WHAT I LEARNED FROM ‘THE INVENTION OF LYING’

2009 October 10
by Elena

I went to see ‘The Invention of Lying’ last night. The movie was awful, but the company was lovely. Rather than tell you all about it, I will instead tell you about what I believe I was meant to learn from it:

1.) LYING IS AWESOME.

2.) In a world where people can’t, don’t, or won’t lie, in addition, you must blurt out every one of your deepest, darkest innermost thoughts. The more painful they will be to the listener, the better.

3.) Fat, slobby, unhappy, depressed beer guzzling dudes should continue to pine after vapid, materially obsessed successful women.

4.) Pursue said vapid women by lying and stealing in order to become materially powerful enough to get them to look past the physical flaws that turn them off.

5.) Ladies should keep on working out endlessly, working their asses off to be executives, and obsessing about finding the best genetic match for their potential children. They should not worry so much about having strength of character.

6.) If you work real hard at being a desirable lady, you can eventually find yourself faced with the choice of marrying a morally and emotionally barren good looking successful man, or a chubby unattractive but slightly charming loser with a heart of gold, neither of whom actually cares about who you really are.

7.) All fat people are losers, but at least they’re not stupid and religious.

Ok, maybe this is an excessively cranky rundown of the message — and the movie had some moments, but seriously, I think that’s what I was supposed to take away from it.

I don’t think I want to go to movies anymore. I hereby resolve to entertain myself by watching clips of baby pandas on youtube. Therein lies happiness!

FACE THE MUSIC, POLANSKI; SHUT UP, HOLLYWOOD

2009 October 8
by Elena

I’m wildly hormonal today. I woke with a migraine. The construction workers next door are hammering and sawing away. I had an altercation in my driveway with a young guy in a white baseball cap, donned backward. I’ve been trying to hang in there, and so I start to read a bit of what’s going on in the world, and I see this:

“Polanski was not guilty of ‘rape-rape’, says Whoopi Goldberg”

These sorts of cases make a lot of people act a fool. It’s not going to stop, and I’ve not really wanted to add to the din, since I feel so passionately about the subject, but hot damn I can’t hold it in anymore.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I did not read the article. I did this not out of a lack of curiosity, but out of a concern for the safety of any and all living creatures and souls within my immediate vicinity. There’s a myth about the Hindu goddess Kali Ma, who spread her tongue over the battlefield to stop a demon’s blood from landing on the ground and thus replicating him a thousand fold. She saved the day, but drunk on rage and murder, slaughtered everyone and everything in sight. Stating the obvious: I’m no goddess, and clicking on a link on a web page is certainly going to save no days. Still, I know better than to stick my tongue out is what I’m saying.

But it is too late. These Polanski shenanigans make me crazy whenever they pop up in the news, and while I’m actually thrilled that an arrest has been made, I’ve always feared it for this reason: These sorts of cases make a lot of people act a fool. It’s not going to stop, and I’ve not really wanted to add to the din, since I feel so passionately about the subject, but hot damn I can’t hold it in anymore. So.

1.) IF YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO LEARN HOW OUR LEGAL SYSTEM WORKS, AT LEAST WATCH AN EPISODE OR TWO OF LAW & ORDER, OR, FAILING THAT, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Yes, in the United States, there is a statute of limitation on rape (don’t get me started on that – we’ll be here all day and all night). It is not relevant in this case, because Polanski was CONVICTED of rape. A statute of limitation refers to how much time can legally pass between when a crime is committed and when it can be prosecuted. This is because some crimes become impossible to fairly prosecute after enough time has passed, and furthermore, some are not so severe that they are worth the government’s resources to pursue criminal action after a certain amount of time passes. I am not a lawyer; this is not brain surgery. I read sometimes, and then I think about what I read afterward. That’s it. If you say anything about a statute of limitation when referring to this situation, you are acting a fool. Not only do you not actually know the particulars of this case, you clearly don’t understand how or why this statute exists. Be quiet.

If you are a pussy and you run away to France, to eat Brie and make thoughtful, delicate movies, there is no time that can run out on the clock. There is no clock.

If you are found guilty of a crime by a United States court of law, you get sentenced afterward. You are able to appeal if the process was not carried out legally, or you can prove that your conviction was the result of a lack of due process. If you are a pussy and you run away to France, to eat Brie and make thoughtful, delicate movies, there is no time that can run out on the clock. There is no clock. You are still a fugitive escaping a sentence. You will continue to be until you die or get sentenced. That is all there is to it.

2.) HOLLYWOOD DOES NOT GET TO DECIDE IF POLANSKI IS GUILTY, THE SEVERITY OF THE CRIME, OR DENIGRATE HIS VICTIM BECAUSE THEY CAN’T ACCEPT THAT ‘ONE OF THEM’ DID WHAT HE DID.

You self important hypocrites.

Mia Farrow – how on earth could you come to Polanski’s defense – you of ALL people, after your extremely public and horrible experiences with your ex-not-husband (Woody Allen) (Woody Allen is an asshole, by the way) – what on earth is wrong with you?

Hey, Whoopi. What exactly is ‘rape-rape’? I’ve never heard of that before. Also, when you’re done explaining that, please tell me how you know exactly what he did. Were you there?

Angelica Houston – one could imagine you come off as “sullen” as well (which is how you described the victim in a probation report). I often wonder what horrors have happened to you during your young life in Hollywood. I’m just saying, you give off some vibes, lady. You also said “”She appeared to be one of those kind of little chicks between — could be any age up to 25. She did not look like a 13-year-old scared little thing,” – is that how you absolve yourself of being in the house during the incident in question and not stopping it?

3.) I KNOW YOU RICHIE RICH POWERFUL TYPES HATE SEEING ONE OF YOURS TREATED LIKE POOR NON WHITE NON MALE FOLK BY THE LEGAL SYSTEM, BUT YOU LOSE YOUR ABILITY TO FIGHT FOR THE ‘DISENFRANCHISED’ WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR LOUSY MOUTHS ABOUT IT.

LA Times Film Critic and Columnist Patrick Goldstein wrote on Sunday:

“[A]t a time when California is shredding the safety net that protects the poor and the unemployed, not to mention the budget of the public school system, you’d hope that LA County prosecutors had better things to do than cause an international furor [sic] by hounding a film director for a 32-year-old sex crime, especially one that Polanski’s victim wants to put it behind her,”

The salient point here is that Polanski has gotten free passes, laudation from his peers despite his terrible victimization of a child, and far too much sympathy in the court of public opinion, all because of his stature and power.

First of all, if you think for a moment that anybody without the resources and power that Polanski has available to him would have been able to escape sentencing for this long, you are completely deluded. If you realize this and accept it and defend it, you are a jerk. But if you go one step further and invoke the poor and disenfranchised when making the argument, you are a miserable flaming asshole and a startling hypocrite.

A lot of Hollywood’s defense of Polanski centers around the fact that after Polanski was convicted, the judge was arguably excessively punitive, sending Polanski for over a month (oh, the humanity!) to a mental institution for evaluation, and then threatening to send him back again for longer. Polanski couldn’t hang, so he shipped off to France.

Polanski was convicted in the first place because he pled guilty, of his own volition, to statutory rape (unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor). Why did he plead guilty? It was a plea bargain. The actual charge is much more serious – and the reality of what happened – he DRUGGED AND FORCIBLY RAPED A CHILD – was easy to prove; there were witnesses, and her testimony was deeply damning.

The salient point here is that Polanski has gotten free passes, laudation from his peers despite his terrible victimization of a child, and far too much sympathy in the court of public opinion, all because of his stature and power. Your average American citizen gets less benefit of the doubt over the prosecution of a parking ticket. This should PISS YOU OFF. The legal system gets more strict the farther away one’s physical and material makeup gets from Polanski’s on the great chart of society’s standard for success.

The reason this situation is an international shitstorm is because of Polanski and his running away, and Hollywood’s ridiculous defense of his behavior. He’s not a political refugee, he’s not a victim of an unfair legal conspiracy. The government is doing as it should. The blame lies with Polanski and his sympathizers – and painting this as a social justice issue is absolutely inexcusable.

4.) FUCKING FACE THE MUSIC, POLANSKI.

It’s not just about the rape anymore (but it still stands). It’s about power and privilege. It’s about extradition between France and The US. It’s about the fact that we do not let rapists go unsentenced! But mostly, to me, it’s about recognizing that being alive and in the world means accepting that there is no running from your actions, no matter how far and fast you run, and no matter how many well (and maliciously) minded people are willing to help you.

Then tell the world – look how much worse it gets when you run. Look how many more people are harmed in its course than just the initial victims. Look how big of a deal it becomes.

This man clearly thinks he has something to give to society. He makes films to this day. He believes he has something to say to the people of the world, and seems to think he has the right and ability to make it a better place. So howabout this:

Own up to what you did – completely. Go ahead and explain yourself. Say you were all kinds of fucked up on drugs and misguided public affection and denigration. Say you were still trying to find your way after your pregnant wife was brutally, senselessly, and publically murdered. Say that this still does not excuse your victimization of a child. Say that you are sorry for what you did to her. Say that it has only been made worse because you ran away from the punishment you deserved, that you walked away, that it was time to own up and take responsibility and you pussed out.

Then tell the world – look how much worse it gets when you run. Look how many more people are harmed in its course than just the initial victims. Look how big of a deal it becomes.

I mentioned Kali Ma earlier, because she is at the center of one of my favorite myths. It’s the story of how you can’t run from malice. You can swallow it, you can spit it onto others, you can ignore it, you can be consumed by it, but it does not go away until you recognize it, own up to it, and make it right.

OK NOW I FEEL BETTER. THE END.

FINALLY

2009 October 8
by Elena

So — it’s been a long time. It’s been so long that I don’t think anybody reading this blog will even remember my old blog! I’ve been futzing with this site for a long time, and I finally decided to just finish it.

So to that end, I made myself some coffee, and I rolled up my sleeves and I polished this mofo off. I’m a little bleary-eyed and tired, so I don’t think I have anything particularly interesting to say for an inaugural post. Besides the obligatory “HELLO, WORLD!” I ain’t got nothin’. But in order to prove to you that I will have something, soon, I will post my Roman Polanski screed, which is what reminded me that I feel better when I write about stuff that’s bothering me, and really I should get to finishing that blog…