By Marlena De Lacroix
A year ago, my husband Moose claimed he heard voices late at night in our Gramercy Park apartment. One night he woke me up and said, “Listen Marlena … listen to that voice.”
“Build it and they will they will come,” came a whispered male voice from the direction of the kitchen.
“Moose,” I said, “isn’t that Ray Liotta? Remember when he played the ghost of that old baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams? Didn’t he whisper
Happy anniversary, everyone. Because this site is not just my own. It also belongs to you, the many, many readers who have visited this past year.
‘Build it and they will come’ to baseball fan Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) to inspire him to construct a ball field in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa?”
“Actually,” said Moose, ever the stickler for accuracy, “Liotta said, ‘Build it and he will come,’ but never mind … there’s a message here for us.”
We sat transfixed. Moose, always the idea man in our family, finally said, “Marlena, he’s telling us … we should start your own website on the net … ‘Build it and the Thinking Fans will come …’”
“Moose, do you know I interviewed Ray Liotta when he played Joey on Another World? He was such a doll … Italian, just like me….”
“No, Marlena, listen to what the voice is saying. He’s giving us a message about today’s soap world. He’s saying it needs a place where intelligent fans — we could call them Thinking Fans — can go and read your columns and make comments of their own. It would be a place where they feel comfortable expressing their opinions, away from the herd instincts of other soap websites, and a place where they could take as much room as they want to share their views and feelings, and for you to write back to them.”
And that, darlings, thanks to both to Ray and to Moose, is how Marlena De Lacroix: Soap Criticism for the Thinking Fan was conceived. A year ago today, I posted my first column.
So happy anniversary, everyone. Because this site is not just my own. It also belongs to you, the many, many readers who have visited this past year. We are so fortunate to get so many of the same fans writing to us time and again. We’ve truly developed a community. As I read and edit your letters, I’ve come to know many of you as friends. It’s been an enriching experience for me, and it’s a comfort to know that intelligent thinking fans are still out there in the precarious world of soap opera.
Why? Certainly you’ve noticed that according to the ratings, soaps are a rapidly sinking ship. Those of us who have devoted major parts of our lives to watching soaps can hardly imagine a television world without them. So, TFs, what can we do to right the ship?
Express our opinions, of course! Try and support the soaps that still have integrity, intelligence and substance. Try and support the veteran actors and actresses who have given us so many years of their artistry. Stand up for good writing and producing! Remember, no matter how low the ratings, good soaps are still about the mysterious and deep interplay between the heart and the mind – or ought to be. If I wanted to experience a mindless thrill ride, I’d go to an amusement park!
You’d rather hear me carry on about Ray Liotta’s dimples, circa 1982, wouldn’t you?
Actually, what I’d like to emphasize here is the quality of the thinking that has gone into creating this website. I am thrilled to have two professionals working with me, writer Patrick Erwin and psychologist Damon L. Jacobs, a.k.a. the Soap Shrink. It’s been rewarding to watch both develop as writers, and to come to love them both as people. And speaking of, the previously unsung hero of this website is my husband, the former newspaperman and professor Moose. In addition to constantly coming up with ideas, he edits, proofreads and lays out every column. See his picture, done by our fabulous staff artist Ira Blutreich, whose work has made our site such a visual treat. Yes, Moose really looks like this!
So be grateful for husbands who hear voices of former soap stars in the night. And who support you lovingly in what you love to do best. Which to me has always been being a redhead named Marlena De Lacroix.