Friday, January 05, 2018

Mae West: Sex-ilations

A very fine tribute to MAE WEST appeared last month in Chicago Now. In case you missed it, here it is. Can you think of a better way to brighten the New Year? Here’s the sixth and final excerpt.
• • Why Hollywood still needs a kick-ass feminist like Mae West • •
• • "Sex-ilations" • •
• • Steven Krage wrote: Mae West brilliantly tore apart the seams of the conservative nature of Hollywood and served it back to the boys-club steaming hot and spicy. She held no prisoners and didn't bat an eye when disparaging someone whom she despised.
• • In the shadow of this recent rampage of sexual abuse in the arts, West is a prime figurehead for the resistance against the corruption and greed of an irrational, male-dominated industry. If there was a bible on how to destroy the patriarchy of Hollywood, West would have authored Genesis, Exodus, and "Sex-ilations"!
• • Steven Krage wrote: I, for one, find intense inspiration in legends like Mae West. Her example is a prime piece of evidence for the need to look for our heroes in those who have gone before. West's spirit still burns today, deeply, passionately, and firmly.
• • Steven Krage wrote:  In closing, I believe it is best to let West share her philosophy on how she was able to survive in La-La Land:  "When a man was courting me, he'd want to put a diamond on my finger, and as soon as he had me, he wanted to put an apron around my waist... I made my way in a man's world... What I'm proudest of is that I... inspired [women] to stand up and walk on their own feet, not just lie on their backs."
• • This is Part 6 of 6 parts.  We hope you enjoyed all six segments.
• • Source: Article by Steven Krage for Chicago Now; published on Tuesday, 12 December 2017.
• • John Patrick West [March 1866 —  5 January 1935] • •
• • Despite having an ambivalent relationship with her father, Mae West took after him and also worked for him when he peddled fruit in Brooklyn and when he helmed a "detective agency" in New Jersey and New York City. Before opening his own operation, West had walked the beat in Coney Island and elsewhere in Brooklyn.
• • Born on Manhattan's Lower East Side in March 1866, John Patrick West [called "Jack"] grew up feisty, impatient, and strong. As a child he boasted that he'd rather fight than eat. He got his Irish up rather quickly, remembered Mae. He was easily angered and "always ready to do physical violence when the urge was on him." In 1969, Mae revealed in an interview that she thought her father was cruel — — but realized "all his fighting was done doing other people's fighting for them."
• • Jack West was 7 years old in 1873 when his family moved from Avenue C (near the docks) in Manhattan to the borough of Brooklyn, settling first in Red Hook, and then in Greenpoint.
• • On 19 January 1889, in Greenpoint, Battling Jack West and Tillie Delker took their wedding vows before a local minister with Jack's sister Julia West acting as maid of honor.
• • On Saturday, 5 January 1935, "Battling Jack" heard the final countdown; he passed away in Oakland, California of a stroke.
• • On this date we remember John Patrick West with love and respect.
• • On Wednesday, 5 January 1938 • •
• • "Paramount: Mae West Most Likely All Washed Up" was the downbeat headline in Variety Magazine on Wednesday, 5 January 1938.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • When Rafaela Ottiano was 39, she was handpicked by Mae West to play her female adversary in her hit show “Diamond Lil.” She reprised her role for the film version.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "That's why I want you to see her story — — because her-story is the real lowdown."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on women in the theatre mentioned Mae West.
• • Anthony Chase wrote: Another American woman playwright who enjoyed the distinction of racking up the highest advance box office sales in the history of Broadway, Mae West, scored a huge hit with her 1926 play, “Sex,” but saw her 1928 play, “Pleasure Man,” closed down by the police after its second performance. 
• • Anthony Chase wrote:  Despite the fact that she duplicated this success in Hollywood, West’s work is not included in anthologies, she is never mentioned in theater textbooks, and her work is out of print. In fact, the only American woman whose plays are consistently included in the American repertoire is Lillian Hellman, and even she had to go on a deliberate publicity campaign in the 1970s when she saw a list of the nation’s 10 greatest living playwrights and found that her name was missing. . . .
• • Source: Article: "An Uncommon Woman" written by Anthony Chase for Art Voice (Buffalo, NY); posted on Wednesday, 5 January 2011
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,800 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3869th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • a "Sex" review in 1926

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