Monday, October 05, 2009

Genius and its moral privileges . . .

Evil and the reality the New Testament calls "the Evil One" would make no headway if it presented itself as vile and loathsome. Rather it presents itself -- especially in our day, but perhaps always -- as a manifestation of the consummate sophisticate, no longer to be distracted by the petty moral scrupulosity of the masses, for whose ethical criteria it looks down its Pinocchio nose.

I had not bothered with the story of Roman Polanski, but today I happened upon Mark Steyn's take-down of the pompous sanctimony of those worldly sophisticates who have played off Polanski's crime against Polanski's reputed genius and found that latter to be an excuse for the former. Steyn is, as usual, matchless in his combination of mordant wit and social commentary.

Here's a taste:
As the feminists used to say in simpler times, “What part of ‘No’ don’t you understand?”

Quite a lot, if the reaction to Roman Polanski’s arrest is anything to go by. I didn’t know, for one thing, that, if you decide to plough on regardless, the world’s artists will rise as one to nail their colors to your mast.

Whoopi Goldberg offered a practical defense — that what Polanski did was not “rape-rape,” a distinction she left imprecisely delineated. Which may leave you with the vague impression that this was one of those deals where you’re in a bar and the gal says to you she’s in tenth grade and you find out afterwards she’s only in seventh. Hey, we’ve all been there, right? But in this particular instance Roman Polanski knew she was 13 years old and, when she declined his entreaties, drugged her with champagne and a Quaalude and then sodomized her. Twice. Which, even on the Whoopi scale, sounds less like rape, or even rape-rape, and more like rape-rape-rape-rape.
The whole piece is here.


Kevin said...

These are interesting points I had never heard. When first I learned of it, when I was in high school it was presented as a situation of a stage mother prostituting her daughter in order to get her into show-biz. Enough guilt and evil to go around I would think.

We should let the judicial system run its course and deal with this through the law. I fully agree that these defenses are morally indefensible. The hypocrisy is staggering.
I'm not sure how to end this frankly. It seems well ingrained.

One interesting aside about statutory rape and European show business: I was watching the behind the scenes of a favourite film of mine. One actress stated that when she met the director she was 15 but did not take up with him because she was involved with someone else. In other words, she as an under-age girl was living with a grown man (over 21) and not only did she not see this as an issue then, she saw nothing wrong with this going on at all.
We may simply have a no way of speaking with someone like Polanski. He may simply not "get it."

Mike O'Malley said...

Thumbs up on your response Kevin.

Of course those insinuations about the victim's mother are par for the course as defense council must take care to begin the defamation and intimidation a thirteen year rape victim indirectly, lest he outrage the jury. Nonetheless this is still a piece with vicious "the ho was asking for it" defense. Sometimes destruction of the alleged victim's creditability is necessary and appropriate. But not here. In this situation Polanski admitted that he knew the girl was 13 and the she had told him no repeatedly. And if the insinuation about the mother is true it would make the victim's mother analogous to a women who turns a blind eye to a stepfather's abuse of her children because she enjoys his take home pay. Rarely do such female cretins receive just punishment at law. Nonetheless this under age girl would be a victim of both mom and rapist in either case.

Moreover, Polanski committed a second felony when he fled the jurisdiction. There is evidence that Polanski is a repeat offender. Nastassia Kinski was only fifteen when Polanski seduced her after meeting her on a pedophiliac double date. There are even hints in Polanski's behavior that suggest he may be a serial offender.

Mike O'Malley said...

I'm not sure what to make of this in light of the much justified critique of Polanski, however two months ago Cardinal McCarrick officiated at a political canonization of Senator Ted Kennedy.

I can attest that I enjoyed the Papal expression of "concern" which sounded to me to be a carefully crafted a form letter. But can we not now know why such spiritual "concern" might be justified as the "Lion of the Senate" seems more of a serial sexual predator than the liberal Conscience of the Senate.

According to the Enquirer Kennedy decided to tell the complete truth about his life in his memoirs including sexual conquests and details about his night with Mary Jo Kopechne. However horrified family member and advisers cut out the embarrassing chapter of his autobiography.

Here are some of the juicy details:

Ted Kennedy slept with more than a thousand women - and spent at least $10 million in hush money over the years to keep his skirt-chasing a secret!

The late senator made those sensational confessions in a chapter of his autobiography, but horrified family members and advisers cut them out.

Before he died of brain cancer at age 77 on Aug. 25, the womanizing politician also revealed that he planned to seduce Mary Jo Kopechne on the night she drowned, said a close source.

Overall this pretty much confirms what a lot of people including myself had always assumed about Ted, but it's nice to see it confirmed. And yeah at this point I'm willing to trust the word of the Enquirer over the self-filtered output of the MSM. I wonder what the 'waitress sandwich' cost him if anything. Given inflation and what Polanski paid his rape victim, $10 million could cover up a lot of evil.

Ace of Spades

Kennedy' letter to Pope Benedict:

"I want you to know, your Holiness, that in my nearly 50 years of elective office I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I've worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I've opposed the death penalty and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and have been the focus of my work as a United States Senator.

I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I'll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone?

"I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings. I continue to pray for God's blessings on you and our Church and would be most thankful for your prayers for me."

... One can't image Senator Kennedy as a role model for a Catholic gentlemen ...

One may also wonder at Senator Kennedy's quest for "cheap grace" and "salvation through works" championing "the rights of the poor" with other people's money in light of the more than $10 million paid out for sex abuse hush money.

As Senator Kennedy himself bragged, "from that day on, he says he seduced as many women as he could, from maids and cooks at the family's Hyannis Port compound to college friends that his sisters brought home."


Does this not sound like a sexual predator? Consider the subordinate role and economic dependence of those Kennedy "secuded". No doubt this illuminates Kennedy's staunch pro-abortion positions but is it reasonable to believe that Senate Kennedy rose above the contemptible behavior of Roman Polanski?