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Tony Grist

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Plate Sin With Gold..... [May. 20th, 2010|12:17 pm]
Tony Grist
One of the weirdest things about the whole Polanski affair is how this guy who'd been convicted of drugging and raping a thirteen year old girl (then ran away) got welcomed by the European glitterati like a returning prodigal. You'd think his crime would have made him untouchable, but it didn't- and for thirty years his career flourished-  in all which time- so far as I'm aware- no-one famous ever said, "Ugh, I don't want to be in the same room as that creep". When he finally got overconfident and put himself in a position where the police could swoop, a huge number of his dear friends rallied round and protested his arrest- and Whoopi Goldberg- of all people- said on a talk show that it wasn't as if his crime was "rape-rape"- by which I suppose she meant he didn't use a knife. Now Robert Harris, author of the book on which Polanski based his most recent movie, has written an article rubbishing Charlotte Lewis- who recently came forward to say that Polanski assaulted her too.

Where were Harris and Goldberg and all those other dwellers above the clouds when Gary Glitter and Chris Langham came a cropper? 

Clearly culpability in matters relating to the sexual abuse of children depends on how cool you are. If you're only slightly well known- like Langham- or actually a bit naff-  like Glitter- you're paedo-scum. If you're wonderfully famous and powerful-  like Polanski, Bill Wyman, Michael Jackson or Pete Townsend- you're an artist with a troubled soul.  I was going to say that at least the entertainment industry- unlike the Catholic Church- doesn't preach at us while sheltering kiddy-fiddlers,  but then I thought about it some more and realised that, of course, in it's own way, it does. 

From: jorrocks_j
2010-05-21 09:37 pm (UTC)

Well, actors are good and acting, just as bankers are good at banking...

...but neither ability makes them particularly good at being good.

But--I suppose it's human nature--people attribute all sorts of gravitas to those who are very good at what they do.

The problem's compounded when what they do is produce narratives, images and personae that affect us deeply. We don't want to believe people who can do that, can be evil. It makes us feel like dupes, but more importantly it makes us feel like something dear has been taken from us.

Which perhaps explains a lot of revisionist criticism: Auden going "Yeats-was-a-FAAAAAAAscist, neener-neener-NEEE-nerrrrr!" Nobody goes after Ezra Pound, though, despite his producing propaganda broadcasts for the Fascists while said Fascists were still killing American and British soldiers. Perhaps that's because fewer people like Pound's work than Yeats', and so "doing him down" doesn't take away the affection and good memories from as many people.

And it's taking things from other monkeys that proves the stronger monkey stronger.

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From: jorrocks_j
2010-05-21 09:38 pm (UTC)

Re: Well, actors are good and acting, just as bankers are good at banking...

Argh, good AT acting....
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2010-05-22 03:16 am (UTC)

Re: Well, actors are good and acting, just as bankers are good at banking...

Sorry. I have no idea what your point is. Perhaps I'm simply tired tonight.
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From: jorrocks_j
2010-05-22 11:57 am (UTC)

Sorry, hat was meant as a comment on the main thread, not as a reply to you.

I got the "Reply" buttons mixed up.
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