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Discussion about the possible implications of Weinstein at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Perhaps more of a blog post... but on Weinstein and what Hollywood could be exposed to: 

This is going to be hard thought to express, but here goes:

Most are assuming that the massive power of
 #metoo right now means we've finally become more progressive. I'm not sure that's the only reason for the timing of this, though, this mass demolition of opponents, of predators, who successfully cowed people for decade after decade. I think in play is also a public's sense that this is all about licentiousness, about people using their power and revelling in it (picture Weinstein right now; his gloating), and believe it or not I think this could hurt progressives more than it will conservatives.

I think people assess that when liberals partake in "spoils" it's all done for their own enjoyment, their own sick pleasure; but when conservatives do so it's somehow not the same thing, for they assess conservatives as those who fundamentally have forsaken themselves the right to self-individualize, to reach heights never reached before, to glory on top of fallen bodies to themselves be the ones who grasp at a crimson flag, who touch the very hand of "god" and reach even beyond. Rather, they assess them, they understand them, as those who began the climb up but were immediately cowed away from further doing so, and thus they conserve, halt, stop, rather than progress, for they are broken; are stewards of the broken, and count amongst the miserable. Liberals reach for the new, the forbidden, the apple in the garden -- and they are understood as essentially sinful for this: sex, drugs, rock and roll. Conservatives never go there, and so their behaviour, however egregious, tastes differently to us; can be surprisingly easy to pass over when nothing makes us more anxious than "immodest," "spoiled" behaviour.

At the end of this we may find that liberalism loses. For being for full individual self-realization, for what is ostensibly a quintessentially American ambition, an American glory -- the undeterred right to happiness -- still arouses guilt in almost all of us, creates chaos in our minds, and this can be "addressed" in projecting our own sinfulness into others and punishing them for it. Many powerful liberals, simply for being possessed of something genuinely virtuous -- an unwillingness to deter their own self-growth -- may be guilty of a surprising degree of predatory behaviour... it might be lopsided on the liberal side, at least amongst the powerful. If they are all outed, a culture may decide that the lesson to be learned is that we must be more modest in our ambitions -- for look what belief in intrinsic human goodness rather than sinfulness leads to when its lead propagandists arrange things so they go unsupervised, unchecked.
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Dan Eades Donald Trump? Unspoiled behavior?

Patrick McEvoy-Halston To you he seems vainglorious and spoiled. To the people who voted for him, he seems someone who's serving the nation's desires... they believed him when he said that he was their arm, their voice, and he is that... even as in these fascist times, that's no great thing. Anyone who is like that, has in a sense sacrificed themselves of what liberals are rightly, courageously, making every effort not to do: their own independent, adult voice. Psychologically, I don't think he's the same person he was in the 80s. American would never have voted for that man. They're looking for someone who is truly an agent who sacrificed himself to serve the beloved mother country, America. Liberals see him as narcissistic, as "me"-centred, when if he was like that an American populace that finds itself feeling like it has long abandoned the interests of their mother country, would never have voted him in. Who he is, mostly, is self-sacrificial -- and pitiable for that.

Dan Eades Self-sacrificial? Unspoiled?

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Dan Eades Yes, that's how many Americans see him, and it is how no one sees the Weinsteins out there, because they're still endeavouring films and politics that uphold the previous America, which was not about advocating self-sacrifice to the nation but about individual, artistic self-development / expression. If we don't get this we'll never really understand why someone like Franken and Clinton could end up in a worse state for their criminal abuse of women than Trump will. In a populist, nativist time, we'll be concerned to down people who represent individual self-actualization, abandonment of parental mores, and each and every one of these can only be liberals, for conservatives represent, more than anything else, the anti-thesis of this.

Ralph Benner "They're looking for someone who is truly an agent who sacrificed himself to serve the beloved mother country." Quite obviously they haven't found that "someone" yet. Why? Because that's not the kind of person they're looking for. They found what they wanted in the Orange Flamer.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Ralph Benner That's Charlie Chaplin's take on Hitler, but it's not the German take on him... they recognized him fundamentally as a minion of the arising mythic Motherland.

Cynthia Mejías Patrick McEvoy-Halston Trump is the antithesis of sacrifice.

Dan Eades Patrick McEvoy-Halston I think you have the gender wrong...I believe Hitler and the Germans saw a rising Fatherland. It was the Soviets who looked to a rising Motherland.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Cynthia Mejías To you, he seems that way. But narcissism is about early childhood deficiency, about feeling great because you're still part of the omnipotent bond with the mother... so in a sense it's not about self, at all, but a show of a lack of it. I think he was more the way you are describing him back in the 80s, just like Clinton was, and both possibly acquired their true selfhood in part by partaking in a culture which allowed for so much victimization; that enabled the predator in people. Right now Trump is about sacrifice... sacrificing his formerly more individuated self for being a servant of his country's desires (as I said, I think if he was calculated/disgenous about being the people's voice/arm in that convention speech, people would have sensed it and he wouldn't have won). This sounds virtuous (though never to me, does it), but I mean it as exactly the opposite: something horrible; anti-human... tragic.

Cynthia Mejías Please, Trump is not a servant of his country's desires. He is a con man, a money launderer, a real estate-casino mobster. He doesn't serve his base, he serves the international oligarchy. In any case, I'm in this group to discuss movies, so I'm out of this thread.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Dan Eades The German nationalistic Volk was matriarchal... drew on ancient chthonic sense of the earth mother feeding her people. Hitler himself absolutely thought of the country he was "saving" as a Motherland.

Dan Eades I'm sorry, but Hitler talked about the Fatherland in his speeches and so did the Nazi party.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Cynthia Mejías He is everything you say (but how could I not know this?). However, if the people are becoming in the U.S. as they are in so many other places in the world, increasingly nativist, mother-country worshiping, populist regressives, then the fact that he truly believes the country is under attack by aliens intent to rape Her, that the cosmopolitan mindset amounts to hating your home country, to abandoning Her, to indulging in "spoiling" while laughing at those you step over, then he is also someone who has morphed into someone who has probably projected his own mother onto the country to be her prime, "good boy" servant again... someone who has clung back to an infantile or childish fold. Since much of his life seems to have been about contriving ways to distinguish himself from her -- the attacks on other women: revenge upon others for what she, her company, did to him, like Hillary guesses was true with her husband? -- even as he has nothing but worshipful praise of her, this genuine impulse from him means he's succumbed in a way... has sacrificed the "self" part of himself. Remember, we were surprised with the election results in finding that many Americans did not perceive Trump the way we thought it impossible not to. Let's start snapping out of this habit if we can and get inside their apperception of him.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Dan Eades Let's not get into this. I have background on this matter too.

Dan Eades Patrick McEvoy-Halston So you have background; but you are wrong, dead wrong...

Mark Schaffer Actually, Hitler was The Devil...and Churchill was the archangel Michael..The war was fundamentally a battle between the powers of good and ultimate evil occuring in the profane realm..It was a spiritual test for personkind, which it successfully psssed...but not without possible defeat..You could look it up.

Mark Schaffer Read The Black Spider..

Adam Green "many powerful liberals ... [Unwilling] to deter their own self growth -- may be guilty of a surprising degree of predatory behaviour"

How very Nietzschean of you.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston I would have thought it more Freud, until Frederick Crews reminded me that Nietzsche anticipated quite a bit of him. So possibly, yes. Anyway, with Nietzsche or Freud out of the picture, it's difficult to defend the last 40 yrs of genuine growth in this country -- for I think it necessarily had to come, with our still somewhat primitive ability not to associate growth with sin, with a lot of victimized people; a class "carrying" the idea that a price had to be paid -- which is too bad. The test will be if Masha Gessen is right and we end up all surveillance/Hays Code. Somehow exactly where we ought to be, but it feeling overall worse.

Adam Green It seems to me that what you call growth others might call decline... Or that some might say that your idea of 'progress' is a convenient social construct developed to promote certain ideas.

Either way, the idea that the strong can lord it over the weak for the purpose of their own self-realization is a form of evil, not progress.

Just my opinion.

Thanks for your thoughtful post and response. You have me thinking now.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston This appears to be your response to everything I write, Mark. You can just desist and I'll happily fill in your puzzled "what?" into every one of my subsequent posts, don't you worry!

Adam Green He's saying the powerful are allowed to exploit/transgress against the weak for their own progress or self actualisation and we should let them because these transgressions will allow us to 'progress' to further heights. He's basically advocating for a more depraved versions of Nietzsche's "superman"

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Adam Green Well, I'm saying it a bit more nicely than that, Adam... 
Seriously though, I'm saying that there is actually worse than the behaviour I am describing, there is worse than neoliberalism (rise of the professional class, collapse [brutal humiliation and destruction]of everyone else), and that's what's about to follow: fascism. If we want uncomplicated growth, we tend to get it right after great depressions or huge wars... a period of all-rising boats. What follows this is a period of growth, but cruel growth, where it must be accompanied by a huge measure of victims. Improved parenting, will mean the end of this cycle, as the idea of growth as sin is born there, in how our parents reacted to our own self-growth away from what they needed of us. In the rapprochement stage, around 2 to 2 and a half, a period, incidentally, where Trump was abandoned in his care... where he might have internalized that wandering about on his own meant that he was being bad and to be punished for it.

Adam Green Patrick, I see fascism as coming about because of what you describe - especially the individualist attitude that borders on/actually is solipsism which corrupt any since of community.

Growth and Progress (from a social/political aspect) are 19th century ideas and from what I can discern, probably dubious.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Okay Adam. I see it as a regressive reaction against genuine societal growth, which comes to only be perceived as corrupt and self-indulgent. Liberal Weimar into Fascist Germany. I believe that there are enormous numbers of predators out there that will be uncovered, in places of liberal power. Unless we have some way to appreciate why the appalling intensity of it, I think, as I've been arguing, that our current struggling liberal period will be enwrapped exactly the same way Weimar was by a nation that was beginning to want to surrender their freedoms and go Volk. That's why I'm making my effort here.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston And NewYorker, please be aware that I am cognizant of keeping my participation mostly to what applies to film. It would depend on your latitude, but I do believe that the fight I'm making here in discussion of politics and politicians, will find application in the sorts of films we find created tomorrow... how far apart from the straight and narrow, they'll be able to range.

Max Miller Who moderates these posts? Can you rephrase that to be less of a word salad?

Patrick McEvoy-Halston You're speaking to the mod I assume. I doubt they've got the time. If you're speaking to me, work on making your appeal appealing to me.

Jeremy Daniels You don’t think it’s just pure avarice and self-interest? Putting aside how modern Republican politicians actually operate, you don’t think they just see minor transgressions of regulators and tax hikers as unforgivable, even as they ignore the most grievous and disgusting crimes of deregulators and budget slashers? I tried to understand their crazed hostility toward Obama on this front, and that’s all I can come up with. Taxing them is original sin, and anything they can throw at liberals, however paltry, is the corroborating evidence of what they need to prove anyway, no matter what. It’s pointless to dispute any arguments on the actual merit.

They’ll always have that on us. They don’t want to pay taxes and there’s a fervor and hostile force behind that. We think there should be government and taxes, but paying taxes is not necessarily something we love doing either. We believe in it more like a necessary nuisance, so we don’t have the same crusading spirit on our side. That might be why we’ve moved further into identity issues rather than fiscal ones, to have that same kind of visceral and emotional force of righteousness.  

So we have our emotions behind the human rights issue of stopping sexual misconduct on all fronts, and the right has their emotions behind cutting taxes, deregulating, and protecting business interests, and reverse engineering their reasoning for any candidate who will do those things. Of course this will hit liberals harder because it’s hitting what we care about.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston And you're part of a NewYorker discussion group... that mag's known for its long reads. There's plenty of stuff on the net which tells you you can digest in less than a minute or two, but deep thinking mags, deep thinking, provocative discussion groups related to such mags, are not the place to go for that.

Sheryl Price THIS guy again-PLEASE -this group is supposed to be thoughts,discussion etc about MOVIES!! Rant somewhere else.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston It's also supposed to be about polite, respectful behaviour, which would leave you exempt.

Sheryl Price Patrick McEvoy-Halston Oh I am so sorry. Please review the guidelines of the group. I sincerely hope henceforth you will abide by the stated parameters. I thank you in advance. Better??ax Miller

Sheryl Price I DID NOT post the gif with the yellow hands 😠

Max Miller I only posted mine in response to Patrick. It's an artistic rendering of him typing thousand word posts on this forum.

Elizabeth R. Shafer Watched Lillian Gish in “Wind” the other evening. The title best describes your diatribe and lecture.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Alright. I thought it was an offering.

Hamish Wood Lmao what

Tod Alan Spoerl I thoroughly enjoyed this thought-provoking post and lengthy thread. Thanks for your insight Patrick McEvoy-HalstonRalph BennerAdam GreenJeremy Daniels et al.

Patrick McEvoy-Halston Thank you Tod.

Marc Imbillicieri How is any of this relevant to movies?

Judy Mam Completely off topic.
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