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Biding Our Time: : A Pre Code Barbara Stanwyck And More Thursday, December 9th, 2021

Barbara Stanwyck: That 60s Western TV show “The Big Valley” may have made the great actor Barbara Stanwyck a whole lotta money, but as the matriarch Victoria Barkley she is so indelible we lose Barbara in the 30s and early 40s. We lose the Stanwyck whose story, at least in the broad strokes. mirrored “Baby Face” – the 1933 pre code movie that features Barbara in the title role, prostituted by her father at 14, and a runaway not much later, who sleeps her way to the top of a bank on Wall Street. How much of Stanwyck’s life was mined for the role is a matter of conjecture, however Barbara ran away from home and started doing burlesque at the same age as Babyface was forced into prostitution: Barbara to Broadway, Baby Face to Wall Street. Both disgraceful environments where women were exploited and disposed. “Baby Face” itself, without nudity, indeed without even kissing on the mouth, is one of the sexiest things you’ve ever seen. Here she is chatting up a doorman to get a job at the bank:


“Baby Face” was seven years before her screwball superbness with Henry Fonda in “The Lady Eve” and eleven years before the murderous “Double Indemnity”. “Baby Face” is also an indictment of conditions for women in the white collar business community in New York City in the 30s. They were all dumped into the secretary and if they wanted to get much further had to fuck their way there.

As Stanwyck grew older she became a staunch Republican, campaigning against FDR, assuming because she made it on her own as a child laborer, nobody needed a social safety net. But in the 20s and the 30s she exemplified an open faced sensuality and intelligence that was so much better than everything we are used to as we drift back 90 years.

New York Sports: It has been ten years since a New York team has won a championship. In 2021, the Giants, the Jets, the Mets, the Yanks, the Knicks and the Nets (in the 2020-2021 season) , the Rangers, The Islanders, the Devils didn’t do much business AGAIN. Whoever thought that the 90s would be remembered as a golden age of New York sports for anything more than the Yanks? Watching the Jets and Giants, a combined 7 – 17 in the loss column in 2021, and both teams playing out the string, is an indictment of both teams. Astoundingly, the Jets don’t have a kicker who can get an extra point. Brutal to watch, the Nets are in trouble because a star player won’t take his vaccine and is banned from playing by the NBA, the Knicks remain the Knicks.

Artist Of The Year 2021: I haven’t decided finally yet but I believe it will be Arca and if not Arca then surely 100 Gecs. Both are playing tonight in NYC, Arca at Knockdown Center in Queens and 100 Gecs at Terminal 5. I won’t go to either because 1) T5 is a terrible place to see bands, and Knockdown doors open at 8pm with SIX opening acts. She won’t be going on stage till way past midnight.

Kanye And Drake: Their L.A. double bill is being streamed live at 11pm on Amazon Plus, so I am seriously considering waking up for it… the question is can we stream it afterwards?

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