Sunday, October 04, 2009

Roman Polanski

Brian Micklethwait in London has posted on Samizdata about how the Internet has made a world of difference in the case of Roman Polanski.

It's no secret. No secret at all. Every second or third blog I read has stuff about it. Film Director Roman Polanksi (Repulsion, The Pianist) did something bad of a rape-like nature to a teenage girl several decades ago, and lived in Europe from then on.

But now they are going to extradite him or not as the case may be, from France or Switzerland (somewhere European), and big cheese lists of Hollywood big cheeses are saying he's a great artist and therefore regular morals and laws and suchlike don't apply to him, ease up, forget about it, freedom of artistic expression, it wasn't really rape ("rape-rape" as Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost, Girl, Interrupted, Rat Race) has famously put it), it was her fault, it was her mother's fault, it was the judge's fault, blah blah, and the rest of us are saying: bullshit you evil bastards.

If you care about the details you now know them. I care about the details, a bit, and I too am of the bullshit you evil bastards tendency. Not my point here. No, what interests me about this ruckus is how the internet has so completely changed the rules of such debates, and so completely wrong-footed the big cheese evil bastard team.
The internet has changed all that. What the internet supplies is a vastly higher class of gossip. Before the internet, finding a piece which listed what you considered to be all the pertinent facts of a complicated, foreign and creepy matter such as this one could take weeks, and the chances were that if you really, really wanted a piece like that, you'd have to write it yourself, and risk being branded a creep yourself. Which would anyway probably never be read by anybody in significant numbers. Too creepy. Now, a few links, and you have all the facts you want.

Facts like: she was thirteen, rather than sixteen or seventeen. Facts like: he drugged her. Facts like: She said no!! Several times!!!! In every respect short of the use of a chair leg or crowbar and there being blood all over the place alongside all the other rape-fluids, this was most definitely rape-rape, and we all now know it.
Who the hell knows what should have been done about all those damned collapsing banks? Who's fault was that? What does that all mean? Not even the internet can sort that out for you in half an hour. But it can sure as hell tell you in fifteen minutes what bloody Roman bloody Polanski did to that poor girl, and admitted to doing to that poor girl, and how old she was, and how she said no no no no no, and it can tell you that it was wrong, and that he should be punished, and that how long it takes to catch him and how good or crappy The Pianist was are absolutely not the issues, and that if Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence, Shine a Light) thinks otherwise then Martin Scorsese, fine film maker though he may well be, is a piece of shit who deserves to have his moral compass wrapped around his neck.

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