That Girl Belongs to Yesterday

And today.

I woke up this morning to find my laptop playing Youtube roulette. Based upon cookies (probably my deliciously moist ginger snaps) it decided I should watch a Mick Jagger bio.

In a documentary of oft-repeated clichés there was the one of Mick and Keith locked in the kitchen in 1962 by their manager. They were told they wouldn’t be freed until they learned how to write a hit song. They came up with That Girl Belongs to Yesterday and gave it to Gene Pitney to record.

I, of course, knew that. But I also realized I’d never heard it. So I dug it up on Youtube and listened. Pitney’s tortuous vocal searches for drama while the bridge and chorus are pretty weak. Every line of verse, however, is answered with this quirky “dee dee dee-dee, da-da-dunh” riff that lingers. Shapes of things to come.

I moved on to scan the day’s headlines while waiting for my private secretary to arrive. I noticed Megan Mullally had hosted the SAG Awards the night before. I don’t have a TV so I didn’t watch. I was curious though because I loved her on Will and Grace 20 years ago.

Her character Karen was never without a cocktail. When she had trouble copping a buzz she’d supplement her drinking with opiates and barbiturates. Miraculously, she never appeared to get drunk. It’s one of the best fantasies Hollywood ever created.

But good character acting doesn’t always translate into good hostessing. I watched the replay of her monologue with some trepidation. I love her Karen so much I feel protective and don’t want her to fail in other roles.

I needn’t have worried. The moment she walked on stage she honored the history of film by doing a snippet of Elizabeth Taylor’s Bust Projection Dance from Virginia Woolf. She then launched a brief series of pointed jokes that were spot on in addressing the inequality mess. She was the perfect hostess.

It was in stark contrast to the Academy’s quixotic search for a host this year that got nowhere. Their obvious solution would be to hire Ms. Mullally which will never happen. The Board of Governors issued an edict recently that if you are featured in any of the other awards shows you will not be allowed to appear on their broadcast. Why be reasonable when you can be vindictive? It’s what makes American alpha-male enterprises so great.

The current state of the Oscars finds them doing catch up for 90 years of neglect. They are bending over backwards to pad the stats for posterity. Which is not to detract from the excellent contribution minorities make today. It’s just they were also making them 50 years ago too.

One prejudice has merely been substituted for another because it’s good for business. Their Excellencies, the distinguished board of the august Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, are handing out statues that are about as meaningful as the UAE Gender Equality honors.

In 1972 when I was grouping the Stones with Lamumba and Cynthia Plastercaster in Chicago, there were a handful of brief encounters. One was at 4 in the morning on our way home from the bar. We noticed the french doors on the second floor of the Playboy Mansion were open so we joined a few others on the sidewalk and waited to see what would happen.

It was only a few minutes before a very drunk Mick appeared supported by eight Playboy bunnies. They were like a bunch of giggling schoolgirls guiding him on to the balcony, nothing like the hardened hussies they portrayed in their spreads. He could barely stand up.

Unsure of what to say, I took off my denim jacket to show him the appliqued sequined tongue and offered it to him.

In his drunken haze he remained articulate. He thanked me, then said “but you should keep it and wear it. You’re much more beautiful than me.”

Jim Jordan’s analysis of that incident was I hadn’t been so much flattered by Mick’s compliment as I had been impressed by his graciousness while shit faced. Jim said it was one of the values I held highest.

With that in mind, everyone should raise their glass and toast Megan Mullally for a job well done. As I’ve been doing since about 6:00 this morning.

 

What Went Wrong?

Where were the fucking jewels? The earrings, necklaces, bandeaus, cuffs, chandeliers, girandoles, lattices, and bibs that drip from every Mountbatten-Windsor bone and appendage on a state occasion?  Am I the only one who couldn’t stomach the complete absence of stomachers?

This paucity of precious and semi-precious stones has me questioning the validity of the Monarchy. How are we to recognize who is truly royal without these emblems? There wasn’t even a single piece from the Queen’s exclusive collection of the Precious! Get Me Some Chicken! line of costume jewelry.

The design genius behind Lilibet’s collection of paste.

Meghan’s ascetic simplicity was striking. She could have been equally at home taking vows of poverty in a nunnery. Granted, it would be in a small Order whose only other member is Audrey Hepburn. Sister Luke meets Sister Duke.

(A brief aside on my previously stated love for Miss Hepburn. To further support claims of her greatness, I offer up a clip I recently found of her presenting an Oscar to Rex Harrison.

The substance of what she does is not deep. It’s actually kind of childish. Easily mimiced, in others it comes across as contrived. In her it seems authentic. If she is not being genuine, she’s a much better actress than she’s ever been credited for. I find her every move mesmerizing.)

The lack of serious gems coupled with other changes like allowing divorce in the family make it seem like the British Monarchy is moving at bullet speed out of the 19th Century. I can’t stand the pace, I feel so left out. It makes me question my very existence.

The low point of the Wedding had to be the minister’s sermon. Although we’re never supposed to admit embarrassment at being American, Old Glory, pass the ammunition and all of that, his cheap theatrics belonged on a used car lot. Not in a serious discussion on the purpose of life.

His huckster antics are endemic to all US religions. Why aren’t these pompous fools exposed for the frauds they are? I was onto them by the age of 10. Their schtick became my schtick earning me high approval ratings with my audience (my family.) It was with great dismay that I later learned people do take these clowns seriously.

The other misstep of the nuptials was the failure to record the Duchess of Sussex’s initial curtsy to the Queen. Apparently the single camera in the Chapel went wide-angle from the ceiling just at the moment Meghan took a simulated knee. We may never truly know her symbolic worthiness.

Had it been me there, the gesture would have been so severe no one could ever question my conviction. I would have pancaked out a la Audrey in front of Her Majesty leaving no doubts about my obeisance to the crown.

Applying her Method Acting chops. Audrey almost won an Oscar for The Nun’s Story in 1959.

In a way I felt like I was there. The image of the day was of the Page Boy who had so much fun with his twin brother dutifully collecting Meghan’s train as she ascended the West Stairs. When they reached the top and took their first steps into the nave, trumpets blared the opening notes of the fanfare. The child was consumed with such ecstasy at the sound he could barely contain himself.

If that kid doesn’t turn out to be a queen my days on earth deserve to be numbered.  It would mean my personal gaydar is so out of whack I no longer have the necessary tools it takes for longterm survival in modern life.