WEIRDLAND: Marilyn Monroe: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Marilyn Monroe: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Marilyn Monroe in the unfinished film "Something’s Got to Give" (1962) by George Cukor

Marilyn Monroe arriving to sing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy, 1962

"On April 10, 1962 - 17 days after her weekend tryst with President John F. Kennedy - Marilyn Monroe was due to have a meeting with Henry Weinstein, the screenwriter of her new film, Something's Got To Give. Alarmed, Weinstein called psychiatrist Dr Ralph Greenson, who had been treating Marilyn for what he believed was borderline paranoid schizophrenia, and the two rushed to her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles. There they found her in bed, in a drug-induced coma.

After Dr Greenson began to treat Marilyn more intensively, he told colleagues that she'd begun to exhibit growing signs of borderline paranoid schizophrenia, just like her mother. Greenson shared with them his concern about borderline paranoid schizophrenia in the case of Marilyn.

Marilyn Monroe and Eli Wallach during the filming of The Misfits (1960) directed by John Huston

The list of drugs she was using by 1961 was staggering. She was taking the antipsychotic Thorazine for the borderline paranoid schizophrenia diagnosed by Dr Greenson, as well as the narcotic painkiller Demerol and barbiturates Phenobarbital, HMC and Amytal, along with large quantities of Nembutal, to which she was addicted, to help her sleep.

Frank Sinatra, with whom Marilyn had an on-off affair, invited the British actor Peter Lawford and his wife Pat to his resort, the Cal-Neva Lodge, for the weekend of July 27, 1962 - less than two weeks before she died. Joe Langford, a Sinatra security employee at Cal-Neva, recalled: 'When Frank saw Marilyn, he was pretty shocked at how depressed she was. 'As soon as he got her settled in, he got on the phone with her psychiatrist [presumably Dr Greenson] and started in on the guy.

"No one will mess with her if she is Mrs. Frank Sinatra. No one would dare", said Frank Sinatra, who considered asking Marilyn Monroe to marry him weeks before she died "in an effort to save her from herself", according to "Sinatra: The Man Behind The Myth" by J. Randall Taraborrelli.

Ava Gardner with Frank Sinatra (they were married 1951-1957)

Frank Sinatra in his Beverly Hills office ("Hollywood Candid" by Murray Garrett)

"What the hell kind of treatment are you giving her? She's a mess. Why isn't she in a sanitarium?" 'He [Sinatra] couldn't believe how broken down she was'. Marilyn's 'vitamin shots' alarmed them all". -Extracted from "The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe" by J. Randy Taraborrelli (2009)

On Capitalism: "Capitalism is schizophrenic because it is interested in profit and it must subvert/deterritorialize all territorial groupings such as familial, religious, or other social bonds. At the same time it relies on the continuous appearance/mythification of social groupings in order to continue functioning smoothly and to re-enforce social ordering needs. Thus, capitalism attempts to re-constitute the need for traditional/nostalgic, or, even, newer forms of social groupings or religious/state institutions.

This deterritorialization/reterritorialization and decoding/recoding is happening at the same time—thus the schizophrenic nature of capitalism. Does this schizophrenia of "consume, be an individual, be unique, may the best man win, the cream rises to the top, the romantic creative individual, mindlessly pursue your desires", etc. cause some of us to break under the strain of an absurd society?" -"Anti-Oedipus" (1972): Capitalism and Schizophrenia by Deleuze and Guattari

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