I'll leave the admin material for the end.
I've always felt that certain demises were brought on by society as a whole. Look at Elvis Presley. He gave so much of himself to the King role, that he lost touch with what really matters, good health and happiness. Perhaps it can be argued that Lady Diana might still be alive today, if not for the public's thirst to live vicariously through their celebrities. Take away the insane cult of personality, and she wouldn't have been stalked by the papparazzi into a car crash. There have been a bunch of child stars whose endings didn't turn out good. We know of Judy Garland. There was also Anissa Jones of Family Affair and Dana Plato of Different Strokes.
I realise that early fatality rates for child stars could be a statistical anomaly or overblown. I learned yesterday of one from China who most certainly wouldn't have died at age 24, if she hadn't been in the public spotlight.
Her name was Ruan Lingyu, and she was every bit the talent Garbo was at a similar age. The first image was taken from a movie called Goddess. Ruan played a prostitute who only chose that profession, because she had no other options in an unfair society. For every feeling of disgust and shame she felt for that decision, she provided everything a single mom could for her child. The movie wasn't saying that prostitution is good or should be legalised. It was a condemnation on Chinese society for leaving this woman no other way to help her son out of poverty.
Here's part one of the movie, if anyone's interested in watching it. It's a good one. I'll say five out of five stars, and I don't even like silent movies for the most part. Socrates Ebert gives this one a thumbs up. p:)
(link to part 2)
What shocked the living daylights out of me was learning what happened to Ruan Lingyu in real life. Garbo survived the switch from silent to talkies and proved herself as one of the greatest. Camille is an excellent movie. I also liked Ninotchka. Garbo could have kept on going. She decided to retire instead and lived out her life in New York City. While she did have to deal with everyone still wanting a piece of her for the rest of her life, Garbo was able live 84 full years. She became an art collector. She spent quality time with her family, who say she had a marvelous sense of humour and provided much warmth for those in her inner circle. Greta Garbo made a decision to leave fame behind and just be herself. That was noble of her. That decision probably saved both her mental health and integrity.
Ruan Lingyu was not so fortunate. She took her own life at the age of 24. Apparently she left a suicide note saying, "Gossip can kill."
Ruan Lingyu, a silent-film actress still remembered by many, left behind 29 films and the final message, "gossip can kill," when she committed suicide in Shanghai on March 8, 1935.Some might be wondering why silent movies were still being made In China in 1934. They were just behind the times technology wise. I'm actually stunned how much I liked this movie. Many of myy favourites are from the Pre-Hays Code sound movies of 1930-1934. The Codes actually started in 1930 but didn't kick in until 1934 and lasted until 1968. I apologise if I got those dates wrong in a previous post. This is actually a fascinating topic, and I recommend anyone with some free time to search for good articles and flicks. There are many free ones available through youtube.
Ruan's acting was so natural, accurate and graceful that, even after 70 years, her films still seem fresh. She was adept at conveying meaning through her whole body, thus overcoming the limitations of early silent films, unlike some performers today who talk and talk and express nothing through gesture and "body language."
In 1982, when a Chinese Film Retrospective was held in Italy, audiences were amazed at Ruan's talent, especially in the film Goddess. They called Ruan "China's Greta Garbo."
Ruan was a versatile character actress. In her nine-year film career, she played many different roles, such as writer, factory worker, wealthy socialite, prostitute, flower girl, nun and beggar. Her unaffected, sensitive character portrayals contrast with the false, exaggerated performance that predominates in many films today.
Ruan was born in Shanghai in 1910. Her father, a penniless machinist, died when she was just five years old. For a while she went to live with her mother who was working as a housemaid for a rich family. She then went to a girl's school, but as soon as she had finished primary school, she began to look for a job to lighten her mother's load. She saw an advertisement for film actors, went for an interview and was given a job.
Her first screen appearance in 1927 was in the film Husband and Wife in Name. In spite of her lack of formal education, she was diligent and scrupulous in every detail of her acting. These qualities, combined with her beauty, made her screen images very impressive.
In 1935, during the shooting of her last film, a divorce suit and slanderous stories in unscrupulous local newspapers caused her a great deal of mental anguish. She finally decided to take her own life to prove her innocence.
The whole of Shanghai wept when the news of her death was heard. When she was buried at Lianyi Villa outside Shanghai, several hundred thousand mourners lined the road to watch her funeral procession.
Ruan's death aroused much public indignation. The great writer Lu Xun (1881-1936) published an essay Gossip Is a Fearful Thing, denouncing the newspaper bloodhounds and gossip mongers.
(China Daily April 13, 2006)
The New Rules:
This is the captain speaking.
Some misguided sailors on this
ship still think they can pull
a fast one on me. Well, they're
very much mistaken. Since you've
taken this course, the innocent
will be punished with the guilty.
There will be no liberty for any
member of this crew for three
months. I will not be made a fool
of! Do you hear me?
These will also apply to myself. though you the good readers and potential participants will have to take my word for that. I'll try my best to be fair.
*** No ad hominems or general nastiness
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I am specifically concerned with the nastiness of the soapblox world becoming a fixture of DFQ2. I'm not into flame fests. I'm not into any type of verbal confrontations. If people can't make their points with good evidence and staying civil, I don't want that crap on this blog. Imho, there's a razor's edge between speaking one's mind and being anti-social and rude. If someone is looking for a fight club, it ain't gonna be here.
Most of the content on this forum is pretty good. I may not blog as often as I have in the past, but when I do, I'll try to make it half-decent, worth the time reading it, if it hits the spot without rubbing it out.
Decent people are invited to participate. If anyone is interested in being a DFQ2 blogger, sign up at the forum in my profile and provide me with your specific blogger email address. I am looking for people at a minimum to be left of center. Your interests don't have to be political. I don't really do political blogging as it is.
I no longer feel that big forums are the way to go. I'm comfortable here and at peace with my blogging history. I don't need this place to become huge, but if any decent people are out there and would like to join in, please do.