Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

So you want to discuss silent drama, science fiction, horror, noir, mystery and other NON-COMEDY films? Look no further, this is the place.
Richard M Roberts
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Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Richard M Roberts » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:07 pm

I see the NNN’s are compiling a list of “silent film tragedies”, i.e people who died young or mysteriously during or soon after the Silent Era. As usual, the first one they list os Thomas H. Ince, of “probable murder”, even though that group of all people should know better than that.

And of course they miss a hell of a lot of people, including:

Larry Semon (1889-1928)
Sid Smith (1893-1928)
Roscoe Arbuckle (1889-1933)
F. Richard Jones (1893-1930)
Millard Webb (1893-1935)
Alan Crosland (1894-1936)
Bill Hauber (1891-1929)
Jimmie Adams (1888-1933)
Hughie Mack (1884-1927)
F. W Murnau (1888-1931)
Dee Lampton (1898-1919)
John Collins (1889-1918)
Ormer Locklear (1891-1920)
Sidney Drew (1862-1919)
Mrs Sidney Drew 1 (1874-1914)
Mrs Sidney Drew 2 (1890-1925)
George Loane Tucker (1872-1921)


And that’s just off the top of my head in a few minutes. Unfortunately, there was a lot of tragedy in Hollywood and the Film Business.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Mike O'Regan
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Mike O'Regan » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:46 pm

How about Karl Dane (1886 - 1934)?

Eric Cohen
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Eric Cohen » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:53 pm

Yes, there are too many to list. I posted one, director Lynn Reynolds-suicide, but there are still so many obvious ones left, like Billie Ritchie.
And how would you characterize "Smiling Bill" Parsons-actor, producer, director? Did he work himself to death? Was it stunt-related as implied in Photoplay's obit.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:08 pm

Eric Cohen wrote:Yes, there are too many to list. I posted one, director Lynn Reynolds-suicide, but there are still so many obvious ones left, like Billie Ritchie.
And how would you characterize "Smiling Bill" Parsons-actor, producer, director? Did he work himself to death? Was it stunt-related as implied in Photoplay's obit.



Who could truly find out today? But Parsons looked like a heart-attack in waiting. The sad truth is that, between the generally shorter mortality rate then, and the fact that Hollywood has never been that particularly nice of a place, longevity in life was not much longer than longevity in career. Those who survived it were tough indeed.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:03 pm

I see the NNN (Nameless Nitrateville Nincompoop) who started the whole silly thread on early deaths in Hollywood gets snarky when anyone tries to give him the facts. Sorry Frederica, but I understand that one too well from my days on Nitratevile.

See folks, whether you're doing a scholarly tome or just wanking around making up pointless lists, when you put it up on the Internet, some folk are gonna believe it as gospel, so it really doesn't hurt to actually get your facts straight, not consider corrections to be some form of abuse.

And I love the NNN's concept that these deaths would not happen today, as if the number of people dying on the planet has dropped significantly. Still 100% as far as I can tell.


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Joe Migliore
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Joe Migliore » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:46 am

Richard M Roberts wrote:
I see the NNN (Nameless Nitrateville Nincompoop) who started the whole silly thread on early deaths in Hollywood gets snarky when anyone tries to give him the facts. Sorry Frederica, but I understand that one too well from my days on Nitratevile.

See folks, whether you're doing a scholarly tome or just wanking around making up pointless lists, when you put it up on the Internet, some folk are gonna believe it as gospel, so it really doesn't hur tot actually get your facts straight, not consider corrections to be some form of abuse.

And I love the NNN's concept that these deaths would not happen today, as if the number of people dying on the planet has dropped significantly. Still 100% as far as I can tell.


Here is what sets The Silent Comedy Mafia apart from other sites: Facts are not a matter of consensus. Preferences are, of course, but nobody gets away with changing the truth because it makes a better story. Frederica clearly has a historian's eye, while the original poster has made it abundantly clear that all these facts are a buzz-kill. He even repeated the wheeze about Billie Ritchie dying from the ostrich attack...a couple of years later. (How long does he think it takes to die of internal hemorrhaging?) What surprises me is the indifference of the moderators; you'd think at some point one of them would mention that he may be barking up the wrong tree. If I began a thread on this site, in which I casually asserted that Wayland Trask died after being attacked by a platypus, how long would it take before you, or Paul, or any one of the administrators felt compelled to log on and nip this thing in the bud? [I even feel guilty typing that out, for fear of the one yo-yo who won't read past that sentence. If anyone is just visiting this site, the platypus thing is arrant nonsense.] I like that there is a place where every opinion is not equally valid.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:40 am

Joe Migliore wrote:Here is what sets The Silent Comedy Mafia apart from other sites: Facts are not a matter of consensus. Preferences are, of course, but nobody gets away with changing the truth because it makes a better story. Frederica clearly has a historian's eye, while the original poster has made it abundantly clear that all these facts are a buzz-kill. He even repeated the wheeze about Billie Ritchie dying from the ostrich attack...a couple of years later. (How long does he think it takes to die of internal hemorrhaging?) What surprises me is the indifference of the moderators; you'd think at some point one of them would mention that he may be barking up the wrong tree. If I began a thread on this site, in which I casually asserted that Wayland Trask died after being attacked by a platypus, how long would it take before you, or Paul, or any one of the administrators felt compelled to log on and nip this thing in the bud? [I even feel guilty typing that out, for fear of the one yo-yo who won't read past that sentence. If anyone is just visiting this site, the platypus thing is arrant nonsense.] I like that there is a place where every opinion is not equally valid.



Well, that has to do with that using your own name thing again.

Say, i love the current idiot who is arguing with you calling The Three Stooges "stars" because they "were never stars making cheap shorts". Yep, that's why they won the Exhibitors Laurel Awards from 1950-54 for top short subject moneymakers and that Columbia basically kept the Shorts Subject Department running through the 50's because of them. The snob factor is beat out by the cluelessness on how the Industry actually worked. In the word of Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"

One of my favorite NNN complaints against me was that some people were afraid to voice an opinion because I might be lurking and tell them they're wrong. Good. One hopes that something might have made one of those smucks think twice about posting some stupid opinion pulled out of their asses without doing a little fact checking first, but apparently facts and genuine film history are not the main goal of Nitratevile.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:52 am

Well, that thread over at Nitratevile has become one of the sites classic old wankfests, with hackles raised and hairs split into infinity, and Gebert and the thought police raising their usual ugly heads to kill the discussion as it becomes an interesting if somewhat monotonous argument about the weight of facts and “rumors” in historical data.

I do love the new NNN’s new spin on the “print the legend” concept, but I do have to question his concept of “rumor” in being a best-selling but completely made-up book being considered actual “rumor”. A book is nothing but one man’s fiction or pretended non-fiction, and the number of copies it sells makes it no more “legitimate” (going back to one of my favorite quotes about fifty-thousand people saying a stupid thing making it no-less a stupid thing), but also certainly does not make it “rumor” either, as the Dictionary’s definitions of “rumor” is "an unverified account or explanation of events circulating from person to person and pertaining to an object, event, or issue in public concern". No word-of-mouth occurred in this case, so this particular book cannot be considered “rumor” to begin with. In cases like this, I prefer the terminology “bullshit”.

Apparently, the NNN making the silly list also considers popular culture to be most important in giving weight to any information to be regarded as historically important, when the truth is that Popular Culture is one of the first things to be cast aside of it’s importance once it is no longer popular or current, and we see this in any areas where facts are of the upmost importance. Does this NNN still want to discuss the implantation of monkey glands as possible medical science? We know of a number of folk out there who would like to return us to the state of former popular cultures, like slavery, pre-Darwinism, Social Class Distinctions, white supremacy, torture and other fine popular concepts of the Middle Ages, so maybe this muddying of the lines between facts and “rumor” in today’s “post-modern” (another of those made-up Academic terms that makes my head shake. If you’re Modern, you are in the present, so how do you do History in the future, or is this like working on one of those history books it takes fifteen years to write so when it’s finally published it’s basically “post-modern”?) historical media is more popular than we think.

However, in the “Film History Community”, we hope to stick to a higher standard (as seldom as it actually seems to happen). We want just the facts maam, as so much of the actual Industry was originally designed to muddy those facts as much as possible. So no, there is no reason to continue to include a once-popular book whose “bullshit” has long been disproven in the current record. Original source and generally newer research has indeed way more import than any popular culture, even if it creates new “bullshit”, at least then we’ve already trimmed away a goodly amount of the old “bullshit” to make room for the new.

And since there already such a knee-deep layer of the stuff spread all around Nitratevile, who needs any extra?

And I love the NNN who decided to invoke my name in the discussion as the Riot Squad breaks things up by snidely saying:

“ If Mr R M Roberts was still around things would never have gotten out of hand.”

Oh really? Aren’t we being cute. Actually, that this kind of nonsense still breaks out with regularity over there at Nitratevile simply proves that things haven’t changed since my booting. It always took two to tango, I was usually merely commenting on some other NNN’s meltdown when they couldn’t handle that I had told them they were wrong or that PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC wasn’t the end all of Silent Film. The nameless ones continue their immature and humorless behaviour unabated. Much more fun to sit over here and make fun of them.


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Rob Farr
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Rob Farr » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:57 am

Actually, the NNN "Wisconsin Mark" eventually gives up his name:
Mark R. Harris
Profesor de humanidades
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Sinaloa
Blvd. Pedro Infante 3773
Culiacan, CP 80100, Sinaloa, Mexico

But if you were to make a list of grocers or accountants who met early ends in the 1910s and '20s, it would be similarly long. I chuckle at the naïveté of 21st Century dwellers who refer to the simpler, less stressful life of 100 years ago. I contend it was more stressful because there were so many more things that could kill you. Cars and planes were death traps and even trains and trolleys could end your life in grisly fashion. Food and alcohol poisoning were rampant and men generally drank to excess. Not to mention infections and VD. Childbirth could kill the mother or child or both. Oh, and war. Not my idea of a less stressful time.
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Richard M Roberts
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Re: Nitratevile Silliness: Silent Film Tragedies

Postby Richard M Roberts » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:24 am

[quote="Rob Farr"]Actually, the NNN "Wisconsin Mark" eventually gives up his name:
Mark R. Harris
Profesor de humanidades
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Sinaloa
Blvd. Pedro Infante 3773
Culiacan, CP 80100, Sinaloa, Mexico

[quote]


Yes, but he also calls himself "Wisconsin Mark", and claims to hail from Appleton, Wi on his Avatar.

So what do we believe, his "fact" or his "rumor"?

And does this supposed Mexican tInpot College even actually exist?


RICHARD M ROBERTS


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