Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Defending that putz Woody Allen

Roman Polanski got himself arrested and is facing extradtion to the U.S. to face the music after 32 years on the lam, living the life of a hunted fugitive, hiding in posh parties and movie premiers in European capitols.

Hollywood and the artistic community abroad are aghast at us uncultured American barbarians. They've gone public with their hitherto private conviction that artistes are above conventional morality and the law.

In America of course, this gets you a horselaugh. Which is probably one of the reasons disaffected artists and intellectuals are among the most prominent America-haters.

I do think there are... troubling things in the Polanski case that I may deal with later.

Or maybe not. Frankly, this and some criminal cases I've covered lately are making me want to book a place in Our Lady of Perpetual Incarceration convent school when my little girl gets to be school age.

But right now, this is one of those times I have to grit my teeth and defend someone I disagree with, against a specific charge I know is unjust.

Woody Allen signed a petition demanding the release of Roman Polanski.

Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!

Conservative commentors are having a field day.

L. Brent Bozell said, "Woody Allen, another famous dirty old man in Hollywood, who scandalously carried on a sexual relationship with an adopted stepdaughter 34 years his junior, and then married her."

Married a girl he was carrying on with? Oh heavens to Betsy surely not! All Right-thinking social conservatives must surely disapprove of that.

Bozell is the brother-in-law of William F. Buckley. As I recall, Jerome Tucille wrote in his book about the then-nascent libertarian movement, It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand, that Bozell in his youth helped found something called The Sons of Thunder.

"Sons of Thunder" is a Bibilical reference to the disciples James and John, sons of Zebedee, nicknamed "thunder."

Evidently these guys wore red berets, carried crucifixes and broke into hospitals to baptise aborted fetuses.

But I digress.

Jonah Goldberg, who really ought to know better, wrote, "No surprise that Woody’s on board, given that he married his adopted daughter."

I once wrote, "Your belief in freedom is tested by your willingness to defend the freedom of people you despise."

This isn't quite one of those occasions. This is more a test of journalistic integrity.


She is the adopted daughter of Allen's previous girlfriend Mia Farrow - who was not his live-in girlfriend either, and Farrow's then-husband Andre Previn.* Allen was never legally or informally a parent-figure to her.

He did father a child with Farrow and they adopted two together. Allen lost any parental rights whatsoever to the adopted children in court, and only supervised visitation with his biological child, who has since cut him off.

But then that's what happens when you don't marry the mother of your child and speaks volumes to the issue of allowing unmarried couples to adopt.

And, he and Soon-yi have been married for 12 years now, have two kids and seem to be doing just fine, thank you very much.

(Evidently Soon-yi isn't the kind to take any of that we-don't-need-a-piece-of-paper-to-affirm-our-love crap. Good for her.)

Bozell, what you're doing looks suspiciously like deliberate misleading - the kind of thing you accuse the Left of doing. You wrote "an adopted daughter" though you didn't specifically say "his adopted daughter" it looks an awful lot like you were trying to slip it by.

Goldberg, you wrote something that is just flat wrong. Since it's an easily checkable error of fact, I'm assuming you simply made a mistake. Plus I like you better and don't want to believe you acted with malice aforethought.

Woody, you're a putz for signing that stupid petition - but everybody should lay off your family.

Note: Since it is known that there is a similar, though not quite as large an age difference in my marriage, the question arises whether I have something personal invested in this.

Not really. We've never gotten any static or public disapproval. If there's been any behind our backs, I've never heard it and wouldn't give a $#!+ anyway.

*For those too young to remember, composer Andre Previn was the husband of Mia Farrow's good friend Dory Previn. Farrow fled to Dory Previn after her marriage with Frank Sinatra broke up, then stole her husband. Dory Previn got a sort of revenge by writing and recording a song about it:

"Beware of young girls who come to your door,
Wistful and pale, twenty and four,
Delivering daises with delicate hands.
Beware of young girls, too often they crave,
To cry at a wedding... And dance on a grave."

"She was my friend, my friend, my friend.
She was invited to my house, Oh yes she was,
And although she knew my love was true, and no ordinary thing,
She admired my wedding ring, she admired my wedding ring."

"We were friends, oh yes we were,
And she just took him from my life, oh yes she did.
So young and vain, she brought me pain, but I'm wise enough to say,
She will leave him one thoughtless day, she just leave him and go away, Oh yes."


  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Ted Amadeus said…

    God forbid an OMFR Khazakh should actually have to own up for something he's done...
    I'm surprised Hellyweird isn't organizing a Perverts' Rights protest march and Abe Foxman isn't out denouncing anyone calling for Polanski's prosecution as - wait for it, I know this'll shock you: "antisemitic".
    Since Michael Jackson, Rock Hudson and countless Jesuits have all escaped their call to face the music - at least here in this world - I don't look for much to come of this beyond a public slap on the wrist...if that!

  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Ted Amadeus said…

    ...As to Woody Allen, he's obscure enough that nobody other than his financial advisor should care about how he handles his marital affairs!
    Pretty much the definition of a successful American husband is, one that makes more money than his wife can spend - a rarity, indeed!

  • At 4:56 AM, Blogger Steve said…

    In case you hadn't noticed, 'anti-semitic' hasn't been a career-killing insult for a while now. 'Racist' overtook it some time ago, about the time the Left rediscovered the joys of anti-semitism.

    So I gather you're pissed off at Jews, Catholics, women, and gays?

  • At 8:49 AM, Blogger Ted Amadeus said…

    No, just appalled at how actual justice has been supplanted by "social(istic in)justice"...
    And amazed at how so many alleged Objectivists still practice blank-out/ignore the elephant in the middle of the room.

  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger Ken S said…

    I was wondering what the heck you were saying, because I apparently never knew Woody Allen wasn't a father figure to her. I'm thinking the press I heard back then wasn't completely honest about his relationship with her either.

    And as an artist, I'm annoyed by all those who feel that because someone has done something 'creative,' their crimes should be forgiven.

    Actually as an artist, I really hate being lumped in with that group.

    And yes, Allen is a putz.

  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger Steve said…

    The press and a lot of just folks were freaked out about the convoluted legal/familial relationships there.

    Some kept referring to "incest," though that's obviously nonsense. And there was a fair number of intellectuals/writers who made not-so-veiled hints of kneecapping, emasculating, etc.

    The weird thing is, Soon-yi stole Woody Allen away from a casual bohemian lifestyle and settled him down into hyper-conventional domesticity. This is bad?

    Especially considering the mess his previous casual unmarried life left the lives of his and Farrow's adopted children, their biological child, and her previous biological and adopted children.


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