Last year I explained to you how and why
Sheryl Sandberg -> VIR Oak Tree -> dead people in plane
Now I’ll explain to you why Hollywood is totally okay with child rape.
It would help, of course, if you read the previous article. The advertisers here would appreciate it. (Or they will, once I get some.) But if you don’t feel like doing so, I’ll explain the gist of it in a paragraph that can be easily skipped by anyone who did bother to read the other article. And here we go:
In his book Godel, Escher, Bach Douglas Hofstadter discusses the differing values we each assign to the “souls” of other people. How much they are worth to us. Most people feel that the soul of their favorite celebrity or musician or scientist or combination thereof is “worth” more than, say, that of a random child in Africa. Given the choice between having to kill their favorite author right before he or she finishes a new book or, perhaps, a busload of “insurgents”, most people will choose the latter. It’s commonly believed that the souls of people who create or perform an at unusually high level is somehow more worthwhile than the souls of regular people.
Okay, we’re all back together! One of this week’s biggest pop culture discussion concerns an open letter from Dylan Farrow to the Hollywood establishment. Woody Allen, the subject of Miss Farrow’s allegations, chose to respond with an op-ed that seemed just as devoted to trashing Mia Farrow as a dirty, cuckolding, insane whore as it did to clearing his name. Dylan Farrow then responded to the response.
It would take more investigative ability than this writer possesses to determine the truth of the allegations. Insofar as Miss Farrow and Mr. Allen actively disagree on specific matters of fact related to the investigation, it seems frighteningly unlikely that the full truth regarding the issue will ever be known. This much is certain: a daughter and father are permanently estranged, beyond reconciliation, whether because of childhood abuse or “coaching”.
More interesting, and more relevant, are the reactions of various celebrities to Miss Farrow’s open letter. Cate Blanchett opined that “It’s been a long and painful situation for the family, and I hope they find some resolution and peace.” Well, that’s really saying something.
No, wait, that’s really saying nothing. Alec Baldwin’s response was more honest:
“What the f&@% is wrong w u that u think we all need to b commenting on this family’s personal struggle?”
Well, perhaps people think you should comment on it because you are directly profiting from being associated with the man named as the abuser, Mr. Baldwin — but given that you are on record as acting in an abusive and hateful manner towards your own daughter, perhaps you just aren’t that bothered by the allegations.
Note, however, the first half of Blanchett’s non-answer to Miss Farrow: “It’s been a long and painful situation for the family.” The allegations are nothing new. The drama, the recrimination, the hazy nature of the guilt, are nothing new. For as long as many of my readers have been alive. Woody Allen has been accused of sexually molesting his daughter. He was also involved with various other young women in various other borderline-inappropriate ways. But Hollywood has never taken a single step to punish him for it. You couldn’t keep your job at a local Home Depot if people kept accusing you of molesting children, but Woody Allen has earned millions in a system that tacitly supports his actions.
There’s a tacit assumption among the aristocrats of consciousness that Great Men are entitled to whatever it takes to juice their creativity… Hollywood enablers are not alone. We, as a society, are O.K. with it too. Mr. Allen’s preference was never hidden. He cast 16-year-old Mariel Hemingway as his own lover in Manhattan.
She then goes on to frame it in terms of “male privilege” and “rape culture”. That’s fine, it’s her frame, it’s how she views things. But she is completely, utterly, wrong. The reason America’s ruling elite didn’t care about Woody Allen’s rape case, or J.D. Salinger’s behavior, or Roman Polanski’s rape case, isn’t because the victims were female. Had young men made the allegations, the reaction would have been the same.
No, the reason everyone winks at Roman Polanski anally raping a thirteen-year-old girl or Woody Allen forcing a seven-year-old child into a closet is simple: society, as a whole, has decided that the souls of the abusers are bigger, and more vibrant, and more important than those of the victims. After all, Polanski directed the admittedly brilliant Chinatown. What had that girl ever done for anyone? And Woody Allen made all sorts of films that, if they perhaps fell flat in flyover country, resonated deeply with our privileged coastal overlords. Measured next to those brilliant pictures, who cares about Dylan Farrow’s vagina and what’s been in it?
Once you internalize that viewpoint, it only takes the shadow of a potential doubt for you to rationalize away the actions of the Great Man (or Great Woman). In Polanski’s case, there was no doubt, but the rage of the elite was turned on the Mean Old Government who insisted on treating a sexy adventure between a man and a barely teenaged girl of the world as a criminal matter. Who hasn’t been fucked up the ass by some middle-aged Frenchman? What’s the big deal? She should be grateful; it could have been Michael Bay or someone without talent.
It’s well understood that the truly talented among us are fundamentally different from everyone else; I’ve made that argument myself before. But there has to be a limit to that, and it has to be enforced by society. If Perry Farrell wants to make his bandmates miserable and screw them out of money and noodle around doing DJ work instead of writing music, that’s his business. If he wants to abuse children or torture animals, that’s society’s business, and society should step it. There is no soul so weighty, so large, so brilliant that it should be excepted from the basic underlying rules of humanity.
Because when you break the rules of humanity — “don’t fuck kids” being a primary one — you become less than human. When you endorse people who are less than human, you place your own humanity at risk. When the entire creative class of a major cultural influencer like the United States loses part of its humanity, it’s reflected in the products and ideas that they create. Those products and ideas, in turn, influence all of us. So it’s easy to see that Dylan Farrow may well have been Woody Allen’s most helpless victim — but if what she wrote is true, every one of us is worse off for it.