Hollywood: I Drive Therefore I am Free

“My father is Abraham Lincoln. I mean, I think of Lincoln as my father. He was wise and kind and good. He is my ideal, Lincoln. I love him.”-Marilyn Monroe (1954) photo by Milton Greene.

MM said: “My father is Abraham Lincoln. I mean, I think of Lincoln as my father. He was wise and kind and good. He is my ideal, Lincoln. I love him.” 1954.

The automobile represents freedom.

You climb into a car and go, go, go, whenever and wherever you want. The car is modern man’s path to liberty.

Contrast cars with trains.

Railroads are an expression of the collective. Individual identity is erased. You are at the mercy of a state-controlled system that turns  citizens into passive cogs, manipulated and at the mercy of government bureaucrats.

That’s why democrats/progressives/liberals/ (what are they calling themselves this week?) are obsessed with high-speed rail. The freedom of the road is repellent to big government fanatics. The ruling elite seek to regulate and control tobacco, food, calories, soda, education, light bulbs, toilets, health care, reproduction — your every cell. In short: liberty is constricted by any and all means.

And all in the name of an amorphous, preadolescent concept: Fairness.

And you better believe that the chattering elite are the ones who get to define what’s fair and what’s unfair. Funny how that always works out in their favor.

Nazis just adored trains. And hey, the Italian fascists boasted that Mussolini made the trains run on time. Though Italian trains were about as effective and efficient as the Italian army. Which is to say: Not.

At a certain point, one must acknowledge the convergent philosophies of post-modern liberals and iron-fist fascists. Both ideologies assert the power of the state as the final arbiter of human affairs. Hence, the government replaces G-d and family as the center of man’s universe. It’s no surprise that the formal title of the Nazi party was “The National Socialist German Workers’ Party.”

Anyhoo.

Today, Hollywood celebrities make sure to be seen driving a Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, or any of the politically correct green cars. It is something of an open secret here among my Hollywood colleagues that the garage is fully stocked with a Mercedes, a Bentley, and sure, a few Jags. For real driving.

But once upon a time Hollywood produced great stars who proudly posed with their autos, symbols of glamour, affluence, and freedom.

 

Hope Hampton (1897- 1982) was an early star of silent movies. Hampton married her business manager Jules Brulatour. On their honeymoon to Egypt, a Sheikh offered Brulatour £10,000 British pounds to buy his wife. Brulatour declined the offer telling the Arab that Mrs. Brulatour's jewels were worth more than that.

Hope Hampton (1897- 1982) was an early star of silent movies. Hampton married her business manager Jules Brulatour. On their honeymoon in Egypt, a Sheikh offered Brulatour £10,000 British pounds to buy… Hampton. Brulatour declined the deal telling the Arab that Mrs. Brulatour’s jewels were worth more than that.

 

Olive Thomas (1894-1920) was married to Mary Pickford's no-good brother Jack. He was a drunk, a drug addict and a serial adulterer. In Paris one night, Jack and Olive had a bitter and loud argument. Hours later, Olive swallowed mercury bichloride, a deadly poison. At the time, she was the biggest star in motion pictures. Olive Thomas was Hollywood's first suicide.

Olive Thomas (1894-1920) was married to Mary Pickford’s no-good brother Jack. He was a drunk, a drug addict and a serial adulterer. In Paris one night, Jack and Olive had a bitter and loud argument. Hours later, Olive swallowed mercury bichloride, a deadly poison. At the time, she was the biggest star in motion pictures. Olive Thomas was Hollywood’s first suicide.

 

Mary Duncan (1895 – 1993) started out as a child actress on Broadway. Active in films starting in 1927, her last appearance was in Morning Glory, 1933 with Katherine Hepburn. Mary married international polo player Stephen Sanford, and then retired. They remained married until his death in 1977. In this photyo form the 1920's, at the height of her fame, Mary poses with her Rolls Royce.

Mary Duncan (1895 – 1993) was a child actress on Broadway. Starting her brief film career in 1927, her last appearance was in Morning Glory (1933) with Katherine Hepburn. Mary married international polo player Stephen Sanford, and then retired from the movies. They remained married until his death in 1977. In this photo from the 1920s, at the height of her fame, Mary poses with her Rolls Royce and chauffeur.

 

 

Jackie Coogan (1914 – 1984) burst into world-wide fame when he co-starred opposite Charlie Chaplin in The Kid, (1921) a towering masterpiece. A superlative child actor with great instincts, Coogan earned million. Naturally, his parents stole every penny. Coogan is best known to modern audiences as Uncle Fester in the 1960s sitcom The Addams Family.

Jackie Coogan (1914 – 1984) achieved international fame when he costarred opposite Charlie Chaplin in The Kid, (1921) a masterpiece. A beloved and hugely popular child star, Coogan earned millions. Naturally, his parents stole every penny. Coogan is best known to modern audiences as Uncle Fester in the 1960s sitcom, The Addams Family.

 

El Brendel ( 1890 -1964) was a vaudeville comedian who became a popular motion actor. Known for his dopey Swedish dialect, audiences assumed he was Swedish. But Brendel's mother was Irish ands his father German. Brendel spoke English with no trace of any accent. Brendel's killer signature line was: “Yumpin' yiminy!” Brendel poses with a 1934 Hupmobile.

El Brendel ( 1890 – 1964) was a vaudeville comedian who became a popular motion picture actor. Known for his heavy and quite goofy Swedish dialect, audiences assumed he was Scandinavian. But Brendel’s mother was Irish and his father German. Brendel spoke standard English with no accent. Brendel’s signature line was: “Yumpin’ yiminy!” He is something of an acquired taste, which Seraphic Secret has never acquired. Here, Brendel poses with a 1934 Hupmobile.

 

Director Josef von Sternberg, b. Jonas Sternberg, gave Marlene Dietrich this 1931 forest green Rolls Royce as a gift. Her chauffeur, Briggs—perfect name—carried a set of revolvers to protect his famous employer. When Dietrich traveled to Europe, she sent her Rolls and Briggs in advance. David Niven notes in his excellent autobiography, “The Moon's a Balloon” that Dietrich supplied Briggs with a mink trimmed uniform, which, I suppose, qualifies Briggs as Hollywood's first metrosexual chauffeur-bodyguard.

Director Josef von Sternberg, b. Jonas Sternberg, gave Marlene Dietrich (1901 – 1992) this 1931 forest green Rolls Royce as a gift. Her chauffeur, Briggs—perfect name—carried a set of revolvers to protect his famous employer. When Dietrich traveled to Europe, she sent her Rolls and Briggs in advance. David Niven notes in his excellent autobiography, “The Moon’s a Balloon” that Dietrich supplied Briggs with a mink trimmed uniform, which, I suppose, qualifies Briggs as Hollywood’s first metrosexual chauffeur-bodyguard.

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6 Comments

  1. Kimosabbe
    Posted October 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Seraphic Secret said:
    “Brendel’s signature line was: “Yumpin’ yiminy!” He is something of an acquired taste, which Seraphic Secret has never acquired.”
    I remember that guy … LOL!
     

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. David Foster
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Note that “progressives” who are obsessed with passenger rail rarely have any interest in *freight* rail, without which we would all soon be freezing and starving in the dark. Mention to them that a higher % of freight moves by rail in the US than in Europe and they look at you unbelievingly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. DrCarol
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    My plane-phobic husband and youngest daughter traveled across the country by train in 2002.  They were delayed two hours on the trip west, and ten on the trip east.  At one point they were sitting on a side spur near Salt Lake City, waiting for a replacement crew because the current ones had hit the limit on hours-on-duty.  Same thing happened in Indiana at 2 a.m. (when was the last time your pilot left the plane at 30,000 feet and you sat waiting for his replacement to show up?).  The final leg of their journey, a 90 mile trip from Erie to Buffalo, took almost four hours.  I told the station master they could almost have WALKED faster than that.  For most of the eastward journey there was no air conditioning in the cars, the snack bar never opened, and Amtrak employees literally ran the opposite way when they saw passengers coming. 
    The other freedom a car gives you is the ability to get to your family quickly in time of crisis.  I was working in Philly once and my daughter had an emergency at school.  I’d been taking the regional rail in to work, so I ran to the train station to catch the next one to go to her–but the next one wasn’t leaving for an hour and a half.  I ended up taking the subway, walking six blocks, then taking two buses.  Once the emergency was over, I still had to go get the car, a journey that involved two more buses, a mile walk, and then finally I gave up and got a cab.  After that, I drove to work every day.  I figured my peace of mind was worth the extra gas and $10 parking fee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Johnny
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Imagine it’s 1913. The country is crisscrossed with ribbons of unbroken real estate for train tracks and it takes a week to go from New York to Los Angeles. 
     
    Someone says “Wouldn’t it be great if we could use that thing the Wright Brothers got off the ground to travel around in instead of building more train tracks?”
     
    So today we have the ability to travel across the country in mere hours and only need a patch of land at both ends. Our visitors from 1913 would think we’re uts to want to go back to trains.
     
    Henry Ford was lionized as the man that gave the common man the freedom to travel where he wanted. Those on the left would like us to get rid of our cars and use trains and light rail to get around. Cars and guns are preventing us from being more like those Europeans they admire.
     
    Of course, their bodyguards will still carry guns as they are chauffeured to the airport for a trip on their private jet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Bill Brandt
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    With a train, too, you can’t deviate from the track

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • kishke
      Posted January 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Well, that’s the point. Toe the line! No nasty deviations allowed!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  • Annual Ariel Avrech
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    Michael Medved: "Shifting Alliances: Why Liberals No Longer Reliably Support Israel — And Conservatives Do." Blog Post | Audio (mp3 97MB)
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    Dennis Prager: "Happiness is a Mitzvah, Not an Emotion." Blog Post | Audio (mp3 80MB)
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    Rabbi Steven Pruzansky: "Conformity in Jewish Life: Vice, Virtue or Affectation?" Blog Post | Audio (mp3 64MB)
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