Most people, when they hear the name Mae West, think of old Hollywood movies and a brassy bottle blonde delivering comic double entendres in a studied drawl. In fact, there was a lot more to Mae than innocently smutty remarks (although she made those into a cinematic art form – most famously replying to the comment “Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!” with a knowing “Goodness had nothing to do with it” in the 1932 movie Night After Night).
A woman way ahead of her time, she was a multi-talented performer and a very successful and highly controversial playwright – her first play (entitled, with admirable brevity and decades before Madonna, simply Sex) led to her arrest and brief imprisonment during the highly moralistic 1920s. Beginning her career in vaudeville, she became a smash hit on Broadway for both her acting and her plays before moving to Hollywood in the early 1930s, where she became a huge success, again for her acting and writing.
Her distinctive and naughty style attracted the attention of the censors, and her early Hollywood performances were apparently partly responsible for the creation of the so-called Hays Code, which tied the American film industry into a narrowly defined moral outlook for more than thirty years. It was in order to circumvent this new code that Mae developed her now-famous facility with double entendres, a facility that turned her into an icon and one of Hollywood’s highest paid stars.
“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so” – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy.
Time was always flexible in the hands of the late Douglas Adams. Well known for his intimate distrust of deadlines (“I love the whooshing noise they make as they fly by”, as he famously once said) and his spectacular bouts of writer’s block, he was thus an incorrigible procrastinator of the first order when it came to writing, and, on occasion, apparently had to be locked into a hotel room in order to complete the final draft of whichever novel he was writing at the time, only to be let out at intervals by his publisher for ‘supervised’ walks in case he should try to make a run for it!
He was, however, also a complete and utter genius. And I’m not the only one who reckons so; not by a factor of at least 15 million worldwide – as wildly improbable as that may sound (and, after that, anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem, as Trillian so wisely puts it). His books are held in great affection by people of all ages, all across the galaxy, and have now been translated into more than thirty languages (presumably not including Vogon, as they lack all sense of poetry).
The story of how this rather tall, very funny and, sadly, now equally late genius came to write the cult classic Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy novels, which celebrated their thirtieth anniversary on October 12th, is (unsurprisingly) equally unreliable time-wise. There are several versions of the moment inspiration struck, some which are more true than others. To a given value of true, of course.
Just a quick post to let you all know that Another Kind Of Mind will be taking a brief break until next month while I finish up and submit my final (ever) extended essay for uni. Once that’s done and dusted, I’ll be free, FREE to… well, I dunno yet, but it’s gonna be fun!
I’m still working on one more post which is almost finished, and that may well go up in the next few days – apart from that, the world of trickygirl will be a little on the quiet side until I’ve got done all the stuff I need to do. But fret ye not, my lovely readers, for there is lots and lots more to come, and here is but a taster of what you can expect when I return…
Find out why a bunch of stoner lads from Manchester made one of the greatest albums ever – and then fell apart. Learn more about third wave feminism (as promised), how men can be feminists too, and get the lowdown on some of the righteous and remarkable women who have inspired me over the years. Discover why astroturf is no longer just the stuff Luton Town FC used to controversially play on at Kenilworth Road. Delve into the world of heavy metal (the ultimate rebel music) and find out how, in parts of the world, it has become a dangerous and very political statement. Contemplate the rise of European fascism in the 1930s and see how it is again on the rise in the modern world today…. And even more stuff as and when I think of it!
If you have any suggestions of subjects you’d like to see me cover, please let me know.
Incidentally, if you have a blog or a website you think I might like and want to link to, please feel free to leave the address here as a comment – I’ll check it out and, if I do like it, link to you. If you want to link to me, just give me a shout!
While I’m away, please do have a look at the blogs I have linked to on my Blogroll. There are only a few at present, as this site is still very much under construction, but I hope to be expanding the list very soon.
I highly recommend all the links on my Blogroll, particularly as they (already!) reflect the diverse nature of my interests:
– MARSHALL LAW: This is an excellent pro-wrestling blog written by my good friend Martin Marshall, which deals with the major issues and debates within the sport in an intelligent and thought-provoking way. And for those who of you who are shocked and horrified by the mere thought of a feminist enjoying pro-wrestling, I’ve got one word for you: Chyna. She’s the whole reason I started watching it in the first place – and I am very much looking forward to Marshall Law’s upcoming take on women in wrestling.
– ME, AS OTHER THINGS: I love this quirky blog, created by the American writer, artist and cartoonist Jason Block. Its title is pretty self-explanatory really; Block takes a photo of himself as a starting point and then recreates it as something else. The most recent entry shows him as the cover of Radiohead’s The Bends, but other efforts show Jason as a Soviet-era propaganda image, Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, an H.R Giger Alien, Heath Ledger’s take on the Joker and a Calvin and Hobbes kid, amongst other things. Well worth a look!
– THE OTHER SIDE OF THE APPLE: Like Another Kind Of Mind, Jessica’s new British feminist blog is still under construction, but there is already some very interesting content on there, including a response to Gordon Brown’s apology to Alan Turing and an excellent piece on women’s magazines. Aiming to cover feminism from a British perspective, alongside ‘armchair activism’ (a brilliant idea!), popular culture and food, The Other Side of the Apple is already well worth a read, and I am looking forward to reading more.
Keep reading, stay tuned and wish me luck!
peace and love,
So now I’m even bloody dreaming about politics.
I woke, bolt upright, just before five this morning. My head was buzzing with fractured partial images of bumblebees and masked anarchists trying to get me to sign petitions and compost toilets and chasing journalists down Whitehall and being followed by a well-known restaurant critic through Parliament Square.
Bizarre, I know, but most of these images do make a weird kind of sense in the context of the last few months of my life. Except for the restaurant critic (although he may have appeared in my dream because I was reading one of his columns in the paper yesterday). And the chasing journalists bit. That bit I do not understand.
And there was even a fully-formed paragraph in my head which seems to have appeared there while I was asleep. Very odd. So I got up and wrote it down (not that it made much sense when I actually did get up this morning).
I don’t usually remember my dreams at all, but lately they have been particularly vivid and memorable. And profoundly unpleasant. This one makes for a pleasantly strange change, whatever it means.
I wonder what my brain is trying to tell me?