I’ve avoided discussing Roman Polanski’s recent arrest for skipping bail on his 1978 statutory rape charge, but I’ve been watching it from afar. And I really don’t believe some of the public comments some people have made about Polanski, and about his 13-year-old victim.
I’m stunned, frankly. And now we can add one more lunatic to the pile: Gore Vidal.
I like to poke fun at Hollywood and the entertainment industry. It’s easy, and it’s fun, because these ridiculous people bring it on themselves. Despite that, the media refuses to criticize any of them, because the media depends on access to these yahoos for much of its content. They are, quite literally, “off limits”.
But what we’ve seen lately really ought to make some of us sit up and pay more attention to the types of people who produce our television shows, our movies, our books and CDs, and our newspapers. Because if their recent comments defending Polanski’s disgusting crime truly reflect their vision of right and wrong, then we should probably confront some ugly truths about our star-centric culture.
The list of such people is long, and disturbing. I’m not going to bother digging up links to all of them here and glorify their ridiculous statements.
So the big picture here is that it’s easy to dismiss cultural influence as unimportant, but I think that’s a mistake. A really big mistake.
And if the fact that Gore Vidal is an amoral twit with nothing useful to tell us wasn’t clear before, then it is pretty damn clear now.
But he’s like 145 years old, so who cares? Here’s why it matters: his outlandish, insane comments in this Atlantic interview a couple of weeks ago didn’t cause any kind of public backlash in the media.
This tells us just about everything we need to know, about both the media and Hollywood in general. And what it tells us is not good.
I’ll break it down for them: it’s ok to come out in public and criticize creeps that drug and rape and sodomize 13 year old girls. Really.
Give it a shot sometime.