Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Matinée Idols and Nymphos

Rudolph Valentino

Appropriately, the term Matinée Idol can be traced back through the Romance Languages.

Matinée is from the French meaning “afternoon performance,” from matin (morning), and old French matines. A matineé is a daytime performance of a show that also comes on at night; the term originally carried with it the sense that the actors appearing in the earlier show were less good than those one could see in the evening. A Matinée Idol, then, had a cheapness about it, sort of like being a tabloid star.

Matines comes from the latin matutinas, referring to morning prayers, or merely “of the morning” which was derived from the old Roman Dawn goddess Matuta. She eventually morphed into Aurora, or the Greek goddess Eos.

Eos, that naughty girl, had an affair with Ares, the god of War, for which she was cursed with unsatisfiable sexual desire by Aphrodite, who was jealous. Them bitches were old school.

Thus we have a celestial nymphomaniac, a woman with uncontrollable sexual desire. Perhaps, when unable to sate herself during the day when all the men were at work in the city, she passed her time lusting after Matinée Idols down the flicks, sucking on ginger candy. 

 Candies and Bonbons and How to Make Them, Marion Harris Neil, 1913

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