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An Icon At 90: Marilyn Monroe

I never wanted to be Marilyn—it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane—Marilyn Monroe

June 1 is a pretty unremarkable day. It’s the 152-day of any given year, except leap year. It has no special or distinguishing events to mark its passing. This otherwise dull day has nothing going for it. However, that all changed 90 years ago with the birth of Norma Jeane Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe.

It’s safe to say that no other American actress has captured the imagination of a nation quite like she did. Her beauty quickly took Hollywood by storm and caught the eye of men and women alike.

Monroe Birth CirtificateBorn Norma Jeane Mortenson. She came into this world as the third child of a troubled woman; who was later diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia. The future star eventually wound up a ward of the state.

As a young girl, Norma Jeane bounced from foster home to foster home. She would often dream of becoming a famous actress. It’s easy to imagine the life she fantasized about must have seemed out of reach, but destiny would come calling a few short years later.

A lucky encounter with a photographer, a few “breaks”, and an ability to market herself catapulted Norma Jeane to fame. She famously took on a new designation: Marilyn Monroe. The name is an amalgam of a 1920s Broadway starlet named Marilyn Miller, who ironically passed away in her mid-thirties too due to alcohol and other health issues, and her birth mother’s last name (Monroe).

Marilyn Monroe quickly rose within the industry. Her stardom was due to a rare combination of raw sexuality, vulnerability, sensuality and innocence all beautifully rolled up into one larger-than-life persona. That would ultimately take on a life of its own.

Carey Grant once said, “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” The sentiment behind this statement surely applied to Marilyn Monroe. During her life she routinely hung out with Hollywood A-listers, married a sport’s legend, and was linked to political royalty. Her life seemed to be going perfectly. Vastly removed from the lifestyle of the orphan Norma Jeane.

But celebrity can be a double edge sword. At one point–in what may have been a veiled cry for help­–Monroe exclaimed, “Fame is fickle, and I know it. It has its compensations but it also has its drawbacks, and I have experienced them both.”

Following her death on Aug. 5, 1962, details about her private life painted a picture of a troubled woman spiraling out of control. Personal issues contributed to her slipping into the miasma of depression, alcohol, and prescription drugs. All of which contributed to her death.

The ensuing years since her passing Marilyn Monroe has never left the public eye. Fascination about her life and death has spawned multiple conspiracy theories detailed in books, documentaries, and movies. The public’s infatuation with Monroe has never waned, in fact its only grown over the years.

In life Marilyn Monroe struggled to earn as much as her costars, while in death her estate’s income consistently tops the charts for deceased celebrities.

Little Norma Jeane, who came into the world on the humdrum day of June 1, went from an orphaned childhood, to troubled Hollywood starlet, to an international icon. Her life may have been short, but she made a far greater impact than her contemporaries.

As for June 1, it’s no longer a day marred by indistinction. For more than half a century fans around the globe mark June 1 on their calendars to celibate Marilyn Monroe’s birth. This year the iconic actress would’ve seen her 90 birthday. Imagine that!

Happy Birthday Marilyn.

Marilyn Monroe Website

Biography.com

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Lost Talent & Artistry 2012-2015

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP–Leonard Nimoy

When a larger-than-life personality dies, a chain reaction is triggered. Iconic rocker David Bowie’s passing made international headlines. His parting sparked numerous memorials and tributes around the world; however, every year extremely talented celebrities pass away with very little fanfare. A Crow’s View would like to recognize four of those people over the last few years.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.33.59 PMGeoffrey Lewis (79) passed away April 7, 2015. If you’ve watched anything from the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s, then you will know his face-if not his name. Lewis was a veteran of more than 200 film and television roles, including starring in multiple Client Eastwood features. His work on the original Salem’s Lot” helped launch Steven King’s successful screen adaption franchise.

In the 2000s, Lewis continued to work steadily in feature films and television. His appearances on “Dawson Creek,” Thomas Kinkade’s “Christmas Cottage,” and voice work on “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto” exposed Mr. Lewis to a younger audience. His children–daughter Juliette Lewis is the most known–have all taken up the family business as actors, directors or producers. It’s a safe bet that Lewis’ legacy will impact Hollywood for generations to come.

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Veteran actor Eli Wallach passed June 24, 2014, at the age of 98. You may not know his name, but you will know his work. He played Tuco in Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966); Dr. Herbert A. Morrison, in Nuts (1987); and Don Altobello, in The Godfather: Part III. Wallach was also a staple on television; guest staring in numerous series and made-for-TV movies.

Wallach gained rave reviews in his screen debut portraying Silva Vacarro in the 1956 sensual dark-drama Baby Doll, garnering him a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Supporting Actor” and winning a BAFTA Award for “Most Promising Newcomer to Film.” His career spanned six decades and included significant roles working with many of Hollywood’s most popular stars: Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Michael Landon and Barbara Streisand, to name a few.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 10.10.04 AMChrissy Amphlett’s (53) untimely death on April 21, 2013, didn’t generate much attention. She is best remembered as the lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls. Her professional career peaked in 1991 when the band’s hit song “I Touch Myself” reached number one and four on the Australian and U.S. pop charts, respectively.

Amphlett was known for putting on a daring stage act that consisted of aggressively and provocatively performing on stage wearing a girl’s school uniform and fishnet stockings. Although she gained fame singing, Amphlett had a diverse resume’ that included a brief acting career, highlighted with a role in a 1988 musical production of Blood Brothers, starring Russell Crowe, and multiple soundtracks credits for television and feature films.

Before Chrissy Amphlett succumbed to cancer, it was her wish that the song “I Touch Myself” would become an anthem for breast cancer awareness. Near the anniversary of her death, her wish became a reality when the “I Touch Myself Project” launched in 2014. The campaign, featuring a who’s who video of Aussie celebrities singing her hit song, was a resounding success.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 8.46.43 PMLegendary hard rock pioneer Jon Lord (71), a founding member and keyboardist for Deep Purple, passed away July 16, 2012. In the late 1960s, Lord revolutionized the music industry when he plugged a Hammond organ directly into an amplifier; this produced a distinctive and innovative sound that would become his trademark.

Two years after Deep Purple split in 1976, Lord joined the band Whitesnake. His influence was instrumental in developing the band into one of the most popular acts throughout Europe and the UK, eventually braking into the US market.

When Deep Purple regrouped in 1984, Lord’s presence was evident in the title track “Perfect Strangers.” He toured successfully with the band till he departed in 2002 to pursue a solo career. “It was the longest hardest decision of my life, to leave the band I had founded, and had loved for nearly 35 years.” Lord’s groundbreaking achievements on keyboards are still in use today throughout the recording industry.

The celebrities profiled above are examples of tremendously talented and artistic people whose death went largely unnoticed. A Crow’s View encourages people to look “below the fold” and celebrate the lives of the remarkable people that are often overlooked by the media. In many cases they may have made a larger impact in life, than the credit they received in death.

The e-Economy Claims RadioShack

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.–Aldous Huxley

The impending bankruptcy of RadioShack is yet another example of “brick and mortar” businesses falling prey to the power of the e-Economy.

For those of us old enough to remember when RadioShack was the only source of quality electronic goods, this bankruptcy and impending closure is a sad moment. Although we may not grieve for the loss of RadioShack that deeply, we do get a sick pang from the titillating nostalgic flashbacks of once racing to RadioShack to buy the latest piece of equipment; knowing that we are seeing our childhood fade into oblivion.

Below is a link from Wired, aptly titled “Dear RadioShack, This Is Why We Adored You.” Overall the piece is well written and speaks poignantly about RadioShack’s presence in people’s lives. A great aspect of this article is its eloquent recitals from people recounting their favorite memory of shopping at the former electronics giant.

Dear RadioShack, This Is Why We Adored You

Mariota Wins The Heisman!

A new day dawned for fans of the Oregon Ducks. A decade and a half of building a winning program culminated in the schools first Heisman trophy winner.

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Marcus Mariota’s talent has been no secret at Oregon, and now the world knows just how talented the Hawaiian native is. This year’s Heisman winner received the second highest vote totals (90.9%) in the trophy’s 80-year history.

Another first for Mariota is that he is the first man from Hawaii, and the first Polynesian, to win the Heisman trophy.

The next step in Oregon’s history will be to bring home a national championship, but for now. Duck fans should all be celebrating this historic moment because years of hard work and sacrifice have paid off.

Congratulations to Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks.

More information on the vote and the trophy’s history can be found at the official Heisman website:

http://heisman.com/index.aspx

http://www.heismancentral.com/#!the-vote/c2b1

Media Blitz: NFL’s Ray Rice Conundrum

There will always be hope for our country as long as more people watch Monday Night Football than…[sitcoms]––Michael Logsdon

Lately the sports media’s attention has been dominated by reports about domestic abuse in the NFL, with the Ray Rice scandal getting a lion’s share of the coverage. The video of Rice knocking out his then fiancé is utterly repulsive. The fact that Rice is a world-class athlete (a strapping alpha male to boot) makes the attack even more reprehensible. However, with all the media attention on this issue, is the NFL missing an opportunity?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s mishandling of the initial response towards this issue was a huge blunder, then when a video emerged showing the attack, Goodell and the NFL took a knee-jerk reaction of throwing Rice out of the NFL. This reactionary response is evidence of a lack of direction and a clear strategy on how to best address this issue.

It is the opinion of A Crow’s View that the steps the NFL took do not help Rice’s wife or others. In fact, absolutely nothing the NFL did to address this situation is going to stop this type of event from happening again. Even worse, the steps taken by the NFL place a hardship on Rice and his wife, while putting pressure on other players’ and their spouses to keep silent, so they don’t face a similar situation.

It is clear the suspension is a move designed to placate the NFL’s critics and to bolster its weak stance on domestic abuse. Based on the continued media coverage and calls for impeachment of Goodell, this approach isn’t working because society sees this tactic for what it is: nothing more than a quick-fix PR attempt.

Appeasing critics or having a zero tolerance policy will not solve this problem. This issue requires the NFL to take a different approach. One that will prevent future occurrences from happening and ensures the safety of players’ spouses and others.

First, the league needs to be upfront about what it knew and when, regarding the Rice video.

Second, bring Rice and his wife into NFL headquarters and address the discipline issues with them.

Third, all fines leveled against Rice by the NFL should be waived, if donations of equal value are made to domestic violence organizations.

Fourth, put in place an option that will allow Rice to salvage his career if he meets strict requirements set by the NFL. This option must be stressed that it is available only if he meets all requirements; however, the team owners will have the option of keeping Rice on their roster.

Fifth, be open about the disciplinary steps and effectively explain how these steps will help victims and the abuser from repeat behavior.

With all the resources at the NFL’s disposal, it should not be taking a reactionary response to domestic violence. It should be dealt with in a manner that will not force those who are trapped in this toxic environment into silence, or force abusers to use their resources to prevent such incidences from becoming public simple to keep their jobs. Helping people should be the goal, not just cleaning up the NFL’s image.

The reasons the NFL should follow these five steps are clear. They immediately help to improve the situation of all women associated with the NFL. First, they remove the fear of losing their financial situation if they are in an abusive relationship, by taking away the need to keep silent or further hide the abuse. Second, these steps will show that the NFL is engaged on the issue of domestic abuse and actively seeking to protect the victims of violence. Moreover, following these steps will demonstrate that the NFL is working with Ray and Janay Rice to safeguard her safety and actively trying to ensure that no future incidences of abuse occurs.

The NFL is missing a golden opportunity. If they use these steps, a situation is created which will prompt a great storyline of redemption and second chance that society eats up. More importantly, they don’t cast a veil of silence over the abused or abuser to hide their faults; in stead, they will create an environment that seeks to improve lives. This is the best way to ensure the safety of Janay and other women of the NFL.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Rice

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_tolerance

Colonel Joseph Kittinger Awarded Cliff Henderson Trophy

“Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.” ― Brodi Ashton

A Crow’s View is pleased to learn Col. Joe Kittinger, a true American hero, was honored by the NAA. It is the view of this blog site to encourage people to learn more about this spectacular person.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Kittinger

USPA HQ Blog Central


From left to right: Col. Kittinger, USPA President Sherry Butcher and USPA Executive Director Ed Scott

At a June 18 luncheon in Arlington, Virginia, legendary record-setting skydiver Colonel Joseph Kittinger, USAF, (Ret.) was awarded the Cliff Henderson Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association. The Henderson Trophy is awarded annually to an individual or group “whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.” In one of her first formal acts as USPA’s new president, Sherry Butcher was asked to introduce Col. Kittinger and describe how his record-setting 102,800-foot parachute jump in 1960 still inspires skydivers and others.

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