Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Reagan more like Monroe than Lohan is?
If you're a male, it's likely that reaction to the newly released Lindsay Lohan photos in New York magazine went probably something like this. "I hate it when young, struggling actresses try to channel their inner/non-existent Monroe for attention, especially wh...oh, BOOBIES!" Effective strategy, but Lindsay and her mean girls aren't too original. Monroe has become the compass for the caravan of wayward, top-heavy, marginally talented starlets of Gen X & Y. Britney Spears was on the cover of Esquire in a Monroe inspired pose over three years ago when her career had already hit its apex. Countless others have been shot in Seven Year Itch, over-the-subway-gate style in the pages of Rolling Stone, W, and others. Even Madonna - without question the most talented and deserving contemporary of Monroe - has borrowed liberally from Norma Jean.
But none of this is new. Monroe was revolutionary. And talented. This continual re-hashing of her iconic status exploited by unworthy teeny-boppers is frustrating. The essence of the photos don't rely on Lohan's talents or her public persona (I have a feeling the thongless-in-the -bathroom-of-Butter idea was shot down early at the New York offices), but in the sorry exercise of parading the Monroe ideal around in a tired manner. If Lohan had any laurels or talent to fall back on, she wouldn't need to do this. You don't see Reese Witherspoon - or even Charlize Theron - doing this. Demi Moore figured out a way to avoid the MM trap too. Those three said, "Screw it, I'm doing my own thing, my own way."
Who other than desperate, fledgling actresses would continue to call upon the past to improve the trajectory of their sputtering star? Desperate, fledgling Republicans of course. While a McCain nomination looks all-but-certain now, a few weeks ago, McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, and Giuliani all tried their best to out-Ronald Reagan each other for the nod. Who could be unify the party like Reagan? Who could stand up to terrorism and the economy like Reagan? Who could teach my grandfather to swim most like Reagan (true story)? Who would have the guts to ask "Are you better now than you were four years ago" at a debate? (Unfortunately no one who wanted to actually WIN, but that would have been classic. Maybe Hillary or Obama can use that one.) It was a tiresome and stale exercise, indicating that the Republicans were stuck in 1980 while their Democratic counterparts were (for better or worse) firmly fixed on the 21st century and honest "change". Nancy Reagan was clearly exhausted after the GOP'ers continually asked her to go to dig up her husband's corpse so that they could ask him who was the legitimate heir to his kingdom. It was embarrassing and painful.
As of now, we know that Lohan cannot offer anything new and McCain, while he promises some change, already has found much of his maverick cache gone. Let just hope he doesn't decide to do a photo spread inspired by Some Like It Hot in a last ditch effort for attention and support.