A Tale of Two Aries:
The Fictitious Legends behind the Lives of
Clyde Barrow & Roscoe Arbuckle
A date of birth shared by two famous personalities your author has previously written about and whose histories he has extensively researched. March 24th is the birthday of one Clyde Barrow, leader of a band of petty thugs known as the Barrow Gang who broke the law by stealing cars and robbing gas stations in the Dallas area in the early 1930’s. Barrow is best known for his partnership with his girlfriend, Bonnie Parker where together they achievede romanticized fame as the dastardly duo known as, “Bonnie & Clyde”.
March 24th is also the birthday of the first Funny Man of the Silver Screen who single handedly created the film genre of “slapstick comedy”. This one man’s pioneering work in early film would be emulated by the subsequent comic elite that followed in his funny footsteps with his name drawing homage from every well established comedian in the modern day, that being Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.
By virtue of entering this plane of existence on the 24th of March, both men were born beneath the first of the Fire Signs, Aries and their Arien proclivities are what drew both to the attention of the American public . The evolved action oriented physicality of Arbuckle’s comedy was the biggest selling point behind the fledgling movie business that was early Hollywood. So much so, anything remotely associated with the funny fat man brought audiences by the droves throughout this country’s newly built movie houses. Clyde Barrow, on the other hand, embodied the actions of the unevolved, overtly aggressive and physically combative Aries where over the course of just a few years, 13 people would die by his hand, 9 of them law enforcement officers.
Despite both Aries being born exactly 22 years apart from each other with Arbuckle entering this world back in 1887 and Barrow’s short lived existence beginning in 1909, the two men died within a year of each other with Arbuckle leaving this world on June 29th, 1933 and Barrow’s life being blown to bits in a hailstorm of bullets on May 23rd, 1934.
Both were born with birth placements that were nearly exact of each other along with birth environments that were practically identical right down to the same part of the globe with Clyde Barrow being born the 5th of 7 children to a poor farming family in rural Texas and Roscoe Arbuckle being the 6th of 9 children born to a poor farming family in nearby rural Kansas.
The periods of time the two men made their mark on the world are both known as “Era”s with Arbuckle being the foundational forerunner behind the “Silent Film Era” and Barrow’s roughly 4 year crime spree in the early 1930’s being categorized as the “Public Enemy Era”.
Fascinatingly both men are remembered in the 21st century not for the actual actions each took over the course of their lives, rather both are immortalized for the false personae fictitiously generated about them by the press which neither had any control over nor did their actual actions contribute to these creations of falsehood that eventually became the stuff of undisputed legend.
Both Aries are remembered for their larger than life legends made entirely of lies, but where the base and criminal behavior consistently displayed by Clyde Barrow was elevated to the status of mythic heroism, the noble actions and works of artistic merit achieved by Roscoe Arbuckle are forever tainted by the unjust filth of heretical hearsay and wild non-factual rumor.
Clyde Barrow’s fits of rage-filled violence are seen by many in the modern day as the actions taken by an all American rebel whom the public secretly rooted for, since most people resented the two things Barrow struck at the hardest during those Depression years – the police and the banks. Conversely because of the rampant corruption taking place in the American justice system and within the press throughout the 1920’s, Roscoe Arbuckle would be misperceived by the global public as being an all American monster who was the living embodiment of Hollywood hedonism. In reality the film star was scapegoated by society’s wealthiest elite and behaved like a lamb brought to slaughter due to being stupefied by the demonic accusations made against him that were further enflamed by the false testimonials given by “witnesses” who were either bribed or coerced by officers of the court.
Clyde Barrow’s popularity was resurrected in recent times when his all but forgotten name was put into the movie lights of a 1967 film title which starred a fellow self obsessed Aries actor portraying the petty thief as a Hollywoodized rebel with a few too many causes, each highlighting his heightened sense of self-centeredness. Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle single handedly put his name in the lights of early Hollywood’s fame and was popular the world over only to have his trailblazing work be black listed and removed from theaters around the world with the intent of his name becoming permanently forgotten along with projecting the negating impression that the funny man never even existed.
Both Aries were masters of spontaneity through their physical actions with Roscoe Arbuckle’s physical comedy being performed with the graceful movements of a skilled acrobat that no one could hope to mimic and Clyde Barrow developing a sinister reputation for being such an impulsively fast shooter, it was said no one could hope to survive if the first shot fired was his.
Despite the lingering lies which revolve around him to this day, Roscoe Arbuckle is still considered one of comedy’s all time greats among people in the know. Meanwhile the public’s renewed interest in Clyde Barrow has erroneously given him a persona of pseudo-patriotic power worthy of a comic book superhero. This is mainly perpetuated by his fans refusing to accept the grim truth that the man was, to be put bluntly, nothing more than a low life petty criminal.
Where Roscoe Arbuckle was the first man to earn a million dollars in the movie industry, Clyde Barrow’s dream was to be the first man to steal a million dollars by robbing high profile banks instead of the small scale theft he was familiar with, namely of swiping cash drawers from local gas stations.
Whereas the lives of both Clyde Barrow and his girlfriend Bonnie Parker were snuffed out in a fiery blaze of glory with their bodies being riddled with hundreds of firearmed bullets shot by law enforcement officers during a surprise ambush, Roscoe Arbuckle’s life ended silently in his sleep. Hundreds clamored to the funeral home where Clyde’s body was laid out trying to snatch his hair, clothes, and fingers as valued keep sakes whereas Roscoe’s death was announced as a side mention in the back sections of only a choice few newspapers, the same newspapers that made headlines of every untruthful rumor whispered behind the King of Comedy’s back.
One of your author’s deepest hopes is for the false legends that have surrounded the lives of these 2 Aries both born on the 24th of March to eventually be rectified by History so that one man’s name will return to the gutter from which it originally emerged from and the name of the other will be elevated to its rightful place of hallowed appreciation for his exemplary life of creative innovation.
*Brad Kronen’s book “Love in the Stars” published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc. is available for purchase at your local book seller or online at amazon.com at the link listed below.