Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

Flashback Friday — Valentine Vixen: Cheryl Kubert, Miss February 1958

November 2, 2012

The bulk of this post originally appeared on February 5, 2010 at 9:04 am.


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

First up is the lovely and talented Cheryl Kubert. In going through my files to prep this entry, I realized I’d already saved several pictures from this shoot here and there for the last year, so I’m pretty pumped to share.

It’s not a cute or even particularly “themed” shoot at all, but Ms. Kubert has an almost accusing serenity that makes what would be standard shots if it were any other model seem more arresting and beyond ordinary than their composition would dictate.

It’s the eye contact, I reckon. She has deep eyes. The downward cast of her chin, the unparted lip, the steady gaze; she seems so solemn. It makes the shoot feel heavy, but in a beautiful, ruminating, kind of sad way. She has this kind of practical but somewhat unhappy sincerity to her expression and posture, an unvarnished and troubled vulnerability. It’s moody.

The written copy that accompanied this pictorial is absolute drivel. I mean, just pure shit. Its more pun-ridden and meaningless even than the b.s. that they printed up for Marlene Callahan, and that is saying something, believe me.

The strangest part about the article is that, besides being empty apple fritters and pretty nonsense, the endless stream of non sequitirs about Scandinavian idioms seemingly have almost nothing to do with the pictures.

The write-up, titled “Playmate on Skis,” describes skiing in great detail and alludes to its history in Scandinavia, which is well and good, but in the pictures Ms. Kubert is mainly not around snow whatsoever; furthermore, the article lays no claim to her being of Scandinavian descent. Just a poor job all around. Banana boats and baloney sauce, Playboy, I’m sorry. Thankfully the pictures are unique, sensitive, and artistic.

Okay, I just spent fifteen minutes hard-searching and I found the above missing link. ONE SHOT of her with skis in addition to the centerfold (which is generally shot separate from the rest of the pictorial spread). Pfft. And if that is not a fake scene outside the window, I’ll eat my hat. Total cheezits (I’m trying to swear less this year and I’ve found that food items make handy and amusing euphemisms).


(The nude Jayne Mansfield spread will come up again in several days, actually. Really interesting story, but we’re focused on Ms. Kubert right now. Keep your shirt on.)

I can only conjecture that Cheryl Kubert was a stage name, because there is pretty much nothing known about her prior to her centerfold appearance or what she did following, other than that she had appeared in a bit part in the film Pal Joey in 1957.

According to the Playmate Book, Ms. Kubert died April 25, 1989 of apparent suicide. Because Playboy did not keep data sheets prior to September of 1959, it is not known how old she was at the time of her appearance in the magazine or her death. It makes those deep eyes seem much sadder to know that. R.I.P.





edit: I was sitting here trying to think where I had just seen the name “Kubert” recently, and finally remembered that yesterday’s Daily Batman of Catwoman and Batman throwing plates at each other in the Super Dictionary (Warner, 1978) featured art work by the cartoonist Joe Kubert. Found his official website and have fired off a quick email using his “contact” form, inquiring if he is related to Cheryl Kubert or has heard anything about her before. It’s a longshot, but I’ll let you know what comes of it.

edit 11/2/12: In the original post, the following comment was left

John Hawksley Says:

Hello, I was Cheryl’s husband and we were married at the time of her death(may 28,1988) Cheryl Kubert was her real name. Born in Los Angeles, went to Fairfax High School. We had one child(Rachel). She was 50 at time of her death. She was a glamour lovlie in Ken Murry’s Blackouts and she did extensive modeling, traveled with U. S. O troupe and was a member of SAG and SEG. She had the heart and the looks of an angel. She could sing, play the piano and dance. If you need anymore information you can text me. John

Thank you for the further info, Mr. Hawksley.

edit 11/2/12, 2.0: The late Joe Kubert, comic legend, also corresponded with me briefly in regard to this post. He passed on in August, and I am not sharing because I believe death negates privacy, but merely because I never shared originally. As with Mr. Hawksley’s comment, I meant to go back and edit again, but the time gets away from you.

Dear E,

Thank you for your email and your interest. To my knowledge I am not related to a Cheri [sic] Kubert. She looks like someone I would not have minded knowing! Please continue to read, write, and care about comics. You may also share a link with your readers to The Kubert School.

Regards,
Joe

The Kubert School, based in Dover, NJ offers students a high quality and challenging education in Cartooning and Graphic Art.” They also have correspondence courses.

This has been your Flashback Friday.

Take-two Tuesday — William Blake Month: the torments of Love and Jealousy

February 1, 2011

This entry originally appeared on June 12, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.


Why wilt thou Examine every little fibre of my soul
Spreading them out before the Sun like Stalks of flax to dry
The infant joy is beautiful but its anatomy
Horrible Ghast & Deadly. Nought shalt thou find in it
But Death Despair & Everlasting brooding Melancholy



Thou wilt go mad with horror if thou dost Examine thus
Every moment of my secret hours. Yea I know
That I have sinned & that my Emanations are become harlots
I am already distracted at their deeds & if I look
Upon them more Despair will bring self murder on my soul



O Enion thou art thyself a root growing in hell
Tho thus heavenly beautiful
to draw me to destruction

(William Blake, excerpt from “Part I: Enmion and Tharmas,” in Vala, or, The Four Zoas: the torments of Love and Jealousy in the death and judgment of Albion the Ancient Man.)

All photos are screencaps from a collaborative short film put out by Lula magazine and the ubiquitous UK-and-now-THE-WORLD clothing store Topshop. Here is a linky to the video, which is unusual and beautiful and freaky, but as you are watching this artistic short film remember it is designed to sell faux-Bohemian low-quality overpriced clothes that will be out of style in six months to impressionable and likely self-loathing young women with eating disorders and disposable income. The fashion industry is so cruel with its kindness that I go back and forth on appreciation and hate.

I’m sorry, I went to the mall earlier to pick up some comfortable summer shoes with my grandmother and now I’m in a low mood. Nothing puts me out of sorts like that snake nest. Like, everyone is slithering over the top of each other and accidentally biting their own tails and dropping money on shit they don’t need, finances they have gained from the jobs they keep specifically to make a weekend trip to a goddamned mall and drape shiny fabrics over the viper shitpit of the system so it looks all pretty and coordinated while they sip complacently from some kind of frapped coffee bullshit drink packed with sugar and empty calories that they store in the cupholder of their child’s stroller. Their kids are with them, of course, because children must be taught to want made-up food like chicken nuggets and aspire to own over three pair of shoes. Seriously, I want to watch it burn, burn, burn.

I know that my Emanations are become harlots.

I think I’m going to go take ten and paint with the kidlet or something.

Movie Moment — 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies, Inaugural Edition: Better Off Dead

December 12, 2010

Welcome to the inaugural edition of 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies, because Jingle All the Way and all its ilk should burn in hell. I’m kicking things off with a little Better off Dead.

Better Off Dead (Savage Steve Holland, 1985). Maybe some forgot this was a holidayish film, but I did not. How could anyone forget when you have the following scene?

“Chrissssstmassss!”



Lane, I think it’d be in my best interest if I dated somebody more popular. Better looking. Drives a nicer car.

(Beth Truss. And we’re all like that, each one of us.)

What do you do when the center of your universe walks away?

A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier.

(the imdb.)

Absolutely sick pyjamas. On the kid, not on David Ogden Stiers. Scooter Stevens, who plays the lineless younger brother, did some television roles and played “Bonnie’s Date” in She’s Out of Control. That’s his final credit, so I think it’s safe to say he went on to a life of education and handsomer-than-average anonymity.

Though his voice work in this film was dubbed by Rich Little, Yuji Okumoto, the Howard Cosell brother, has gone on to act his ass off. Seriously, you give that guy a spin on the imdb and he has a credit or ten for, like, every year since this movie was released. Very impressive. He was the one I thought was cuter. So I’m pleased. Brian Imada, who plays his brother, has done a crapload of stunt work and will be appearing in utility stunt capacity in the upcoming Green Hornet film, which is getting its own post soon as a “Hot Man Bein’ Hot” for the new Kato. Ow! I like Asian dudes. Blame Sulu and alert the media.

Featuring marvelous Curtis Armstrong as Lane’s best friend, the eccentric Charles De Mar. Doin’ whippits and trying to get a line on nosespray in a top hat.

Suicide is never the answer, little trooper.

Curtis Armstrong is so good at conveying the “cool” geek. Total old school unlikely G. In fact, I do believe he was the second subject in that category.



Steve Holland: That part when Lane does this in the garage is true. I went into the garage, and I put an extension cord on a pipe, and I’m on a garbage can, and I’m thinking, “Should I do this? Maybe this isn’t a good idea.” Anyway, it was a plastic garbage can, and my weight just, like, crashed through it, and I fell, and the pipe broke!

And it starts pouring water everywhere. And I’m basically in a garbage can, drowning. And my mom comes in, and my mom starts yelling at me for breaking a pipe, which is what any mom would do.

So I started writing down stupid ways to kill yourself that would fail after that, and I put them in sort of a diary. And that diary kind of became Better Off Dead.

(“Better Off Dead – Savage Steve Holland.” Awesome interview and article on The Sneeze.)


It’s got raisins in it. You like raisins.

Lane’s suicide stunts smack a little of Harold and Maude, but only a little. Certainly Jenny Meyer is worlds away from Vivan Pickles. Taking it down the very absurd road carries it far enough from Harold and Maude that it becomes apples and oranges (with raisins). Mainly.



Holland’s vision of the cafeteria as the intersection of absurd personal fantasy time and a rigidly enforced caste system is a standout in a decade that brought us dozens of shudder-inducingly accurate cafeteria scenes (I think of Sixteen Candles, when Molly Ringwold spots Jake Ryan, dumps her tray, and runs: “I can’t let him know I eat,” or Martha Dumptruck from Heathers).


Lane, I’m thinking about asking out Elizabeth.

R.I.P., Vincent Schiavelli. A great character actor and kickass chef.

Charles de Mar has a hand in a jar. Say it three times fast and Curtis Armstrong will appear! He currently voices Steve’s friend Snot on American Dad.

I love the animation Scooter Stevens brings to his role — it’s a shock to realize Badger has no speaking parts, yes? His eyes on the “Trashy Women” book … priceless.


One of the taglines for this film is: Insanity doesn’t run in the family, it gallops. This is a reference to Arsenic and Old Lace, where the line went, “Darling, insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.”

During a screening of Better Off Dead, John Cusack stormed out after twenty minutes, saying, “You’ve ruined my career!” He allegedly hated and despaired of the film, and told Holland, “I will never trust you as a director ever again, so don’t speak to me.”



I’m guessing that the mad science at Pig Burger was one of the scenes he found unpardonable, cause I guess if you are trying to be a cool cat, it could be perceived as kind of cheesey and out of place. But, hey, what a great anticipation of Igor. Who knew? Because that entire movie was insanely cheesey and out of place. I hold children’s movies to a very high standard and I don’t brook a bunch of shit, sorry.



And Cusack went ahead and allowed Hot Tub Time Machine to refer to the film, so perhaps time has softened his view. Or money. But most likely time, I’m just sure.


I have great fear of tools. I once made a birdhouse in woodshop and the fair housing committee condemned it. I can’t.

“I cannot do it” is your middle name. I think all you need is a small taste of success, and you will find it suits you.


[Lane’s] father is so stumped in trying to understand the confusing habits and behavior of his teenage son (and, at one point, is temporarily convinced Lane is using drugs) that he clumsily attempts repeatedly to interfere in Lane’s love life.

(the wiki)

For half a second, the q-tip face makes me like John Cusack and start to giggle, and then I remember all the reasons I’m mad at him and I wipe the smile off my face. Spiders in the mail? So immature.



It’s kind of an interesting phenomenon. Any actor wants to play the cool guy. So playing the role of a borderline mental dork in the movie is not necessarily your first choice as an actor, however, in a way you’re kind of creating it yourself.

It’s not like you’re being made fun of, you’re making fun of yourself by creating this persona. So it didn’t bother me a lot since I was playing a character who was so far away from me.

(Interview with Dan “Ricky” Schneider. The Sneeze.)

This is similar to the kind of present-giving I did one Christmas as a child. I wrapped up things we already had and was surprised when my parents were clearly feigning their enthusiasm. I think it was very zen: I considered all of our possessions to be gifts.


Savage Steve Holland: And every day we were going, “This is hilarious. Am I wrong?” And it was like, every day anything we shot was really funny. So at my first test screening… I’ll never forget it, the movie was like five or seven minutes longer, and the audience reaction was pretty good, but it wasn’t that good.

And I remember one guy walking out, and for some reason he knew me, and he goes, “Hey, better luck next time.”

And I’m like, “Oh shit, I’m doomed.” It really hurt.

The Sneeze: Do you know where he is today?

SS: He’s probably running Paramount with my luck.

The Sneeze: I was just hoping he was homeless.

SS: No, because mean people always get the good jobs.

(Aforementioned The Sneeze interview.)



I’ve been going to this school for seven years. I’m no dummy. I know high school girls.


You’ll make a fine little helper. What’s your name?

Charles de Mar!

Not you, geek. Her.



John will never talk about Better Off Dead, and One Crazy Summer, and I read something recently where he called me “the director.” He wouldn’t use my name, and he said, “the director wanted to do absurdist comedy and that’s just not the thing I like to do,” or something like that.

I feel like I let him down. And it totally surprises me so much because I have to say the most important person to me about that movie, was John. I really wanted him to love it as much as I loved it. And once he said that stuff, it was like a girlfriend who breaks up with you. You can’t fight with her. It’s like everything is so great, and then they say “I hate you!” out of nowhere. There’s really no argument you can have. I had my heart broken. That was the second time my heart was broken since that girl that Better Off Dead was about — honest to God.

(Steve Holland, Ibid.)



Truly a sight to behold. A man beaten. The once great champ, now, a study in moppishness. No longer the victory hungry stallion we’ve raced so many times before, but a pathetic, washed up, aged ex-champion.

That’s actually a line from one of the car race scenes, but it’s my favorite. Challenge: call someone “a study in moppishness” this week — to their face!


I really thought as time went by, [Cusack] might feel differently. But I read one other article that he got jailed for something. Somebody in his car had something, I don’t know what, but he got jailed for something. He said, “Jail sucked the most because everybody kept coming up to me going, ‘I want my two dollars!'”

(Steve Holland, Ibid.)

The buttrape, on the other hand, was “pretty okay”.



Look, Charles, I’ve got to do this. If I don’t, I’ll be nothing. I’ll end up like my neighbor, Ricky Smith. He sits around crocheting all day and snorting nasal spray.

He snorts nasal spray? You know where I can score some?!


So you won’t tell anyone?

What, that you’re a Dodgers fan?

I do love the wink, here. It always comforts me to know that there are other people on the earth who are as truly bad at winking as I am. Not a lot of other people, but a few.

Sure, you can park your Camaro on the lawn at Dodger Stadium. Happens all the time. Goddamn if that is not the most eighties-riffic thing I’ve seen all week. Ski rack, saxophone, mom jeans, and John Cusack: winner, winner, chicken dinner!



Hope you’ve found the inaugural edition of 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies enlightening. And now you’re armed with this very sad backstory of the dissolution of the friendship between the star and the director — because nothing says the holidays like, “You are dead to me.” So cue it up, grab your gelatinous raisin-riddled mass, and bask in Better Off Dead’s warm 80’s glow.

Liberated Negative Space: That IS the truth

October 15, 2010

It never does. That’s why the truth has to be dug to be got to, because we can’t conceive the entirety of it, just pieces at a time, like the first team uncovering the fossil of a tyrannosaur, only when they finally glimpse the whole shape of it, it comes to life and eats them all. Jesus Christ, if we went around with the whole truth in our heads all the time, we’d never stop screaming until someone finally looked the other way and we managed ten seconds of privacy to kill ourselves and end the horrifying senselessness. That’s truth. Not just stranger than fiction — messier and a lot more painful, yes?

Happy birthday, HST

July 18, 2010


As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says, ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer.

(Hunter S. Thompson)

But you did die, you can be rare as all git out but apparently no one is weird enough not to die, and you know I am not yet totally cool with how you decided to do it, but as Bukowski said, it is literally no one’s business but your own if you choose to go out on your own terms and I am attempting to accept that. It’s not something I can just *snap* and feel. I hope, as I do for everyone who dies this way, that you still felt just as strongly about your choice at the very moment that you passed on as you did when you originally engineered the passing and penned your explanatory note about football season, etc.

And I suppose any fan ought have expected nothing less.

R.I.P. and happy birthday.

William Blake Month: the torments of Love and Jealousy

June 12, 2010


Why wilt thou Examine every little fibre of my soul
Spreading them out before the Sun like Stalks of flax to dry
The infant joy is beautiful but its anatomy
Horrible Ghast & Deadly. Nought shalt thou find in it
But Death Despair & Everlasting brooding Melancholy



Thou wilt go mad with horror if thou dost Examine thus
Every moment of my secret hours. Yea I know
That I have sinned & that my Emanations are become harlots
I am already distracted at their deeds & if I look
Upon them more Despair will bring self murder on my soul



O Enion thou art thyself a root growing in hell
Tho thus heavenly beautiful
to draw me to destruction

(William Blake, excerpt from “Part I: Enmion and Tharmas,” in Vala, or, The Four Zoas: the torments of Love and Jealousy in the death and judgment of Albion the Ancient Man.)



All photos are screencaps from a collaborative short film put out by Lula magazine and the ubiquitous UK-and-now-THE-WORLD clothing store Topshop. Here is a linky to the video, which is unusual and beautiful and freaky, but as you are watching this artistic short film remember it is designed to sell faux-Bohemian low-quality overpriced clothes that will be out of style in six months to impressionable and likely self-loathing young women with eating disorders and disposable income. The fashion industry is so cruel with its kindness that I go back and forth on appreciation and hate.

I’m sorry, I went to the mall earlier to pick up some comfortable summer shoes with my grandmother and now I’m in a low mood. Nothing puts me out of sorts like that snake nest. Like, everyone is slithering over the top of each other and accidentally biting their own tails and dropping money on shit they don’t need, finances they have gained from the jobs they keep specifically to make a weekend trip to a goddamned mall and drape shiny fabrics over the viper shitpit of the system so it looks all pretty and coordinated while they sip complacently from some kind of frapped coffee bullshit drink packed with sugar and empty calories that they store in the cupholder of their child’s stroller. Their kids are with them, of course, because children must be taught to want made-up food like chicken nuggets and aspire to own over three pair of shoes. Seriously, I want to watch it burn, burn, burn.

I know that my Emanations are become harlots.

I think I’m going to go take ten and paint with the kidlet or something.

Daily Batman: “Love — any love — reveals us in our nakedness” but we must resist the urge to translate that nakedness into nothingness

May 17, 2010


“One does not kill oneself for the love of a woman, but because love — any love — reveals us in our nakedness, in our misery, in our vulnerability, in our nothingness.”

(Caesare Pavese, one of the greatest Italian poets and literary minds of the 20th century, c. 1950, just before his death by suicide after his failed affair with American actress Constance Dowling.)

Love strips us painfully, pitifully bare, like some shorn sheep or a little boy who’s just got his first buzzcut: this awkward, naked truth is very accurate, but I’m actually so glad of the many types of love; Sgr. Pavese seems to find all of them disheartening, but, respectfully, I dissent. I have struggled a long time with the difficulty of confronting and revealing my feelings, but I now believe that it is possible to examine my own self and still manage not to fall in to complete despair. Without the love of my family and friends I could never have borne some of the hard hits my heart has taken, historically and up to the present. I wish with all my soul that Sgr. Pavese could have found that same solace, but I wish him all the best in the life he has now. RIP.

Valentine Vixen: Cheryl Kubert, Miss February 1958

February 5, 2010

Double dose today. Have to do two because I skipped writing Wednesday in order to have a blast substitute teaching at the parochial school connected to my church. Those kids were rad. Had me totally rethinking my positions on private schooling (reverse discrimination once again rears its prickly and tragically hip head and is once more promptly revealed to be as hollow as the prejudices it purports to despise).


Photographed by Mario Casilli.

First up is the lovely and talented Cheryl Kubert. In going through my files to prep this entry, I realized I’d already saved several pictures from this shoot here and there for the last year, so I’m pretty pumped to share.

It’s not a cute or even particularly “themed” shoot at all, but Ms. Kubert has an almost accusing serenity that makes what would be standard shots if it were any other model seem more arresting and beyond ordinary than their composition would dictate.

It’s the eye contact, I reckon. She has deep eyes. The downward cast of her chin, the unparted lip, the steady gaze; she seems so solemn. It makes the shoot feel heavy, but in a beautiful, ruminating, kind of sad way. She has this kind of practical but somewhat unhappy sincerity to her expression and posture, an unvarnished and troubled vulnerability. It’s moody.

The written copy that accompanied this pictorial is absolute drivel. I mean, just pure shit. Its more pun-ridden and meaningless even than the b.s. that they printed up for Marlene Callahan, and that is saying something, believe me.

The strangest part about the article is that, besides being empty apple fritters and pretty nonsense, the endless stream of non sequitirs about Scandinavian idioms seemingly have almost nothing to do with the pictures.

The write-up, titled “Playmate on Skis,” describes skiing in great detail and alludes to its history in Scandinavia, which is well and good, but in the pictures Ms. Kubert is mainly not around snow whatsoever; furthermore, the article lays no claim to her being of Scandinavian descent. Just a poor job all around. Banana boats and baloney sauce, Playboy, I’m sorry. Thankfully the pictures are unique, sensitive, and artistic.

Okay, I just spent fifteen minutes hard-searching and I found the above missing link. ONE SHOT of her with skis in addition to the centerfold (which is generally shot separate from the rest of the pictorial spread). Pfft. And if that is not a fake scene outside the window, I’ll eat my hat. Total cheezits (I’m trying to swear less this year and I’ve found that food items make handy and amusing euphemisms).


(The nude Jayne Mansfield spread will come up again in several days, actually. Really interesting story, but we’re focused on Ms. Kubert right now. Keep your shirt on.)

I can only conjecture that Cheryl Kubert was a stage name, because there is pretty much nothing known about her prior to her centerfold appearance or what she did following, other than that she had appeared in a bit part in the film Pal Joey in 1957.

According to the Playmate Book, Ms. Kubert died April 25, 1989 of apparent suicide. Because Playboy did not keep data sheets prior to September of 1959, it is not known how old she was at the time of her appearance in the magazine or her death. It makes those deep eyes seem much sadder to know that. R.I.P.





edit: I was sitting here trying to think where I had just seen the name “Kubert” recently, and finally remembered that yesterday’s Daily Batman of Catwoman and Batman throwing plates at each other in the Super Dictionary (Warner, 1978) featured art work by the cartoonist Joe Kubert. Found his official website and have fired off a quick email using his “contact” form, inquiring if he is related to Cheryl Kubert or has heard anything about her before. It’s a longshot, but I’ll let you know what comes of it.

NSFW November: Paige Young, Miss November 1968

November 18, 2009


Photographed by Peter Gowland

“Painting for a living is a struggle. I have to work at it, but at least my time is my own and I’m working for myself — not for some impersonal corporation.”


About the only trend that leaves her cold is pop [art]: “It’s real and it says something about today’s culture — but I wouldn’t waste my paint on it. I can do without the pop scene in general; it gives me a headache.”


No fan of the far-out fads and plastic pleasures that abound in California, Miss November prefers such traditional alfresco activities as invigorating romps along the shore and peaceful strolls through the woods.


“If people would just sit down and really talk to, instead of at, each other, I’m sure they’d be a lot happier” (“Like Young,” Playboy, November 1968).

Not your usual playmate — besides eloquently hating on corporations and discussing her love of Whitman and Thoreau, Ms. Young also stated in her data sheet that, though she was well-known among her friends for her gourmet cooking, her real ambition was to be a successful painter, and that she hoped to one day study in Paris.

From her data sheet:

MY FRIENDS KNOW:
I’m creative, intense, ambitious, perceptive, uninhibited and very natural.

MY WEAK SPOT:
My desire to be alone. It’s probably selfish.

Paige Young killed herself with an overdose of sleeping pills July 13, 1974. She was thirty years old.