JOAN CRAWFORD from the Novel Mommie Smearest Disses FEUD ep.8: Part 9 of a Parody Series
You think yourself a personage, That you’ve quite the name. Until you trump mortality, What’s your great claim to fame?
DATELINE: JOAN CRAWFORD FROM MOVIE STAR HEAVEN – FEUD’s fake-news and soap opera-y The Joan Crawford Story closed with this invisible universal-law message: IT’S ALL IMPERMANENT AND DOESN’T MATTER. Some people have the gift to read that invisible writing.
For other people, Death is always a fresh f•cking surprise equal to a calamity like Starbucks getting one’s critical dumb•ss skinny-mocha-frappé-latté-cappuccino (coffee) wrong.
For those people, both Death and Starbucks present opportunity for fake-news wailing across social media platforms about the cruelty of the universe for its failure to align with their vaporous real-time whim and wish made immediately known to that universe with a swipe across the magic mirror in their pocket.
With that grounding in fake reality, no wonder some of my fans are godd•mned surprised and crying over FEUD’s final fake-news flash and hallucinatory detail about the health, career, and housecoat-wardrobe of my alleged death in a New York apartment. Which happened forty years ago.
At least FEUD didn’t cut away to shots of that goddamned yellow bombed-out ’59 Coupe de Ville on blocks with tow-notices plastered all over it after dragging it to my New York curb from my Hollywood mansion.
REAL-NEWS FLASH to FEUD and YOU: Trog wasn’t THE END and I’m not dead. To do Trog in 1970, I rejected the continuing role of Carol Brady in 1969 on The Brady Bratty Bunch (with six loud, unruly godd•mned hellions).
My role in Trog later helped get me where I am now—in Movie Star Heaven. Here’s an excerpt explaining how it happened I made it happen (sort of like forcing my way into the ’63 Oscars), from my unauthorized fake autobiography and parody (which also contains my Bratty Bunch audition): Mommie Smearest: See Joan Crawford In Bitch Selfie Ain’t Make You No Movie Star.
Chapters 1 & 2 from Mommie Smearest formatted for KinksterMAG
HOLLYWOOD HEAVEN: NOT SO FAST, MISS CRAWFORD
After my earthly death, I was shocked and outraged to find myself stopped at the Hollywood Heaven border by some young security guard with a “sleeve” tattoo who didn’t even look up from texting as he informed me I was actually assigned to Hollywood Hell FOR REASONS WELL KNOWN to me. If you are not dumbfounded by that news (well, at least act shocked), neither will you be surprised to learn that I did some fast actress talkin’ and exploited a fluke in the Earth-to-Universe transfer process and negotiated my way into Hollywood Heaven instead.
That “fluke” I abused was actually just male weakness for attention from any gorgeous female, which is a cold hard fact of nature, like the periodic table of chemical elements.
Here’s how I did it. I was jet-lagged from decades of space travel to get there, and the kid was standing with lips pursed, wings folded, shaking his head “No” to my indignant suggestion that he stop tweeting and check again, that there must be some mistake, that certainly as a star of my magnitude appearing in over eighty movies with fans worldwide who loved me—he was to GIVE ME THE RESPECT THAT I’M ENTITLED TO and let me into Hollywood Heaven. Not send me to Hell like I was ANY STRANGER ON THE STREET who just thinks she is a movie star because she has a godd•mned smartphone and a Twitter account.
I guess my voice might have been a little loud right then, and at that last part he cocked an eyebrow. Then he handed me his phone on which he had pulled up a couple of godd•mned fictional Joan Crawford-Mommie Smearest—I mean Dearest—biographical book-and-movie-length typos written by somebody he said is “Apparently NOT ONE OF YOUR FANS,” and suggested I take a look.
So I scrolled quickly through them both (this took all of ten seconds) like I’d done with weak movie scripts for decades, looking for character cues I could build upon. Closing the screen, I stood for a moment, tapping my red nails, forming my plan and my character. I thought of big con men and women from ego-juke-joints like Hollywood, Wall Street, Washington, Vatican City, the New York Times and FOX News, who just keep repeating the same lame lines over and over until an audience is so worn down that the lies sound reasonable, or at least familiar, and the con gets away with it. The way a Bible verse or CEO’s testimony to a Senate investigative committee might work.
Then I walked over to the prop and costume closet (this is Hollywood Heaven, remember), slipped into a white lab coat and dropped the phone into the pocket so he couldn’t get it and would have to listen to me, and I lit a cigarette. Then, turning my best facial angle to the security camera in case somebody important was watching, I exhaled voluptuously while looking directly into the guard’s finally alert eyes (you’ve seen me do this with a cigarette a million times in black and white). Then I walked seductively toward him and glamorously pushed back my hair with both hands for no real reason except the move looked good, took a deep breath, and launched into the biggest screen test of my career to explain how his understanding of my life as a CEO and scientist would clear up everything.
If it didn’t, he wasn’t getting the godd•mned phone back until he let me in anyway.
INTERIOR: ENTRANCE GATE TO HOLLYWOOD HEAVEN
The scene opens with me chatting up the kid security guard who wants his smartphone back.
The first step in seduction is flattery.
“As one CEO to another,” I confided directly into his big blue eyes, “you know it really is lonely at the top, and a boss’s decisions are not always understood or popular with those who are less informed and think they know better.”
He blinked and looked at my pocket, so I elaborated, explaining that the business-like operation of my Brentwood mansion had been misreported in Mommie Dearest: my domestic policies were actually guided by best-practice science—like cleaning bathrooms without warning in the middle of the night when germs were asleep and vulnerable. And plus other really big scientific stuff.
“And,” I disclosed, “I am a scientific expert as proven when I played the role of a scientist or something in the movie Trog—a true-life science fiction docudrama about a caveman. I wore pretty lab coats and everything!” I swiveled, modeling my smock.
“And remember,” I breathed, gently brushing against him so he could feel his phone against his thigh, “I was CEO of a fancy household as a busy celebrity in the days before Martha Stewart went on TV to make it all look easy with her invisible godd•mned prep staff and stylists.”
“Yeah,” he said, pressing back at my pocket, “my grandma watched her.”
Since he was biting on the executive-scientist bait, I revealed that I also suffered from clinically diagnosed Hollywood talkie-trauma stress syndrome, afflicting silent film stars when they transitioned to talkies. My first talkie (and “singie,” Streisand) was the 1929 movie Untamed. My character “Bingo” was a violent young woman raised in the jungle, who beat and shot people who challenged her authority; these tough-love tactics may have been evidence of a mild personality disorder.
“Every role leaves a psychological mark on an actress,” I purred, smoothing a loose lock of blonde hair behind his ear and leaving my fingers there as I explained that, for the rest of my life, stress could initiate an episode of turbulent Bingo-psychosis or Bp (not gambling addiction or an oil company).
“And plus,” I whined, both hands on his broad shoulders, “I should have been recognized as the first crossover actress-to-rock star because of my smash dance hit “Chant of the Jungle” from Untamed. And “Chant” wasn’t even nominated for a godd•mned Grammy! Then dance-hall dames like Cher-opatra and Bellow—I mean Bella Streisand, flounced in after me like they were the first movie star-singers, and I’ve not gotten one godd•mned word of thanks from those bitches! They’re not even real vocalists like Nancy Sinatra!”
I could see he didn’t recognize anybody I was talking about, so I threw in somebody I thought was more recent. “And J. Loud—I mean J. Lo—her too!”
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “My dad said she used to be hot. And yeah! I know what you mean! I wrote a rap song and I didn’t get any credit! You wanna hear it?”
Before I could ask what a rap song was, he launched into a six-minute rhyme he called “Ima Keep It Real Yo.” I pretended great interest, swaying and beating along with him, thinking maybe I could do this rap thing myself, and that it probably wouldn’t be all that difficult to pull off if I had the right costume. Maybe it could even be my comeback route to show those other Hollywood floozies just exactly who invented re-invention.
“Hey!” he said, as he finished and then pulled up “Chant of the Jungle” on YouTube. “You know, I could rhyme this “Chant” song for you!”
“Well, if I get into Hollywood Heaven, I’ll see that you get discovered as a rapper,” I promised.
He was suddenly looking straight at me instead of my pocket. So, pressing his thigh and my advantage, I wheedled him into age-regressing me back to my Biblical Book of Mildred Pierce peak beauty. Mildred Pierce was my big Academy Award-comeback role after being fired from a studio after idiot-theatre-owners called me Box Office Poison. (Note to Jennifer Aniston—things change, and you may not always be the category winner for Leading TV Actress Sustaining the Same Perky Figure in Eighteen Unrelated Big-Screen Films Produced within the Same Godd•mned Year.)
Once I was restored to my full flawless beauty, I really had his attention, and not just for that godd•mned phone.
There was more to this scene, but it’s not going to add anything to include it here. Let’s just say that when it comes to securing male cooperation, I know what the hell I’m doing and don’t need tips from Cosmo to try something new that calls for one to pretend one is enjoying a lollipop while keeping one’s teeth out of the way.
The next thing I knew, I was sitting on the edge of his desk under the NO SMOKING sign, bouncing a high heel from my toe and enjoying the fresh cigarette he lit for me. He leaned back all grinning and happy to have his phone again, with the new selfie of us throwing gang signs. He promised not to tweet it, but I didn’t care if he did: I’d just seen a book and movie on that phone that told me I had nothing left to hide.
“Look,” he said, tapping the screen to show me his tweet-recommendation to the Hollywood Heaven Academy to let me in. “We gotta wait for them to text me back,” he said. “But look here.”
He tapped the phone again to pull up a security camera on Hollywood Hell, where I saw boiling sulfuric vats of country music celebrity-licensed perfume collectively called Cow Piss and Clover, a vanity product category for which the term “toilet water” is a literal statement and not a euphemism for an aromatic in a decorative bottle on one’s dressing table.
I also glimpsed continuous-loop movies starring Julia Roberts playing the role of Julia Roberts. At one time she was a bigger star than even Angelina Jolie, who I think is an aesthetic head-on collision between Audrey Hepburn and Courtney Love.
Between Julia’s movies were newsreels of Kardashian interviews and Donald Trump “policy statements” and I couldn’t tell them apart. Hell’s wailing was out-howled by Her Royal Canadian Honking Highness Celine Dion singing the theme song to the movie Titanic, and I sadly realized that hundreds of lives could have been saved if Celine had sung on the real Titanic, because there would have been no passenger reluctance to get into lifeboats and off the ship. Before it left port.
Bette Davis is in Hell so you know it’s loud. Hell is the center of the Universe which should thrill Davis since she always resented me being the center of Hollywood’s attention, but in our Solar System the center is the Sun, which means she is constantly on fire, and that is one blaze for which I would not walk across the Galaxy to throw my drink in its face.
Just then the guard’s phone lit up with the Academy’s text, which he read aloud. “‘The Hollywood Heaven Academy hereby grants Miss Joan Crawford, now widely known as Mommie Dearest, entry to Hollywood Heaven on a probationary basis.’”
“‘Probationary?,’” I snarled, quickly catching myself and sweetening my tone. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Says here,” he said, scrolling his phone, “that it’s like parole, or a screen test. You have to go forth and prove yourself, and do good works.”
“Like what?,” I asked, annoyed. I’d just acted—that’s the work I’m good at. Everybody knows that.
“Says here, ‘Miss Crawford is to go forth on Earth on parole in a real-life screen test and explain Mommie Dearest, which cracked the Hollywood illusion. And, since her big movie star ego got her into this mess, Miss Crawford is to do good works by exposing the folly of ego, and the related cheapening of American celebrity that now includes reality starlets and civilian selfies. She is to publicly unmask one big trophy of somebody who acts like they are a movie star but are not: this can be a reality starlet, or somebody who thinks they are a reality starlet—like an executive, or a politician, or a bishop—and not just kids in rap-drag at the food court.’”
“Well,” I thought to myself, glossing over that wrong part about my own big ego, “how hard can that be? This will be like some dumb game app for shooting fish on a smartphone.”
The handsome guard saw the weather change on my face as I considered the possibilities, and we grinned at each other (I’d actually grown quite fond of him by now).
“What may I call you?,” I asked, freshening my lipstick.
“You can call me Luke, ma’am, but I’m working on a rap name for myself.”
“Fluke, I mean Luke—you may call me Joan, but not ma’am. And in my first good work—I bestow upon you the rap name $aint Luke.”
“Thank you, ma’am—Joan, I mean. I’ll open the gate for you now, and here’s your smartphone with a special app that lets you go back and forth from Hollywood Heaven to Earth any time you want, so you can do your good works and get my rap career started. You stop and see me whenever you have time, if you’re not in a rush….” He dropped his eyes, suddenly bashful.
I lifted his chin with my perfect red fingernail and said, “I’m never that rushed, $aint Luke.”
Then I walked through the gate, which was actually the back door to Jayne Mansfield’s supper club on Mars where Amy Winehouse was singing onstage while Jayne glared at Anna Nicole Smith swiveling around the dance floor pushing a billionaire in his wheelchair.
I wasn’t really surprised I beat that Hollywood Hell bullsh•t and got into Heaven, because I’m sort of a religious figure myself, to some people. And I do share initials with Jesus Christ, the top star of Vatican Studios.
Maybe I was the godd•mned Second Coming and everybody missed it. I have certainly been martyred and crucified, for Christ’s sake.
End of excerpt from Mommie Smearest reproduced with permission from Blue Core Omnimedia Inc.
BACKSTORY on Kinkster MAG Contributor JOAN CRAWFORD’s FEUD Reviews
In keeping with Kinkster MAG’s objective of reinventing intellect and culture with thoughtful and unapologetic articles and original celebrity interviews for gay men with an edge, we asked Joan Crawford to review FEUD: Bette and Joan. Our Joan is from the searing novel lampooning reality-culture Mommie Smearest: See Joan Crawford In Bitch Selfie Ain’t Make You No Movie Star, with the outrageous-parody voice of Miss Crawford from the cult film Mommie Dearest. Read all of Joan’s FEUD parodies here. Read Kinkster MAG’s review of Mommie Smearest here.