Sunday, March 03, 2013

Survivor?



Someone on my Joan Crawford message board recently posted the above 1988 clip from Christina Crawford, promoting her then-new book "Survivor." In the clip, Christina mentions not ever having a "roadmap for survival."

Um... Her own adoptive mother had QUITE the story--AND "roadmap"--of not just "survival" but also triumph over just about the worst circumstances imaginable: From extreme poverty, sexual abuse, etc., to the very pinnacle of her chosen profession (and then high-level maintenance once the peak of fame had passed). You'd think maybe Christina could have used her own mother's obvious experiences as a roadmap of sorts.

And how, compared to Joan's own story, is Christina actually a "survivor" of anything truly horrendous?

The older I get, the more I realize what ACTUAL hardships people of earlier
generations went through. My own father, for instance, born in 1940, grew up in
rural East Texas and had an outhouse for a bathroom. My German mother, born in
'41, had to hide in cellars while her block was bombed multiple times by the
Allies during WWII. (Her family lived in Wolfsburg, site of Hitler's new
"Volkswagen"--and suspected munitions--factory.)

Christina was born in '39, the same generation as my parents. I'm pretty sure
that while growing up in Joan Crawford's house in Brentwood, she had full indoor plumbing and that no bombs ever threatened her. I'm sorry she had to eat raw meat and I'm sorry she had to write multitudes of Christmas cards and I'm sorry she had to re-clean her private bathroom for no logical reason. But I don't consider her to be a "survivor" of anything other than psychological warfare with her mother. And psychological warfare with parents is a centuries-old story. Nothing special about Christina's story other than that her mother was famous and that, therefore, tabloids were willing to listen to Christina and publish the story simply for the scandal value.

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