Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Niagara, machines

Marilyn in my hometown, Bernard of Hollywood at the Warhol Museum
Pittsburgh, PA 

“An actress is not a machine.
But they treat her like a machine.
A money machine.”
-Marilyn Monroe

“I make work this way
because I want to be a machine.”
-Andy Warhol

I grew up in Niagara Falls where Marilyn filmed one of her first, if not her first leading role.

Niagara powered machines.
Cyanamid. The GM plant.
The water was full of dioxin.
Love Canal was next door.

Machines were jobs for most. Money.
It’s where people went.

It was blue collar like Pittsburgh was.
Who could a slight, aspirational, fey boy be here?

He could be the camera.

Many at the #BeingHuman conference at Bard I spoke at a month ago were aghast and serious when someone shared this quote of Andy’s.

How horrific to want to be the machine. To turn others into one.

Marilyn did it and struggles to find self. Andy seemed to pine to lose his.

It doesn’t seem horrific to me at all.
It makes sense in his life. In him.
He aimed to have no emotional at all.

“Film is the best medium because it has two-dimensional images. Two dimensional emotion.” – Andy Warhol

How else to be him, be noticed, be with everyone. Avoid the pain that must have been too enormous to feel.
That’s my guess.

How else for her to be seen, desired? Never alone.

Each was not alone if they could help it.

I wrote my first school report on Marilyn in grade 5. I held the book with these photos, some naked, on my lap.

People came by.

How else to be noticed? Be with everyone?