ethics

The Disembodied Standpoint; or Why I Don't Take Certain Parts of the Leftwing Blogosphere Seriously and You Shouldn't Either

So I haven't been following #mooreandme closely, because as I've stated before I don't think twitter phenomena are things that really happen, but apparently there's been a dustup in certain quarters based on Sady Doyle's protest over Michael Moore posting bail for Julian Assange. There are a few points I would like to make about this whole crop of nonsense that to me underline my general larger refusal to take those certain quarters seriously.

Point 1: It is fundamentally unjust to draw conclusions about the criminality of a person's actions based on news reports.

What Roman Said

Here's some fun stuff for the Polanski apologists claiming he was railroaded.

From the transcript of Polanski's plea hearing:

Mr. Gunson [The Prosecutor]: . . . Mr Polanski, before you can plead guilty , you must understand the possible direct consequences of your plea. Do you understand you are pleading guilty to a felony?

The Defendant [Polanski: Yes

Mr Gunson: What is the maximum sentence for unlawful sexual intercourse?

The Defendant: It's one to fifteen -- twenty years in State Prison.

. . .

Mr Gunson: Mr Polanski, who do you believe will decide what your sentence will be in this matter?

The Defendant: The Judge.

Mr Gunson: Who do you think will decide whether you get probation?

The Defendant: The Judge.

Mr. Gunson: Who do you think will decide whether the sentence will be a felony or misdemeanor?

The Defendant: The Judge.

Mr. Gunson: Do you understand that at this time, the court has not made any decision about what sentence you will receive?

The Defendant: [No Response]

Mr. Gunson: Do you understand that the Judge has not made any decision?

The Defendant: Yes.

. . .

Mr. Gunson: Do you understand that a legal defense to this crime of Unlawful Sexual intercourse is that the perpetrator believed the female to be 18 years of age or older? Do you understand that?

The Defendant: Yes.

Mr Gunson: On March 10th, 1977 the day you had [unlawful] sexual intercourse with the complaining witness how old did you believe her to be?

[Pause in the proceedings while a discussion off the record ensued at the counsel table between the defendant and his counsel.]

The Defendant: She was 13.

---

Scum begets scum part II

Here's the list of the scum defending Polanski:
http://www.sacd.fr/Le-cinema-soutient-Roman-Polanski-Petition-for-Roman-Polanski.1340.0.html

(note: as of this posting, the site is crashed; my hope is that it's a result of technoactivism)

Some big names on there who really ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Again, boycotting these people is pointless. Art and Morality barely intersect and the fact that these people are naive idiots, amoral scum, or both has nothing to do with the quality of their work.

But if you ever get a chance to meet one of them, I wouldn't shake hands if I were you. And a sneer and an insult would be in order.

Scum begets scum

So Bernard-Henri Lévy has started a Free Roman petition.

This is how it reads:

Apprehended like a common terrorist Saturday evening, September 26, as he came to receive a prize for his entire body of work, Roman Polanski now sleeps in prison.

He risks extradition to the United States for an episode that happened years ago and whose principal plaintiff repeatedly and emphatically declares she has put it behind her and abandoned any wish for legal proceedings.
Seventy-six years old, a survivor of Nazism and of Stalinist persecutions in Poland, Roman Polanski risks spending the rest of his life in jail for deeds which would be beyond the statute-of-limitations in Europe.
We ask the Swiss courts to free him immediately and not to turn this ingenious filmmaker into a martyr of a politico-legal imbroglio that is unworthy of two democracies like Switzerland and the United States. Good sense, as well as honor, require it.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernardhenri-levy/artist-rally-behind-polan_b_302371.html

Here are the signatories currently listed:

Bernard-Henri Lévy
Salman Rushdie
Milan Kundera
Pascal Bruckner
Neil Jordan
Isabelle Adjani
Arielle Dombasle
Isabelle Huppert
William Shawcross
Yamina Benguigui
Mike Nichols
Danièle Thompson
Diane von Furstenberg
Claude Lanzmann
Paul Auster

If anybody has contact info for these people, I'd like ask them about their thinking on why Polanski's status as a holocaust survivor and ingenious filmmaker have any bearing at all on whether or not he committed the crimes he admitted to and if you can point me in the direction of how to contact any of them, particularly the English Speakers, I'd very much appreciate it. I'm particularly disappointed that Milan Kundera is on here. As for the rest they're mostly overrated. I think some people will be disappointed that Paul Auster is on there though.

Starfuckers Inc.

On the issue of Roman Polanksi:

First off, let me just say that this post is inspired primarily by the gaggle of idiot starfuckers defending Roman Polanski on the usually much more sane Huffington Post. I wouldn't feel so compelled to say something about this if it wasn't becoming quite clear that there is a sizable and perhaps growing constituency of starfuckers in the wider world who are willing to accept all manner of innuendo and half truth in the defense of Polanski. As best I can tell there are three basic arguments that are being advanced to excuse Polanski:

1.) He had a hard life/He's Paid his Debt/The Victim Has Forgiven Him/Time to Move on

2.) He's made some great movies and doesn't that count for something.

and most pernicious of all

3.) The girl lied about her age, her mom put her up to it, didn't you see what she was wearing, she totally was asking for it

I intend to take each argument in turn and demonstrate why it's ridiculous. In so doing, I hope to show that all of this ultimately just boils down to the cancerous crypto-starfuckery that plagues American culture.

The Facts
In 1977, Roman Polanski plied a thirteen year old girl with drugs and alcohol, photographed her in the nude, committed an oral sex act on her without her consent, then repeatedly raped her vaginally and anally. These are the facts entered into evidence by the prosecution against him as can be read in the victim's deposition taken at the time. Smokinggun.com has done the public service of posting the relevant portion of the grand jury testimony as a PDF here.