Like lots of people, I’ve always been fond of Marilyn. She was an interesting and courageous person. I liked her apparent seriousness. And the cut of her ideological jib. She was one of the few people who stood against McCarthyism. Yet I always harboured the view that this was just a kind of trick. That somehow I’d been suckered by her female charms – the carefully honed innocence awaiting the male fantasy of protection.
It’s very easy to be seduced by image. I think of another great icon of her era (or rather slightly afterward), Cassius Clay/Muhammed Ali. He was basically a bit of a nutter, and horrible to Joe Frazier who’d helped him through his darkest hour. But I still wanted him to win.
Anyway, I heard this lecture on the ABC RN program Big Ideas (which is a really great program methinks, largely because it’s not a program, but an empty box into which the producers often put great stuff from around the world. It’s about Marilyn and it’s a knockout. Taken seriously by a pretty serious person who, though I suspect she’s also been seduced by the image, nevertheless shows us what a remarkable person Marilyn was.