As many people may have heard, Hollyweird director Roman Polanski was finally arrested in Switzerland and will hopefully be extradited back to LA to finally face the consequences of his actions. What were his actions? Raping and sodomizing a 13 year-old girl after getting her drugged up on quaaludes and champagne in the late 70's. Oh and then he skipped town after getting convicted and has been living in Europe for the last 30 years.
No big deal according to the European and Hollywood glitterati. Big Hollywood links to various articles about the "outrage" that all these millionaire, coked-up stars feel about this now 76 year-old "genius" getting arrested after all these years.
This opinion piece takes the cake. Though, that's hard for me to say as there are many disgusting and twilight zone-esque defenses of this man, but here are a couple of choice excerpts from the winner, or loser, depending on how you look at it.
Polanski was, in 1977 and '78, simply a brilliant obsessive with certain wounds and bruises and perverse inclinations who one night acted like a brute and a pig and probably damaged a young girl's psyche, although apparently not to a great extent, to judge by her own statements about the incident.
The victim, in her 40's now, has said she supports the whole thing going away because bringing it up again would be really hard on her husband and children. So this is apparently good enough for the Hollywood elite to come out and vigorously defend a child rapist. Besides, according to this author, she is partially to blame for what happened to her, "...the case of a young teenager who, with the aid and assent of her mother, got herself into a situation that was way over her head?" I'd say getting high on quaaludes and champagne and then getting anally raped counts as a situation that is way over the head of a 13 year-old.
One of the sickest arguments that the author of that article and many other, including the LA Times, makes is that Polanski has already paid for his crimes. Seriously. They really think this.
Has Polanski suffered at all for his crime, apart from going to jail for 42 days in 1977? Of course he has. The crime has been haunting his head and heart for 32 years and it has defined the political and geographical limits of his life and career for same amount of time -- more than half his adult life. He's lived as a fugitive, a restricted man, a hider in the shadows -- never a good thing for anyone in a spiritual sense.
So...I guess the punishment for child rape that is currently on the books is wrong. I suppose we had better change it quick so that the next man convicted of this offense can be punished correctly - i.e. being forced to live as a celebrity in a European country (France), make movies, win an Oscar, raise a family, and basically be a free man, albeit one with a warrant out for his arrest in some countries. Also troubling, the author thinks being a fugitive (which Roman chose to be) is not good for the spirit, but he neglects to mention what being raped and sodomized does to the spirit of a 13 year-old.
Anne Applebaum, a Washington Post pundit, and a woman who's husband is working to free Roman Polanski (no conflict of interest here folks, just move along) goes so far as to say that Polanski has totally paid the price for his sins because he didn't get to pick up his Oscar in LA when he won!
He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers' fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar. He cannot visit Hollywood to direct or cast a film.
Oh horrors of horrors!! The poor man! He had to live with professional stigma (which has yet to actually rear its head as most of Hollywood is defending him and wanted him to be able to return to the US years ago), and was unable to pick up his Oscar. This is proof that we are indeed a barbaric country. By her logic, when a man anally rapes a young girl and has managed to evade the law and the consequences for his actions for 30 years, and we do not allow him to visit Hollywood to direct or even cast a film, we are no longer a civilized society. They are upset and outraged that, after all this time, his crime still matters. They actually don't understand it.
I will try to explain it, hoping it will sink in to the cocaine ravaged brains in Hollywood. We are a nation of laws. There is a certain punishment for those that are convicted of committing crimes. Child rape is one of those crimes. Just because Polanski made the choice to run and become a fugitive, thereby avoiding his punishment for 30 years, does not mean we can let it go. This sets a horrible precedent.
His Hollywood defenders are basically advocating that if someone evades the law for long enough that their punishment is null and void. Civilized societies cannot afford this type of lawlessness. Punishment and consequences exist for punitive reasons and they act as deterrents. If a potential child rapist sees the example of Polanski being freed because he had to live in "hiding" as a fugitive for three decades, and that that is somehow equivalent to jail time, what's to stop the next child rapist from running off to France for 30 years because of the apparent shelf life of consequences?
This is not vengeance or projection or anything other than justice.
Somehow though, I don't see the glitterati going out of their way to defend Joe Schmoe the child rapist. No, I guess you have to be "tortured" and "brilliant" and an "artist" to be able to get away with RAPING A CHILD in Hollywood, and Europe for that matter.
Excuse me while I go throw up.
(Afterthought: I wonder if many of those defending Polanski's right to avoid punishment are the same ecozealots who would support strict consequences for people who "violate" the earth?)