Fr. Roman Polanski...

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Sven Sven's picture
Fr. Roman Polanski...

I suspect that if the facts regarding Polanski's long-ago crimes were the same except that he was "Father Polanski" (and not "Roman Polanski, brilliant film director") most of the people now defending him would be callling for his head.

Caissa

Do you really want to go there, Sven?

oldgoat

There are threads on Polanski, there are threads on the Bishop.  I'm sure you can find a niche for this somewhere in an ongoing thread.

oldgoat

'twould appear the previous thread was closed for length and Michelle invited all and sundry to start a new one.  And sundry did.  And I went and closed it.

 

My apologies to all.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
I suspect that if the facts regarding Polanski's long-ago crimes were the same except that he was "Father Polanski" (and not "Roman Polanski, brilliant film director") most of the people now defending him would be callling for his head.

 

I suspect that if Roman Polanski were famous for making movies in which shirtless action heroes fire rocket grenades at cybernetic aliens amid expensive CGI effects, most of the people now defending him would be callling for his head. Fans of "cinema" can be pretty harsh.

 

I'm glad to see that Whoopi Goldberg is really wearing it for her "rape-rape" comment. She tried to do some damage control, and pretend she wasn't trying to minimize Polanski's crime, but the pee is in the pool now. I hope a lot of Polanski's apologists are remembered as Polanski apologists. Personally, I'm finding it incredibly gross.

jacki-mo

Some of the stories mention sodomy as well as regular intercourse. That is horrible if true.

remind remind's picture

Tis sad, that there are other women who are also condoning this besides Whoopi.

 

remind remind's picture

Yes, he was charged with sodomy initially too, but plead down to a lesser charge.

My granddaughter will be 13 in a couple of months, and it just pushes me over the top to think that some nasty sick middle aged man, would think he had the right to drug and rape her, both anally and vaginally.

Tommy_Paine

 

Wente wades in:

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/columnists/margaret-wente/r...

 

I have to agree with her.   I also have to believe that Navigator is not representing Polanski, hence Wente's sudden realization that no one should be above the law.

 

 

 

 

Tommy_Paine

My granddaughter will be 13 in a couple of months, and it just pushes me over the top to think that some nasty sick middle aged man, would think he had the right to drug and rape her...

Can't even bring myself to quote you in full, Remind.   I am, have been, struggling to not let my emotions boil over on this.  Surely, the internet doesn't need any more pointless bluster from a dad.

But I swear.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Roman Polanski is a rapist who spent most of his adult life avoiding punishment. Chinatown, The Tenant, Rosemary's Baby, Cul-de-Sac and others are brilliant films. Elia Kazan is a turncoat coward who destroyed the careers of many colleagues and friends. On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire were incredible pieces of work. I guess these things are hard to remedy in the minds of fans. Maybe when they realize that his films are about the repression of desire and taboo, the fact that the man who made them turns out to be a rapist is highly, highly unsettling.

 

Unionist

Well, they're brilliant all right, as is The Pianist.

 

remind remind's picture

Having never watched any of said films, in a decades long protest of his actions, catchfire, I have no idea what they are about.

Tommy, I hear you. And sometimes even Wente is correct.

That these old middle aged white men, in power, are standing up for him and trying to demand his release, is just sickening, and one wonders how many young girls they have done the same to, and believe it is their right to  do so, of course in Allen's case we know. And what the hell was that comment by the one director about, if he is convicted it will have far reaching consequences for them?

The women supporting him I do not understand.

original transcript of girl's testimony

 

remind remind's picture

Unionist, I was going to make a comment about your lack of concern about this, and much concern about what you believe is child abuse in another area. But I removed it.

Suffice to say, it has not gone unnoticed.

remind remind's picture

And what does the denotation of "brilliant" mean anyway?

 

jacki-mo

This from the Wente column:

Perhaps they also ought to read a revealing interview that Mr. Polanski gave to Martin Amis in 1979. It was unearthed this week by the Telegraph's Michael Deacon. "If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But ... f-ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f- young girls. Juries want to f- young girls. Everyone wants to f- young girls!"

Holy shit.

remind remind's picture

Yep, sick fuck, and yet some think he is brilliant....and have no recriminations for him.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think every word in the quoted excerpt is true. And I find your moral policing of who is or is not handing out recriminations to be odious, remind.

remind remind's picture

too fucking bad catchfire, I find those supporting Polanski to be well beyond odious, especially when they are supposedly oh so concerned about  other sexual and physical abuses against women and children, and hypocritically deride others here for their supposed lack of progressiveness.

I have been boycotting this sick fuck for decades, and actually cried when I heard he had been finally arrested.

There ain't nothing brilliant about the man, he is just another sick fuck.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I have seen no support of Roman Polanski on this board. I have seen some support of his films. It is a shame that you, like Martin Scorcese, David Lynch et al., cannot tell the difference between them. Brilliant people can be rapists. In fact, that is what feminists have been trying for decades to convice us of. Also, men everywhere harbour desires to 'f--' little girls. The proof of that is in our media, our television shows, our movies, our advertisements, our music videos and in our daily conversations. This too is a feminist point. I suppose you think that the world's media has suddenly come to its senses and condemned global rape? Or maybe the whiff of sensationalism behind this story is its true driving force.

Michelle

remind wrote:

Yep, sick fuck, and yet some think he is brilliant....and have no recriminations for him.

You can think he's brilliant without thinking what he did was okay.  I find this topic a hard one for me to discuss while staying level-headed (see the other thread), but I highly doubt that Unionist was saying that rape is okay. 

Let's all give each other the benefit of the doubt here - we all know each other, and know that none of us condones drugging and raping 13 year-olds.  We can discuss what might or might not be appropriate action to take in this case without assuming the worst about each other's motives and beliefs.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:
I find this topic a hard one for me to discuss while staying level-headed (see the other thread), but I highly doubt that Unionist was saying that rape is okay.

Gee thanks, Michelle, I really appreciate the benefit of the doubt. You're so kind. But while you're at it, would you please ask "certain people" to lay off and start commenting on topics instead of babblers? This is getting a tad sickening.

 

Michelle

Um, I just did.  Did you read the rest of my post?

nexus7

In this case I believe the appropriate action is Prayer. Pray for HOPE. Pray for the victims of rape, and violence. Do not judge, PRAY this violation of humanity will END!

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Um, I just did.  Did you read the rest of my post?

Yes I did. Now please read the half-dozen other threads where the same crap is going on, when you have a moment.

However, I'll just use the ignore button from now on when people accuse me of justifying rape, being a hypocrite, lacking "moral authority", using women and children to beat my own drum - that's within the past half hour if my count is right.

Michelle

Sorry, didn't see those ones when I posted here.  I saw it now in the other thread.

Anyhow, back on topic...

Whoopi clarifies what "rape-rape" means. 

Quote:

“I know it wasn’t rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don’t believe it was rape-rape,” she said on The View Monday. “He pled guilty to having sex with a minor and he went to jail, and when they let him out he said ‘You know what, this guy’s going to give me 100 years in jail. I’m not staying’. And that’s why he left.”

Whoopi went on damage control in a follow-up statement issued Wednesday: “Some people got the idea that I was condoning what he did. I’m going to be very clear: I was trying to make sure we had our facts straight because that’s my job – particularly about what he was arrested for and what he was charged with, which was unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, not rape, which was my point.”

Hello, anybody home?  The reason why statutory rape is illegal is because the child is TOO YOUNG TO CONSENT.  Sex without consent is RAPE.

So yes, even if she didn't say no - which it sounds like, from the grand jury testimony, she did, many times - it still isn't consent, because a child of 13 is too young to give consent - especially to someone in a position of authority who is 30 years older than her.

It's rape-rape.  It's even rape-rape-rape.  It's RAPITY-FUCKING-RAPE-RAPE-RAPE-RAPE.  Rape.  "Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor" is rape.

Caissa

Thank you, Michelle.  The diminishment of this crime by some "celebrities" is sexist, ageist and classist.

kropotkin1951

nexus7 wrote:

In this case I believe the appropriate action is Prayer. Pray for HOPE. Pray for the victims of rape, and violence. Do not judge, PRAY this violation of humanity will END!

It being October maybe the Great Pumpkin will answer your prayers. Like fuck I will not judge this horrible man and his odious deeds. If he was repentant I might consider taking that into account in my judgement of him but since he basically says that every man wants to fuck little girls he has shown he doesn't give a rats ass about the girl or any other women.  For the record I do not have any desire to fuck little girls and I think that goes for many men in my circle of friends. 

___________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists

Ghislaine

Michelle, your post is awesome.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I think Unionist did nothing wrong and deserves an apology.  If that means people put me in the same boat as him, I will offer to take the oars.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

It's true that Polanski is an incredibly talented filmmaker.  He's a master of cinematic form and language and he creates films of great beauty and and meaning.  That's without question.

It's also beyond question that the man is a morally reprehensible person who has committed a terrible crime that he richly deserves to be punished for.  His talents as a filmmaker are irrelevant to this. 

Neither truth cancels out the other.

Stargazer

Excellent post Timebandit. Thanks.

remind remind's picture

Michelle wrote:
remind wrote:
Yep, sick fuck, and yet some think he is brilliant....and have no recriminations for him.

You can think he's brilliant without thinking what he did was okay.  I find this topic a hard one for me to discuss while staying level-headed (see the other thread), but I highly doubt that Unionist was saying that rape is okay. 

Let's all give each other the benefit of the doubt here - we all know each other, and know that none of us condones drugging and raping 13 year-olds.  We can discuss what might or might not be appropriate action to take in this case without assuming the worst about each other's motives and beliefs.

No.. I am sorry, I can't Michelle, not when there is endless threads where he  is espousing  religions being destroyed,  bashing people who belong to them, etc etc etc, allegedly on the side of women and children, but when it comes to Polanski all that is said is that the man is brilliant and NOT one other word of criticism or censor about him.

Said more in the other thread that I won't repeat here.

BYW, I walked away, as it is a topic that I am not level headed about. But it still comes back to the same damn thing, how dare anyone carry on about the moral authority lacking in others,  and other child abuse criticisms, and pretend they are allies of women and children, but yet have NOTHING to say about this.

That I am furious is putting it mildly.

And I am not suggesting that he thinks rape is okay, I am stating that apparently there are times when it can be excused, and apparently on the part of a good many, and I am stating it can NEVER be excused, under any circumstance.

It is at best classist. And I find it creepy in the extreme, that people think his films are so great.

And for those who want to take me to task for saying this, have a  look at the Catholic Church thread where Catholics are soundly denounced for  still being Catholics, by many, and it is all dandy fine to do so, as people cannot understand how people can still be Catholic after all the Church has done.

This is the same damn thing, how can people watch a Polanski film knowing what he has said and done!

 

 

Unionist

Timebandit wrote:

It's true that Polanski is an incredibly talented filmmaker.  He's a master of cinematic form and language and he creates films of great beauty and and meaning.  That's without question.

It's also beyond question that the man is a morally reprehensible person who has committed a terrible crime that he richly deserves to be punished for.  His talents as a filmmaker are irrelevant to this. 

Neither truth cancels out the other.

Nothing to add or subtract. That's it, exactly.

 

kropotkin1951

Timebandit I think the problem many of us have with the celebrities coming to his defence is exactly because his criminal behaviour cannot be justified by any talent.  The reason it is getting so much discussion is this defence based on his talent.  If everyone had said he has admitted guilt and he should be appropriately punished there would be little discussion on this board because we would all agree.

The other part of that bothers me is that he used his fame as a film maker to lure this girl into his rape scenario.  He knows how to set a scene very well and he has definitely used that talent for perverted ends.  It was his fame that allowed him to do this and thus it is in some respects relevant.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I can look at Polanski's work as an artist and find it good because it is.  It isn't poor quality work because he's a bad man.  And let's be clear, he is a bad man in a lot of ways.  But he is not a bad filmmaker.

Hell, Picasso was a total bastard to the women in his life (one of which he started a secret affair with when she was 17).  Does that make his art less brilliant? 

Human beings are more complicated than all evil or all good.

remind remind's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I think the problem many of us have with the celebrities coming to his defence is exactly because his criminal behaviour cannot be justified by any talent.  The reason it is getting so much discussion is this defence based on his talent.  If everyone had said he has admitted guilt and he should be appropriately punished there would be little discussion on this board because we would all agree.

The other part of that bothers me is that he used his fame as a film maker to lure this girl into his rape scenario.  He knows how to set a scene very well and he has definitely used that talent for perverted ends.  It was his fame that allowed him to do this and thus it is in some respects relevant.

Exactly and thank you.

It is also just the same as people going into professions such as the priest hood so that they can access those whom they want to for their perverted sexual desires.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Timebandit I think the problem many of us have with the celebrities coming to his defence is exactly because his criminal behaviour cannot be justified by any talent.  The reason it is getting so much discussion is this defence based on his talent.  If everyone had said he has admitted guilt and he should be appropriately punished there would be little discussion on this board because we would all agree.

The other part of that bothers me is that he used his fame as a film maker to lure this girl into his rape scenario.  He knows how to set a scene very well and he has definitely used that talent for perverted ends.  It was his fame that allowed him to do this and thus it is in some respects relevant.

And I agree with you.  My point is more directed to those who say he's a bad filmmaker because he's committed a crime.

I am as disgusted as the next person of the celebrities calling for the case to be dropped.  It shouldn't be.  Polanski should not be given a free pass on a rape conviction because of his talent.  Nor should he be given a pass because he survived the Holocaust or because his wife was brutally murdered. 

Where his position as a filmmaker comes in is in the power differential between himself and his victim, and should be viewed as making the crime that much more heinous. 

But you can't say the guy's films are shit, because they aren't.

Merowe

Wasn't Charlie Chaplin, whose romantic proclivities were well-known, brought down when a calculating mother steered her underage daughter into his path? What really IS the backstory to this Polanski matter? And where were her parents/guardians in all this? Here in Germany they'd be legally liable, for failing in their legal duty to protect. Obviously they didn't expect their daughter to be molested by the distinguished acting editor of Vogue, but - so what? Why should that let them off the hook, when we are so keen to press the case against Mr.Polanski?

Much is made of the fact that she was underage. Polanski claims to have believed she was actually 16. If she had been, would this have made it alright? Or, legally alright but still disgusting, and if so why?

Also, the way the term 'rape' is being deployed here, it's going to go the way of 'terrorist'. Why can't we just leave it to mean, the act of compelling sexual relations with an unconsenting partner by threat or actual use of violence? Presumably that is its origin. But when it starts to spread into concepts like 'statutory rape' let's make sure we don't lose sight of the fact that we're talking about something as different as say, manslaughter and murder. Consenting sex between early adolescents constitutes rape under such a definition, for example, which makes an awful lot of us rapists. 'Statutory rape' as a concept is deployed to criminalize the preying of adults on early adolescent and legally not responsible minors which is its purpose, but this is a TECHNICAL term which due to semantics unfortunately connotes what to me is a graver antisocial act.

Because, when I think of rape, I think of rampaging Congolese soldiers, or sadists lurking in dark alleys who take their pleasure at least as much from the violent component as the intercourse. I don't think of compliant underage aspiring models and actresses who wind up on the casting couch. When the term 'rape' starts flying around as thickly as it is here, I think we need to keep in mind the wide range of behaviours it covers, and take note of the distinctions.

Regarding this case, I must once again note that Polanski long ago apologized and settled with the child he violated, presumably to their mutual satisfaction if she took the trouble to initiate court proceedings to have the matter dropped, as she did last year. I note that she made the decision to seek to have the charges dropped of her own volition - as a fully autonomous adult and not incidentally married with children of her own to care for. But what do her wishes count for in this? There's a principle at stake here! We have to burn the village to save it!

At 74 years of age, it is unlikely he poses a threat to other underage women; what in God's name is the point of continuing this prosecution, what does it accomplish?

Because to me, I just see a braying pack of angry villagers waving torches and pitchforks, stirred up on cue by a gutter press and incoherent with emotion, and not too fussy about the details. 'Rape' they yell, then everything goes red...

pookie

Merowe wrote:

Also, the way the term 'rape' is being deployed here, it's going to go the way of 'terrorist'. Why can't we just leave it to mean, the act of compelling sexual relations with an unconsenting partner by threat or actual use of violence? Presumably that is its origin. But when it starts to spread into concepts like 'statutory rape' let's make sure we don't lose sight of the fact that we're talking about something as different as say, manslaughter and murder. Consenting sex between early adolescents constitutes rape under such a definition, for example, which makes an awful lot of us rapists. 'Statutory rape' as a concept is deployed to criminalize the preying of adults on early adolescent and legally not responsible minors which is its purpose, but this is a TECHNICAL term which due to semantics unfortunately connotes what to me is a graver antisocial act.

Because, when I think of rape, I think of rampaging Congolese soldiers, or sadists lurking in dark alleys who take their pleasure at least as much from the violent component as the intercourse. I don't think of compliant underage aspiring models and actresses who wind up on the casting couch. When the term 'rape' starts flying around as thickly as it is here, I think we need to keep in mind the wide range of behaviours it covers, and take note of the distinctions.

...Because to me, I just see a braying pack of angry villagers waving torches and pitchforks, stirred up on cue by a gutter press and incoherent with emotion, and not too fussy about the details. 'Rape' they yell, then everything goes red...

Wow.

remind remind's picture

"Picasso wa...Does that make his art less brilliant? "

Apparently, little consideration is given to individual taste relativity, in respect to the use of the word  "brilliant". ;)

However, making a juxtaposition between the 2, is excusing both for their proclivities, because one feels they are brilliant and thus apparently a net plus to society is perceived. Though I take exception to the use of a past figure given, it is the past and nothing can be done to change said persons behaviour and people's acceptance of it. This is in the present, and the culture of rape needs to be destroyed.

As that is really the underlaying reality of it all.

An internalized appreciation of "art", that only certain population demographics, around the world, can aspire to seeing and knowing about, let alone understanding, being weighted as a positive mark, by some, and thus they lessen his culpability as they *shrug* it off, as brilliance. It is an expression of classism and sexism.

It is done with the unspoken, but very implicit expression of:  "I feel I should not deprive myself of viewing his brilliance, just because he sodomized and raped a 13 year old girl, after drugging her. Brilliance is brilliance afterall,  it stands alone, and that a girl was raped, and perhaps many more, comes secondary to my being able to view brilliance".

That he also fled, and continued life in the same vien, as per his 1979 commentary, only compounds that fact, that those who view him because he is brilliant, are impllicitly stating it is okay to rape and flee, as long as it benefits them and their pleasure of accessing "brilliance".

As I stated above, it is classist, ageist and sexist and sickeningly allows the culture of rape to continue.

Does anyone here think a 13 year old girl appreciates Polanski's "brilliance", if she even know who he is ,or what the hell brilliance he exhibits. I do not think so, especially not when she is being drugged and raped by a middle age man, who thinks he is brilliant, and "if Polanski got away with it because he is brilliant, so can I".

 

remind remind's picture

Fuck, I missed that completely, pookie, it is this this type of shit, that I am talking about, and how it grows  by  extention, into condoning of action, and indeed action, in part from classistly admiring the man's "brilliance".

If it was some other average income 43 year old man working in an office, doing that to a 13 year old, there would  be no " compliant underage" BS going on. There would be full out condemnation of his actions, and people would not give a shit that he regularily denoted a 10% of his income to charity, let's say, and had thus helped thousands of people over the years.

Stargazer

Wow again. What a horrible post, filled with a lot of horrible crap.

First of all, READ THE COURT TRANSCRIPTS!!! They are on the Smoking Gun, verbatum. Secondly, WTF? At NO POINT did this girl ever say she was 16 and at no pojnt did Polanski NOT know she was 13. Again, read the transcripts. This girl was raped, anally by a man 30 years older than her. He raped her anally to avoid getting her pregnant. Nice guy huh? He pled GUILTY to the charges and stated he knew her age was 13. He is no innocent man being lured into sex by shifty mothers and their underage daughters. What a disgusting post you have made Merowe. Beyond tolerable truly.

One can easily say Polanski is gifted but we sure as hell cannot say he did not rape a 13 year old girl. Period. Full stop. He should be charged with that crime.

 

jacki-mo

Merowe: It was rape as per the usual definition. He plowed her with alcohol and a drug, sodomozed her, and she did resist.

Tommy_Paine

Also, the way the term 'rape' is being deployed here, it's going to go the way of 'terrorist'. Why can't we just leave it to mean, the act of compelling sexual relations with an unconsenting partner by threat or actual use of violence? Presumably that is its origin.

The origins of rape as a crime lie in crimes against property.  Rape wasn't a crime against women; it was a crime against the father, or the husband.

But we've come, or at least many have come, a ways in our understanding from the days of Alfred the Great.

Because, when I think of rape, I think of rampaging Congolese soldiers, or sadists lurking in dark alleys who take their pleasure at least as much from the violent component as the intercourse. I don't think of compliant underage aspiring models and actresses who wind up on the casting couch.

A winsome blend of the false dichotomy and the straw man.  And, I find myself not possessing the patience to expand on that.

remind remind's picture

The topic of this thread here is directly related to this IMV, it indicates just how  deep the classist belief is  that young girls are just the "perks" for  middle aged and educated, or wealthy men.

And if it has to be rape so what, they are brilliant, gifted and educated, no point in depriving society, aka 'ourselves', of them!

Ghislaine

Merowe wrote:

Wasn't Charlie Chaplin, whose romantic proclivities were well-known, brought down when a calculating mother steered her underage daughter into his path? What really IS the backstory to this Polanski matter? And where were her parents/guardians in all this? Here in Germany they'd be legally liable, for failing in their legal duty to protect. Obviously they didn't expect their daughter to be molested by the distinguished acting editor of Vogue, but - so what? Why should that let them off the hook, when we are so keen to press the case against Mr.Polanski?

Much is made of the fact that she was underage. Polanski claims to have believed she was actually 16. If she had been, would this have made it alright? Or, legally alright but still disgusting, and if so why?

Also, the way the term 'rape' is being deployed here, it's going to go the way of 'terrorist'. Why can't we just leave it to mean, the act of compelling sexual relations with an unconsenting partner by threat or actual use of violence? Presumably that is its origin. But when it starts to spread into concepts like 'statutory rape' let's make sure we don't lose sight of the fact that we're talking about something as different as say, manslaughter and murder. Consenting sex between early adolescents constitutes rape under such a definition, for example, which makes an awful lot of us rapists. 'Statutory rape' as a concept is deployed to criminalize the preying of adults on early adolescent and legally not responsible minors which is its purpose, but this is a TECHNICAL term which due to semantics unfortunately connotes what to me is a graver antisocial act.

 

This has to be the most offensive post that I have ever read on babble. Merowe, this was NO ONE'S FAULT BUT POLANSKI'S! It does not matter if the parents dropped her off at his house with a bag of sex toys and told him to do whatever he wanted. IT would still be rape and would still be illegal and it would still be his fault. YOur comment sounds so much like that "she was asking for it" bullshit - like what was she doing wearing skimpy clothes adn climbing into his hottub? What did she think would happen? Relax, it's not his fault - how can men resist screwing 13 year old girls after drugging them and ignoring the fact that they said no?

She did say no according to her testimony, so it would be rape whether she was 18 (age of consent in the US) or 13. However, rape is defined by the absence of consent. When a victim is below age of consent - they are too young to consent! Rape is rape. It is not just some "technical" term made up.

And your bs about rapists just being over in the Congo or something?? Wake up! Do you know how many women and girls have been raped and sexually assaulted in your community- in your country? It is quite often by someone they know!

 

Ghislaine

And your bullshit about "calculating mothers" is just beyond the pale as well.

yarg

Some of you are way too complicated for me, but for my 2 cents i think the world would have been better off without his "brilliance" and perhaps improved if he had been made an example of when this crime was first committed.  Hopefully he will suffer for the remainder of his days for what he did.

Ghislaine

[url=http://www.thenation.com/blogs/anotherthing/479379/roman_polanski_has_a_... Katha Politt 's take [/url]:

 

Quote:
Fact: What happened was not some gray, vague he said/she said Katie-Roiphe-style "bad sex." A 43-year-old man got a 13-year-old girl alone, got her drunk, gave her a quaalude, and, after checking the date of her period, anally raped her, twice, while she protested; she submitted, she told the grand jury "because I was afraid." Those facts are not in dispute--except by Polanski, who has pooh-poohed the whole business many times (You can read the grand jury transcripts here.) He was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, like many accused rapists, to spare the victim the trauma of a trial and media hoopla. But that doesn't mean we should all pretend that what happened was some free-spirited Bohemian mix-up. The victim took years to recover.

Fact: In February 2008, LA Superior Court Judge Peter Espinosa ruled that Polanski can challenge his conviction. All he has to do is come to the United States and subject himself to the rule of law. Why is that unfair? Were he not a world-famous director with boatloads of powerful friends, but just a regular convicted sex criminal who had fled abroad, would anyone think it was asking too much that he should go through the same formal process as anyone else?

It's enraging that literary superstars who go on and on about human dignity, and human rights, and even women's rights (at least when the women are Muslim) either don't see what Polanski did as rape, or don't care, because he is, after all, Polanski--an artist like themselves. That some of his defenders are women is particularly disappointing. Don't they see how they are signing on to arguments that blame the victim, minimize rape, and bend over backwards to exonerate the perpetrator? Error of youth, might have mistaken her age, teen slut, stage mother--is that what we want people to think when middle-aged men prey on ninth-graders?

Slumberjack

In imagining the type of mind that it takes to commit those extremely violent and cruel acts, the so called 'gifts' and 'brilliance' which emanated from the same head places them into their proper perspective, tarnished creations of a depraved intellect where privilege and status is offered as an excuse in the place of personal responsibility for reprehensible crimes.

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