Adam Lang, the former British Prime Minister, shambles around under virtual house arrest in his publisher’s post-modern mansion. It’s like a bunker concreted into a Hitchcockian Island -windswept vistas promise freedom, but in reality act as a stark reminder of Lang’s bitter exile from his own country. His wife Ruth likens their banishment to Napoleon’s on St. Helena, with the tyrant of Europe dumbfounded how anyone could see his rule as anything other than benign. Continue reading
The current media blow-up over the Roman Polanski case has exposed our culture’s disturbing whitewashing of the personal characters of creative people, as well as served up an entirely bizarre idea that Polanski is somehow being persecuted “for his art.”
In 1977, the director was arrested for drugging and raping a minor. Yes, he plea-bargained down to a lesser charge before fleeing the country upon realizing that his plea bargain might not actually get him off the hook for the more serious charges, and that he might actually get some real jail time, but the fact remains – what he was initially charged with was rape, forcible sodomy, and giving drugs to a little girl. This happens to perfectly match the testimony of the victim, which anyone feeling the need to defend Polanski should really read before making any further comment, because it is horrifying.
Let’s face it, everyone pretty much knows what happened here. A rich, famous, powerful man used his position and the lure of a potential career in Hollywood to entrap a 13 year old girl into a situation where she was alone with him, drugged her with booze and Quaaludes, and then raped and sodomised her. While he was doing this, she was saying no and pleading to be allowed to go home. Anyone who wants to argue this – again, read the victim’s testimony.
This should be just about as watertight a rape case as has ever existed. The victim was drugged, and still, even when drugged, clearly non-consenting. She was underage and frankly, looking at photographs from the era, barely pubescent. And the man who raped her was old enough to be her father.
Pretty straightforward, right? Who could possibly blame a vulnerable child for what happened that night, or try to excuse the behavior of the man who attacked her?
Roman Polanski’s recent arrest at the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland has ignited a firestorm of reactions. No one denies that he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977, or that he has had an active warrant for his arrest since 1978. But people are still arguing there are a myriad of reasons why 76-year-old Polanski is the real victim and should be left alone.
Calling Polanski a victim denies the fact Polanski has been a fugitive for over 20 years. Calling Polanski a victim minimizes the severity of what he did to Samantha Geimer, now an adult with children of her own and the desire to move on with her life.
It is chilling to watch Hollywood take up arms against Polanski’s detention. Where are people getting the idea that great artistry permits people to avoid serving time for committing horrific crimes?