Skip to main content

Shifting support columns

On the subject of media "balance" concerning Woody Allen and Bill Cosby, Katie McDonough recently said this: 


It’s been two weeks since Dylan Farrow published her open letter detailing the alleged sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of Woody Allen. Since then, she has addressed the abuse in interviews with People magazine and the Hollywood Reporter. It’s been 20 years since Allen held a press conference on the steps of Yale University to announce the findings of the Yale-New Haven Sexual Abuse Clinic’s (incredibly fraught) investigation into Farrow’s allegations. Since then, he hasn’t much addressed the issue, but really, he doesn’t need to. He is a critically celebrated writer and director in a culture convinced of its own righteousness, confident that it would never grant such distinctions to a sexual predator. 
Despite enjoying two decades of the presumption of innocence (and a massive accumulation of wealth), Allen was given column inches on the New York Times editorial page to assert his innocence (and impugn Farrow’s mental health and character) — in the name of “balance.” 
Bill Cosby signed a deal earlier this month to return to NBC with a family sitcom; the network is hoping to bank on Cosby’s status as a beloved cultural figure to revive its nighttime lineup. The former Cliff Huxtable has been celebrated as a wholesome comedy icon, but he has also been accused — repeatedly, and in explicit detail — of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women who trusted him as a mentor. The women who have come forward with these allegations, like Farrow and millions of other survivors, don’t have much of a platform from which to be heard. They are just names in a court case against another good man and his good name. ("A nation ruled by creeps," Salon.com)
- - - - -

Patrick McEvoy-Halston
If some of these legends fall -- people we thought were past the point where their reputations could be radically tempered with -- it'd be a fascinating thing in some respects. It'd be as if someone dug deeper once again into the lives of our Founding Fathers, and what they uncovered, brought to light at a time when a sufficient quantity of us no longer needed god-men anchoring our past, actually meant, say, the removal of one of them from our dollar bills in preference for maybe a female women's right leader, based on an honest overall assessment of them.  At first you couldn't believe it … we'd sidestepped yet more of the ostensibly necessary primitive in us -- the demeaning sociological assessment of humans "as requiring religion, shared meaning-making institutions" -- that depends on cherished icons, rights and rituals. Wow. What else might be capable of shucking off -- do we dare try even materialism, Capitalism?!

That is, I think with many -- not all -- of the people who are upset that Cosby and Allen are looking as if they're not past having their reputations radically tarnished, they are not just upset at more male-bashing, this ostensible current desire to make every male of the species suspect by sex like women had been through millenniums, but that we're showing a capacity for further progress. A lot of us need "institutions" to stay the same because something in how we imagine them helps keep our psyche in a state of equilibrium that lets us go about our lives "sanely" -- "the poor" trap our own neglected selves, "the army" carries our sadism, and so on. If somehow Cosby, the just-past great father and Allen the still-current legendary film maker, could be removed of all that we'd projected onto to them to keep them immobile as fixtures of our American cosmology, then this society steaming ahead to further gay rights and drug leniency and female empowerment and overall derogating once half-acceptable scarily regressive political notions to mere Tea Party crazydom, is just going to keep on rolling. At the thought of this, already destabilized psyches are going to fragment even more. Stop! Someone has got to put a stop to all this growth! We're coming to pieces already! 
What they'll do to maybe successfully indeed stop it, swerve America more along Russia's current path, is something I'll think about and maybe post if it gels. 
Woody Allen may be innocent. Same too, Cosby. We're learning to be more comfortable with victims, with victimhood, rather than reject them, it, for reminding us of having been victims ourselves and its heard accusations against those who's reputation we still need to protect else feel abandoned -- our parents; our primary caretaker particularly -- our mothers. So it's necessary to reassess, and I'm glad for it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   


2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…