August 30, 2005

Lucille Ball and the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Have We Learned Our Lesson Yet?

An interesting read is the from the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Freedom of Information Privacy Act concerning Lucille Ball's testimony at the 1953 House Select Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings which reflected her registration to vote as a communist in 1936 due to the insistence of her grandfather.

There are three parts to this testimony which are presented in PDF format on the FBI web site. Alot of the information is blacked out, but still with a little bit of history, we can fill in those blacked out marks.

Those behind this McCarthyism in the days of the Hollywood Witch Hunts and red scare from the post World War 2 era, promoted by the notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy (Republican Senator) is much like today's Karl Rove and the Republican GOP Smear Campaign against anything that opposes the Republican Agenda and their March to War. Anyone against them must be eliminated by further lies and propoganda.

The HUAC came into being because they wanted to prove that a lot of actors and writers were communists. They thought that movies were brainwashing Americans and putting communist propaganda into their heads. The Committee probed Hollywood, but they never confirmed any of the charges. They even questioned 10-year-old Shirley Temple. Movie studios became very careful about their products and their actors, because they did not want to be accused. Just to be associated with someone who was suspected of communism was enough to ruin a career.

There were those who decided to reap political gain from the fears of the American public. Two future presidents were present at the hearings. Richard Nixon was a member of the HUAC, and Ronald Reagan appeared as a friendly witness. McCarthy was often in the news, telling the American people that they were being overrun with communists, and that they must rid themselves of all the communists before America could be great again.

The HUAC blacklisted many people. Blacklisting means putting people on a list of suspected communists. It meant that their professional reputation was destroyed, and that no one would hire them for fear of being thought a communist. Many actors couldn’t star in movies anymore because they were blacklisted. Some authors for the big screen continued to write movies using fake names, but most never worked again. Some were forced to leave the country.

A cartoonist lampooned McCarthy and made up the term McCarthyism, which to him meant fanaticism. He didn’t like the way that McCarthy was hurting people. Then supporters of McCarthy took up the term, only they turned the term around, and said that it meant patriotism.

In the election after the hearings, the Republicans won most seats in the Congress and the Senate, and this happened largely because of McCarthy and the Senate hearings. The people also elected a Republican president. But McCarthy’s power went to his head, and he went too far. He accused officials in the government of communism. He accused officials of the Army of communism. McCarthy never proved any of these charges, and his ideas were discredited.

Even while the HUAC hearings were going on, in the height of the "red scare", many people knew that the hearings were unfair, and they knew that the blacklists were wrong. Could a government that would allow unfair practices be fair in other ways?

Reform groups and those who happened to stand up against McCarthy suffered, too, during the McCarthy era. They were often accused of having communist or socialist leanings, and support for reform wavered. Fewer social reforms were passed. People didn’t want to be called a communist, and America’s poor suffered for it.

The national anthem calls this the land of the free. People here are allowed to hold any belief that they want. Joe McCarthy forgot that. All of America forgot that during the Senate hearings, and we are still paying for it today.

Turn this to the acts of today and we still see very haunting simularities. Karl Rove trying to discredit anyone opposed to the President or the War or Republicans in general. The smear and lie campaigns that he continues to be behind and the Republicans that stand behind and protect him from his treasoness acts of outing a CIA Agent in order to discredit her husband. The proof that this War in Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 or with terrorism, was preordained by Bush and his cabinet way before 9/11.

Hopefully people have begun to wake up to these lies and fanatism, which like the McCarthy era, destroyed many lives! Thank God, Lucy was able to rebound and continue her momentous career! She stands on the side that will be vindicated, once again!

August 25, 2005

Everything Lucy | Youns.com

If you're a frequent visitor, or an occassional onlooker, you'll notice some changes that are being applied to the "Everything Lucy" web site! I've set up the site for more easier updates using CSS as well as an interesting satin background with the main pages centered. This was the easiest update without doing a complete overhaul.

Eventually, I'll add new Flash headers to each of the sections and slowly migrate to a new content format. But it will still be the basic look that you're familiar with, only enhanced.

Also, I'm getting closer to adding the Member Login and Registration Update!! For those who have registered for preferred access, once you login, you will be presented with a new page that is customized for the content based on your personal registration information. This page may contain special DVD offers that are only available to certain individuals or it may be other links and information or video clips.

For those who aren't familiar with what an "underground" DVD is - it is a DVD that is produced from a video tape of a particular movie or TV Show. These are not retail quality DVDs, nor are they available in the retail market. This is why they are referred to as "underground" since they are not available anywhere else and represents shows that have never been released to the market.

These updates are slow to come only because I can only work on the site after my regular job. So, when everyone else's day ends after their 8 hour work, mine is continuing! I also put in some weekends getting updates or looking for items. This past year I had to get my portfolio site completed and that took alot of my time! Plus, since all work and no play make Jack a dull boy - I've tried to not work on the weekends and spent more time away or traveling. So with limited amount of time and no pay, I've tried to get everything updated in a timely fashion.

If there are any programmers out there in Internet World that knows ASP or ASP.Net and is familiar with Amazon Web Services, please contact me and I will give your prominent credit in the Lucy Store section! I really could use some help with all this!

I'll keep everyone posted here on everything that is up and coming! Stay Tuned!

August 11, 2005

Lucille Ball Tops List of Deceased Celebrities

Lucille Ball is America's most beloved dead star. The company that developed the "Q score" that broadcasters and advertisers quietly consult to measure a personality's popularity has done a survey that tests the reputation of performers who have gone on to that big soundstage in the sky.

The redheaded sitcom star of the 1950s and '60s, who died in 1989, has topped past "Dead Q" lists as her comedies seemingly live forever on television, said Steve Levitt, president of Marketing Evaluations, Inc., which conducts the tests.

"What is there not to like about Lucy?" he said.

Bob Hope, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Red Skelton follow her on the popularity list.

For 41 years, Levitt's company has given consumers a list of names and asked if they know the people and to rate how much they like them. From their responses they calculate the Q score, a measure of both familiarity and likability.

Advertising executives use the information to make sponsorship decisions, while broadcasters check Q scores to see how well their news and entertainment stars are connecting.

Tom Hanks has been the most popular live star in the last few surveys.

Dead stars still do business, though. Coors used film clips of Wayne in a popular commercial, while Fred Astaire has danced to hawk a vacuum cleaner.

"Some of these deceased personalities have Q scores equal to or greater than some of the live personalities we measure," Levitt said.

Two performers are relatively new to the list: Johnny Carson and John Ritter were both ranked among the 10 most popular dead stars.

Others offer a reminder of television's power to keep people figuratively alive; "The Honeymooners" star Jackie Gleason, who died in 1987, is still remembered and beloved.

"Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz and Michael Landon fill out the top 10.

Out of 169 personalities tested, diet doctor Robert Atkins had the lowest score. Tupac Shakur and Johnnie Cochran also have high negative ratings, Levitt said.

The national survey was conducted by mail questionnaire.

This story was written by David Bauder and received from New York(AP) Newswire.

August 03, 2005

A nostalgic look at Lucy versus Lucille

Baby boomers are turning television shows from the 1950s and '60s into gigantic DVD profits. Just take a glance at the best selling DVDs of old television shows from January through June of this year. The top shows were "Hogan's Heroes," "Brady Bunch," "I Love Lucy," "Gilligan's Island," "Andy Griffith," "Green Acres," "Lost in Space" and "Star Trek."

A diligent search of programming on any given day will usually produce an episode from almost all of the top shows. They may have stopped writing new episodes, but there isn't a moratorium on the rerunning of old ones. Roaming around in the wee hours of the morning, you can catch up on your favorite episodes of "I Love Lucy."

Not even the most rabble rousing feminist could take offense at the show for it was always presented as pure farce at its best but you can make a case for viewing it in the context of women's studies. No matter what the plot twist from episode to episode, the main theme never varied.

Ricky Ricardo earned the money. Lucy Ricardo spent the money. Ricky was a star. Lucy was a housewife. When they played turnabout, Ricky would prove that men who earned the bacon never had to learn how to cook it. Lucy would come to understand that the only role she was born to play was that of wife, mother and goof up.

The weekly dénouement was close to a faithful portrait of the proper role of husband and wife in the thinking of the time. After some hilarious caper Lucy would learn that it was a jungle out there and that Ricky was the lion and she but a pussycat.

Lucy would promise to be a good little submissive housewife; he would promise to remain her big strong protector. Everyone lived happily-ever-after or at least until the next episode when Ricky would have to teach her the same lesson all over again.

What makes looking back on "I Love Lucy" days so fascinating is what we now know to be the contrast between their reel roles and the roles they played in real life. On screen Desi Arnaz played Ricky Ricardo as competent, strong and dependable - someone the little lady could always count on. He was the undisputed authority figure in their castle.

Lucille Ball played Lucy Ricardo as a bubblehead. So lacking in business acumen was our Lucy, her inability to balance a checkbook was good for at least one laugh on every show. Lucy, who yearned for stardom, only got to perform on the wicked stage courtesy of husband Ricky, the real talent of the family.

But what was life like back at the ranch where Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball really lived? Those up on Hollywood lore know it was Jane not Tarzan who ran that operation.

Desi had talent and production savvy but he also had a chemical dependency. It was Lucille's boundless energy, creative spark and extraordinary talent that made the show click week after week. A brilliant businesswoman, Lucille not only managed to amass a fortune, she was one of those rare celebrities wise enough to keep it.

Lucy and Ricky are a fun couple to drop in on when ever we are lonely for the '50s. For nostalgia's sake, we will always love Lucy as the queen of the clowns. But as a role model, we should be much more attuned to the aspirations of Lucille - wife, mother, comedienne and business moguless-with-the-mostess - on the ball.

August 01, 2005

Elmira artist re-creates Lucille Ball covers

Brigitte Baldwin was invited to Jamestown during the Lucy-Days celebration this past weekend to paint Lucille Ball during her birthday celebration.

Lucy, who was from Celeron, NY, a small town near Jamestown is only a few hours away from the artists home of Elmira. Brigitte has been involved with the Lucy-Desi museum as a mixed media artists about five years ago. She has been painting the old TV Guide covers that Lucy was on, adding gemstones, glitter, costume jewelry, flattened exhaust pipes and whatever else seems fitting.

Lucille Ball's prop cello sold in auction

The prop cello used by Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy went under the hammer for $35,400 in an auction this past Friday, July 29th at "Profiles in History" auction. This auction included some of Hollywood's most prized artifacts from film and television. The estimated value of the cello was between $10,000 and $12,000. The collectors either bid in person or they had access to the auction on the internet at ebayliveauctions.com.

"Everything Lucy" Blog first reported this Lucy memento up for auction last month. I hope all you Lucy bidders found this information worthwhile and were able to at least put your initial bid in!

Keep an eye here on the "Everything Lucy" Blog! Your first source of up-to-date information on Lucille Ball!

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