Hi there! I’m Marylin Franklin, and this is Hollywood History.
If you are just joining us for the first time, Welcome! Hollywood History is a semi-regular podcast talking about how the history of Hollywood and movies has made an impact on our culture as it is here in 2020.
This week we are discussing one of my absolute all-time favorite studios and films, Ace Studios, and specifically the cultural revolution that was “Meg”.
Have you ever had one thing that absolutely inspired you beyond all measure, but you didn’t want to talk about it until absolutely ready because you wanted to do it justice? This is that thing for me. I know that I’ve done 50 some-odd episodes thus far, but this topic is the one that got me started. Ace Studios and Meg inspired me to want to be an Actor. The progressive stance and image normalizing movies, starting from when Avis Amberg took over the studio following her late husband Ace Amberg’s passing, in my opinion, have been the single most influential force of the late 20th and early 21st century. I can’t even imagine what the United States would look like without the change they spearheaded. Let’s do a quick rundown of the important moments of American history that can be traced back to Ace.
In 1948, the civil unrest created by domestic terror groups as a sort of backlash to the film. This greatly influenced the 1948 presidential election. Who better to lead the charge of the country than one who just got back from World War II? Dwight D. Eisenhower won the Democratic party nomination beating out incumbent Harry S. Truman. The pictures and newsreels of Eisenhower touring Ace Studios led to a landslide victory against Gov. Dewey. Eisenhower’s presidency was fraught with issues, though. He was against the desegregation and civil rights movements of the 1950s. In 1956, Senator John F. Kennedy ran on the platform of bringing peace and progress to the country. JFK was inaugurated in 1957 and served two terms. Several assassination attempts were thwarted by authorities. These Authorities just having gone through a “house cleaning” of these domestic terror groups under Eisenhower, were primed to face these threats. This began a very insular time for the USA. During JFK’s two terms US troops were again deployed. This time to our own soil. As these domestic terror groups took up arms against a country that was becoming increasingly integrated.
In 1958 JFK signed the Civil Rights Act, and the Marriage rights Act. Both can be traced back to Ace Studios and the groundbreaking picture “Meg”. The normalization of humanity that was once seen as less than paved the way for the United States to be a leader in Social Justice. This work began with the 1947 release of “Meg”. These issues also caused unrest with the USSR, as they saw themselves as more traditionally ‘Christian’. In the 60’s we all know what happened with the war for nuclear proliferation. On November 22nd, 1963 John F. Kennedy signed the UN Disarmament Pact. This was almost overturned by the first and only term President Richard Nixon in 1965. Richard Nixon of course was impeached and indicted on abuse of power for colluding with the USSR to overturn the acts.
I know I covered a lot so far, but these were just the big events that I feel can best be traced back to the change this studio and movie had on our country. In 1968 Martin Luther King Jr was elected the first black president of the United States. As he said, he didn’t want to run, but it was about time the US practiced what it preached. MLK led the country during the ’70s and the strides toward integration were immense. His cabinet made up of the most outcast groups of America was the most diverse and inclusive of any before him and many since. Reshaping even the map of America giving statehood to Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Guam, and the Virgin Islands. He also helped to form the World Space Council which as we know is just finishing up the moon base Artemis this year. It was under his presidency that the two major parties of the 20th century were reformed.
In the 1980’s the Capitalist party, formerly the Republican party, elected Nancy Davis, a former actress, as the first woman president. Her time in office, while regressive overall to many of the strides made before her, still helped to advance the role of women in politics. Along with Vice President Phyllis Stewart brought forward a heavily condensed, but still effective Equal Rights Amendment which both power parties unanimously put into law. This allowed the wage gap to be erased as women no longer needed the permission of their husbands to earn an equal wage. Unfortunately, the economic policies of this period lead to a Neo-Liberal dream/ Human rights nightmare. Wages stagnated for 20 years. After Barbara Bush lost re-election to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the ’90s a reverse course was set.
In the year 2000, following the housing crisis of the 1990s, the Progressive Party (formerly the Democratic Party) elected a new direction for the country rather than a presidential candidate. This direction was to join the United World Council. Many countries had joined during the late ’90s and the US was one of the last holdouts. By popular vote, joining the United World Council won by a 2/3rds majority. The four year transition period was celebrated as a time of world peace. Which doesn’t say much as there was still much conflict especially among the opposing nations. The last holdouts, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, and Jordan were eventually won over in the mid-2010s. At the time of recording the episode, there has been world peace for 5 years.
Human rights while still maintaining cultural traditions was a hefty task. Allowing cultural groups to elect their own representation and defend their traditions within their regions was a stroke of genius. The idea came from a much later Ace Pictures production during the ’80s called Star Trek, which was based on the popular television series by Gene Roddenberry. While not as popular as the Science Fiction Juggernaut that was Star Wars, it presented an idea of a united human race. A human race that would meet challenges together bringing our own unique diversities into situations.
Which I think brings me to a good place to stop and take a break before we talk about how Ace and “Meg” helped to shape our culture.
Death Is Cheap
Dearest Friends and Family,
If you are reading this it must mean that I was murdered!!! Just kidding. I always wanted to write that. I really would have liked to see the reactions to that. I mean really who would want to kill a morbid dude with terminal cancer? A little bit of patience would cure any beef a person may have with me.
I’m well aware that many of you will not appreciate my gallows humor. To you, I’m gravely sorry. The regret is killing me.
I’ve heard the idiom “Life is cheap” used to talk about how not many care that there are so great a number of us who are dying either from disease, war, or general neglect. Although the irony is not lost on me, I’d argue that it gives the wrong impression. I’d argue that dear loved ones, death is the cheap thing.
I do not say this as a purely fiscal idea. As someone who has seen the very real cost of living in the US. I mean it much in the way that Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption meant, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Life is so very short, and death comes for all of us. Life is rough, nobody gets out of it alive. Death is not something to be feared, as it will happen. Death is inevitable. And as Gandalf has said in regards to seeing such struggle in one’s lifetime, “so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
This is to say, don’t worry about death. It’s going to happen. It sucks to leave you all, but I’ve made peace with my time. What I want for you is the same. Make peace with your time. Don’t be afraid of poverty, death, or rejection. Do the thing! Live your best life! Don’t be afraid to be yourself, because as I said death is cheap and easy. Seriously, we already went out once, though it was a one night stand, nope. Though, he did wait the required three days before texting me. It was kind of weird that he did it through my oncologist, but you know… whatever.
I say this because it is the one thing I wish I learned before that fateful date. Looking back I wish I didn’t let fear control me. I wish I asked that guy out in college, I wish I asked that girl out, I wish I came out as bi sooner, I wish I applied for that job, I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish. Regrets make life way too complicated and expensive to live. I’m not going to out your secrets here dear readers, but it’s not something you should live with. Allow yourself the peace of freedom. Decide to use your time greatly. Just don’t hurt people. You can be yourself, and not be a dick. That is possible.
I really hope that you all would value each other, especially for the true self that each of you is. The one you keep hidden but are so free to be with your friends. One of the greatest freedoms in my life was coming to the understanding that I could be exactly who I was. That the only people who were “hurt” by me being me were those who didn’t deserve me in their lives. It’s cool though there weren’t many of them, and as I said before, their beef with me will soon be cured or has been. You know because you’re reading this, and I’m dead now.
I was so afraid to share myself with people. I hid behind so many different things. After my first date with death, I realized how silly it was to hide. He would get all of me and I didn’t even have to buy him dinner. The second date is going to ensure that nobody else gets to have any part of me shallow or not, ever again. So friends, and loved ones, don’t wait until your first date with death. Not many people get a second chance at life or second date with death. I guess I’m just lucky. Or handsome, Yeah, let’s go with that one. Definitely, drop-dead gorgeous!
Well, If I continue talking you will probably be joining me by the time I’m finished. So I best just say get busy living, because your time is now. Your time is short. Make it the best time.
Space and Time: Letter 3
First, I want to apologize for not being able to see you at the past two weekends. I’ve been under an observation spell. That’s also why I haven’t been able to respond to you. I’m so very sorry. Now, I want to thank you so much for that tablet you gave me. I read the first book but was unable to finish the second. My little sister kept threatening to tell our parents that I had illegal tech unless I let her play around with it. She kept pestering me until I gave in. When I gave it to her, she broke it. I got angry and hit her. She immediately ran and told our mother.
I’m in so much trouble. I haven’t told where I got the tablet. I figured only one of us should get in trouble for meeting up. I was just able to find a weakness in the observation spell to get a letter out to you so that you know what’s going on. The Orenda council has met several times to discuss me and my punishment. I’m not able to do much during this time.
Please don’t do anything! I’ll be fine, I don’t know that I’d be able to protect you from the council or even your own people. Horacio, I really don’t know what I’d do if something were to happen to you. If you couldn’t tell, I mean you are a bit dense, I really like you. It may even be that other “L” word but I don’t know what that is like, so it’s hard for me to say. I can’t stop thinking about holding your hand the last time we met together at the market. You were so cute. I seriously don’t believe that you’ve never had a girlfriend before. But whatever, if that’s the story you want to go with.
I’m so angry with Caylee. I was actually just starting to figure out some of the programs and how to make my spellcasting so much easier and quicker. There was a moment too where I used that coding app you taught me to use. I’m almost sure I got the portal spell transcribed, but without gestures, I’m unsure that we’d be able to use the code to do anything but repeat the spell wording. I was just about to figure something out right when I gave in to her. Ugh! If it weren’t for her we could have discovered something revolutionary!
Do you believe in ghosts? I don’t mean the poltergeists that wander the campus here. I’m talking actual human spirits? I could have sworn I saw one, or something, reaching out to me when I was testing my code. It’s the reason I was so spooked and willing to give the tablet over at that time. It spoke. It said “I need to go… I have to go.” It was probably the most terrifying moment of my life, well until Caylee ratted on me. She’s such a witch! Oh… don’t use that word. We don’t like it. We’re spellcasters or magic users.
I don’t even know what the Irfan like to be called. Technocrats? Keepers? I heard you call your friend a keeper once, but I wasn’t sure if that was only used to refer to a certain group of your people or all. It’s probably not at all important now. I’m probably never going to get to see you again If I ever get to leave the campus again. I mean I don’t know that They’ll find out the extent of what we’ve done together or what I’ve done with the tablet. Regardless, I’ve heard horror stories of what they do to those who are found with illegal tech. Most of those were off-campus, so, me bringing it here…
I know it’s not a sentence of being banished from this world. It takes too much power to keep things from one world in other worlds. At least I learned something in that class. At least no spellcaster in recorded history has been able to achieve more than a few hours in another world, and when they returned they were comatose for months. There could be a scientific reason for that, but you’d know better than I would. The worst that would happen is being put into the dungeons or a magic stasis. There’s a rumor of a spellcaster being in stasis for more than 1000 years, but I think that’s just rumors.
My dear Horacio, I’m going to miss you. I think there was so much we could have figured out together. There’s so much that I wanted to do with you. I really wish we had more time together. I really…
…CAYLEE!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!? OH NO, YOU DON’T….
Thank you for listening to The Lost Letters. We hope you have enjoyed our presentation. If you enjoyed the show please review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. If you would like to join the conversation you may do so on Facebook, Instagram, and our website www.PatronSaintsOfPopCulture.org. You can also e-mail us at PatronSaintsOfPopCulture@gmail.com. Don’t forget, communication is key!