The belle of the ball. Miss Congeniality. The It-Girl. These I have never been. Draw your own conclusions.
And watch a few more movies.
From that list, the It-Girl may have avoided your Siskel-and-Ebert collection. On this blog, we’re nothing if not a ready to expand you into the world of 1927 silent films.
The concept of an “it-factor” – the stuff of girls and politicians and Tom Brady – developed into popular English around the start of the 20th century. When applied to people, “it” served as something of a synonym for the French of je ne sais quoi, that which can’t properly be expressed. That the English gets to the same concept in two letters as compared to four words? There have been a few movies—and wars—about that one, too.
In 1927, our je ne sais quoi equivalent also made it down the red carpet. That year the movie simply entitled “It” starred Clara Bow and her constantly working light designer. “It” had everything to do with that indefinable factor—and amazingly nothing (as I would’ve assumed) with a monster or lab creation. “It” made Clara the first It-Girl.
And if you enjoy spunky, 70-minute silent films – and have no concerns about your YouTube algorithm — get your it-factor lesson here and now.
The plot, you ask? Let’s just say it’s more a feeling than a construction, involving the owner of the “world’s largest store” falling for the one shopgirl constantly bathed in cinematic light. There’s a boat accident, a reunion atop an anchor, and a passionate, credit-rolling kiss. The end. What can I say? The film just has “it.”
As foreign as the images revealed from those dusty reels (I’d like to see her hair hold up in some humidity!), this week has brought something more foreign still. The screenwriters have cast the Pelicans as this moment’s It-Girl. As Clara Bow would say: “_________!”
Silent film and All-NBA star-watchers – we’re all speechless.
If you haven’t heard, the NBA’s most want-away star of the season, Kevin Durant, is again looking for a new home. He’s not a debutante to this competition, nor should he need a social introduction. But, if he’s never graced your social pages or feeds, allow me to present the calling card.
Durant is a velociraptor-turned-ball player – there’s no dignified way to say it, milady. He doesn’t so much jump to shoot; he flies above the earth-bound. He doesn’t reach with outstretched hand to dunk; he thrusts oversized talons at the rim. He doesn’t establish a singular nest; he raises the fortunes of every brood he summers near – now three teams and two championships and counting.
Actually, I did no velociraptor habitat research (did they even nest?). I’m more of a Velocipastor guy myself. Kevin Durant is just exceedingly good at basketball, a lab-created bucket-getter who just averaged 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists three years after an Achilles reconstruction.
And he might be considering little ol’ us? I suddenly have a fit of the vapors!
Technically, Durant hasn’t made public the NOLA love note pinned to his heart. His list, per sources close to his wingspan, is as long as my careers: two. Phoenix and Miami might get specific mention, but like many a dalliance, neither makes sense. Just think about life in the morning, Kev—or at least when those pick swaps kick in.
The experts, however, name the New Orleans Pelicans as among the best arranged marriages. For a week, at least, the Pelicans have become the It-Girl of the off-season.
Clara’s shopgirl rebirth as gazillionaire makes more sense. Cue Ms. Gayle and Mr. Durant with an anchor-side smooch on the Lady Gayle Marie.
Remember, the Pelicans are only here because some millionaire’s sexual assault trial resulted in a personal acquittal but a franchise denial of stadium funds. (Thanks, Mr. Shinn?)
Remember, the Pelicans were so unsightly only the NBA would agree to buy them – selling off their pointgawd Chris Paul shortly thereafter. (Thanks, Mr. Stern?)
Remember, the Pelicans are so rudderless/injury-plagued/small-market/Saints-driven that they’ll be the first franchise on every aggregate’s list to move. (Thanks, Mr. Perk and all yall?)
And, yet, here we are. All the experts have gotten in line, slicked back their hair, and requested the Pels’ hand. (Ummm…Thanks for this, too, Mr. Perk? You some confusing!)
It’s amazing what a fun team, a playoff season, and 13 draft picks can do!
The Pelicans, improbably, are the It-Girl of the season – which makes me root for one Kevin Durant conclusion: that he can delay his choice a bit longer.
Let’s enjoy our time bathed in the spotlight. As the It-Girl.
Ok, if Durant has to choose soon, how’s this for a sign: Clara Bow’s only surviving in-color movie? Her co-star is a pelican. It-Girls, unite!