Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid
December 4, 2009
As a so-called Gen-Xer, I have been bored with the myths of the Baby Boom generation for so many years I have lost count. This is not to discount them, but they don’t belong to me and other people my age. Just as I was not in Philadelphia when Benjamin Franklin flew a kite in a storm and shocked himself with a key, I didn’t see The Who at Woodstock, and I wasn’t in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Those events have no meaning for me other than as historical footnotes.
Who really shot JFK? I don’t know, and neither do you. James Dean? Still never seen one of his movies. Vietnam? Yeah, it was a bad war. Most wars are bad. Buddy Holly and Elvis? Decent rock stars, but so were Lennon, Hendrix, Cobain, Morrison, Joplin, Marley, et al. Rock stars die; deal with it. Marilyn Monroe? Not a great actress, and not that hot, in my opinion. Put it this way: If I saw her and Cindy Crawford at the beach, it’d be good-bye Norma Jean.
I have spent my lifetime inundated with things like sappy Elton John songs and Oliver Stone movies and La Bamba and American Pie and Beatlemania, and I’m sorry, but I just don’t care about any of it. Please let it go.
It’s time for the Baby Boom legends to step aside and make way for 9/11 and O.J. and Michael Jackson and the Iraq War and a bunch of crap my son will eventually not care about. My apologies, Boomers, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to cede the spotlight, as hard as that may sound. Don’t fret, though, for it seems fate has thrown you a bone. You now have a brand new myth to gnaw on as you ride off into the sunset.
A reel-to-reel home movie of Marilyn Monroe sold recently for $275,000 to Keya Morgan, a collector of historical photographs and manuscripts. In the movie, which is silent and shows Monroe at a party in New Jersey in 1958 or 1959, the Hollywood legend smokes a cigarette that allegedly contained marijuana.
This earth-shattering bombshell came courtesy of the man who shot the film, who told the Reuters news agency that he was the one who gave Marilyn the pot. “I got it,” he said. “It was mine. It was just passed around.”
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If the allegations are true, it could mean that Monroe, who died in 1962 of “acute barbiturate poisoning,” was not just an abuser of prescription medications, but also a potentially violent drug addict and criminal.
Here’s the funny thing, though. The man who shot the film and is making the accusations against one of the biggest stars in movie history has chosen to remain anonymous. Surely he can’t fear prosecution after all these years. I don’t know what the statute of limitations is on rolling a joint, but I have to think it’s less than five decades.
So what is the mysterious cameraman afraid of? Well, at the time of her death, theories abounded that Marilyn was murdered, with the suspects ranging from the CIA to the Mafia. Some theories even linked her death to the assassinations of JFK and Robert Kennedy. Perhaps the film’s shooter knows something we don’t know and is concerned he may be the next victim.
Here’s my conclusion: The party was in New Jersey, right? So clearly the Mafia was involved. This is why the cameraman doesn’t want to be known as a snitch; stool pigeons don’t last long in the mob. The cigarette contained marijuana, and it was her dependence on pot that led Monroe to start abusing sedatives like the ones her psychiatrist poisoned her with after the CIA paid him to assassinate her because she knew it was the CIA and the Mafia working together who really shot JFK.
Is any of that true? Probably not, but isn’t it more fun to think it might be? Just like JFK, this will give our elders hours of entertaining debate as they wile away their golden years. Did Marilyn smoke pot at a party in the late ’50’s? Thankfully, we’ll never know for sure.
We can probably take a reasonable guess, though. Morgan, the collector, who is working on a Marilyn Monroe documentary (what did I say about not being able to let go?), says of the footage, “People have never seen her in such a relaxed pose.” I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that.