Moral Fudge – nyum nyum nyum

There is no room for Gary Glitter in my frontline library.

Yeah, I know, judge not that ye be not judged and all that, but Christ the man is a horror show isn’t he? A proselytising pervert. An unapologetic monster. A despoiler of flesh and manipulator of minds who cannot even conjure up the slightest spark of recognition that his relentless selfish pursuit of his own gratification might be wrong in some absolute sense.

I always preferred The Sweet in the glam rock canon anyway, and the festive playlist will probably survive without Another Rock’n’Roll Christmas.

Gary Glitter then, let him be expunged from the record. I have spoken and exercised swingeing, virtuous justice. I have swinged.

Easy peasy, now let’s move on to Roman Polanski and watch my moral absolutism disintegrate.

The undisputed facts of the Polanski story are these:

  1. In 1977 Roman Polanski had sex with a thirteen-year-old girl in Los Angeles. He was arrested and charged with rape. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.
  2. He fled to London and then Paris to avoid sentencing.
  3. After having lived in exile in Europe since then Polanski was finally arrested by the Swiss police in September 2009 as he travelled to the Zurich Film Festival. This was at the behest of the US authorities.
  4. America instituted extradition proceedings. There was a huffy uproar from a section of the film-making community. The Swiss ultimately rejected the extradition request and pronounced Polanski a free man.
  5. Charlotte Lewis, who worked as a child actress on Polanski’s film Pirates, appeared at length on a BBC discussion programme today (27/07/10) claiming that in 1986, aged sixteen, she was coerced into sex against her will too. Her motivation in talking about it now, she says, is to add to the weight of evidence that will see Polanski extradited to the States to serve his time.

“Polanski,” shouts the world with some justification, “You are a menace and a pervert!”

There are some mitigating factors, maybe. Polanski lived his early life in the Krakow ghetto. His mother died in Auschwitz. In 1969 his heavily pregnant wife Sharon Tate was murdered by Charles Manson and his “family”. I don’t imagine you would emerge from all of that unscarred, but does that make any difference?

Rather magnificently Samantha Geimer, the girl whom Polanski raped in 1977, subsequently publicly forgave him, and even wrote a piece in the LA Times arguing that he should be allowed back into the country to accept his Oscar for The Pianist.

She’s my hero in all of this.

Anyway my attitude to sex, stated numbingly often, is that y’all should just get on with whatever you want to do as long as it’s consensual. Some of it sounds exciting, what you all get up to, some of it sounds a bit worrying, but, hey, it’s none of my business. If you’re all cool with it, then so am I. The only point where other people are justified in sticking their noses in (unless you have invited them to, er, stick their noses in) is when consent is absent, and this is explicitly the case when one of the parties is not of full age and capacity.

Polanski committed an immoral and illegal act and his subsequent behaviour hasn’t really been that different from Gary Glitter’s. It’s a doddle for me not to engage with Glitter’s work because I don’t like it. It’s different with Polanski though.

A lot of his films I just can’t enjoy. You can keep Frantic, Bitter Moon, The Fearless Vampire Killers and so on, but I really, really like Rosemary’s Baby.

There were hyperbolic calls on the radio, as Charlotte Lewis was being interviewed, for the whole of Polanski’s career to be boycotted and parallels with the Gary Glitter case were specifically drawn.

And yet I’m keeping Rosemary’s Baby on my shelves. Also I have, and love, DVDs of The Thick Of It starring Chris Langham who later served time in prison for downloading child pornography onto his computer.

What does that make me?

5 comments on “Moral Fudge – nyum nyum nyum

  1. We’re all hypocrites. It’s impractical not to be. Being a hypocrite isn’t as bad as claiming not to be and maybe even believing it. I don’t believe Polanski can blame Hitler or Manson for what he did, and as far as I know he hasn’t himself, although his apologists often have. But I didn’t stop listening to The Who, and does any one really believe that Pete Townshend was researching a book he was writing that he’s never mentioned before or since?

  2. Thank you for not posting a scantily clad woman after this entry.

    I have a lot more to say on the subject (Surprised, aren’t you?), but I need to sort my feelings and my thoughts.

  3. I think its a case of seperating the man from the work. There’s a fair chance that Shakespeare had his way with the odd 14 year old wench in his day, but if it turned out he did people wouldn’t say we should burn all his works. And that’s NOTHING compared to what the Greek’s and Roman’s all got up to.

    I think there’s a dividing line between Glitter and Polanski (the fact that the former is an actual peadophile and the later was just a dick head to someone far too young). And the other fact is that Polanski just happened to get caught, he’ll be no where near the worst in Hollywoodland.

    So I don’t condone his actions, nor condem his work. I do think it should be dropped now as the victim doesn’t want to press charges and that’s the only person who matters in such cases

  4. If Roman Polanski was to walk through Easterhouse and some one shouted, “Haw, therzat big Paedo Polanski’.

    I doubt the cries from the troops would be , ‘Ya beauty, lets go discuss how much of The Pianist was biographical’.

    He would be burnt in his bed.

    Whilst, in houses all around, drug dealer dwellings would out number licensed premises, and be known to the mothers and fathers of deathdoor sons and daughters with a life expectancy of one day at a time.
    No one will dare douse the dealers with petrol for killing those kids, not when there is a lower form of life to gang up on.

    And why would we not. Burn the bastards!

    At least we’re daein sumfin.

    Or maybe there is another way:

    Did you read that, sir, so what do you think?


    Burn the Bastards
    Burn thon Big Paedo.


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