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Thursday
Oct082009

Pondering the Polanski Predicament

There's been a lot of back and forth lately in Hollywood and the film community at large regarding the possible fate of Polish film director Roman Polanski. I have tried to remain neutral during the hubbub and can easily see why some are demanding their pound of flesh. After all, Roman demanded 83 of them back in '77. But we'll leave the discussion of these matters for the interview that follows. I was asked for my thoughts on the Polanski exigency by noted Sioux Falls documentarian/pornographer Lorne Thatch. In between projects and writing his memoirs, The Stevedore's Eel Seems Sickly, Thatch caught up with me during my most recent sabbatical to New York City. I travel to Gotham often this time of year, renting a room at the Chelsea and spending my entire days at the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Only there am I able to exorcise the demons, clear the mind, converse spiritually with Thalia and ferociously masturbate without Simone walking in on me.

So it was my great pleasure to sit down with Mr. Thatch and discuss Polanski's current dilemma and the legal and moral imperatives involved.

Lorne Thatch: Hello, C. Adolph. Thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me.

C. Adolph Moores: My pleasure, Lorne. Always glad to shine some light on the darkness.

LT: This is quite a retreat you have here.

CA: It's a doozy isn't it? It was built by Petronius, the Roman Governor of Egypt, on a commission from Augustus in 15 BC as a dedication to Isis and Osiris. They had to move it when the Aswan Dam was being constructed and it ended up here in 1978. I find all its elements very cathartic and rejuvenating. Outside of the opium den I visit in Kuala Lumpur, I've always done my best thinking in this space. Which is really why I suggested we meet here.

LT: Yes. Bit of pain for me getting uptown this time of day, but I can let it go.

CA: Well, I thought you'd be rather impressed. But if you want to gripe about the drive, feel free. It's your dime, asshole.

LT: Meh. Let's proceed. There is a growing backlash in the media against those in Hollywood who have been most vocal in demanding Polanski's release. Do you think this is part of the general dissatisfaction lately with celebrity in the American culture, be it political or in entertainment?

CA: I think so. Americans are a curious bunch. They detest celebrities but can't seem to live without them. This obsession is part of their intellectual bifurcation and the cause of much of their cognitive dissonance. They continually espouse their desire for freedom but will sacrifice it to the first huckster who promises them riches, eternal life or safety from perceived threats. It's the sort of mentality that can rise up in arms over a bank bailout but remain strangely mute when they learn their government is torturing and murdering people in its custody. It's also a nation that claims to always want peace. Yet we are, by far, the most warlike, bullying, bellicose nation on the planet. Every other country realizes this bizarre dichotomy of ours. The only ones fooled are us. So, getting back to your question, I think there is a creeping mistrust toward all people of fame and, to a lesser extent, wealth. But the Polanski detractors seem more born of the conservative-American hatred of all things foreign, liberal and artistic. Which is why they're giving shit to the people defending him in the press. I mean, seriously, if those people are so fucking concerned about righteousness and the rule of law, why isn't Dick Cheney in irons right now being frog-marched down the halls of the Hague?

LT: Are you in agreement with Polanski's defenders?

CA: Some of them. Most are just empty posers who think championing Roman will raise them up on the artistic respectability chart. C'mon, Whoopi Goldberg!? The very last person I want racing down the court halls with an affidavit to speak on my behalf is Whoopi goddamn Goldberg. She's a polarizing figure. A grenadier on a ninja's assignment. Who's next to help out from the subtlety list, Rosie O'Donnell? Oliver Stone? Sometimes liberals should know when to keep their fool mouths shut. They just can't resist preaching to the converted. In the end, they do more damage than good; turning off factions of the left and enraging the knee-jerk Neanderthals of the right. I think Roman will be served much better by the people petitioning for his release like David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Tilda Swinton, Jonathan Demme, Adrien Brody, Terry Gilliam, Wong Kar Wai, Stephen Frears, Patrice LeConte, Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Monica Bellucci - shit, even John Landis. These are fellow artists, courageously outspoken, respectable voices demanding reason and calm. They're not out giving their opinion for controversy sake in order to solicit ratings.

LT: But do you agree with them?

CA: I've thought about this long and hard. On the one hand you have an innocent girl being drugged and manipulated into sex by a lecherous old man. On the other, you have the old man being the magnificent son-of-a-bitch who made Chinatown.

LT: Are you insinuating that due to the quality of someone's work they should be considered above the law?

CA: No. I'm just saying Chinatown is a helluva picture. You can draw your own conclusions from that. Some perspective is needed. We're not talking about Joel Schumacher here.

LT: Should Roman Polanski go free?

CA: Yes. And I'll tell you why. She's already forgiven him. She's received an undisclosed settlement. The victim wants the matter dropped. I think this is more a personal vendetta, a witch hunt - call it what you will - by some vindictive prick from way back in Polanski's past who is still residing in L.A. or D.C. and has a ton of clout. The questions are "who"  and "why now" after thirty-two years? And all under the guise of protecting our children. Our precious children. I think our culture has taken a very bad turn when its starts focusing all of its efforts and vision on its kids. Fuck a bunch of children. They're dumb. They often smell foul. They aren't funny. They dress poorly, never shut up, eat horrible food, cry too much, whine incessantly and always want to be taken somewhere. They can't hold their liquor, suck at scoring drugs and are complete bores at cocktail parties. What's the attraction? That's really the only crime I can think Roman committed - he exercised poor taste. Let's face it, this is no longer about the rights of that child back in 1977. It's about the American legal system and some rogue on a power trip feeling they were humiliated and are now flexing their international muscle via the Swiss.

LT: Backing up a bit, you're saying children should have no rights.

CA: Yes. I'll go even further. I'm for abortion up until the age of ten. Sort of a warranty system for possibly damaged goods. People have better guarantees on their lawn mower than they do their kids for chrissakes. That ain't right. Kids disappoint much more often.

LT: So you think children should be molested willy-nilly at the discretion of adults?

CA: Of course not. It's like in Chinatown when Evelyn Mulwray tries to save her daughter from her father who is also her grandfather. She ends up getting shot in the eye for her efforts. And all to have her daughter end up with the villainous molester anyway.

LT: What does that have to do with anything we're talking about?

CA: It shows that Chinatown was one helluva picture.

LT: Based on the artistic merit of one film by Mr. Polanski, you believe he should be exonerated of all charges regarding the rape of an innocent child?

CA: No! My god! No. What kind of monster would I be to take such a position? There are plenty of other films he did that would also advocate his release - Repulsion, Bitter Moon, Knife in the Water, Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist, Macbeth, Death and the Maiden - I could go on. It's one heck of an oeuvre.

LT: What's that you're wearing on your shirt?

CA: It's an armband showing solidarity for Roman. It's a crossed out Girl Scout Badge with the silhouettes of a whiskey bottle and a Quaalude superimposed on it.

LT: Just to recap. You're calling for the release of Roman Polanski based on the idea that the famous, creative, or well-to-do shouldn't be held accountable for their actions.

CA: No. Businessmen, politicians, most musicians, everyone in dance and on the Teevee should be buried under the jail. The exculpation of lawless behavior should be reserved for quality filmmakers only. And maybe a few songwriters.

LT: What sort of horrific, morally relative universe do you occupy?

CA: Forget it, Lorne, it's Chinatown.

In keeping with his fiercely unpopular opinions, C. Adolph will be working to eradicate handicapped parking places and selling his "FUCK THE TROOPS!" bumper stickers right here on cadolphmoores.com.

References (4)

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    Pondering the Polanski Predicament - Ravings - C. Adolph Moores
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