High Life

Trial by Fury

December 02, 2017

Multiple Pages
Trial by Fury

There’s fear and loathing in this town, and in El Lay it’s even worse. Torquemada and Savonarola are in charge, and if this is not a new edition of the Spanish Inquisition, I don’t know what is. The enemy is “toxic masculinity,” as exhibited by the latest to lose his job forever, Charlie Rose, not a bad guy but a bleeding-heart liberal who acted like Benito in front of fair maidens. Or so they claim. In the meantime, he’s toast. I have only one question: What ever happened to due process?

What also bothers me is that the latest purge is the only subject of conversation nowadays. At Thanksgiving dinner with Oliver Stone and his charming family chez Michael Mailer, I literally had to bully Madame Stone to run away with me to Mykonos in order to change the subject. (I didn’t dare do it to his lovely daughter Tara because, at 22, she might be called underage in view of me being overage.) The director, in the meantime, just looked at me openmouthed as I repeated the Mykonos offer after every gulp, and I took many.

“I have only one question: What ever happened to due process?”

Let’s face it, and this is not the first time I’ve brought this up. I’ve been writing fifty columns a year for the past forty years, which makes it around 2,000 times that I’ve mentioned La-La Land. So some of you old-timers can give this one a pass: Here we are in the grip of a sexual counterrevolution, with stories of abuse and harassment being believed and alleged abusers and harassers being thrown to the wolves without a trial. Yet at the same time, Hollywood chooses to go all-out for a movie by the name of Call Me by Your Name, the story of a 24-year-old man seducing an underage 17-year-old boy and the love affair that follows. I haven’t seen it (nor do I plan to), but I could not avoid reading about it and hearing the usual suspects going ape over it.

In other words, doing it with a youngster of the same sex is okay, but undressing and being suggestive in front of a mature woman is not, especially if she’s an aspiring thespian. It’s okay if it’s gay, is the obvious motto. But then what about a great actor like Kevin Spacey? (I know, Rod Liddle covered it two weeks ago, but still.) Without him, House of Cards is House of Crap, even if the divine Robin Wright, whom I once tried to steal a kiss from, is on it.

Hollywood’s false and wrong values continue to reverberate throughout our culture. These values have corrupted our sensibilities and have blighted our souls. They have made the bad guys look good and the good ones look very, very bad. Looking through recent American contributions to culture, I find only nihilistic impulses and bogus rhetoric about liberation and other very tired subjects. After Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, and Larry McMurtry, the last two still very much with us, I cannot read American novels. Or phonies like Susan Sontag, a provider of nonstop nonsense and radical-chic attitudes. Give me Jerry Lee Lewis any day, the great pianist/singer who married a 13-year-old and when visiting London and asked her age by intrusive British hacks, answered, “Thirteen and a few weeks, and she’s mah first cousin.” That’s what I love about America, not our highly praised cultural heroes of the ’60s but the blue-collar workers in the South of the country—in other words, the deplorables.

Be that as it may, I know I’m a bit of a dinosaur nowadays. Trump’s economy is not only chugging along, it’s going blazes, and no one can tell for how long. What makes one loathe the left in general is the hypocrisy involved. Every bicoastal cultural wannabe thinks anybody who voted for The Donald is a yahoo who sleeps with his sister and wants to reintroduce slavery. The fact that slavery exists in Africa today doesn’t seem to bother the wannabes. Worse, it doesn’t seem to bother African-Americans, who complain nonstop, refuse to stand for the national anthem, and take Muslim names. Half the pros in American sports are called Jamal or Mohammed. The fact that Arabs enslaved them and then shipped them and sold them does not count. Nor does it matter that talking about blacks enslaving other blacks as I write this is in itself considered racist. As the drunk said to the sheriff when he woke up in a cell, something’s very wrong here.

Otherwise everything is hunky-dory. Felonious assault should lead to complete ruination, as someone told me when I was about to get into a fight. But so does a pinch in the bottom, I answered. Everyone laughed and that was it. If more people laughed when some fool took off his pants and desecrated a plant, maybe less people would do it. What I’d like to know is, how does a woman get raped by Harvey, as Paz de la Huerta claims she was, and then go back for another rape two weeks later? I’ll tell you how: an obsession with publicity. How does an Italian lady get raped and then stick with the rapist for another five years? Finally, a Supreme Court judge who shall remain anonymous told me while up at West Point that most of these cases will never reach a court of law. There’s trial by the media and then there’s the real thing. Enjoy it while you can, sweetie pies.

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