WEIRDLAND: Sexual revolution, Jim Morrison's little girl

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sexual revolution, Jim Morrison's little girl

The first oral contraceptive, Enovid, was approved by the FDA in 1960. The Pill became the symbol of the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s. Access to new dating apps such as Grindr and Tinder have opened a new world of possibilities. Despite this, research suggests that we’re actually having less sex now than we have for decades. In March, American researchers Jean Twenge, Ryne Sherman and Brooke Wells published an article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showing that Americans were having sex on average nine fewer times per year in the early 2010s compared to the late 1990s – a 15% drop from 62 times a year to just 53. The researchers argued the drops may be due to increasing levels of unhappiness. Western societies in particular have seen a mental health epidemic in the past few decades, primarily depression and anxiety disorders. There is a strong correlation between depressive symptoms and reduction in sexual activity and desire. Bringing this evidence together Twenge, Sherman and Wells argue there is a causal link between drops in happiness and average drops in sexual activity. Research connects these mental health epidemics with the increasingly insecure nature of modern life, particularly for younger generations. It is this generation that has shown the highest drops in sexual activity, with research from Jean Twenge showing millennials are reporting having fewer sexual encounters than either Generation X or the baby boomers did at the same age. Job and housing insecurity, the fear of climate change, and the destruction of communal spaces and social life, have all been found to connect to mental health problems. A mixture of work, insecurity and technology is leading us all to feel slightly less aroused. Drops in sexual activity could be argued, therefore, to reflect the nature of modern life. This phenomenon is a mixture of insecurity and technology. Tackling the sexual decline will require dealing with the very causes of the mental health crisis facing Western worlds – a crisis that is underpinned by job and housing insecurity, fears of climate change, and the loss of communal and social spaces. Source:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy's 100th Anniversary is on May 29, 1917. The National Archives is set to release the last remaining top-secret files about JFK’s 1963 assassination. The trove of some 3,600 files, mostly from the FBI and CIA, were part of the collection assembled and sealed by the Archives, on the condition that they all be made public by October 2017. But there’s a catch: According to the same law, President Donald Trump has the ability to block the release of any or all of the documents—if he certifies that keeping them secret is a matter of national security. Philip Shenon, author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination,” wrote recently in Politico Magazine the Archives could begin the process of releasing the estimated 3,600 files still under seal within weeks. As most of the files come from the FBI and CIA, the hope is that some of them may shed light on whether those agencies missed evidence of a conspiracy involving Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Many people believed the government either didn’t know or was hiding the real truth behind the assassination, and conspiracy theories abounded (as evidenced by Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “JFK”).

—Steve Wheeler: Anyone who saw the Oliver Stone film would never think that Jim Morrison loved a group like the Beach Boys. He was such a dark, morose character in that film. What are your thoughts about the Stone movie? —Frank Lisciandro: I found it to be intolerable. Oliver Stone did not know, or maybe he did not want to know, who Jim Morrison was and he did not come close to capturing the essence of Jim. The film never presented the quiet, sensitive, extremely intelligent human being that Jim was off and on the stage. He wasn’t frantic and manic as he is portrayed in this Hollywood movie. Jim had a sensational sense of humor and that is what is entirely lacking in the Stone film. The guy was absolutely hilariously funny and he would make himself the butt of jokes. I never saw Jim lock someone in a closet and set the room on the fire. I couldn’t even imagine him doing anything remotely like that; this was absolutely not in his nature or personality. He was not a violent person. If Jim needed to get back at you, he would do it with words, and he could be devastating that way. Source:

Jim Morrison’s arrival in Los Angeles in January 1964 coincided with the birth of a generation whose tumultuous course was shaped profoundly by disaster. Only weeks prior to Morrison’s arrival, the dreams of Camelot were blown to hell when John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The bullets fired that day shattered not only flesh and bone, but the hopes of an entire nation for its future. Morrison once observed that human beings “have no real control over events or their own lives.” Jim Morrison’s arrival in Los Angeles that January also coincided with the arrival of the Whisky a Go-Go, the first club on the Sunset Strip to cater to the burgeoning youth culture. 

The New York Times called the club a “fad” and seemed shocked by the fact bare-midriffed, mini-skirted go-go girls were spinning records and dancing in glass cages. It was a new concept, and Mary Werbelow was one of those who was able to cash in on the craze. Jim had been anxious for Mary’s arrival, and had envisioned the two of them sharing an apartment, much as they had dreamed of back in Clearwater. Unfortunately, Mary now had plans of her own, not all of which included Jim. She wanted to live alone, she told Morrison. Moreover, she wanted to find an agent and seriously pursue a dancing career. Mary’s stubbornness angered and disappointed Jim. “He was crazy about her,” remembers Ray Manzarek, echoing Bryan Gates’ observations: “Mary was the love of Jim’s life.” Perhaps that had been true at one time. Recalls Manzarek, “Jim told her to stop dancing. He said, ‘Don’t do this. Stay in school, get your degree, finish up in art.’ And Mary said ‘No, I want to dance.’ Jim said, ‘Look, I’ll take care of us, this band is going all the way,’ but Mary said, ‘No I don’t like your band, I don’t think this band is going all the way.’

Jim drifted, spending a short time with a friend from UCLA, Dennis Jakob, living on the rooftop of the building in Venice where Dennis lived; today the building has been renamed “The Morrison.” Since graduation, Jim’s short hair had grown out until it curled around his face. Morrison had always been attractive. Now he was beautiful. There is little to say about Jim and Pamela in their early days together. Maybe if there had been more drama in the beginning then we’d know more about the relationship between Jim and his “little girl” during that relatively brief period of tranquilitybetween their first meeting in 1966 and The Doors’ first real taste of success. 

Pam Courson is almost a cipher in The Doors story, but Raeanne Bee and Alix Chavasse are trying to change that, as they’re writing a biography of Courson tentatively titled, “She Dances in a Ring of Fire: The Life and Death of an American Muse”, they hope to publish in the near future. Here is an excerpt from the introduction to their forthcoming book: One person more than any other, Pamela Courson, (Morrison’s common-law wife, friend, editor) withstood his fleeting and unpredictable darkness, and it has been thanks to her influence that the world is now able to recognize Jim as a brilliant poetic visionary. Their relationship was, by all counts, unconventional and strange. Jim took care of Pamela and found in her a kindred spirit and muse, while Pamela encouraged Jim’s creative gifts and tried to save him from the toxic rock scene that was swallowing him alive. They fought like hell, had affairs, and took turns tempting fate through their vices and whims, but in the end, they always returned home (wherever that was at any given time) to one another. Despite her personal demons, Pam’s loyalty and faith in his work remained constant until her premature death in 1974. Despite Morrison’s efforts to protect Pamela through his last will and testament, history has not been so giving, and she continues to this day to be a beautiful mystery, vilified and ultimately misunderstood. Source:

Oliver Stone simply tried to make Meg Ryan look as much like Pam Courson as possible physically (though one insider observed “It’s probably the only movie in history where the lead actors don’t even come close to being as beautiful as the people they’re portraying”), while the character’s words and actions seemed to bear little resemblance to anything Pamela might have said or done in real life. “That was just some other person, that’s all,” says Julia Negron of the character Meg Ryan plays in The Doors. When Cheri Siddons first saw the script of Oliver Stone, she told Stone that the Jim she knew—and she had known Jim quite well—was not incessantly dark and dangerous, but a loving, compassionate, funny man. Stone’s response to Cheri’s concerns was typical: “That Jim would make a boring movie,” he told her, “and I don’t want to make a boring movie.” In a 1994 interview, Robby Krieger said that Oliver Stone's film didn't give the viewer “any kind of understanding of what made Jim Morrison tick.” John Densmore said of Jim & Pam: “They were like Romeo and Juliet. They fought like hell, but they were meant to be together.” The Doors' manager Bill Siddons said: “Pamela was the only one. I knew there were other ones, but ultimately Pamela was always the only real one.” —"Angels Dance, Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison" (2010) by Patricia Butler

“Everything at the Castle was theater,” said Paul Rothchild. “Jim was a colossal madman pursued by his own demons. Jim took Nico up in a tower, both naked, and Jim, stoned out of his mind, walked along the edge of the parapet. Here’s this rock star at the peak of his career risking his life to prove to this girl that life is nothing. ‘This is theater, I’m doing this theater for you.’ He asked Nico to walk the same line and she backed down.” Alain Ronay (1967): "The scene was a crowded locker room at California State University at Long Beach. Jim had just been told that he was to go on stage in a few minutes and that Nico, the Warhol superstar, in a predatory mood, had just flown in from New York to confront his long-standing girlfriend, Pamela. As part of her offensive, Nico had dyed her trademark blonde hair a flaming red to match Pam's. Jim became visibly edgy at the news." 

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