Monday, January 8, 2018
By George, by jing, by God-almighty, I found these Blingees in a George Gershwin file and decided they were too hokily cute not to post.
I went through a Gershwin phase two or three years ago, and I can't say it's over, since it changed me. In most of them, you see The Great Man, the Gershwin who struck a pose, whether he was (supposedly) at the piano or (supposedly) talking to his girl friend. And even: See George. See George at the beach. These are ALL posed, the products of publicity, and the early ones bespeak an androgyny that I never knew existed.
Some say Gershwin was gay, others don't care (me!), others see his flexibility in who he wanted to spend time with. Kay Swift, a brilliant composer on her own, was one of his longest and closest relationships, and he dedicated the musical Oh, Kay! to her. In fact, I've always seen that title not as whimsy but as a cry from the heart.
Gershwin eventually ended up sad and frustrated by the public's unwillingness to embrace his full genius (the lamentably misunderstood Porgy and Bess). They seemed to want to push him back to Tin Pan Alley. They were simply more comfortable with the old George. He served their needs, while his true genius seethed inside him.
Meantime, a horrendous, horrible thing was slowly growing in his head: a monstrous tumour which eventually claimed him, while his doctors insisted his escalating agony and shocking disability was "psychological". So psychological that when he was in the bathroom, he fell down dead, or so close to it that helping him was impossible. I see him leaving his body, hovering around the ceiling somewhere, looking down while the impotent, idiot doctors cracked his skull open like a walnut, finding a grapefruit-sized tumour that had probably been growing there for years. A sad end for a man still in his 30s, the Mozart of his time. We still have the music, but as prodigious as his output was, it was only a tiny fragment of what he kept in his idea file, his treasure box. A box that, tragically, would not be opened until it was too late.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered I could make compilations of my Blingee pictures. For some reason, old black and white photos bling up particularly well, with the blingee part providing a colorful animated background. Photos of Victorian women are an ideal subject for this, as no effort is made to make them look "natural". In all of them, women strike a pose and hold it. I think this was a holdover from the days when photography demanded a full minute or two of complete stillness (with those awful contraptions holding the body and head rigidly in place).
Even when the technology improved, somehow the same rules applied. These are portraits, not photos, insects trapped in amber, or - in this case - Blingee! I'm sad to say this program no longer works, or is so crappy that I've had to replace it with an inferior one called PicMix. PicMix has literally thousands of stamps and backgrounds, but it's all in French, so finding what you want is nearly impossible. It's not true that a wider selection increases your options. It's the opposite. What you want is buried in so much useless crap that finding good stuff is nearly impossible. Thus,YouTube, and the internet in general. It has been flooded with dreck, so I'm finding searches are ever longer and more frustrating. But here are my efforts from the Golden Age of Blingee.