May 19, 2010

Sympathy for the Devil

I sympathize with Roman Polanski. Before you lynch me, let me elaborate.
I do not sympathize with his criminal behavior. I do not think that the fact that he survived the Holocaust as a child, or that his wife and unborn child were murdered by the Manson family, or that he is a brilliant filmmaker, can ever justify his sexual abuse of minors. Fact is, had his trial not been a travesty, he would probably have served time, as he deserved. But the trial was a circus, because all celebrity trials are circuses and the presiding judge wanted to be a celebrity himself. All I was saying that the complexity of his bizarre legal process, the distortions of fame, the zeitgeist of the 70's, make his case far more complicated than screaming "off with his head" 40 years after the fact. I was promptly accused of blaming the victim. I don't. I blame Polanski and I blame the victim's mother for leaving her unchaperoned at a "screen test" with a notorious film director at the house of a notorious actor in the middle of the drug addled 70's.  But why all this extradition hysteria now? Is it because there is an Los Angeles DA running for office?  People all of a sudden become naive when it comes to selfrighteous moral indignation. 

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