Yes, yes, I did.
Did I instead spend a couple/few hours making this exchange of Picasso's flowers?
Yes, yes, I did.
Dawnebeth alerted me (here) that Starsky has a poster behind his bed of two hands exchanging this bouquet of flowers, by Picasso.
I've posted the screencap here.
Mortmere posted a screenshot of Starky's apartment that shows Starsky's wooden "etc." on the wall.
Does everyone already know that Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) has the same "etc." on her wall? She's another East Coast Jewish transplant (but, to Minneapolis) and Mary Richard is her downstairs neighbor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977). [picture via]
I wish we could see Mary & Rhoda interact with Starsky & Hutch.
I'm so happy that my fan-friend Mortmere is posting about Starsky & Hutch here on LJ!
She's here: http://mortmere.livejournal.com
Her icon reveals her orientation:
Mortmere and I first met on youTube via our Star Trek: TOS vids (the original Kirk/Spock) in …
*does the math*
wow, in 2009. [I stand corrected--it was 2008!]
We got talking on LJ--it's like time travel to read those old comments--then email, and we met in person to walk part of the Camino in Spain in 2011 (along with FreshCandy).
We've always stayed in touch on e-mail, but we went in different fandom directions--
and fandom itself got scattered to the winds...
Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, deviantArt, DW, etc. (I'm actually still on Blogger, where I wander the halls by myself. I actually rather like the quiet.)
Then, this year Mortmere introduced me to Inspector Lewis (or, rather, to Hathaway, the thinking-fan's slim jim!),
and I returned the favor by introducing her to Starky & Hutch.
We have achieved fandom cross-pollination!
She's been on Tumblr but I told her the Starsky & Hutch fandom is a little more connected on LJ, so here she is! It's like we're playing in the same sandbox again. I'm much more inspired to make fanworks if I'm playing with others.
My friend Mortmere [links to tumblr] [M's LJ here] and I have been wondering about (and researching) some of the stuff on the sets of Starsky & Hutch.
Like, what's this weird dog?
I rummaged around and discovered it’s a carnival prize, a bulldog made out of “chalkware”. They were usually handpainted (with water-soluble paint), so each one’s a little different.
Like this one:
From Collector’s Weekly:
“Made out of plaster of Paris, chalkware was used to create inexpensive versions of decorative objects such as animal figurines—so many small figurines were given away as prizes at carnivals, the pieces became known as “carnival chalk.”
“The heyday of the material was the early 19th to mid-20th centuries…”
So, OK, but what it is doing in-universe?
which are all muddled up on my new '70s bamboo bookshelf. >
Someone had put this out for free on the curb and I thought it looked . . .
1. lightweight enough to carry
3. like Starsky & Hutch
I've paid a lot of attention to Hutch's stuff.
Turns out, now it's Starsky's stuff I'm looking at.
Starsky: Swim Poster, Being Jewish, and the 1972 Olympics
(featuring Starsky's back)
I went looking to see if my bookshelf shows up
in Starsky and Hutch---(it truly is from the Seventies, and it would match Hutch's houseplants).
But, alas, S & H fandom does not have a huge database of images like Star Trek's Trekcore.com.
So I can't argue from its absence online, but I couldn't find a picture of such a bookshelf in S&H.
I did, however, see its matching bamboo "peacock chair" in Starsky's place--in a tiny image at Barbwire's "Da Little Tings".
(She calls it wicker, but it's bamboo.)
I remember this chair as the most uncomfortable chair ever.)
Oh--here's a larger shot of the chair, on Starsky's right, from the episode "Running" (1976).
Along the way I also came across this screencap of Starsky's apartment (below, from the episode "Foxy Lady", 1978).
As you can see, the person who took it was interested in Starsky's menorah. (I believe it's never stated Starsky's Jewish, though the actor, Paul Michael Glaser, is.)
I got curious about the poster above the menorah.
I tell ya, the Internet is so great, isn't it?
I just googled around:
"1970s swimmer poster" didn't bring it up;
but, guessing, I added "olympics", and there it was!
A swimming poster for the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games.
One of a series of posters thirty-five world artists created for the games, organized by the games' lead designer, Otl Aitchen.
This one is by artist R B Kitaj.
I thought Kitaj was British,
but no, he was an American Jew who lived in England, and, according to his NYT obituary,
"Later in his career, Mr. Kitaj (pronounced kit-EYE) celebrated Jewish culture and his Jewish identity in his art."
So, a poster by a Jewish artist, above a menorah. Could there be a connection?
Starsky's apartment seems like a random jumble of stuff, but in this case, there is a connection:
The 1972 Olympics were the ones where Palestinian gunmen killed eleven Israeli athletes.*
From "Olympic Posters" in The Telegraph:
1972 Munich, Germany
Designated the “Happy Olympics”, the 1972 Munich games were anything but. Conceived to promote a positive and peaceful image of modern Germany, these were the games when the Utopian Olympic ideal came most badly unstuck.
...these games were overshadowed by the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by members of the Palestinian Black September group. The games continued with flags at half-mast, with American swimmer Mark Spitz winning seven gold medals.
Also, Starsky likes swimmers, I presume, since he has a Speedo poster in his kitchen. Which one? Does anyone know?
I can't find it, so I added Mark Spitz in his Speedo.
I was eleven during the 1972 summer Olympics, and I remember the buzz about the men's Speedo tiny (for the time) swim briefs.
But I didn't remember that Mark Spitz is Jewish and during the 1972 Olympics:
"Mark Spitz, the American swimming star who had already completed his competitions, left Munich during the hostage crisis (it was feared that as a prominent Jew, Spitz might now be a kidnapping target)."
Yes, and so, my conclusion is:
I am not going to get much done today, after all, because I spent hours establishing that Starsky is a Jewish guy who likes swimmers and has some feelings about the 1972 Olympics...
Also, he has nice shoulders. But you knew that. Maybe he's a swimmer himself?
according to the Talmud, Jewish parents are supposed to teach their kids to swim.
From Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas, "Learning to Swim":
"The Talmud (Kiddushin 29a) enumerates three specific requirements for what parents must teach their children: the Torah, how to make a living, and how to swim.
The first two seem obvious, but how to swim?
Swimming, literally, is a life-or-death matter. The authors of the Talmud recognized that parents must teach their children how to survive — how to come out on the “swim” end of “sink or swim.”
Even if we live far from water, even if we think our children will never accidentally enter a pool area, even if we ourselves hate water, we must ensure that our children have the basic skills necessary to survive."
* Weird coincidence:
According to wikipedia, the night before the Palesitinian attack...
"Monday evening, 4 September , the Israeli athletes enjoyed a night out, watching a [live theater] performance of Fiddler on the Roof"
As I assume you know if you've read this far, the coincidence is that Paul Michael Glaser was in the movie version of Fiddler released the year before, in 1971.
"Starsky & Speedo" from OK-7's Tumblr post "Some Thoughts on Starsky's House"
I. Reading Lolita in Bay City
Marz and I clicked through another Starsky and Hutch scene in Hutch's Bay City [LA] bungalow. (Episode: "Kill Huggy Bear", 1975)
"What's that book on his table?" Marz said. "It's . . . I think it's Lolita!"
We googled Lolita covers, and there it was--the 50¢ Crest Giant edition, published in 1959, five years after the novel's first appearance; so Hutch's copy is sixteen years old. Maybe he bought it years ago and is only now reading it, or re-reading it?
[Onscreen, the "–lita" on the curled-up book cover is clearer than in this screencap.]
Why is Hutch reading Lolita?
No doubt he's professionally interested in sexuality that leaves "a sinuous trail of slime".*
I suspect Hutch is personally interested in sexual difference too--cf. his Toulouse-Lautrec painting of two women in bed. He looks like the clean-cut one, but it seems like he's repressing a lot. (Starsky seems more straightforward [not to say "straight"] to me.)
Hutch, I contend (in my view of him as NOT coming from an upper-middle class background), might also be making up for lost time by reading his way through the Modern Library's "100 Best Novels of the Twentieth Century" (from 1998, but he'd have had some such list).
Lolita is no. 4.
II. More '70s Poster Art
The poster on Hutch's wall above Lolita is never in focus, but I had a vague sense it was a bicycle poster.
I'd forgotten, but they were in vogue when I was a teenager.
[Being reminded is one of the pleasures of watching this show.]
Sure enough--I googled images of vintage bicycle posters, and it's a 1970s reprint of a poster from the late 1800s for Clement Cycles of Paris. Hutch seems to have a small thing for French fin de siècle art.
The Esty seller says:
"From A 1973 Collection Of Old Bike Posters.
The book was produced on the 100th anniversary of the invention of the bicycle.
It was also the 100th anniversary of color lithography which made mass produced color posters possible. "
* Re slime, from Lolita, II.3, by Vladimir Nabokov:
"We had been everywhere. We had really seen nothing. And I catch myself thinking today that our long journey had only defiled with a sinuous trail of slime the lovely, trustful, dreamy, enormous country that by then, in retrospect, was no more to us than a collection of dog-eared maps, ruined tour books, old tires, and her sobs in the night — every night, every night — the moment I feigned sleep."
But of course, S&H is set on Earth––the Earth of my teenage years, so I recognize some of the props.
Curious about how they'd dressed the set for Hutch's home, I slowed and rewatched a scene of it.
That fuzzy poster on the wall. [Recognize it?] Is that, could that be....
It's "In Bed" (1893)--one of a series of paintings Toulouse-Lautrec did of two women lovers who worked as prostitutes in Paris:
And in the shadowy room behind Hutch is what looks like a Toulouse-Lautrec poster. T-L created art to be posters, so it makes sense they were popular on 1970s walls, as were Alphonse Mucha's posters.
I wonder if college-age people still put them up?
"In Bed" is sort of an odd choice, but I imagine it's not meant to signify much--this was, after all, long before viewers could freeze-frame video-- except to reflect that Hutch went to college, an accomplishment he lords over Starsky in one scene. (Did he study art history?)
Some fans say Hutch is the son of a doctor or lawyer, but upper-middle class people don't brag about going to college. Of course you go to college.
Having just returned from Duluth, I suspect Hutch is a Hillsider--someone who grew up in the working-class hillside neighborhoods, the ones that take the brunt of Lake Superior winds, where you have to push the lawnmower up and down a slanted lawn.
Maybe Hutch could watch from his bedroom window ocean-going ships pass under the aerial lift bridge.
Painting above, "Over Duluth", by Brian Stewart
I learned the term "hillsider" from the title of the autobiography of current young mayor (40 when he took office), Don Ness:
Hillsider: Snapshots of a Curious Political Journey.
It's set-dressed with photos and art, like a really cool website.
The center quote of the "Craft Beer Capitol" spread reads:
Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ––Charles de Gaulle
Duluth reminds me of that other inland port city, Portland, OR, but seedier still, and with far less hipsters. Maybe like Portland was pre-1990s?
Ness is kind of a hipster--he could definitely be a character in Portlandia, like the former mayor of Portland, Sam Adams [real name] who appears on the show as an aide to the fictional mayor played by Kyle MacLachlan (from Twin Peaks):
*SET DRESSER, from Film Connection
"The set dresser on a movie is responsible for making the location of every scene look convincing. This may sound easy, but in the magical (i.e. fake) world of movies, this can mean turning a dilapidated warehouse into a swinging 1960s nightclub, or a sunny California bungalow into a "snow"-covered French cottage. One of the set dresser's primary responsibilities is to select the props that will decorate every scene. If it's a period film, it's especially important to be historically accurate, often down to the year that any given product came on the market. (Found a great vintage coffee pot that came out in 1965, but your movie takes place in 1964? Dump it–or face the online wrath of eagle-eyed movie-goers everywhere.)"