Star-dust in Hollywood (1930)

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Chapter VI HOLLYWOOD—THE DIRECTOR /^7^ROM that moment we began to occupy a curious Jk j position in Hollywood. We were neither in it nor — outside, privileged lookers-on at a spectacle that admitted few disinterested spectators. There were the * peeps/ of course. These were visitors, hastily toured through the movie studios by our wary friends of the Publicity Department, groups of one or two, friends of magnates, supervisors, or directors; or there were the larger associa- tions, often distinguished by big buttons or by little banners in their buttonholes, which advertised to the curious that they were members of some collective and often rather aggressive social group. For America, in terror of indi- vidualism and of social solitude, rushes into the protection of collectivity; almost anything can be made an excuse for a club, the United Sunday-school Teachers of San Antonio County, or the Federated Company of Buttonhole-stampers, or the Association of Watch-wheel Tooth-cutters, Inc., not to mention power-wielding groups such as the Rotarians, Elks, Lions, and other zoological manifestations of the clotting impulse. Persons who desire to get on in the States are advised by the vocational bureaux to join at least five different kinds of clubs. The value of this gregariousness was shown vividly in a difference of manner. The favoured visitors who came introduced by high influence would creep in bashfully, as if loath to intrude; they tended to lurk in corners, to spy discreetly between the cameras and floor- lights ; but the members of an Associated Corporation knew only too well the weight of their presence : they stood there [IOI]