An article in The Age a few weeks ago (Saturday, March 17, 2007) claimed that Robert Kennedy and the FBI were working together to conduce Marilyn Monroe’s ‘suicide’, while at the same time working to plot her murder. This article made me angry because I think it is total media-invented bullshit, and because the writer’s arguments gave Marilyn no credit and his readers little respect.
Firstly, the minutae of Philippe Mora’s report needs to be attacked. He writes, ‘The best history comes from primary documents of the time.’ Firstly, and most obviously, this claim completely ignores the importance of Monroe’s film appearances which document much of her construction and continuation of the Marilyn persona that destroyed her. Secondly, the FBI documents which vaguely reference the time surrounding her death were released twenty years after her death. The information in the files was so insignificant and mundane that I don’t believe it would have been documented unless for some purpose. Such as, it was concocted in order to discredit her intelligence, and try to dissociate her from the political scene? She may have had an affair with John, maybe even Robert, but in the end who really cares? One article quotes that she was ‘prescribed 30 (or 50, it’s hard to decipher on the document) Seconal tablets’, whereas another article, again by Mora and published on the same day in The Age, says that she was prescribed 60. What are we to think of this obvious misinformation? That the documents were incorrect, that the advocates for the case are uncertain and using constructed information to support their agenda? Yes.
I firmly believe that Marilyn had reasons to commit suicide. She had made herself into a characters, into a persona that entirely subsumed herself. In a nutshell, the effort of maintaining that persona was too much for her, and, I believe, sadly, nothing about her came to matter much except the attractive and sexual character that she gave the public and her fans in film, and in all of her public (publicised) appearances. For these reasons, there was no personal Marilyn Monroe; as she existed only in the realm of the public sphere then there was no reason for her to continue her life. She had created what was needed of her, and there was nothing left.