Defending that putz Woody Allen
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.
So... ONCE AND FOR ALL, SOON-YI PREVIN-ALLEN IS NOT AND NEVER WAS WOODY ALLEN'S ADOPTED DAUGHTER.
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."