boring white Mark. (Like he's going to survive tonight's elimination show.) After all, what 20-something man in perfect physical condition wouldn't want to marry the world's most glamorous 111 year old movie star? (If you're wondering how I convinced Nigel, it was easy. I just stole his ear plugs, and told him he had to make me part of the prize or I wouldn't give them back. Would you want to sit next to Mary Murphy without ear plugs? I rest my case.)

So pick up those phones America and vote.
You can help choose my next husband!

Cheers darlings.

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