Remembering Fatty Arbuckle:
Looking back before Venturing forward towards a
Gender Balanced World
by Brad Kronen
Let’s face facts, it’s a Man’s world. Or at least that was the state of things until recently.
2017 was a year which seriously shook up the status quo of modern society. During that time the shadowy subject of sexual harassment was brought into public discussion to reveal the traumatizing truth of its presence being profoundly unjust to women along with its murky presence would no longer be tolerated or tacitly accepted in any capacity within the unfolding future.
With the formation of such groups as the “Me Too Movement”, the present day populace has been made painfully aware how pervasive sexual harassment is within every facet of modern life along with realizing this overturning of societal standards has woefully been long overdue.
As a karmic astrologer, I am fascinated by the force of dualism, or polar opposites. With that said, it would appear that whenever a new standard of societal change is embraced by we human folk, more often than not it is accompanied with a counterbalancing effect of juxtaposing actions until a sense of adjusted equilibrium can be reached.
Despite the Western world existing in a state of gender inequality for far too long, it must be mentioned the societal scales of the present day have begun to tip in a counterbalancing direction as evidenced by the overtly critical accusations incited by celebrities such as Rose McGowan and subsequently those levied against such popular personalities as comedian, Aziz Ansari.
The question to currently consider is as a society are we willing to allow people’s reputations to be openly humiliated and effectively destroyed as with Mr. Ansari or worse, tacitly observe as the repercussions from Ms. McGowan’s finger pointing has resulted in the loss of human life as with the recent suicide of the actress’ former manager, Jill Messick?
With the man of the Me Too’d hour, Harvey Weinstein having the hubris to believe his monstrous actions are above reproach by adamantly stating his innocence, the time has come for the modern day world to re-define a new standard which clearly states that not only is Mr. Weinstein’s self assessment unacceptable, but the man needs to be lawfully punished and his abusive wrongdoings must be brought to Justice.
Ironically during this present period of sexually harassed upheaval an event from the distant past is currently being referenced to further justify today’s need for societal change. An event which at its core was one of the best examples of “yellow journalism” that should serve as a sobering reminder for us in the present day to neither act nor judge before full contemplation is given if we wish to prevent the societal scales of gender equality from tipping into counterbalance.
An event that is as false as it is notorious, since erroneously it’s remembered as being Hollywood’s first sex scandal – the trial of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.
Early Hollywood’s Creme de la Crème
When thinking of Hollywood in its earliest days, most would assume its biggest stars were those whose good looks and attractive features drew the most crowds to the Nickelodeons, Vaudeville halls, and choice few but ever growing movie palaces, enabling the film business to eventually become the Titan of industry it is today.
Not so. What drove people to the movies in the earliest days of its inception was comedy. And not just any comedy. Movie goers came by the droves to see anything and everything which displayed the antics of a comedian whose stage name was Fatty Arbuckle.
The bigger than life obese man with the baby’s face who performed slapstick comedy with the agility of a seasoned acrobat was Hollywood’s biggest star throughout the 1910’s and by 1920 was Tinsel Town’s highest paid actor when Arbuckle signed a contract with Paramount Pictures for $1 million which equals to roughly $14 million today.
The comedian who could make audiences roar with laughter by doing something as menial as eating from a bowl of spaghetti seemingly had the Midas touch where anything involving the one and only Fatty Arbuckle drew box office gold.
But all of that came to an abrupt end at a chic hotel in San Francisco during the first week of September in 1921.
A Labor Day Party quite like no other
With the summer of 1921 drawing to a close, Roscoe Arbuckle found himself unable to find a moment’s peace. The actor who played Silent Film’s funny man, better known as “Fatty” Arbuckle was so busy with his filming schedule, he couldn’t foresee any free time being made available to him even during the upcoming Christmas season. Taking matters into his own hands, Arbuckle assigned himself 3 days off for the purpose of getting out of Los Angeles and driving up to San Francisco with two friends for Labor Day weekend.
Given the fact by 1914 Roscoe was earning $1,000 per day for his film work, let alone had signed the first of a 3 year consecutive contract with Paramount Studios (which equaled nearly $47 million in today’s terms), money was no object for Arbuckle who was footing the bill for 3 adjoining luxury suites at San Francisco’s swanky St. Francis Hotel for the duration of the extended holiday weekend.
It was well known throughout Hollywood that Roscoe Arbuckle had a reputation for being exceedingly generous to those whom he considered his friends.
Despite Prohibition being the law of the land at that time, alcohol freely flowed at the St. Francis whose clientele were some of the wealthiest one could ever hope to find. Beginning around 12 noon on Labor Day September 5th, those who knew about the party went to the hotel’s 12th floor to find the St. Francis’ best suites with wide open doors and all attendees openly getting intoxicated from within.
Although not officially invited, one of those attendees was an up and coming 26 year old actress named Virginia Rappe.
Rappe was accompanied by a friend named Bambina Maude Delmont. The two well dressed ladies casually sauntered into the party and before long, each was seen with an orange blossom cocktail in hand after realizing the fete was being fully equipped with an open bar.
Aside from the seemingly endless number of witness testimonials recounting what transpired on that long ago day nearly a century ago, the overall non-biased synopsis of events is as follows:
– Whether by his invitation as she claimed or by her need to find a free bathroom as he claimed, Roscoe Arbuckle came upon Virginia Rappe in the bathroom of his suite numbered 1219. The actor stated he stumbled upon her presence as she clung to the toilet whilst in the midst of profusely vomiting.
– Whether taken by force or willingly on her own accord, Arbuckle supposedly carried the ill starlet to his bed to allow her to rest.
– At approximately 330PM, Maude Delmont who was located in the party’s main suite numbered 1220 heard screaming coming from the adjoining room of Arbuckle’s suite 1219. She supposedly banged and kicked on the shared doorway which she claimed was locked from within.
– Roughly 15 minutes later, Roscoe Arbuckle unlocked the adjoining door followed by Delmont and others rushing in to find a fully clothed Rappe shrieking in pain on the bed, tearing at her clothes all the while repeatedly moaning the incriminating words “He did this to me.”
– Rappe proceeds to then yell how her body is burning with fever as she passes out on the floor next to the bed. Arbuckle fetches ice cubes which he proceeds to then rub on the girl’s hot-to-the-touch forehead and stomach. With no sign of the fever going down, he and a few others carry Rappe into the bathroom and lay her in the tub as buckets of ice are tossed upon the girl in an attempt to lower her body temperature.
– The hotel doctor is summoned and after examining Rappe administers a shot of morphine explaining that she was highly intoxicated but will now be sleeping off her drunken state aided by the shot he has just given her.
– Roscoe Arbuckle offers his bed for Rappe’s recovery and upon hearing the doctor’s diagnosis proceeds to leave the building.
Four days later during that shortened work week on Friday, September 9th, Roscoe Arbuckle would be arrested by the San Francisco Police and jailed without bail and Virginia Rappe would be dead.
With all of this taking place while the Sun was positioned in the detail driven sign that’s stimulated most by the concept of duality, Virgo, it should be no surprise that every detail which revolved around the sequence of events listed above stated by the prosecution were in diametrically dualistic opposition to those provided by the defense when what occurred during that Labor Day Party like no other was made a legal case and brought before a court of law.
In Part II of this series, the opposing details regarding the case that would eventually become known as “Hollywood’s First Sex Scandal” will be given further analysis followed by cross examination will be conducted using an investigative tool that’s altogether different yet justifiable from both a karmic and cosmic perspective – Astrology. For not only would many of the witnesses who provided testimony regarding that infamous Labor Day party prove to be suspect, so too would the case’s legal team for the prosecution show themselves as being equally worthy of suspicion as well.
*Brad Kronen has written a series of 12 astrological dating guides tailor made for each sign of the Zodiac entitled “Love in the Stars”. In honor of the sign Roscoe Arbuckle was born beneath, the Aries edition of “Love in the Stars”is listed below and can be purchased at amazon.com. Just click on the link below to see an entire listing of Brad’s published work: