Marilyn, Lana and the American Dream

“We don’t need nobody- cause we got each other…” – Lana Del Rey, November 2012

The latest issue of British music mag Clash takes the American Dream as its theme. Up-and-coming singer Allie X is pictured inside with a portrait of MM, while cover girl Lana Del Rey names Marilyn among her idols:

“I ask Lana about her choice of John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis as heavenly spirits in the Garden of Eden for her short film, Tropico. ‘I wrote a little monologue for everyone who came to the premiere of Tropico. When I was studying philosophy my teacher told me that it’s okay to feel like the people you’re closest to aren’t alive anymore. Sometimes that is the best company to keep. It’s about the people that pondered the same questions as you did, and had the same sort of life mentality as you. I was upset and inspired by that premise.

‘I knew then, really, that my closest friends would be people I have never really met before. I was different and I didn’t know many people who felt about mortality how I did. As a result, I do feel a personal connection with the icons: John Wayne, Elvis. I loved how nice Marilyn was, I related to her. Finding girls who were as loving and warm as her is hard.’

Like Lana, Marilyn Monroe wasn’t one without her detractors. ‘Success makes so many people hate you,’ she once said, ‘I wish it wasn’t that way.'”

And in a separate article headlined ‘What Drives the American Dream?‘, Joe Zadeh considers Marilyn as an American icon:

“Then there was Marilyn Monroe: widely associated with sexual appeal, femme fatale roles and the chauvinistic adoration of the troops, her foster-home-to-film-noir story inspired millions too, and a nude appearance in Playboy broke traditional conceptions of female behaviour for American society.

As the years rolled by, the wheels started to fall off the Dream’s systemic and idealistic prairie schooner. First, its leading lady died, analysed perfectly in the words of biographer Graham McCann: ‘The legend of Marilyn Monroe leads one into the bourgeois truisms of Western culture: that fame does not bring happiness; that sexuality is destructive; that Hollywood destroys its own children.'”

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