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Dastardly, treasonous activities, oh yes.

At times you have to love the authorities. Not for doing authoritorial stuff, obviously, but for indulging in acts of splendid idiocy, apparently in the full belief that it's for the good of everyone. Last night, an old internet friend sent me a copy of a memo summarising Dean Martin's FBI file, and it's just fabulously, wonderfully pointless. For starters I love that they bothered to keep a file on him in the first place. In those days (the file seems to have been started in the fifties, and kept neatly up to date) the FBI was under the thumb of J. Edgar Hoover, a man who had a fetish for daft gossip, and a spectacular distrust of anybody remotely liberal. So being suspected of naughtiness by him is probably quite a good thing, actually. Another thing to love is that the summary was requested by the Deputy Assistant to the President in 1972, meaning that Richard Nixon, at some point during what can only be described as an interesting Presidency, thought he had the time to check up on what Dino was doing. Vietnam and Watergate not keeping you busy enough, Richie? Rather endearingly, the sort of dangerous, insidious thing they felt the need to keep note of is that he was a fund-raiser for the American Civil Liberties Union. Gasp! Really, you do have to wonder if the FBI doesn't perhaps have better things to do. And it actually uses the word "hoodlum"! Bless. I also love, amidst their hopeless attempts to censor out Jerry Lewis's name for whatever reason, the "information" that the pair of them were indulging in gay activities. They needed "an admitted homosexual" informant to pass on that rumour?! (Not just a homosexual, folks, but an admitted one). Dean and Jerry spent ten years snogging each other in public places, and a fair bit of time kissing on live TV. In front of fifty million viewers. And J. Edgar Hoover needed to commission a report to tell him that there were gay rumours?! Apparently the FBI spent 1946-1956 with its head in a bucket. It then goes on to talk at some length about an "extremely obscene phonograph record" that the two of them made together. This may be the best bit of the whole report, actually. There can't be many people left now who haven't heard that "extremely obscene phonograph record", as it's the most circulated bootleg recording ever, but it's far from obscene. And they didn't make it. But let's not let that get in the way of a good FBI report, oh no. For anybody who doesn't know the story, what happened is that Martin & Lewis were recording some radio trailers for their upcoming movie The Caddy (1953), and were clearly very bored, so they started goofing off. There's a fair few swear words in there, granted, but it's just two friends being silly. After a while they made another stab at doing it properly, but Dino, who could mangle the English language better than anyone, managed to turn "riotous comedy" into "righteous comedy". After that, any further ability to be sensible evaporated completely. It's just the two of them trying to make each other laugh, like kids in the playground. The idea that the FBI thought it might be seditious is a fabulous indicator of the stupidity of those who like to think that they're in charge. You've got to wonder who else the FBI has investigated over the years, and what other mind-boggling acts of probable treason they uncovered. And if they thought that Dino raising money for the ACLU was potentially dastardly, whatever did they make of Sammy Davis Jnr?!

Still, I suppose it's nice to know that today's insane levels of paranoia aren't entirely without precedent. For instance, fabulously pointless though it is, this attempt to conjure up controversy pales into insignificance in idiocy terms when compared with Senator McCarthy's enthusiasm over trying to prosecute Lucille Ball for her membership of the Communist Party - little caring, apparently, that she was registered as a member by her grandfather when she was three. Well, you have to be careful with these politically motivated toddlers. You never can tell what they're getting up to. Still, never mind, hey. It's not like any of these people were ever in a position of responsibility, influence or command. Ahem.

I'll end with Dean and Jerry being seditious - well, Jerry mostly, let's be honest. Quickly, Hoover, quickly! You may still catch them at it!


( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
May. 29th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
I've had this files for a while and i think even shared them on my blog and facebook page. But it's still hard for me to understand who would ever file a FBI file on Dean :s And all that crap at the end, about Dino being classified as "gay". I have nothing against gay people, i even support them! But this is pure crap!
May. 29th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
They were suspicious times, and Hoover was a nut. To be honest, though, with the way that Dean and Jerry used to carry on, rumours like that were inevitable. They'd be inevitable now, let alone in the nineteen forties! They clearly didn't give a damn. You shouldn't let it get to you either. :)
May. 30th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah true.
I'm italian, i get mad lol. No but true, with the way Jerry and Dino where kidding around, back in that time and now people always kind of try and spoil the magic they had. Mostly because they where and are jealous i guess...
( 3 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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