Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mae West: Political Question

Many great minds have contemplated MAE WEST — — but great minds don’t think alike. Academic and author Chase Dimock has written an interesting article on Mae as a playwright. This is Part 9.
• • Why Don’t You Come Up Sometime and Queer Me? • •
• • Reclaiming Mae West as Author and Sexual Philosopher • •
• • a serious discussion on legality of homosexuality • •
• • Chase Dimock wrote: As a drama on a pure level of narrative, “The Drag” is thoroughly mediocre and uninventive.
• • Chase Dimock wrote:  Yet, what draws me to this play is not the story in of itself, or the proposed drag ball extravaganza that never came to fruition, though it would have been fabulous, but the discourse in which Mae West situates the question of homosexuality.
• • Chase Dimock wrote:  West purposefully casts Rolly’s father as a judge and Rolly’s father-in-law as a doctor and begins the play with a protracted argument between the two of them on the question of homosexuality in order to stage a serious discussion on legality of homosexuality given its medical and psychological origins. The flimsy melodrama and lavish spectacle of the play conceal a much deeper political question about the homosexual as a medical and juridical subject.
• • Mae West’s medical and legal discourse • •  . . .
• • His article will be continued on the next post.
• • Source: As It Ought to Be
• • Chase Dimock, who teaches Literature and Composition at College of the Canyons, is Managing Editor of As It Ought to Be.
• • On Sunday, 13 September 1953 • •
• • Walter Ames wrote the amusing article "Who's Marilyn Monroe, Queen Mae West Asks" for The Los Angeles Times.  His piece ran on the front page — — of the weekend edition dated for Sunday, 13 September 1953.
• • Photo of Mae West used on Sunday, 13 September 1953.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Just as the Marx Brothers were known to seek script changes in those years, Mae West also insisted on writing her own lines, right up to “Myra Breckenridge.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I'd add hot lines and jokes that I knew they'd cut."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Desert Sun mentioned Mae West.
• • "Go West, Young Man” (1936) Mae West. Randolph Scott
• • Source: TV listing in The Desert Sun; published on Wednesday, 13 September 1978
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• •
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 14th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fourteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,000 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4042nd 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 • in September 1953

• • Feed — —
  Mae West


  1. It is interesting to note that a series of photos of Mae West taken by an L.A. Times staff photographer used to illustrate the article depicted a rather tanned Mae. She had recently purchased a large art deco beach house in Santa Monica, and obviously had been enjoying the deck, which faced out onto the Pacific Ocean. Mae, for that brief period, obviously took full advantage of this. This fact makes one wonder what other activities Mae claimed she avoided, but did partake in.

  2. • • Ha-ha, good spotting, Mark!
    • • In 1953, many entertainers were deeply tanned: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jayne Mansfield, etc. -- not to mention any bodybuilder who entered a competition.
    • • What other activities did Mae West partake in (but claimed she avoided)? That's a good question! But we do know she stopped sun-bathing shortly after this photo spread for The L.A. Times. She took good care of her skin.