Look At The Last Number

Sitting at a cool screen on a hot day, you can get to wandering a long way from where you start. I began with Mae West and ended up with Carmen Miranda. My guide was Wikipedia.

I’ve read that this is not a good thing – the use of this website for factual information. Political urgers who do not get the opinion they crave are particularly down on it – but I suspect that it can be accurate enough for my purposes. If I was a dolphin operator it would be for my porpoises. Thank you…here all week, try the veal…

Anyway, back to Mae and Miranda. Remarkably similar in many respects – starting with being females with attractive faces and astounding figures. And both very smart and witty with it…they carved out sterling careers on the stage and screen at a time when stars were expected to be big, bold, and discreet. Wikipedia reports their public sayings but is silent about the rest.

They both were censored and censured at various stages of their careers – Mae for overt sexuality and Carmen for becoming successful in the USA. That latter statement might seem odd, but her fellow Brazilians exercised a petulant malice toward the USA by accusing her of being too Americanized. She packed up and left Brazil, and never suffered later for it. As for the stars, both wore big hats well.

But there the similarities end. Mae lived to a ripe old age and was full of steam right up until the end – Carmen keeled over before she was 50. And then the Brazilian government declared a period of mourning and buried her in national honour.

But that’s South America, eh?

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