In Re Roman Polanski, or, Doing the Right Thing Unless You Don’t Wanna

Roman Polanski.  I have so much to say on this subject it will be a long, rambling mess.

In re: his tragic life

What a tragic life he’s led.  Losing his wife and unborn child to Charles Manson and his merry maniacs is enough to send anyone over the edge.  I get it, I really do.

In re: his crime

I also understand that the rape happened in a more permissive time.  Pedophilia was not a common word in the  American vernacular.  The general public (and, tragically, many churches) did not talk about it in good company.  Arrests and jail time were rare, and though perhaps the behavior that led to such consequences was not exactly accepted, it was certainly most often swept under the rug, or best ignored.

But not by this girl’s mother (though how she could be surprised in the face of her utter neglect in sending her unaccompanied child to hang with the guy is beyond me).

Perhaps Roman Polanski was used as an example, a deterrent.  Perhaps someone was taking a moral – or a political – stand.  But so what?  A forty-four year-old man should not be having sex with a thirteen year-old girl.  Period.

But let’s forget that for a moment, too.

In re: the arrest and plea

The thing is, he WAS arrested. For RAPE.  He DID plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.  No matter how he or anyone else felt about it, he plead guilty.

In re: fleeing like the coward he is

And then he ran.   Far.  Because he feared the judge was going to put him in jail, instead of a wink and a wrist-tap sentence of “time served.”

And has evaded taking responsibility for HIS, HIS, HIS actions – the crime he has admitted – for the past thirty-two years.

That’s not what a real man would do.  A real man would have taken responsibility.  At least sometime in the last thirty years.

Now, I know you’re going to tell me that the case against him is wrought with problems.  There are charges of misconduct.  And the victim doesn’t want the case to go forward.  That should change everything.

But to me it changes nothing.  He ran.  He didn’t stand up.  Appeal!  Please!  Get the case thrown out if it won’t stand.

And then stand trial for your thirty-two year flight from responsibility.

You know, be a MAN.

If he had stood up like a man and served his sentence, then lived his life admirably since, fine.  I’m all for second chances.  But I’d sure never leave him alone with my kid – or any other.

But that isn’t what he did, is it?  He fled.  And he expected to hide behind the more permissive cultures in Europe for the rest of his life.  And he was correct in those expectations for thirty-two years.

In re: Switzerland grows some kahunas

And then Switzerland started growing a conscience.  We all know they started opening up their legendary secret banking records, forcing the world’s cheats into accountability.  Amen, my Swiss friends.

And now they decided to honor a thirty-two year-old warrant for Polanski’s arrest.

Because, Mr. Polanski, it doesn’t matter how angelic, how philanthropic, how upstanding you’ve been for the last thirty years, you don’t get to avoid this responsibility.

You just don’t get to.

In re: Roman Polanski, entertainment industry god

It has always boggled my mind that Polanski has enjoyed great popularity and support since he fled.  Actors, directors, filmmakers, entertainers can’t line up fast enough to support him.  His movies – only one of which (Rosemary’s Baby) I have ever seen – are widely applauded.  He is considered a cinematic genius.

I’m sure he is.

But he raped a child. Even if she gave a 13 year-old’s version of consent.  It is legally rape, folks.  No matter what plea he copped.  And I could never help wondering how these actors and actresses justified working for him.

“Sure, he raped a kid, but he’s really a super dee-duper terrific guy!  And a genius!”

What do they say to their kids?    “He plead guilty to having sex with someone your age?  Honey, don’t worry about that old sex with a kid, thing.  It was waaaaaaaaaaaay before you were born.  Well, yes, he did flee to avoid jail.  But he had a really good reason!  That mean old judge was going to put him in jail!  And I want you to watch and learn how he and all of the rest of the people that support him are justifying not only his original crime, but the wonderful way he has been canonized by us so that we make it all not his fault!  After all, it was kinda consensual!  I want you to learn from him how not to take responsibility for your actions.  And if you ever commit a crime, I’m sure he’ll tell you how to flee and live abroad  – well, for thirty-two years, anyway!  And, if you’re lucky, and if you kiss his ass enough, perhaps one day YOU can be in one of his films!  Oh, joy!”

In re: the petition

And they startle me even more, now, with this infamous petition.

Yes, theses idiots started a petition demanding his release, accusing Swiss authorities of a failure to appreciate  the genius that is Roman Polanski,  and the hereto before unknown fact that international film festivals share the same sanctuary status as churches.

Um, huh?  Sanctuary?!?!?!!!!

The SACD petition that Martin Scorcese, David Lynch and  over 100 other industry insiders signed says, in part:

By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.

The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed (and we all know what happens when we assume, don’t we?) he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which no one can know the effects.


Um, so????????????????????  By that logic all murderers and rapists should be able to travel unencumbered, for the good of the arts.

These superstars of intellect and morality go on to say:

It seems inadmissible to them (filmmakers) that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.

It doesn’t seem inadmissible to me at all.  It seems poetic.

In re: the idiots supporting Polanski

His supporters include the not-so-surprising, like Woody Allen (um, didn’t he screw, then marry his adopted  stepdaughter?).  Then there are the ones that do surprise me, like Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and Michael Mann – all terrific filmmakers with apparently extraordinarily bad judgment. I can only hope that they are sorry they sign that ridiculous piece of drivel.

Debra Winger issued a separate  statement:

This fledgling festival has been unfairly exploited and whenever this happens the whole art world suffers…

Yes, but it was perfectly okay for Polanski to unfairly exploit that thirteen year-old, Debra. Seriously, folks, my eyes are starting to bleed.


In re: “it isn’t rape-rape”

Whoopi.  Whoopi Goldberg.  She actually defends Polanski on “The View”, first saying that he wasn’t charged with rape (Wrong!  He WAS, but he plead to the lesser charge) and that nonetheless, she’s sure it wasn’t “rape- rape.”

Whoopi.  It will take a looooooong time to live that down.  Sure, it wasn’t stranger-rape.  The girl was not kidnapped, beaten and left for dead after her rapist put his penis inside her.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape.  This guy was in fact much smoother, more insidious.  He made this 13 year-old, who wanted nothing as much as she wanted a career,  feel like the adult she wasn’t by giving her alcohol, and drugs, and made her feel pretty and  special.

Before he put his penis inside her.

That’s rape in the eyes of the law.  And in my eyes, too.  It’s rape-rape, Whoopi.

In re: do the right thing

It’s always easier to pay now instead of later, Mr. Polanski.  When you pay later there are always penalties.  And interest.

Do the right thing.

Do the right thing.

Do the right thing.

1400 words, give or take.  That is, thankfully, all I have to say on this subject.

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Workout’s Deenie and Gregg – a Lack of Respect

Workout is not a show I usually watch. I did catch part of the show last night, though, and it royally pissed me off.

I have seen it a few times, but usually it’s only on in the background after I’ve moved onto another activity while not bothering to turn the television off.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a reality show set in a gym owned by a woman named Jackie. The show depicts gym life and Jackie’s personal life. As part of the show they run a special, intense boot camp program called Skylab for very out-of-shape people to get into shape.

The portion that caught my eye involved Gregg, one of the trainers, and Deenie, one of the trainees. Deenie went into the assistant manager’s office to voice her concerns about her relationship with Gregg. He was late for their training session that day, and he’d been consistently late. She had a hard time scheduling sessions due to his intense schedule, and he also was not returning her calls in a timely manner.

Deenie is a morbidly obese girl who wants to be able to walk into the Gap and buy a pair of jeans. She wanted a relationship with her trainer that’s warm and supportive, motivating her and making her feel that she’s part of a team – just the way Jackie, the owner, described the program.

As they’re talking Gregg arrives and Deenie and the assistant manager confront him. Deenie’s trying to diplomatically tell him what she wants and Gregg is not open at all. Not even a little bit. He tries to make it all about her lack of commitment. She may or may not have a lack of commitment, but what Deenie is trying to address is his lack of respect. She’s paying him. Be on time.  And she wants a relationship with her trainer like the one Jackie described.

Gregg gets very defensive and starts bellowing about her speaking disrespectfully to him (she commented that the dismissive comment he made was “bullshit”), and at this point my blood pressure is boiling.

He’s dismissive, he keeps cutting her off, even says that Jackie doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And Deenie gets upset because she’s not being understood. At one point she comments that she wants more from him than the three hours per week in the gym and he replies that she can call him any time. She says, “You. Don’t. Call. Me. Back.” He doesn’t address this at all. He says, “Just, first of all, it needs to be understood that, I mean that, as far as this situation goes I am the expert.”

WHAT?

Then the assistant manager tells Gregg, in a misguided attempt to calm things down, that all Deenie wants is some love and attention, and Deenie and I both look at the assistant manager like she’s NUTS. He’s not her Daddy (though part of me wondered if she wasn’t reliving a past conversation in THAT relationship). He’s her trainer!  It’s not about love and affection, it’s about R-E-S-P-E-C-T (bow down to Aretha).

That’s NOT it, people. She’s not feeling like her trainer is responsible, and she’s not feeling like they’re a team.

True, she wasn’t effectively communicating her point. Also true, he was not open to listening AT ALL. He’s the expert and she has to trust him. She can’t work out due to injury (which he was derisive about), she tries to reply that there must be other suggestions he can make/things she can do to move things along but she can’t even get it out of her mouth before he gives a dismissive and final “No.”

No? There’s nothing? Nothing?

“There’s got to be a certain respect that comes with us talking or us training together,” Gregg says in an interview later. Exactly, Gregg. Why don’t you start doing that?!!!!!

UGH.

Later Gregg talks to Jackie, the owner, and totally skews it so that Deenie looks like a lunatic. Jackie totally backs Gregg, but tells him to work it out because he’ll feel good if he does, and if it doesn’t work out at least he’ll know he tried.

In the end Gregg calls Deenie and says, “Let’s let bygones be bygones,” and she agrees. And then he admits he doesn’t like her.

I would so not work out with him again. He would be so fired. I think Deenie is setting herself up to fail by staying with a trainer who has no respect for her. It shouldn’t be about him, but at the same time part of the motivation to keep working is knowing you have someone who will walk with you, sweat with you and kick your butt if need be.

Jackie should give this girl a refund. I don’t even need to see another show to know that this girl, who probably should never have been accepted to such an intense program to begin with (for medical reasons), will likely not succeed.

I know that there are good trainers out there who are not only educated in exercise physiology but also in how to keep individuals motivate. Having been a member of several gyms, though, I’ve run across attitudes like Gregg’s before. Why is it that so many trainers have contempt for the people that pay them? Of course many of the students lack consistent commitment. Of course they’re going to get discouraged and want to quit.

If they knew how to keep themselves motivated and knew what exercises to do and how to do them correctly they wouldn’t need to hire a trainer.

If all you want to do is train hardbodies to be harder than only have them as clients. Leave the really challenged people alone. But if you want to really make a difference in someone’s life let go of your contempt and your judgments and ride the wave of emotions to help create a healthier life with a fat chick.

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