Fame, the fleeting nature thereof

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ed
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Fame, the fleeting nature thereof

Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:03 am

For some odd reason, I feel in a discursive mood. This is the sort of mood that causes my kids to suddenly feel very VERY tired. But this is a topic that I wanted to bring up here for some time.

First: a pop quiz.

No cheating now!

Ready?

Who is Arthur Guy Empey?

Don't lie. You have no fuggin' idea, do you.

Sit back, I'm going to tell you a story.

When I was a kid we went out to Long Island on summer vacation. A treat were the book sales. Mom and I (I don't have vivid memories of Dad being there) would go off and find treasures. Well, I found a volume entitled "First Call: Guideposts to Berlin" by Arthur Guy Empey on one of those trips. I bought it for 10 cents and read it, with increasing horror ... disbelief .. enjoyment .. in short order.

I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say that Arthur Guy wrote a classic of Kraut Hating WWI propaganda. It was ... to use the vernacular of the time "swell".

He had turns of phrase like "... those baby killing gas bags they call Zeppelins". You get the idea.

"Juicy" I think Bertie Wooster would have called it.

Anyway, Arthur Guy was there in the back of my mind for ages and then Al Gore invented the Interwhoosie.

A boon for geeks-at-heart like moi. Nothing was too arcane for exploration ...

Now, I actually knew a bit. I had gone to the 42St Public Library to investigate Arthur Guy and there I found out a bit. First that he was dead by the time I dragged my sorry ass to check into things. He was born in 1888 and died in 1964. He wrote stuff and made a movie.

Well, that was not exactly a fair representation. As it turns out he wrote a number of screen plays, directed and starred in a couple of flicks, directed and wrote a few more. He wrote 4 or 5 books, the first two of which were super big sellers. He wrote songs. The first was (and do not laugh)

"Your Lips are No Man's Land But Mine"
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"Our Country's In It Now, We Have to Win It Now"

Heady stuff.

I started collecting Empeyania. I got all of his books, the sheet music for his songs, some PR stills from his movies, his business card. Tons of autographs.

My mountainous collection had one rule: nothing over $5. The whole thing (largest on the planet) cost <$75.

Arthur Guy was also a principle in the Hollywood Hussars, a paramilitary organization in Hollywood.

Come about 1925, his star set. That was it. No movies, no recording contracts, no more books.

He was a big guy, I like to think sorta comparable to a Truman Capote (not talent, awareness). From this to zero, virtually. It gets me thinking about fame and fleeting and stuff. Very sobering. "Deep waters" Bertie might observe.

In any event, I am trying to get hold of his daughter to just touch base. She was an actress of sorts. She was a model for Playboy and went by the names Diane Webber/Marguerite Empey. She taught Belly Dancing in California and I am trying to contact her thru the company she founded.

He went from owning the world to writing pulp stories. He had an honorary commission removed by presidential order(!). He wanted to invade Germany before WWII. I mean HE wanted to, with like his own army.

Calls out for a film.
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Bruce
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Post by Bruce » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:21 pm

:Yawn: :zzz:

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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:16 pm

Bruce wrote::Yawn: :zzz:
Really? That bad? Does that mean no scans of critical collection stuff?

Nothing?

really?
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Post by Doctor X » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:36 pm

He thought it was "Arthur Gay Empey."

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ed
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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:42 pm

I guess there is some consolation in the fact that if one bombs, one ought to bomb profoundly, as I think this thread will.

I really thought that some would be riveted by a serious discussion on this topic and, maybe, even oooooh and aaaaaaahh at my collection.

The hopes of youth, shattered like so many words in a bad song title.

<sigh>
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Post by sparks » Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:38 pm

Not to worry ed, people look at my threads and are so underwhelmed that they don't respond at all.

Then again, my threads contain no redeeming value whatever.

Connection? You be the judge.... :)
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Post by Nigel » Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:55 pm

At least this guy was a Was. Most people are Never-Will-Bes.
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Post by specious_reasons » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:28 pm

Any reasons behind why this guy's career crashed? I'm assuming it wasn't retirement. I doubt guys like this retire.

Political climate? He was a bit too racist for the times?
ta-
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ed
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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:44 pm

specious_reasons wrote:Any reasons behind why this guy's career crashed? I'm assuming it wasn't retirement. I doubt guys like this retire.

Political climate? He was a bit too racist for the times?
Dunno. He had these dreams of doing a trilogy, he hired an actress and gave her a contract. The first film was the only one that was made and she sued him. Very convoluted. And that weird thing of having his honorary commission rescinded ...

odd.


There's more there, I think.
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Post by Luke T. » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:02 pm

Which President revoked his honorary commission?

I would be interested in any scans you have of his stuff. I am the person you have been waiting for. :)
[size=75]"it seems you don't believe how your enviroment of smells affects for a young ones.how many young girl are are in just involved in porn industry just because of lack of natural smells" - pillory (7/13/02)[/size]

I [size=167]♣[/size]69dodge

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Post by Nyarlathotep » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:23 pm

Luke T. wrote:Which President revoked his honorary commission?
Wilson

And you can find scans of his stuff on Google Books. :D
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Luke T.
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Post by Luke T. » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:35 pm

Nyarlathotep wrote:
Luke T. wrote:Which President revoked his honorary commission?
Wilson
Scandal! He must have absconded with the soldiers' tobacco funds.

Or perhaps there is more to the story.
There were two possible reasons for his discharge, Empey said. First, when he joined the Canadian forces and swore allegiance to the King of Great Britain he automatically renounced his American citizenship, and he had not as yet be repatriated. This, however, is merely a technicality. Second, he is under weight, as regards American army standards.
None of this would explain it. His commission was honorary, not an actual posting.
[size=75]"it seems you don't believe how your enviroment of smells affects for a young ones.how many young girl are are in just involved in porn industry just because of lack of natural smells" - pillory (7/13/02)[/size]

I [size=167]♣[/size]69dodge

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Post by specious_reasons » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:38 pm

Luke T. wrote:I am the person you have been waiting for.
I'd have a more morbid interest in his downfall. I have to admit that the fact that the news of his decommission made it to the NYT, it must have been a big deal, and it piqued my interest.
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Post by Nyarlathotep » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:42 pm

Luke T. wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
Luke T. wrote:Which President revoked his honorary commission?
Wilson
Scandal! He must have absconded with the soldiers' tobacco funds.

Or perhaps there is more to the story.
There were two possible reasons for his discharge, Empey said. First, when he joined the Canadian forces and swore allegiance to the King of Great Britain he automatically renounced his American citizenship, and he had not as yet be repatriated. This, however, is merely a technicality. Second, he is under weight, as regards American army standards.
None of this would explain it. His commission was honorary, not an actual posting.
The citizenship thing would, I think. It might not look right to have a non-citizen as even an honorary officer.

The 'wanted to invade Germany with his own army' thing that Ed mentioned makes me think he was a bit...eccentric. Perhaps Wilson realized just how eccentric right after giving him the commission, and figured that the guys odd habits might reflect badly on the Army. I'm not stating that as anything more than a possiblity, mind you.
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Post by Luke T. » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:44 pm

[size=75]"it seems you don't believe how your enviroment of smells affects for a young ones.how many young girl are are in just involved in porn industry just because of lack of natural smells" - pillory (7/13/02)[/size]

I [size=167]♣[/size]69dodge

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ed
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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:19 pm

Luke T. wrote:Which President revoked his honorary commission?

I would be interested in any scans you have of his stuff. I am the person you have been waiting for. :)
Whoa!!!

You got it.
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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm

A sampling of his autographs ...

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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:58 pm

"Here's to you, Betty"

...

Nawwwww, couldn't be. :D
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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:11 pm

We come to his magnum opus ... Over the Top ...

Here is a newspaper ad ca. 1918

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Here is a shot of the Guy with his Mom and Sis. Sis evidentially played a nurse (haven't gotten around to fixing the IMDB yet).

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Here is a very rare still from the flick. Note the swords. Both are American civil war, unless I miss my guess. Also note Guy's table manners.

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Post by ed » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:25 pm

Guy looking pretty smug ...
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A pensive look ...

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These are both by the same photographer and taken at the same session. They increased the contrast in one so you can see that his suit is a pin stripe.

Guy liked to sign things, evidentially.
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