Thursday, October 01, 2009

Polanski Supporters Playing to Type

From the Washington Times:

"We have learned the astonishing news of Roman Polanski's arrest by the Swiss police on September 26th, upon arrival in Zurich, while on his way to a film festival where he was due to receive an award for his career in filmmaking," stated a public petition signed by Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, John Landis, Debra Winger and 140 other artistic luminaries.

Allen, Scorsese, Lynch, Landis, Winger . . . . Mmmm . . . you know, I don't normally jump at the opportunity to be that guy, but restraint would be a lot easier if everyone didn't play to the worst stereotypes of their tribe. Did they really think that nobody would google their names? Did they really think that nobody would notice the common denominator?

Somebody should tell them that Polanski isn't Dreyfus.

UPDATE: Lest I seem like an idiot, I should point out that my original link to director David Lynch was to the wrong person. Redirected, I have been unable to find anything that specifically identifies Lynch as Jewish. His work is praised in a number of Jewish publications; however, that may be because of the projects he has undertaken dealing with Jewish themes.

16 comments:

Anonymoust said...

I'm confused by the Scorcese link. Does his Catholic identity mask some crypto-jewish experience?

Φ said...

Scorsese's wife is Jewish, and his marriage to her was for a decisive break with his Catholic heritage. (And then there was that whole Last Temptation of Christ thing.)

David Lynch is a gentile, but conspicously philo-semitic.

ironrailsironweights said...

If you look at the full list of signatories at the link, most are European and probably not Jewish to any great extent. Polanksi himself is three-quarters Jewish by origin but is not at all religious.

In short, I just don't see a Jewish angle to this story.

Peter

Φ said...

That was my initial take as well, based on the surnames. But when I started googling the individuals who signed the petition (and to be fair, I got bored with this after the first six or so), 5/6 turned out to have Jewish roots.

Somebody with more time on their hands could look up all of them, but so far, Polanski is shaping up to be the Jewish OJ.

mgl said...

Hilariously, this just turned up on Ace of Spades:

"My personal thoughts are let the guy go," said Peg Yorkin, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

(Yorkin was married to noted TV producer Bud Yorkin.

And then this, from the same entry:

"Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion," [Harvey] Weinstein said. "We were the people who did the fundraising telethon for the victims of 9/11. We were there for the victims of Katrina and any world catastrophe."

But then Bo Zenga (who may be Jewish) is arguing that Polanski deserves what's coming to him, so it's not completely monolithic.

Anonymous said...

Why are they even charging him? I know it was bad, but it was like 30 years ago, and the victim doesn't even care. Would they go to all this trouble to extradite and charge a non-famous person 30 years after the fact?

This seems like an easy case for a DA office that hasn't had a big hit in a while.

Φ said...

But its not an issue of the Los Angeles DA charging him. They already charged and convicted him. He still needs to serve time.

Look, I'm not calling for castrating him or anything. I don't know what the standard sentence is for sodomizing a 13 year old is, but Polanski should serve it. No more, no less.

Justin said...

Phi, I am noticing a pattern. Like the anon who posted right before you, nothing characterizes "Jewish issues" so much as sheer ignorance. It's as if people weren't being well informed on these topics, for some reason...

Anonymous said...

I was the above anonymous, and am familiar with the case insofar as I have read an article about it. I guess "charging" was the wrong word, if you want to get into semantics. Should I have said "pursuing"? "Punishing"? My point was that the cops wouldn't be chasing him and we wouldn't be reading articles about this and discussing it if he wasn't famous.

Φ said...

Anon: I accept your clarification. Yes, if he weren't famous, he wouldn't be living the high life in France, his visit to Switzerland wouldn't be easy to trace, etc., so the warrant would likely not have been served. Of course, if he hadn't been famous, he wouldn't have had multiple counts of forcible rape of a minor reduced to a single count of statutory rape. He wouldn't have been able to afford the lawyers who inadverdently spurred the D.A.'s action by moving to dismiss the conviction on the grounds that the D.A. wasn't doing enough to arrest him.

So yeah, famous people get special handling all around. At the end of the day, he has a standing conviction for which he has yet to be punished. He should do the 14 months or whatever statutory rape is worth and be done with it.

Trumwill said...

If guilty of statutory rape of a 13 year old and accused of forcible rape with a 13 year old, would you rather be:

(a) Rich, famous, and with a stream of friends in high places.

(b) Not rich, not famous, and unconnected.

It's not remotely a difficult decision for me. Even if you take away the "rich" part, I would still choose B.

Trumwill said...

I would also add that Polanski, as the controversy surrounding his exodus waned, very much had the choice of going incognito. He certainly had the resources to disappear. He chose to remain a public figure and, therefore, a target. You're more likely to get away with stuff when you're not flaunting it, which, my maintaining his high profile, Polanski chose to.

Hermes said...

The David Lynch described in your Lynch link is not the filmmaker.

Trumwill said...

Hermes is correct. I thought the notion of Lynch as a semitophile was odd since he seems to be more of an Eastern Religion sort of guy. Then again, Lynch himself is an odd duck, so I didn't question it much.

Φ said...

Crap, you guys are right. Actually, I'm pretty sure that Lynch has a Jewish background, but I can't find a specific confirmation. Googling "David Lynch Jewish" turns up a lot of hits, but I can't find one that specifically says he himself is Jewish.

Trumwill said...

Google "David Lynch Presbyterian"

You're probably making a mental association because of the other David Lynch. Though it wouldn't surprise me if he dabbled in Kabbalah or whatever.