September 30, 2009

"All that's left, then, is that he's been extraordinarily burdened by traumatic deaths in his family."

"You could say the same of Vice President Joe Biden, but I don't think anyone wants to give him license to go on a crime spree."


Treacle said...

Since when is traumatic family deaths NOT an excuse to drug, rape, sodimize and ejaculate into the anus of a 13 year old girl who repeatedly says "no"?

Paul Zrimsek said...

This is pretty amusing: Ace and his commenters speculate on which crimes other celebrities should be allowed to get away with, based on their artistic contributions.

Fred4Pres said...

I fear Polanski will walk from this and that is a shame. Polanski should serve some jail time. What he did was wrong. There is no doubt about his guilt, the only issue is the appropriate punishment.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, even Susan Estrich gets it.

ricpic said...

Isn't the whole thrust (pun intended) of lefty thought that we must strive to close the gap between American retrograde exceptionalism and European enlightenment and tolerance?

Well, this "understanding" of child molestation (by an aristocrat) is the terminus of that thrust.

jr565 said...

I just came across Polanksi's interview where he said this:
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

To put some perspective on this imagine if this were said by a catholic priest to justify having sex with underage boys during the whole catholic priest/ underage boy scandal. I'm SURE that the Hollywood community was down with that.

muddimo said...

Not only that, Treacle, but such behavior is not "rape-rape". Says Whoopi.

Treacle said...

I heard that this morning, Muddimo. I don't know what Whoopi could possibly mean. Is it that a 13 year old girl who says "no" is really saying "yes"? I didn't get it.

Quayle said...

This case has become a sexual-morality Rorschach test, and the results show that the rot is quite pervasive.

k*thy said...

Treacle, I'm not getting it either.

EDH said...

I have a hard time fathoming what's going on in the minds of people like Bernard-Henri Levy.

I’d have to guess a major source of the sympathy, woops empathy, for Polanski has to do with the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate.

Amidst the cultural tumult of the 1960s, and despite the couple’s new-age quirks, there was a popular perception that the artist Polanski had found a dream girl in Sharon Tate. A love so special precisely because only a movie director of Polanski’s profound artistry could fully appreciate her beauty.

In this romanticization, it was only because she and their unborn child were ripped from Polanski's life so brutally, so unfairly, that he darkened and followed a debauched existence thereafter.

It’s not much of a stretch to go the next step and surmise that Polanski would have been less prone to commit this type of offense had Sharon Tate remained in his life. Hence, Tate’s murder was a “but for” if not proximate cause of Polanski’s crime.

The problem in making that an exculpatory rather than a mitigating factor, however, is that in order to judge Polanski, you first have to sit in judgment of Polanski’s marriage to Tate, and whether he would have eventually followed pretty much the same selfish, opportunistic path as he did had she lived.

I think many of Polanski’s supporters buy into this flawed analysis of his guilt, and hence believe that in order to judge Polanski you have to judge not just his conduct, but also his relationship with Tate, which they find distasteful.

Yet, in point of fact, they are the only ones in the debate who have invoked it, however obliquely.

Treacle said...

In the Color Purple, doesn't Celie (who was 14 years old) get raped by an older man? Didn't Whoopi Goldberg play Celie in the movie? More honesty on screen probably than in real life.

Shanna said...

She was a child. He lied, lured and plied her with drugs and alcohol.

Good for Susan Estrich. Very interesting how this issue really splits down weird lines.

I am glad that she pointed out that he “lured” her, because I have been focusing on that as well. This was not a crime of opportunity, the guy created the opportunity.

Henry said...

If that's the defense, someone better keep an eye on Elie Wiesel.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, even Susan Estrich gets it."

Huh? Susan Estrich wrote the book on so-called date rape. It's called "Real Rape" and it was an extremely important book in its time — 1988. Estrich describes her own experience as a victim of a violent rape by a stranger, then goes on to discuss other kinds of rape — like what Whoopi Goldberg these days calls "not rape-rape" — and concludes that is real rape.

So you should not be surprised at what Estrich is writing now.

rhhardin said...

"All that's left" cuts out what you might call a cultural audience analysis.

Why is child sexual abuse fascinating, fascinating enough anyway to draw huge audiences and great ratings?

Which keeps it in the nation's focus until some kind of exhaustion finally sets in.

Related, why was child sexual abuse not of any interest, not even having a name, before the 70s?

Reflect on the various child care center magic room trials that went on for months, debunked by Dorothy Rabinowitz at the WSJ (one of the convicted is still in jail because he won't confess; it's politically dangerous to let him out even though he's presumed to be innocent).

The question is why that level of interest, not whether child abuse ought to be illegal.

Take the answer to that, whatever it is, and apply it to the inclination to defend, and see if anything makes sense.

Everybody's going on visceral reaction, which is great for ratings but nothing much else.

I suspect a myth is at stake, that a child is wholly innocent and there must always be a completely evil villain, as a reflex of that.

Where realizing that you have a part in what happens to you, at a gradually increasing level, growing up; and 13 is pretty old. Which can be what films make use of.

I was no shrinking violet at 13, nor were my classmates.

In Chicago they're killing classmates at 13.

traditionalguy said...

Polanski owes a debt to the citizens of California. The interesting part of his case, aside from the intense anger that a young female victim was his targeted lust object here, is the Plea Bargain procedures used. In order to facilitate overworked Courts whose calendars rely on a 80% negotiated pleas in Criminal cases, the offer is usually made to Defendant's counsel to plea to a reduced charge and a certain sentence, or have to go to trial with a greater charge and an open ended sentence, that is tacitly warned will be greater if you waste the court's time and expenses on a Jury Trial and lose. Occaisionally a risk taker will go for an acquittal by a Jury...and win. Most often they will surrender their right to require that the State prove the case to a Jury beyond a reasonable doubt...and remember that juries also have an option to select guilty on a lesser charge when they are not sure if he is guilty or not to compromise in the jury room, and they do this often. In any event, Polanski's counsel cut the sure deal and gave away Polanski's rights. But after the 40+ days in a mental ward for evaluation, the Judge said he would not be bound by the Plea Bargain as to length of sentence. So the court should have let him withdraw his plea and go to trial. And what caused the reviewing judge last year to suggest that the 1979 Judge was wrong to ignore the original plea deal?

miller said...

I am sorry that Polanski has suffered.

This does not excuse his actions.

Why are people even discussing this? This is some kind of bizarre world where we weigh what suffering balances raping a 13-year-old.

Richard Dolan said...

Since Polanski pled guilty, the time for a defense is long past. All that was left when he fled was the sentencing.

An argument about how burdened the defendant was by traumatic events in his life is often made in the defendant's sentencing memo to the court. It rarely does much good. Where as here the defendant was a fugitive, that fact typically bears much more heavily on the sentence.

Some may recall the case in Connecticut a few years ago, involving the son of a wealthy contractor who had date-raped a girl when both were in high school. The defendant took off for Europe, was secretly supported by his family as a ski bum for years, but was eventually caught and returned to CT for trial. Long after the event, he was convicted and got (if my memory is right) 20 years. A large part of that sentence was due to his having been a fugitive.

For obvious reasons, courts deal harshly with fugitives. I suspect that Polanski will receive that treatment too.

jr565 said...

Hollywoods reaction to this incident is a primer for all the date rapers of the world. Make a movie first then commit your crime. Don't use roofies, use qualudes. When sentencing is about to occur flee country and live in various european countries who are more open about rape (as opposed to rape rape) than us puritans in the US.

jr565 said...

miller wrote:
"Why are people even discussing this? This is some kind of bizarre world where we weigh what suffering balances raping a 13-year-old."

Because he made Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown. He's a genius! Isn't that enough?

Cedarford said...

"Treacle said...
Since when is traumatic family deaths NOT an excuse to drug, rape, sodimize and ejaculate into the anus of a 13 year old girl who repeatedly says "no"?"

I imagine in the time it took you to write that, several ejaculations happened in the anuses of women that initially said no, maybe repeated saying "no", but who then assented.

And in underclass circles, in the same time span, several 13 year old 'hos were "violated" while willingly under some influence of alcohol, drugs, or reward inducements..

And the law sensibly will try to avoid getting involved...because we can't afford to "bring the justice" Polanski haters want to every offender.

We have a sizable community of people in America who believe that anything that morally offends them should be dealt with by maximum "throw the book at 'em" penalties and we actually need tens of millions of Americans in penetentaries.

But it's not affordable and it would turn America into a totalitarian police state. But people rant on about how every family fight, every pot smoker, every drunk or every horny guy/willing 'ho situation where legal T's are not crossed merits years in jail...completely oblivious to how impossible it would be to implement their vengence fantasies.

jr565 said...

Treacle wrote:
I heard that this morning, Muddimo. I don't know what Whoopi could possibly mean. Is it that a 13 year old girl who says "no" is really saying "yes"? I didn't get it.

Good points. Were going to have to come up with some rules for the new "rape-rape" classification. Does "no means no" work with real rape or with rape-rape or both or neither?
If you are being rape-raped do you have to say "no no" so as to distinguish from the singular rape. And how does the new singular rape tie into date rape. Is date rape higher on the scale than merely rape? Or are date rapers comitting rape (but not rape-rape) and thus should be let go like Polanski should be.Or does it only work if you've done some really good artistic work?

Shanna said...

And the law sensibly will try to avoid getting involved...because we can't afford to "bring the justice" Polanski haters want to every offender.

The law looks very harshly on people who flee from justice. There was a lawyer here who embezzled and they caught him madagascar and I’m pretty sure they are throwing the book at him. That’s what happens when you run away because you don’t want to serve time.

It’s so creepy how people want to equate this case with teenagers having sex with their boyfriends. It’s not the same thing.

reader_iam said...

Well, there are people who apparently want it to be OK for adults, however old, to have sex with 13-year-olds, and want that enough to make it not rape even in cases such as Polanski's. There are even people who want child sexual abuse to be defined as narrowly possible and to apply only to the very youngest (as a fall-back position from the truly desired state of affairs, which is to say a return to the days when such a thing was rarely acknowledged, much less spoken about, even with regard to very young children indeed).

They're willing to be creepy if that'll help to redefine the currently criminal to the merely, well, creepy.

Oh, for the good old days, eh?

former law student said...

In the Color Purple, doesn't Celie (who was 14 years old) get raped by an older man?

The rape I remember reading about was Maya Angelou's, in her I Wonder Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya was only eight years old; the rapist was her mom's boyfriend. When the story came out, the rapist was killed, probably by men in her family.

knox said...

I am guessing that for some of these celebrities, sex with kids is sort of like the last remaining taboo. It's an easy way to seem cool and "cutting edge" to take a liberal view of it.

I think that motivates, at least in part, these celebrities who want to very publicly forgive Polanski.

careen said...

I haven't seen "Chinatown" but I did recently see "Rosemary's Baby" and it is dated drivel - at best the Satanic Dakota neighbors and husband resemble Polanski and enablers - that's the only thing that made it remotely interesting.

So that's his excuse?

To a poster above - the reason sexual abuse didn't have a name before the 70s is likely the blossoming of women's rights. Women's rights and children's rights follow the same trajectory.