MONDO EXTRAS

Schlocky, Death-Knell, and Moan

by TWoP March 7, 2001

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Schlocky, Death-Knell, and Moan

by Manimal March 7, 2001
Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women Of Camelot, Part I Hey, kids! Everyone ready for a national tragedy converted into a ninety-second soundbite to boost ratings so advertisers will pay more dollars during those forty-minute episodes of Friends? Good, 'coz so am I! Wait. First we have to be introduced to Aristotle Onassis. It's Skorpios, Greece. He's telling Jackie the story of Odysseus. Y-a-w-n. Um, I read a version of this story? By this dude, Homer? And it was already pretty good, so shut up, Aristotle. Bleagh. He then segues into a bit of Freudian patter, telling Jackie how he didn't let himself be destroyed by grief when his mother died, and to not let herself be destroyed by grief over her lost child. Jackie mourns her child, and says she wanted to talk to Jack. Aristotle tells her to cut loose, to mourn her child, but then to plunge back into life "and go dancing!" It's all very Zorba the Greek, except sans Anthony Quinn, and good acting. Jackie turns to Aristotle and says seductively, "Take me dancing." Back at the White House, Ethel, Jack, and Bobby are perusing the tabloids and bitching about Jackie's recklessness. Ethel says she never listens. Jack says she won't listen to anyone, "not even me." Well, gee, I wonder why. Jack says he's asked her to come back, but she won't -- until she's ready. He murmurs, "It's all about the baby." Jackie, John-John, and Caroline come home. The kids rush to greet Daddy. Jack then lays a big smacker on Jackie. You can tell that Things Are Better Now. Dinner. Jack pours himself a large drink. He mutters, "Sometimes I think the South thinks it's a separate country." He bitches about Birmingham, Alabama, and their refusal to hire "Negro policemen." Jackie gets all sympathetic and coos that the publicity about her and Aristotle probably isn't helping him any. Yes, Jackie, because he wasn't actually talking about the basic human rights of thousands of people across the country, he was REALLY talking about YOU. Aargh. She clucks that Jack has been "so understanding," and Jack takes the opportunity to nudhz her into campaigning with him across Texas. Ruh-roh. Jackie agrees. They look into one another's eyes. The Kettle Drums of Imminent Doom play as Joan crosses the street. It's November 22, 1963. Joan enters her hairdresser's and tell the receptionist she wants to look very special for her and Ted's fifth anniversary. Close-up of a radio. Cut to Ethel and Bobby and their menagerie of kids. Close-up of a phone. Is everyone getting it at this point? Everyday acts and objects framed to counterpoint the upcoming horror? Well, I hope so, because the phone rings and it's J. Edgar Hoover. Ethel hands the phone to Bobby, and Bobby tells us that JFK's been shot. He says numbly, "I have to get to Dallas."

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