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.

Advertisements

Will the Real Baby Daddy Please Swab Up

There are home pregnancy tests, home HIV tests and home drug tests. There are home ovulation tests, diabetes tests and cholesterol tests.

Home medical testing is a booming market, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can now answer the Who’s your baby daddy? question without leaving home. Just go down to the Rite Aid and drop $20 per possible Daddy. A cheek swab and another fistful of dollars for the lab later and you have your answer.

Maury Povich and Judge Hatchett must be shaking in their Manolo Blahnicks.

My first reaction to this news was a serious eye roll, followed by the usual lamentations about the deterioration of the family and it’s effects on society. Blah, blah,blah. I just couldn’t imagine someone getting pregnant and not knowing who fathered the child.

And then I remembered my Mom.

When I was thirteen someone broke into our apartment and raped her. I was on a sleepover at a friend’s house, but my sister was asleep in the bedroom next door. My mother did not resist; she was thinking only of my sister’s safety.

The next day she brought a huge Siberian husky home, and a few weeks later she found out she was pregnant. She didn’t know if the baby was her fiance’s or her rapist’s. She had enough issues, and didn’t feel that she could take on raising the child of her rapist. She couldn’t take the chance that it was his.

So she had an abortion. While I’ve always supported her decision, I’ve always felt a profound sadness when I think of the loss of my little brother or sister. I’m sure the experience has led to my own feelings about abortion.

Yeah, this test would have been good to have.

And people make errors in judgment. I thought back to a certain get-rid-of-the-new-guy-and-get-back-with-the-old-guy indiscretion in my youth where I could have been faced with this possibility if not for my at-least-two-and-sometimes-three-methods-of-birth-control-at-all-times policy.

So amidst all of the drama of uncertainty and irresponsible promiscuity that makes it’s way onto the public stages of Maury and Jerry and all the rest, I hope these tests can give some terrorized, ravaged, brave women, and some other regretful, now-making-better-choices ordinary women, some private peace of mind.

%d bloggers like this: