Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Palash Ghosh Hates Me

I recently received an email from one Palash Ghosh (sounds like an entree at an Indian restaurant) who took me to task for an article I wrote debunking the Rat Pack that was published online when George Clooney's remake of Ocean's Eleven came out. I was amused by Ghosh's message and replied. Here is his message with my response interpolated.

Palash Ghosh wrote:

> I read an article you wrote a few years ago in which
> you lambasted the Rat
> Pack an I must say you are an absolute idiot.

You read the article a few years ago and it took you
this long to reply? Maybe you read very slowly.

> Frank
> Sinatra and Dean Martin
> are two of the greatest American singers of the 20th
> Century. I will not
> even dignify any argument on that point.

I never commented on Sinatra's vocal abilities in the
article. And since you think their greatness is
self-evident, why are you arguing about it with me?
You only argue about something when there are arguable
differences of opinions, therefore you are actually
acknowledging that their greatness is not inarguable.
Logic, what an idea!

>Were Frank
> and Dino great actors?
> Of course not! They got into films as a lark, just
> to have fun. Was "Oceans
> 11" a great movie? Of course not!! It was a vanity
> project for Frank and his
> friends (but quite a lot of fun).

Gee! You actually agree with me on something. Doesn't
that make you a partial idiot?

> I agree with your assessment of Peter Lawford; but
> as you noted yourself,
> Frank got rid of him as soon as he was no longer
> useful to him.

My larger point about Lawford and Sinatra's
relationship wasn't merely pointing out Lawford's lack
of talent, but the way Sinatra exploited him. How can
you admire a group of people, Sinatra in particular,
who only befriended others when they were useful to
them and discarded them as soon as they lost their

I was trying to point out in my article that what was
most objectionable about Sinatra was his lack of
character and the way he treated (or mistreated)
others, and at least regarding Lawford, you agree with
me once again. Which means that if I'm an idiot, you
are becoming more idiotic all the time by agreeing
with me.

> The Rat Pack represented the end of old style
>Hollywood glamour, and I wish
> it would come back. Perhaps you prefer the drugged
> up hippies of the rock
> and roll generation?

That last sentence presents a false choice. Just
because I don't favor the Rat Pack doesn't mean I
favor anything else. It only means I don't like the
Rat Pack and what they represent.

The drugged up hippie thing, by the way, is an ancient
and obsolete cliche and Hollywood glamour was largely
a phony facade created by studio publicists, Hollywood
columnists and fan magazines. I'm interested in
authenticity, not illusions.

Peter L. Winkler


Blogger Tom Sutpen said...

I'm flabbergasted people still cling to the Rat Pack mythos.

Not that it wasn't a fascinating epoch, given the cross-currents of show business and power politics under the surface (Kennedy, Giancana, et al); I'm just amazed people find any residue of charm in those movies or that act they did; none of which did honor to the talents of any man involved (and I'm of a higher opinion than y'all on Sinatra and Martin's acting chops. Lawford was never less than perfectly benign, which does require a small measure of ability).

As for Sinatra's purported exploitation of Lawsford, I should probably read your article before I venture further on specifics, but in general I'd say that both made use of the other; perhaps not to the same degrees and certainly in ways that would seem odd to anyone reading this who would measure such things in the context of ordinary standards of friendship. Lawford got to look Cool, Sinatra got to hang with JFK; both got laid. That kind of dual-use palship was not unknown in Show Business or any other institution, then or know. These are fundamentally strategic alliances; no different from what nation-states enter into.

In other words, Lawford and Sinatra, Roosevelt and Stalin. All the same racket.

Excellent blog, by the way. With your permission I shall link it to mine own.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palash Hates Me! Well, good for you for standing up to Palash. He is, and I know this from other sites, a cyber-bully.

6:14 PM  
Blogger G said...

I knew Palash many years ago. We met when I worked in publishing. He often lives in another era and culture, vicariously. He tends to be very judgemental and accusatory. Prompted by the bottle. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
He is actually quite smart and he stricks a handsome pose himself.
I'm on the same page:
One's velvet vocal chords could get you a long way during the "old days of Hollywood"

5:07 PM  

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