Random Thoughts, As Gilda Gets a Pink Martini

I love Rita Hayworth. She embodies the ineluctable allure, fragility and tragedy of mythical figures. Behind the indelible, flaming-haired beauty, there was the customary compromise of Old Hollywood, a complex life and enormous sadness. That's not her singing above, btw - it's China Forbes of Pink Martini, who performed in Massey Hall last week.

Rita Hayworth is the mother of Princess Yasmine Aly Agha Khan, President of the Alzheimer's Disease International foundation, and a board member of the
Aga Khan Foundation.

On a dreary, wet afternoon in Ras-Beirut - the spiritual Manhattan of Lebanon - I found a small exhibit of one (European? American?) artist's hommage to Hayworth. This was more decorative art than anything else, a series of huge paintings of her stunning face, à la Warhol. I tend to forget a lot of things, but I remember how shy and anxious I was that afternoon, when all I wanted was to sit there and look, and how both the elegant, pretty-blonde of a gallery owner and the smiling moustached artist thought it was all too cute - an awkward kid in love with the idea of art. Haha. What I was in love with then was Old Hollywood and chimerical creatures. I was a teenager who spoke and thought mostly in French and Arabic, and was imbibing the French's love affair with all things mythically American - jazz, musicals, diners and Edward Hopper.

I still love myths. More precisely, I love the exploration of myths - the various myths that provide the self-delusion that drives our lives. Self-delusion is pervasive, individual and collective. Sometimes, it's a good thing (a spoonful of Nutella eaten directly from the jar has zero calories), sometimes not so much (war equals liberty, and the "greed -for lack of a better word- is good" school of ethics).

One myth I never want to see dissipate is this one, which blends (a little) fantasy with reality. Blogging has brought out some of my self-delusions to the surface as well as a lot of self-actualization. Wait, don't go yet, I'm not diving into (a shallow pool of) psychobabble with this. Be patient, this is entitled Random Thoughts after all. Blogging as a path to self-discovery - a tired exposé that we've read and written about ad nauseum. But it's true. I like to pretend I can do this blogging thing with impunity, but I can't. There's a price to pay - can't hide from my own self-created myths.

Ms. High-Falutin' Intellectual once told me, "If you write it, they will come. If you don't ramble on, they will come back (or stay - I forget which)". So I will stop right here, and get back to intransingent realities like peanut butter sandwiches that need to be whipped up and tears of frustration that need to be kissed away.


The Artful Eye said...

Rima you're back! I went looking for you in your purse but to no avail.

I hope your travels were splendid.

I love Nutella which made me think of Nociola gelato and the myth that perhaps neither has calories is a perfect fantasy for me.

You and Rima crack me up! I miss my sisters and wish we were closer, we have the same twisted sister relationship.

Nice to have you back!

Rima said...

Twisted Sister scared the daylights out of me in the early eighties. :-D Yes, I find myself very funny.
More on the trip to Snowreal soon, I need to do a bit of research to sound like I know what I'm talking about.
I love what you're doing on the Artful Eye these last few weeks. I have finally managed to create a link to your twin treasures.

deef said...

Coucou Rima !
Merci pour cette vidéo : je connais très bien Pink Martini (ils ont débuté en France il y a quelques années) et j'adore ce qu'ils font.
Je n'ai jamais vu “Gilda”, mais on a l'impression dans ce montage que Rita y chantait déjà “amado mio” et que les Pink en ont fait une (belle) reprise...
Je vais essayer de me procurer le film ne serait-ce que pour découvrir la version "originale" (et les arrangements) de amadio mio en 1946 (et la voix de Rita…).

Rima said...

Hey, Eugene... euh, je veux dire DEEF! haha... Tu vas etre deçu, ce n'est pas la belle Rita qui chante Amado Mio dans Gilda - une autre hypocrisie des studios, comme son vrai nom et la couleur de ses cheveux. Mais ça vaut la peine de voir le film, triste et tarte, et superbement "glamour".

John said...

Great post.

Try to keep the cold air up north, please.

No more mice in our home. God bless America.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Rima,

I always love hearing what you have to say about your life and history!

~ Diane Clancy

Jin said...

ton post me parait formidable en anglais, j'aime beaucoup cette façon que tu as de décrire tes sensations. quel dommage de ne pouvoir en saisir toutes les "petites" nuances. mais je crois quand même que je suis en train de faire des progrès dans la compréhension! patience...

belinha said...

Hei Rima!How are you?I am a fan of Rita's too!I saw Gilda two weeks ago!All the best for you and family and have a good weekend!

Kris Cahill said...

Hello Rima,
I, too, loved Rita Hayworth as a child and gangly teen. She was everything gorgeous I could not imagine being at the time. I didn't know about her sad life until I became an adult. Things are often not what they appear on the surface, that delusion you speak of.

I have also discovered many things about myself by blogging and I know just what you are saying. I think it is a most valuable tool, if just for this!