I was recently chatting with someone who jokingly asked me whether they actually displayed Rosebud at Hearst Castle and I spent a few minutes thinking about the last time I was there — many moons ago. [For those of you who don’t know what Rosebud is, feel free to go ahead and click on your Drudge Report bookmark right now.]
The last time I was at Hearst Castle they took you out to the back 40 (though, actually, they have a back 4000) and kicked the living shit out of you if you mentioned Rosebud. Or anything having to do with CITIZEN KANE. They absolutely have forgotten to have a sense of humor about that. Wandering the grounds, you realize that they’ve forgotten to have a sense of humor about ANYTHING. Everything is overdone. You know about nouveau riche, right? Well, this is nouveau abso-fucking-lutely-stinking riche. I think they laid our bear rugs with the bears still in them. Lots of paintings and cabinets and statues and art pieces that were purchased without much sense of a unifying style beyond “Hey wow. This shit looks expensive!! Let’s buy it and put it next to that other expensive shit!” Because, obviously, the idea is that simply having rich-looking stuff, is a style in and of itself. Forget rococo or Art Deco.
That having been said, it’s a rather awesome place to wander around, especially after having seen the aforementioned, unmentionable film, several times. There’s the Getty “Castle” Museum here in Los Angeles that, before being replaced by the Getty “Hugeness on the Hill” Museum, was open to the public as an art museum and was patterned after an Italian mansion. Too small (compared to ol’ Hearst’s abode) to get really absurdly gaudy, but it does remind me a bit of the place. And it certainly is a pretty place to wander through.
Hmmm, I seem to have drifted horribly off topic with no possibility of rescue from the “Topic Police.” Oh well, I never much liked the police anyway.