Is anyone else not surprised?

I’m not going to write a big post analyzing the Roman Polanski case because it couldn’t be more obvious that he deserves to be in prison, and nothing else needs saying. But, I will say that when I heard there was a petition signed by 100 Hollywood assholes who think the poor guy deserves a break (tiny violin, tiny violin), I wondered if old Steve Soderbergh might have signed. I checked it out and, sure enough, the director who lambasted us closed-minded troglodytes who weren’t too keen on his efforts to mainstream Sasha Grey — one of the most aggressively exploited young women in the porn industry — for our reactionary refusal to accept her natural sexuality (right, I’m sure she was born hoping to be physically, verbally, and sexually abused on tape) is just outraged that we’d attempt to prosecute a child rapist. Soderbergh, you see, is an artiste, someone who knows art when he sees it, and he has decided, like 99 other artistes living in the 310 area code, that art trumps rape. And who wouldn’t listen to the legal and artistic opinions of the man behind the film Erin Brockovich?

Expect a more elaborate post about this clown in the near future.

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73 thoughts on “Is anyone else not surprised?

  1. I noticed that Sasha Grey was the next big hope for porn when she came onto the scene. She is constantly promoted as deep, a casual intellectual, etc. This makes her willingness to literally do anything so “interesting”, which supposedly adds to the enigma. I don’t buy it though. I think the porn industry was hoping to make her the vanguard of a new crop of women, empowering themselves through porn and proving up their decision by being well versed in leftist thought and modern art.

    Have you read the transcript of the girls testimony from the preliminary hearing they held? If it were anyone else there would be no discussion on this, it was clearly rape.

    It is sad that such a “progressive” community is so quick to close ranks when one of their own is on trial, even when the case is very clear cut.


      1. The phenomenon of ‘posh porn’ is fascinating, but easy to explain.

        It’s for men who consider themselves intellectuals/leftys/liberals and above the common porn watching herd. So they comfort themselves by thinking but hey, this woman doesn’t HAVE to do porn, she’s got brains! She’s CHOSEN to do porn. Also of course she has ‘class’ which makes her more prized – she should be unavailable. Cf virgin/whore dichotomy.


  2. What’s really disappointing, at least to me, is that some of the names on that list were of people I’d respected.

    The “but he’s a Holocaust survivor” and “he’s paid his time, he hasn’t been in the US for a while” comments REALLY piss me off.

    There has been some criticism of the handling of the affair, and the US’s approach to international relations, which might not be utter bullshit, but I doubt this was what the petition was about.


    1. A bunch of French people, who cares. Aren’t all French people cool with adults coercing pubescent girls into sex? OK, just kidding. But I didn’t see the name of anyone on there that I didn’t already think was a dick.


      1. Ok, yeah, you’ve got people like Woody Allen supporting him, who we all take less than seriously.

        But Tilda Swinton came as a bit of a surprise.


    2. The whole thing is made even more ridiculous by the fact it was his own lawyers that got him in this mess. They were trying to get his conviction overturned or something and pleaded the fact that the U.S. had not made a serious effort to extradite him recently. This led to the U.S. doing just that, and thus, him landing in custody.

      I mean…I just don’t see how people are defending him. The Holocaust survivor thing gets really old too. One woman on HuffPo purporting to write about it ignored the whole issue and reviewed one of his movies instead. I couldn’t believe it.


  3. I’ve mostly seen defenders citing his victim’s wishes – though the way they mention her makes it clear that that is not what they actually care about. Should they be taken into account, since as far as she’s concerned, she’s moved on and she hates her family being caught up in the media circus?


    1. If her wishes were to have his severed head paraded down Hollywood Blvd on a spike, I doubt they’d be all, “well you got to respect her wishes.”


  4. Couple of points for you, because I just wrote an essay for a college class on how royally he fucked up. First, remember how pissed everyone was at the Hounddog movie with Dakota Fanning? The movie that suggested that a 13 year old was being raped? Where’d all that outrage go? Second, Polanski doesn’t seem to understand AT ALL what he’s done. I found a quote he said in 1979 to Martin Amis. I haven’t seen the original source, but I found it here: And the lovely quote is, “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!” Jesus.


  5. I am so mystified bout the timing of this now? No doubt Polanski fucked up and is definitely damaged goods. What is interesting is why now after so so long. Also while I am in no way in support of WHAT Polanski did it did turn into a witch trial and the judge was corrupt and the legal process was a circus as you can see in the movie…”Polanski Wanted and Desired.” Had the trial gone down as it should without a corrupt judge this would have been WAY over by now. The question is why do people ignore the grey here? The victim has moved on…forgiven Polanski been paid her settlement – do we want to burn Polanski for his attitude? He seems not to give a shit – to be justified in his actions – “well I just like to fuck young girls…etc etc.” Also when your parents get murdered by Nazi’s and then the love of your life and your baby son is gruesomely murdered in a bizarre act of hate I’m sure we all would be just fine and carry on… or would we maybe become a predator who seduces young girls with alcohol and drugs and then fucks them whether they like it or not – it’s ugly shit – ugly shit. I’m not defending Polanski BUT I know I could not have survived what he did and “carry on” normally. We do have to remember trauma does beget trauma. It does not excuse but it has to be considered that’s all. Sometimes things are not black and white – they are complicated shades of grey…..


    1. So you’re basically saying that he became a pedophile because he had such a tough life…? Sorry, but that’s just NOT how it works! The men who rape young girls will do it no matter WHAT happens to THEM in their own life. Polanski’s quote says it all…He just simply doesn’t care about those young girls as actual real people with feelings, they are only objects to abuse for him.
      It’s just wrong to defend a self admitted pedophile rapist by saying “Oh, he only did it because he had such a hard time in his life. If he didn’t have such a crap life he would never have done it.”
      Do you even realise that doesn’t make ANY sense at all!!He should have been in jail DECADES ago…who knows how many other girls he has raped before and after this one case where he actually got caught and was sued.
      Little girls, just like adult women, are human beings too you know…and Polanski is just a typical self centered pedophile, nothing more. The fact that he has suffered in his life before doesn’t change that at all.


  6. No. But it is one HELL of a sob story. Why do you think they chose now to bust him as the opportunity has been there for many years??


    1. Well, I’m sure every rape victim can take solace in the fact that everyone will sympathize with them if they blow up the entirety of their home state. I mean, having something bad happen to you means that people should be kind when you harm others right?

      Phew, that’s good. Because being held accountable for out actions is so passé. Let’s just all blame our fucking sob stories instead of cursing this “man” (I use the word incredibly loosely) to the deepest churning bowels of hell.

      Fuck Roman Polanski; he’ll get what’s coming to him in this life or the next.


  7. Jet, what mystifies me is how so many other men whose parents died in the Holocaust and/or whose spouses were violently murdered managed to go on with their lives. However did they “recover” without drugging a 13-year-old who said she wanted to go home, raping her in more than one orifice, and jumping bail to Europe to console themselves with a 15-year-old Nastassja Kinski? Really, to Hell with his past, and to Hell, in my book anyway, with ever using the word “grey” anywhere near the concept/word rape, let alone the word “seduction.” He didn’t seduce that girl, he raped her. Had he seduced her (whatever that’s supposed to even mean when we talk about a 13-year-old), it would still legally be rape.

    In what other case is the perp’s past an excuse? In what other case, while we’re at it, do the victim’s wishes matter post-conviction? If the justice system worked that way, can you imagine how many more domestic violence victims would be dead because they wanted to give their batterers one more chance?

    Wanted and Desired–no, I haven’t watched it–has quite the reputation as a Polanski puff piece. Also, from what I’ve read, the victim has NOT been paid her settlement.

    No matter one’s crime, what statute of limitations should there be for running away after you’re found guilty? How long is long enough that aww, we’ll just let you go because you’re an old man now and you made Chinatown?

    I have no desire to burn him. I’m pretty sure he won’t go to jail, and I can live with that. He simply needs to be brought back to the US to face justice.

    I say all this because I’ve heard these same arguments many times now from who insist they are “not defending Polanksi.” This leaves me quite puzzled as to what “actually defending Polanski” might look like. Any ideas?


    1. I stand corrected. The media circus of it clouds the real issue. Your right there is no excuse for his behaviour. The timing of his current conviction seems strange and I suspect the U.S. has other reasons than justice for choosing now (more than 30 years later) to do this. I think that our society does not deal with sexual abuse at all. I believe Polanski should have been/should be sentenced for his crime. The media and a corrupt judge allowed the present situation to happen. I think you should see the film before you call it a “puff piece”. I will admit my thinking has been shaped by the circus surrounding it.


  8. ND, I’m with Ren on thinking that your attempt to make this somehow be about porn is kinda weak.


    I keep trying to imagine myself as Polanski’s attorney. Or one of his list of petition buddies. What exactly is the defense? He drugged and raped a thirteen-year-old girl, and then fled the country in the middle of a trial. Doesn’t look good.

    OK, he had a tough life. Maybe, after the Tate thing, an exceptionally tough life. I mean, not many of us had our lover whacked by a death cult. But he was also rich and famous, and it’s hard to work up a real head of sympathy for the rich and famous.

    I think the argument would have to be: after 32 years it’s a wash. That’s a time frame where (we hope) you could send someone to prison and therapy and see them rehabiliated as non-sociopaths. If he hasn’t gotten busted for something else in the last three decades, he’d probably not too much of a risk. And, basically, we don’t want everyone who broke the law and got away with it thirty years ago to be living as a outlaw, because outlaws are bad for society.

    But. Polanski didn’t get away with it. He plea-bargained and went to prison (briefly) and then flagrantly and publicly evaded the law. He’s even seen fit to sue people en absentia, in order to keep evading US authorities. So it’s hard to see how the US owes him the benefit of the doubt.

    I would be reluctant to see any state pursuing 30-year-old rape cases (or most other cases) if they were open. But this was a closed case. Dude should pay. Has nothing to do with porn.


    1. For fuck’s sake, I’m not making it about porn. I happen to think Soderbergh is an asshole because of his whole deal with Sasha Grey (which is about porn and its steady infiltration of left-wing politics and the mainstream), and I wasn’t surprised to hear he also supports Polanski. The two things are related in a structural way, but not directly.

      I’m sure he’s behaved like an angel in France. The kind of guy who raped a child has surely never done anything else warranting opprobrium. There’s something morally wrong with statutes of limitation on rape. The guy deserves to be punished, and the only reason he wasn’t is because he’s a rich asshole who could afford to flee.


      1. ND, almost your entire OP is devoted to slamming a porn actress, so yeah, it seems like you are making it about porn.

        I agree that there is something morally wrong with statutes of limitations…on rape or anything else. But the countervailing arguments are compelling. For instance, I used to work a lot with illegal immigrants. They broke the law, sure enough. But at some point, society needs those people to feel OK about calling 911 when their kid is going into anaphalyctic shock, or when they see a car accident outside their trailer. Otherwise you wind up with millions of people living outside any kind of shared community.

        Is rape different? I mean, it’s way worse than jumping a fence so you can make beds at Motel Six, for sure. I don’t think we should hand out gold stars to rapists who avoid arrest for thirty years. But I do think we should factor their intervening behavior into how we handle them. Otherwise we create a hang-for-a-pence-hang-for-a-pound scenario.

        And thirty years is a long time. I think there are crimes where it makes sense for society to say that there is never any forgiveness, that we will dig you out of your bunker in Brazil when you are 92 years old and execute you. But I’m not sure rape, or murder, fall into that category.


          1. It’s funny. I wanted to say the same thing but I am burned out on Constitutional Law.

            It’s really obvious for me. One can not defend raping a child. Even in the most backwards of eras this was a reprehensible crime. A child is literally the symbol of hope that we, as adults, have for the future of human-kind. Arguably, our existence is geared towards their perpetual advancement. To take that, to think you own it, to rape it and throw it away with all the effects that it will have on them…you can’t get much worse.

            There is something really wrong with the Hollywood elite that they can friend this person, work with this person, really even stand to sit in a room with him.. It would be slightly different if he were the least bit apologetic but he is not. Fuck him.


          2. “If rape and murder don’t warrant that, what does? War crimes? Like rape and murder?”

            No shit. I’d like to know the answer to that question myself. What the hell could be worse than rape or murder?

            “A child is literally the symbol of hope that we, as adults, have for the future of human-kind. “‘

            I’m actually quite sure that a child, like a woman, is a human being. I’m actually quite positive that this is the reason that raping them, like women, is such a heinous crime. It has nothing to do with them being a fucking symbol of anything. They’re PEOPLE.


            1. Children are easily more sympathetic victims because of their innocence. Fucked up children become fucked up adults, that is why they deserve and require the utmost protection. Because we don’t need any more fucked up adults. If you want some sort of statistical justification its no secret that child victims of sexual assault often grow to be predators themselves, we don’t need more of that, do we?.

              They are people, but they are also our future. Read into it or find in it any implications you want, but I don’t really see a need to change my mind.


              1. “Children are easily more sympathetic victims because of their innocence”

                They’re easily more sympathetic victims to people like -you-. I, on the other hand, have sympathy for people regardless of their innocence.


              2. its no secret that child victims of sexual assault often grow to be predators themselves

                Yeah that’s actually not true. For one, most victims are female and most predators are male, so right on the face, the math doesn’t even work.


                1. Well lets take a step back. Just because a female might not become a “predator” does not mean there are not consequences for other children. Victims of sexual assault (female) are often insecure and have different sexual psyches. This is why there is a high rate of CSA among strippers and such. These women undoubtedly attract the kind of men who once their pregnant, if they don’t assault the child directly, certainly will not raise it well.

                  The point I was trying to make it that when you fuck up a kid, you fuck up a lot more than just that kid.


                  1. “This is why there is a high rate of CSA among strippers and such. These women undoubtedly attract the kind of men who once their pregnant, if they don’t assault the child directly, certainly will not raise it well.”

                    Thanks for the handy stereotype. Strippers just love that shit. So do the men who date/marry them.


                    1. ANDREW; there is a high rate of CSA amid women PERIOD. I would wager I probably know more strippers than you, mayhaps even non stripper women too, and the end all beat all is there is way too much CSA in the histories of women period. SO, instead of assuming you know about why strippers pick shitty men, why not, oh, do something about the whole men (cause face it, they are far more often the offenders) committing the act of CSA in the first place? Wow, novel idea, eh?

                      The DOJ estimates that one in four women is or will be the victim of sexual abuse, molestation or rape within her life time. That is 25% of the female population. They are in all different kinds of businesses with all different kinds of men. Strippers do not have a corner on the CSA histories or bad men choices in the world. FAR too many women PERIOD get slapped with that crap.


                    2. Its not a stereotype, it is true. A huge majority of the women I knew when I was still in sex work had been sexually assaulted before they went into sex work. You can try to cover it up and pretend its all roses, but it isn’t. Mostly though, you have to wait until the people leave sex work before they will admit to the ridiculously high numbers of survivors in the industry, because its too hard to admit it when still working. Its not until people are willing to face their horrible pasts that they get out and begin healing.


                    3. She Has No Name:

                      That is the people you know- the people I know are not the same people obviously. I know just as many people who have never been in sex work who are survivors as those who are in sex work. You speak from your experiences, I do from mine, and apparently, they are not the same.


                  2. Victims of sexual assault (female) are often insecure and have different sexual psyches.

                    Well yes Andrew being sexually assaulted as a child does TEND to make you suspicious of the sexual motives of, in my case adult males. It doesn’t make you ‘insecure’ though, and it doesn’t make you marry an abuser.

                    Child abusers do not come with ‘paedo’ handily tattoed on their forehead. They look like nice, normal men. So yes a single parent may occasionally get involved with some dude who seems like a nice, normal man and he turns out to abuse her children. And because child sexual abuse is an extremely commone experience for females, she may have also been abused herself. It’s NOT HER FAULT.

                    Yet again Andrew, you are expecting women to police men’s behaviour.


                    1. All this because I think raping children is particularly heinous?

                      I don’t expect women to police men’s behavior, but I do expect people to protect themselves. You might say this is a restriction on freedom but freedom comes with responsibility. That has always been the trade off.

                      Does anyone here want to argue that strippers, or even sex workers in general, lead normal lives for the most part, find good men, and raise normal children? If they do then why make sex-work an issue at all? You can’t have it both ways.

                      As for the DOJ statistic, the logical inference you’re making is questionable. It takes into account a woman’s whole lifetime. The effects of rape on a woman over 20 are much different than the effects of rape on a child under 12. The insecurity, coupled with what is probably poverty, often lead to drug addiction, a lack of education, and an expectation of abuse that make sex-work or dancing an easy choice. While some women may come from “privileged” background and “choose” this type of stuff, most women would leave if they could.

                      The logic here is simple. Women in these kinds of scenes are often not model citizens. Neither are they men they date. While there may be exceptions, children raised in these environments are definitely at a greater risk for making the same mistakes, if not suffering the same wrongs, as their parents.

                      That is why, to me, protecting children, as well as rearing them correctly, should be a societies first priority.


                    2. “Yet again Andrew, you are expecting women to police men’s behaviour.”

                      Here here!

                      I am not sure what Andrew is failing to miss here. Women are not responsible for the bad behavior of men. Men are. If one is out with their male friends and sees one harassing a woman, how hard is it to go over and say “Listen, Bob, you are being an asshole knock it off.” He might get hit, but he might also prevent a sexual assault. Or gee, how about men not thinking that every/any woman who might have a drink, wear a short skirt, or just be walking down the street is of the mind to have sex with them?

                      Men being rapists or child abusers or any other such thing is not “on” anyone but those men. End of story. It’s not women’s jobs to modify their behavior in ways men do not have to because men think it is okay to “do things” to women who…just want a drink or like to go out or whatever else.

                      There is perhaps one woman in each man’s life who is somewhat responsible for setting his behavior, and that is his momma. The rest of us? We’re not her. It’s not our job to make men behave- they should be capable of doing that all on their own!


                    3. The raping of children is heinous. Amazing conclusion there. However, I do find it rich that you are sitting there talking about who is a moral citizen, good man, blah blah blah and who is not. Yes, the lives of sex workers are different. However, they are not subhuman and incapable of making decent decisions. And sure enough, it would seem that a large percentage of street-based, survival level sex industry people would like out. That is a large percent of a section of a much larger industry.

                      You presume a whole lot Andrew, a whole lot, and a lot of those presumptions are simply not accurate.


                    4. “The raping of children is heinous.”

                      The raping of anyone is heinous. That Andrew seems to have some sort of hierarchy for who deserves compassion and sympathy and who does not is what’s bugging me. He doesn’t even seem to particularly care about the children themselves, only what they represent.

                      It’s really quite simple, Andrew: Whether a person is a child, or a $10 prostitute who gets raped while kneeling in a dirty alley littered with used condoms and needles – while drunk! – both people are deserving of compassion and sympathy. And both acts of rape are heinous acts.

                      “Does anyone here want to argue that strippers, or even sex workers in general, lead normal lives for the most part, find good men, and raise normal children?”

                      What exactly is a “normal life”? And how many women manage to find “good men”, regardless of whether they are sex workers or not?

                      As for raising normal children, it is extremely uncouth for a man to get into deciding what women can or can not raise a “normal” child. There are children raised by strippers who turn out just fine. Your same argument is often used against single mothers to shame them for not fitting the “normal” mold of what a woman should be. Any woman who does not conform to society’s expectations are considered to be likely to raise kids who are not “normal”.

                      I have oodles of problems with sex work. Whether or not a woman who engages in sex work could possibly raise a child properly is not on the list of concerns I particularly have in regards to sex work. There are sex workers who are lousy parents, but I do not believe that they are lousy parents -because- they are sex workers.


              3. If you want some sort of statistical justification its no secret that child victims of sexual assault often grow to be predators themselves, we don’t need more of that, do we?

                This is an ugly myth, perpetuated in part by abusers who pretend to have been victimized because they know it makes juries more sympathetic. Under a polygraph test, the majority will withdraw statements about having been abused.

                Stop repeating this crap.


  9. If you want some sort of statistical justification its no secret that child victims of sexual assault often grow to be predators themselves, we don’t need more of that, do we?.

    Well yes Andrew BUT:

    (you knew there was a but).

    Most victims of CSA are female. Most perpetrators are male.

    Surely some mistake?


      1. Try reading your own link properly Andrew:

        Except for victims of sexual abuse, rates
        were similar for male and female victimization:
        11.2 and 12.8 per 1,000 children respectively.
        Rate of sexual abuse by gender:
        1.7 victims per 1,000 female children
        0.4 victims per 1,000 male children.

        The rate of SEXUAL abuse of female children is much higher than the rate of sexual abuse of male children.


        1. “1.7 victims per 1,000 female children
          0.4 victims per 1,000 male children.”

          Those stats are also nowhere near accurate. It’s more like 1 in 4 girls are victims of sexual abuse. And those are just the one’s we know about. The actual rate is much higher due to under reporting.

          But, yes, females are certainly far more likely to be sexually victimized than males. The rate of other types of abuse is relatively similar.

          “Based on available data, the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 25 percent of girls and 8 percent of boys around the globe have been subjected to some form of child sexual abuse. Given its hidden nature, these numbers most likely underrepresent the true scope of the problem.”


    1. Fine, I’ll concede the point in that regard. But there is something seriously very wrong with victimizing children. I don’t want to say moreso than raping women, but its just really disgusting. Not at a rational level but from a gut instinct. I don’t know what it means and I can’t really justifty it from a rational standpoint, it just really bugs me that people defend this creep.


      1. Yeah…there’s more of an emotional reaction when it’s a child, rather than a woman. Mind you, when a child is involved it’s not as likely to be seen as her fault the way it is with an adult female.

        Somethind I’ve noticed, though, is the emphasis placed on the fact he had anal sex with her. Is vaginal rape less of an issue?


        1. “Somethind I’ve noticed, though, is the emphasis placed on the fact he had anal sex with her. Is vaginal rape less of an issue?”

          Because 13 year old girl’s vaginas are where grown men are meant to stick their doodles…. DUUUUUUUUUH

          Seriously though: I don’t get that either :|


  10. I hope you don’t mind, but i quote you often on my video blog – your points are so concise and organized. I always give credit and link your blog. Thanks for being amazing!


  11. Does anyone here want to argue that strippers, or even sex workers in general, lead normal lives for the most part, find good men, and raise normal children? If they do then why make sex-work an issue at all? You can’t have it both ways.

    Actually Andrew I’m not arguing that. I’m arguing that strippers are not a homogenous group of people, any more than non strippers are a homogenous bunch of people.

    My objection to the sex industry is that SOME women in it are damaged by it and society doesn’t give a shit. But morevoer, I object to the way women are viewed as sexual commodities, rather than human beings, by men. Men an awful lot like you Andrew.

    Yes it’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing, I’ll acknowledge that. Which came first, the treating women as subhuman or the sex industry? My own personal view is that the sex industry, is one of the things, (there are others) that daily reinforces women’s subhuman status.

    A status you happily confirm by your remarks. I’m not interested in whether or not anyone is leading a ‘normal’ life. Firstly because I certainly don’t, and secondly because normal is highly overrated. There is no such thing in life as normal, ask Morrissey.

    I’m interested in whether women are being exploited, damaged, or treated like shit Andrew, and to me you’re a very good example of a man who says he uses porn who does just that.

    Sorry to shatter your illusions, I know you think you’re one of the good guys, trying to rescue the sluts from their depraved ways to a life of happy heteronormativity. Though there still need to be some sluts of course, cos you’ll still want some porn to watch while your wife does the laundry.


  12. If this is how they handle a case of what most of society imagines as “real rape,” how can any case of rape be correctly treated? How anyone could defend Polanski is beyond imagination. I had more faith in humanity than this.

    I always end up saying that. No matter how many times I’m faced with the truth, I’m always shocked when something like this happens. Even though I know I shouldn’t be.


    1. This has nothing to do with women; he could’ve murdered a man and still gotten these absurd petitions. The simple fact is that most people feel that the greatest beings are above moral standards, whatever they might be at the time.

      In the old days, only the gods could meet the standard: Even heroes were punished for their crimes.

      When people stopped believing in god we invented love and proclaimed “What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil,” something much more pathetic.

      Now? Apparently a shitty childhood and banal cinema entitles one to the ubermensch status. My, how standards have fallen!


      1. I’ve got mixed views on this. On the one hand, I take a determinstic stance with regards to human behaviour (apologies, “agency” fans). I think that everything has a cause, all actions are consequences. Accordingly, some of the conditions of his life (be it how his genes set him, his conditions in the womb or after leaving it) drove him to act as he did.

        However that doesn’t make the man exceptional in any way. The same is true of everyone. As it happens, he did lead an exceptional life. The problem is, the sample size of: “People who survived the Holocaust (unlike their parents) & had their wife & narrowly unborn child shanked to death on the orders of Charlie Manson” is so miniscule that we most likely have a sample size of one.

        Accordingly the defenders of Polanski are being rather rash in stating (or implying) that the reason he acted as he did was his harsh life up until the act. How could they possibly know?

        Additionally, I don’t agree that he got away with what he did because he was talented. He got away with it because he was rich. He had enough liquid assets to hop on a plane, fly all the way to Europe & then swan around in Paris for a few decades, without a care. That isn’t something that even the most mind-blowingly talented busket would be capable of. Let alone the lawyer who secured Polanski’s parole, & thus his get-away (getting to Europe is a lot easier if step 1 is “Find yourself an airport” instead of “Break out of prison”). If he’d had a state defender he’d probably have been brow-beaten into pleading guilty to everything in a leniancy-seeker plea.

        It just so happened, Polanski was loaded. That gave him the capacity to escape justice.

        Which I still value, by the way. I won’t join in with the self-righteous tone of most of the contributers here, but I am entirely agreed that he did a terrible thing, & one of the functions of the state should be to discourage the act of raping a teenager from happening. The justice system would be failing in that purpose if it allowed people to rape 13 year olds solely on the basis that they were wealthy.

        So the fucker needs extradition. The rich get away with a damn sight more than everyone else as it is. Repeated penetration of a hapless barely-teen you drugged up to make less able to escape is several thousand steps too far.


          1. Small nitpick: I did not say “talented”. I said “greatest people,” something defined entirely by society and culture, and ours emphatically hates talent. It’s gone beyond timeless anti-intellectualism to an utter loathing of anyone that’s actually good at anything, which I why I said that standards have fallen.


        1. Important point there, that bit about him getting away with it because he’s rich rather than because he’s talented. I’m talented as fuck, but I’m not going to go on a shooting spree and get away with it because I’m also broke as fuck.

          EDIT: You do know I was kidding, right?


        2. His genes made him do it? Or conditions in the womb? Seriously? His arrogance made him do it. FFS already. Great way to blame the mom there, too. Jesus. He made the decision to isolate, drug and rape this girl.


          1. Hello Ginmar. Yes, seriously. I wasn’t blaming “mom”. In fact if you read my comment you’d be aware that I’m not really into blaming anybody, for anything.

            He did make the decision to isolate, drug and rape the girl. I don’t really see why people are “to blame” for their decisions, though. They make them from a mixture of neurochemisty & culture, which is a complicated mixture we’re only making vague gropings towards understanding of. Regardless: you aren’t responsible for what influences hit you, you aren’t responsible for what kind of a brain you were born with. Why would you be responsible for the consequence of the collision?

            Like I said, he should go to jail because otherwise a factor in rich people’s thought processes when opting whether or not to rape would be: “Oh, but I’m wealthy, I can get away with this.”


            1. Because lots of people are born with funky brain chemistry and live through traumatic events without it ever occurring to them that forcing a person into sex acts would be a fun way to spend an evening. It was a decision he made based on his sense of entitlement. Same reason all rapists rape, pretty much. A couple-few thousand years of women being portrayed as objects that exist for men’s sexual use might have something to do with the fact that about 99% of rapists are male and about 80% of rape victims are female.
              Or it’s all just a big coincidence. Whatever.


              1. Because lots of people are born with funky brain chemistry and live through traumatic events without it ever occurring to them that forcing a person into sex acts would be a fun way to spend an evening.

                Yeah, they do. To use a related example: lot’s of people go horribly man, spend a huge amount of time in prison & dabble with Scientology, yet don’t set up a deranged personality cult commune, ultimately ordering people put to death to bring about a race war predicted by the Beatles’ White Album.

                Which is irrelevent: there was a reason for Charles Manson acting as what he did. That background hasn’t driven everyone to act exactly as he did by everyone who (roughly) shared it. But the background is still the cause of the consequence of his actions. I’m not trying to declare that all Holocaust victims are rapists here (indeed I derided people who attempted to pass off the reason for his crimes for reasons they obviously can’t have been certain were the causes), I’m saying that something caused his action.

                It was a decision he made based on his sense of entitlement.

                Says you.

                It’s not as if that would really refute my point, anyway. In fact it’s sort of working within the exact same determinist framework, you just don’t seem to have realised the implications.


                1. Oh come on James. We make choices all the time. Most of us make choices not to rape somebody based on the idea that it’s wrong, and we don’t want to do wrong things.

                  People who commit rape KNOW that it’s wrong, they just don’t care. I think the major influence on Polanski, to be honest, is what you’ve already identified. Knowing he was rich enough to get away with it.


  13. & Sasha Grey modelled for American Apparel…It’s all part of an intricate tapestry of woman-hatred, I tells ya…I wonder how the Smashing Pumpkins are involved…


  14. Why pick out Steven Soderburgh alone? It’s not like the real issue here is how these people—women too, it seems—defines children as being either their property and off limits or as nobody important’s kids and therfore fair game. This is about rape and how rich white guys get away with it, how people sympathize with rapists given just about any excuse, and how status makes rapists bullet-proof, amongst other things. What does one director’s work with one porn actress have to do with it? He’s an asshole for signing the petition, let’s start with that.


  15. Here are some reasons for picking out Soderberg – he’s a porn addict doing all he can to shove it down the throats of mainstream audiences:

    “[Soderberg] rejects the idea that with Grey he has resorted to stunt casting, insisting that the pornification of mainstream culture is so complete that it hardly matters.

    For example? He confesses to being quite the consumer. In fact, he says, he has been known to storm out of hotels if they don’t offer pay-per-view porn. “I was in a hotel in Anaheim about five years ago, and after checking in I literally went down to the front desk and said, ‘I don’t understand, there’s no pay-per-view porn!’ I called my producer and said, ‘I can’t take this, I’m checking out’. And I went to the hotel across the road. I think it should be in the bill of rights — when you’re travelling, access to pornography should be the number three thing on the list after clean towels and 24-hour room service.” ”



  16. The supporters of Polanski blew my mind. The fact that there were any.

    Would they be so cheery if it was a 13yr old boy? I fucking DOUBT it.

    Christ, & they wonder why feminists are so pissed off.


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