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May 30 2013

Super colossal jumbo-sized douchebag

It is the douchebag against which all other douchebags must be measured, Roman Polanski.

Polanski told the press that he is not pleased with how the sexes act with one another today. “I think that now offering flowers to a lady becomes indecent, that’s how I feel about it. I think to level the genders—it’s purely idiotic,” he said. “I think it’s a result of progress in medicine. I think that the Pill has changed greatly the woman of our times, ‘masculinizing’ her. I think that it chases away the romance from our lives and that’s a great pity.”

Right, because letting a woman control her own sex life and reproduction is a dismal outcome and totally unromantic. And medicine for women? What a pity. Remember what Polanski is famous for…

He was arrested for having sex with a 13-year-old girl after allegedly drugging her and plying her with alcohol.

He was originally indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molestation, and sodomy. He accepted a deal by which he plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in exchange for the other charges being dropped and a sentence that was most likely going to be probation. Before final sentencing, however, he fled the country and returned to his native France out of fear that the judge would send him to prison.

Oh, yes — autonomy is such an unattractive and unstimulating feature in a woman.

79 comments

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  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    “Having sex with” sounds so mild. He anally raped a 13 year old while she cried and begged him to stop. Then he took advantage of his wealth and privilege to get away with it.

  2. 2
    Marcus Ranum

    I’m sure there’s some moral equivalence that applies. What Polanski did was just the same as the guy who threw chewing gum on the floor, or something. Exactly the same.

  3. 3
    okstop

    Can we measure douchebaggery in Polanskis, now?

  4. 4
    MrFancyPants

    That would lead to a positive feedback loop, okstop. Roman Polanski measures greater than 1.0 on the douchebaggery Polanski scale.

  5. 5
    anteprepro

    Calibrating the scale of douchebaggery:

    Micropolanski, millipolanski, centipolanski, polanski, dekapolanski, kilopolanski, megapolanski.

    Braggarts, Libetarians, MRAs, Roman Polanski, Catholic Priests, Republican politicians, Hitler.

  6. 6
    Nepenthe

    @anteprepro

    1) I finally got your ‘nym

    2) I think Catholic priests and Republican politicians are still < 1 polanski, provided they haven't raped anyone.

  7. 7
    billygutter01

    Polanski is weighing in on sexual politics???!

    POLANSKI?

    I lack the words to express my contempt.

    *ragepuke* *spit*

  8. 8
    Great American Satan

    I think I rate about 4.2 micropolanskis. Somebody slap me.

  9. 9
    Jafafa Hots

    Can we measure douchebaggery in Polanskis, now?

    Polanski Units.

    P.U. for short.

  10. 10
    tuibguy

    Here is a nice little list of celebrities who have defended Roman Polanski publicly because he is an artist:

    35 of them.

  11. 11
    boskerbonzer

    I think progress in medicine is responsible for Viagra, too, and am guessing that since he must be at least 147 years old by now he probably doesn’t find that one too offensive.

  12. 12
    maudell

    Yes! When women cease to be slaves they cease to be women. You know, freedom is a man thing.

  13. 13
    Martin Wagner

    Fine filmmaker. Repellent human being.

  14. 14
    billygutter01

    @ #13

    What Martin said.

  15. 15
    Brother Yam

    Since the unit is too large to use in a practical manner, may I suggest that we follow the Bell laboratory standard and make the unit of duchebaggery a deciPol (dP) as a full Polanski is to horrible to deal with in polite company…

  16. 16
    Marcus Ranum

    Fine filmmaker

    Fearless Vampire Killers

    Now, go wash your mouth out with soap and burn some incense at the grave of Stanley Kubrick.

  17. 17
    billygutter01

    I was just about to blather about “Chinatown” in some mindless defense of nuance this or insight that…

    You know…fuck that.

    Bah! I’m fucking disgusted that I even had an impulse to defend his work.

    shudder!

  18. 18
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Roman Polanski is a criminal who should be arrested. I don’t care what fucking masterpieces of movies he has made.
    The way he has been escaping justice, and receiving praise and support from his colleagues is shameful. *spits*

    I’m not in the least surprised he’s spouting disgusting sexist shit.

  19. 19
    Louis

    But, but, but….

    ….fuck I can’t even come up with a joke this guy is so odious. Time to start drinking!

    Louis

  20. 20
    imthegenieicandoanything

    He made several great, great films.

    Oh, that doesn’t begin to excuse either his attitude, speech or actions at all!

    An awful human being.

  21. 21
    erik333

    @10 tuibguy

    Let’s just hope that whoever assembled the list didn’t make any mistakes?

  22. 22
    sonofrojblake

    There exists the precedent of the inconveniently sized SI unit, the becquerel. It’s a perfectly reasonable and understandable 1 nuclear decay per second, but since that’s a ludicrously small amount of radioactivity for practical purposes, you almost invariably see GBq or TBq being used in the real world.

    Therefore the polanski (SI symbol Po) is perfectly practical, even though most people one meets (unless one is a criminal lawyer or police officer) could conveniently be referred to in terms of femtopolanksis. A guy who pleads guilty to punching his wife in the face would probably register up around the centipolanski range.

  23. 23
    Azuma Hazuki

    What the hell does this sleazebag know about romance? He is even less qualified than ordinary men to talk about womens’ issues because of what he’s done. What a slimeball.

  24. 24
    robnyny

    Native France? He’s Polish.

  25. 25
    eamick

    Native France? He’s Polish.

    He was born in Paris of Polish parents and holds dual citizenship.

  26. 26
    thecynicalromantic

    I think if Roman Polanski disapproves of modern sexual politics, we’re clearly moving in the right direction.

    *takes all the Pills*

  27. 27
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Here is a nice little list of celebrities who have defended Roman Polanski publicly because he is an artist

    Fuckin’ shit. I expect it from Woody Allen, since as funny as he can be, I gave up on him a long time ago. And I suppose I should expect it from David Lynch, given the inherent misogyny in his body of work (even though I still credit Twin Peaks for my sudden, sharp left turn from mainstream entertainment). But I’m quite disappointed in Terry Gilliam, Jonathan Demme and Terry Zwigoff.

  28. 28
    Don Quijote

    “I think that now offering flowers to a lady becomes indecent, that’s how I think about it.”

    I think Polanski does not have the faintest idea what is indecent.

  29. 29
    Raging Bee

    He made several great, great films.

    Is this something we really believe, or something we’ve been conditioning ourselves and each other to say over and over whenever his name is mentioned?

    And who the fuck cares anyway? I could see this excuse popping up for a filmmaker who had a few consentual affairs, or said bad things about America, or got caught with a joint…but FORCIBLE RAPE AND SODOMY OF A MINOR WHO HE’D DRUGGED IN ADVANCE?!!

    The defenses and excuses I’ve heard for Polanski aren’t as harmful as Polanski’s own acts, of course — but they’re almost as morally bankrupt.

  30. 30
    Raging Bee

    What the hell does this sleazebag know about romance?

    That’s a damn good question, given that he couldn’t get a minor to consent to have sex with him, even after giving her drugs and making it clear that he could advance her career if she cooperated. I’m not one to brag about being a great romancer, but I’m pretty sure Polanski is nowhere in sight of that category.

  31. 31
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Raging Bee

    That’s a damn good question, given that he couldn’t get a minor to consent to have sex with him, even after giving her drugs and making it clear that he could advance her career if she cooperated.

    Since I doubt you are suggesting that if he got her to “consent” (which could at best be coerced consent, and altogether his deed still an act of rape) that would count as “romancing” her, you constructed this a bit clumsily.

  32. 32
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Oh, my! Did I not condemn him, without excuse or possible exception, enough? Should we be burning Polanski DVDs? Refusing to watch Lynch movies? What?

    This sort of petrified, useless, counterproductive bullshit is what gets us gnus or brights or whatever label is fashionable today labelled as “as bad as the fundamentalists” by the “tar ‘em by any means possible” crowd.

    I’ve been the target of this before here, and it was 100% bullshit misreading every time. For us or agin us! In person, I doubt any of you would do this, and it’s just as much bullshit online.

  33. 33
    tuibguy

    I probably shouldn’t have posted that list without checking the sources and there are some surprises on that list, but others such as Whoopie Goldberg, I do remember having been really pissed off that she could state that she supported him.

  34. 34
    michaelolsen

    “Is this something we really believe, or something we’ve been conditioning ourselves and each other to say over and over whenever his name is mentioned?”

    Well, Chinatown is indeed a great film. The script is genius, Dunaway, Nicholson and Houston are perfect. None of which does shit to redeem Polanski for being an absolute stain who should not only have ben imprisoned, but should still be there. You can like good stuff made by bad people without feeling you’ve compromised yourself. To go all oldschool nerdy, I love the insult-sword-fighting in the original Monkey Island, tough most of it was written by insane Mormon gay-hater Orson Scott Card. If you only look at art through the lens of politics, you’re gonna end up either bored or in a very scary place. Not that one SHOULDN’T look at art that way, it’s actually really important to do so. But it shouldn’t be the only way.

  35. 35
    Jackie

    Now, go wash your mouth out with soap and burn some incense at the grave of Stanley Kubrick.

    If anything could have made me smile this morning, this is it.
    Nothing could, but IF anything could, this is it.

  36. 36
    ChasCPeterson

    list of celebrities who have defended Roman Polanski publicly

    what the fuck is that? There’s no link to what they might have actually said, just a list of names that some guy on the internet claims “defended” Polanski.

    Chinatown is a great film; one of the very best, imo. Did I just defend Polanski?
    no, I did not.

  37. 37
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    what the fuck is that? There’s no link to what they might have actually said, just a list of names that some guy on the internet claims “defended” Polanski.

    Well, this might be a more reliable source. But there are no individual statements, these people have signed a petition against his arrest in 2009.
    Goldberg’s statements about rape and rape-rape are pretty well known, I don’t know about others.

  38. 38
    David Marjanović

    That would lead to a positive feedback loop, okstop. Roman Polanski measures greater than 1.0 on the douchebaggery Polanski scale.

    My head spins, because it’s true.

  39. 39
    brianpansky

    to put this mildly, can we all agree that mentions of “great movies” are off topic?

  40. 40
    timgueguen

    I wonder how he’d be perceived if he hadn’t run to avoid his sentence. I suspect even more people would be willing to make excuses for his behaviour. “It was the ’70s.” “He got railroaded.”

  41. 41
    michaelolsen

    Well, the topic was sort of brought in. But I agree. It has nothing to do with how big a shithead Polanski is. He’s the coagulated remnant of a bad beer shit.

  42. 42
    Pierce R. Butler

    … the Pill has changed greatly the woman of our times, ‘masculinizing’ her.

    Adding estrogen causes masculinization? Polanski’s skill in endocrinology matches his expertise in ethics.

  43. 43
    michaelolsen

    “I wonder how he’d be perceived if he hadn’t run to avoid his sentence. I suspect even more people would be willing to make excuses for his behaviour. “It was the ’70s.” “He got railroaded.”” I’m almost sickened with certainty that you might be right. And that’s a weird poisonous form of nostalgia.

  44. 44
    ChasCPeterson

    Beatrice: Thank you for that link; I had either forgotten that incident. Unfortunately not much of the text of the petition they signed was quoted, so I still don’t know what it means for them to have “publicly defended” Polanski. In fact, the most outspoken person quoted in that article against his extradition and prosecution was the victim of his rape. [To follow up, according to 'kipedia, "Polanski was jailed near Zurich for two months, then put under house arrest at his home in Gstaad while awaiting decision of appeals fighting extradition. On 12 July 2010 the Swiss rejected the US request, declared him a "free man" and released him from custody."]

    to put this mildly, can we all agree that mentions of “great movies” are off topic?

    No. The newsworthy item was that some guy said some stupid shit. This is one of PZ’s ‘red meat for the horde’ posts, so usually that would be it, but in this case, the guy’s already famous.

    He’s famous for two things: one, as PZ said, is that he drugged and raped a 13-yo and then fled the country to avoid prosecution. But then, the other thing, when that happened he was already famous, for making non-scare-quoted great movies.
    So if mentions of great movies are off topic, so are mentions of drugging and raping 13-year-olds.

  45. 45
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Oooooo……. if it were possible for me to cause things to light on fire at a distance with my rage, Polanski would have a terminal case of hot flashes.

    I got into a huge fight with my ex-father in law over Polanski. It was the “great man” syndrome: he made good movies therefore little things like raping teenage girls are much less important and to be tolerated. And besides asking for it, blah blah, isn’t Chinatown awesome, blah blah.

    Ugh. Polanski’s problem is that no one can stand Polanski (including Polanski), which he seems to believe makes him an artiste who just needs to be allowed to do whatever he likes because movies people seem to like.

  46. 46
    brianpansky

    “So if mentions of great movies are off topic, so are mentions of drugging and raping 13-year-olds.”

    haha, no. maybe you didn’t read PZ’s post.

  47. 47
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    The fact that his victim was pressured to advocate for her rapist is entirely beside the point for whether or not he needed to be arrested and jailed, Chas. It also doesn’t mitigate the support of others.

    When the person doing the victimizing is famous or considered valuable to a community, the community puts tremendous pressure on the person involved to condone their own victimization. After all, the loss of the victim is considered much less important than the loss of the famous/valuable man.

  48. 48
    anteprepro

    He’s famous for two things: one, as PZ said, is that he drugged and raped a 13-yo and then fled the country to avoid prosecution. But then, the other thing, when that happened he was already famous, for making non-scare-quoted great movies.
    So if mentions of great movies are off topic, so are mentions of drugging and raping 13-year-olds.

    What the ever-living fuck, Chas. What do you even think you are doing.

  49. 49
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Chas,
    Apparently, I’m terminally bored today, because I searched for the original petition. Here you go: http://www.sacd.fr/Le-cinema-soutient-Roman-Polanski-Petition-for-Roman-Polanski.1340.0.html

    It looks like a case of “he’s a great artist, how dare you!”, which seems to be the go-to defense of Polanski’s fans and friends.

    Sure, talk about how great his movies are, you can drool over how masterfully done your favorite is, but try not to get too upset when people react with disgust, since Polanski’s crime, the injustice of his escape and success despite being a known rapist takes precedence in their minds over his talent.

    Do you read statements like, for example:
    Polanski is a great artist, his movies are excellent.
    Oh, he’s also a rapist.

    and

    Polanski is a rapist who faced no detrimental consequences of his actions.
    Oh, and he made some brilliant movies.

    ….differently?

    I’m not sure whether they can correctly indicate priorities of the one who makes them (or something similar, in any case), or they mostly depend on the context of conversation, but they have a rather different ring to them, don’t they?

    It’s not that the mention of his movies is off topic (at least for me), but :
    a) there is a difference in how they are mentioned and
    b) there’s the lingering knowledge that his talent is very often used as an excuse for him, and the suspicion that it might turn out the same this time.

  50. 50
    michaelolsen

    I’m with Beatrice. Like I posted earlier, Chinatown is one of my favorite films. Does that mean the director gets any kind of pass for being a rapist shitknuckle? Fuck no. But I HAVE seen people weasily excuse him for that, because of that, which is when I start throwing people away I thought of as smart.

  51. 51
    Bronze Dog

    It’s not that the mention of his movies is off topic (at least for me), but :
    a) there is a difference in how they are mentioned and
    b) there’s the lingering knowledge that his talent is very often used as an excuse for him, and the suspicion that it might turn out the same this time.

    I think that’s how I think about it. Good things can come from people who do evil. It’s understandable to want to go easy on a person who’s done a lot of good things if he does some evil in the heat of passion or something like that. Points if he turns himself in and if he’s motivated to make reparations.

    But drugging and raping a girl? And fleeing authority after that? Not exactly the best case for mercy if you ask me.

    One disturbing parallel that popped into my head: Replace “made great movies” with “helped our school’s football team win.” In that case, though, it’s a much lesser contribution to the world, but they’ll still attract fanatical defenders and friends in high places.

  52. 52
    anchor

    @16:

    The Pianist, 2002

    Kubrick would have admired that one.

    Watch it if you want to see something a bit more elevated than Fearless Vampire Killers, which premiered 1967. In terms of the art, I put it on a par with Kubrick’s 1957 Paths of Glory.

    Polanski is still an asshole. That has nothing to do with his acumen for filmmaking or the lack thereof. Those distinctly different categories cannot support the point you appear to be making.

    Its like saying Richard Wagner’s music sucks because he was a flaming anti-Semite misogynistic asshole of the first order. The point is that if one does or does not like a Wagner opera or Polanski film, you have to base it on legitimate reasons.

  53. 53
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    One disturbing parallel that popped into my head: Replace “made great movies” with “helped our school’s football team win.” In that case, though, it’s a much lesser contribution to the world, but they’ll still attract fanatical defenders and friends in high places.

    Good point.

  54. 54
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Its like saying Richard Wagner’s music sucks because he was a flaming anti-Semite misogynistic asshole of the first order.

    Except that no one said that Polanski’s movies sucked, just that it is annoying that every conversation about Polanski’s bullshit has to have several comments prefacing accusation with praise of his work. The more I think about it, the more it looks like being apologetic.

    ‘Yeah, he is scum, but I kinda feel bad saying/thinking that about a guy whose work I admire (so I will put in a good word about his work to make myself feel better about that).’

    And I can understand that. At the same time, you admire his professional work, and despise his private actions and positions. Admiring and despising a person at the same time has got to be difficult.
    But I also like the parallel made by Bronze Dog. When it came to Paterno, we were much less forgiving of football fans talking about how great a coach he was, even if they were not doing it to defend his actions.

    Also, Wagner’s been dead for a while. Polanski is alive and kicking and living a great life, completely unapologetic about his crime and still talking shit. And while Paterno is dead, his (in)actions have come out quite recently and are still fresh in our minds, victims of his inaction are alive, and there is a lot of people using his success as an excuse (as with Polanski).

    So yeah, Wagner is a bad comparison.

  55. 55
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    I happen to be in the lovely category where I think his movies tend to stink and he’s a douchebag, so as far as I’m concerned, he can go DIAF.

    And frankly, anchor, I don’t owe you or the Academy a detailed film critique on what I think is wrong with Polanski’s work. Expressing your opinion on someone’s movies does not have to be a dissertation.

  56. 56
    ChasCPeterson

    The fact that his victim was pressured to advocate for her rapist

    assumes facts not in evidence

    is entirely beside the point for whether or not he needed to be arrested and jailed, Chas. It also doesn’t mitigate the support of others.

    Agreed. Fortunately I didn’t mention it for either of those reasons. My point was how worthless the IMDb list was for not defining what it meant by “defended”; the article linked was nearly as worthless (because the only person quoted in his defense was the woman he raped as a girl).
    (As usual, to figure out what I’m trying to say might sometimes require taking off your goggles for a second.)

    What do you even think you are doing.

    Conversing? Responding to stuff other people say? Is this a trick question?
    Beatrice, thanks for the link.

    It looks like a case of “he’s a great artist, how dare you!”, which seems to be the go-to defense of Polanski’s fans and friends.

    That’s spin, but whatever.

    Do you read statements like, for example:
    a rapist who faced no detrimental consequences of his actions.
    Oh, he’s also a rapist.
    and
    Polanski is a rapist who faced no detrimental consequences of his actions.
    Oh, and he made some brilliant movies.
    ….differently?

    Of course I do, because you wrote them to read differently.
    But then, see, what I do, is I go on to notice that the statements are in fact very similar in factual content, but differ only in rhetorical emphasis. The empirical facts are that a) He is a rapist who faced no detrimental consequences of his actions; b) He made some brilliant movies. They are equally true and–my original and only point–equally irelevant to judging his stupid recent remarks.

    his talent is very often used as an excuse for him

    To be clear, I am not doing that.

    Chinatown is one of my favorite films. Does that mean the director gets any kind of pass for being a rapist shitknuckle? Fuck no.

    Agreed.

    It’s understandable to want to go easy on a person who’s done a lot of good things

    To be clear, I am not doing that.

    Expressing your opinion on someone’s movies does not have to be a dissertation.

    Indeed not. On the other hand, merely expressing an opinion without offering any reasons for it makes for a rather pointless and solipsistic comment. What is it that Nerd of Redhead always says in that situation? “*FLOOSH*”, I believe?

  57. 57
    ChasCPeterson

    equally irelevant

    you can read that one either way.

  58. 58
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    They are equally true and–my original and only point–equally irelevant to judging his stupid recent remarks.

    His history of raping a girl and getting away with it (publicly!) is equally irrelevant to his sexist opinions as the fact that he’s made some good movies?

    Your only point sucks.

  59. 59
    brianpansky

    chas, i hope your concerns about the list have been answered now.

    personally i think this is a situation where one person can say “can u not” and really there is no justification for refusing compliance. people had no ill motives, so out of courtesy compliance would make sense. we are talking about a stressful topic, after all.

  60. 60
    brianpansky

    “people had no ill motives” meaning the ones who brought up the “fine films”

  61. 61
    anchor

    If I had no idea who directed a film or composed a piece of music, I may enjoy, not enjoy or remain indifferent. It won’t matter who is responsible for it because I am paying attention to the work itself, for itself.

    Its incorrect to presume that the admiration of a work constitutes tacit approval of the behavior or moral character of the responsible artist.

    However, I do think its entirely legitimate to boycott an artists’ work on principle – but then that has to be made clear. Once that justification is made (and I myself have exercised that discretion) an opinion on the merit or lack of it in such work IMHO (if I may be allowed one too) is rendered irrelevant.

    We’re mosaic beings, all of us. None is without one or more foible or vice, and many have them in spades. But one may still admire the impressive oratory and writing skill of Hitchens (for example) and still despise his stance on the invasion of Iraq, or admire Dawkins on his insight and writing while finding his remarkable confusion over feminist issues much more than a little troubling.

    And we’ve all had an eyeful of how rotten some atheists can be too, but most of us refrain from knocking down other atheists by manufacturing an incorrect correlation by conviction under the banner of atheism. Its curious how those who express the most shock and outrage by the “recent revelation” that atheism doesn’t automatically confer 5-star virtue are often the very same who were naïve enough to excoriate anyone who suggested before the eruption that there exists just such an insidious and disquietingly widespread current of misogyny in the ranks of the skeptical and atheist community.

    It would be crass of those who unpopularly pointed out the infestation for years, to gloat, “we told you so”, wouldn’t it? Yet how quickly many of those most surprised at the reality have since fallen into the bandwagon of, “we knew it all along” (at least, the possibility). That would be substantially, er, ‘crassier‘.

    I’m afraid my attempt to be as objective as I can possibly be may not always support the kind of crisp black-&-white clarity on all matters human as some seem to insist. Such a worldview is as impoverished as the supernaturalistic sort.

  62. 62
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    But then, see, what I do, is I go on to notice that the statements are in fact very similar in factual content, but differ only in rhetorical emphasis.

    You’re sitting in a bar. Some drunk dude who looks like Rambo on (more) steroids is picking a fight with everyone in his vicinity, just a couple of stools over from you. Bartender gives you a friendly advice of “You better get outta here.” and then the drunk dude stumbles over and tells you “I don’t want to see your ugly mug in my bar”. The drunk dude is a bit unsure whether he should break a bottle on your ugly mug or not, but his threat holds the same factual content as the bartender’s: You should get out of the bar now.
    Context, putting emphasis on this or that… kinda important stuff.

  63. 63
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Its incorrect to presume that the admiration of a work constitutes tacit approval of the behavior or moral character of the responsible artist.

    Who claimed that here? Do say.

  64. 64
    coffeehound

    So if mentions of great movies are off topic, so are mentions of drugging and raping 13-year-olds.

    Uh, no; the point that a child rapist is lamenting and commenting on the lack of romance in society was actually the point of the post, I thought. The rest of the commentary on his body of work is sideshow.

  65. 65
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Chas, of all the fucking issues to be a pedant about….

  66. 66
    vaiyt

    The continued well-being of Roman Polanski is a powerful argument against the existence of divine justice. Any sensible god would have ‘visited some misfortune’ on that fucker long ago.

  67. 67
    vaiyt

    @Chas:

    a) He is a rapist who faced no detrimental consequences of his actions; b) He made some brilliant movies. They are equally true and–my original and only point–equally irelevant to judging his stupid recent remarks.

    A man who raped a 13-year-old girl is trying to weigh in on gender politics. How is that not fucking relevant? Face. Palm.

  68. 68
    ChasCPeterson

    *shrug* Palm your face until it’s rosy, I don’t care. It’s the ad hominem fallacy: His recent remarks are equally stupid with or without knowledge of what he did 35 years ago. If you don’t understand that, I don’t know what to tell you.

    Another way to look at it: He was already a super colossal jumbo-sized douchebag. Who gives a fuck if this slimeball says something stupid, about gender politics or anything else?

    I do not.
    I just think it’s ridiculous for PZ to say that what Polanski is famous for is child-rape and for somebody else to claim that any mention of movies is off-topic.
    That’s my only point, and it’s not important enough to me to argue about.

    This amounts in no way to a defense of Polanski, as ought to go without saying, but I said it anyway.

  69. 69
    ChasCPeterson

    of all the fucking issues to be a pedant about…

    what can I tell you.
    It’s not something I’m very good at turning off.

  70. 70
    Ing

    You’re still surprised Chas cranks up the polanski on sexism topics? Still?

  71. 71
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    His recent remarks are equally stupid with or without knowledge of what he did 35 years ago.

    Equally stupid, yes. There is an extra dose of “still a shit, I see” and “his regard for women has improved so much over the years. He didn’t even suggest forcing a woman to anal sex would be a cool way to romance her” though, considering the rape, but whatever. It’s obviously as irrelevant as what he ate for breakfast on Wednesday. I mean, who the fuck cares, right?

    I’m sure that if someone who has severely beat up a black man twenty years ago comes out saying that “niggers” are good for nothing criminals, those two things could and should not in any way be connected. No indication that the man’s low regard for black people is as obvious as it used to be, if expressed less violently…. Nah. Two totally separate events not to be spoken of in the same conversation.
    But the former (?) KKK plays the ukulele so sweetly it makes your heart melt, you know?
    —-

    Since I don’t want to think you are deliberately trolling because you’re bored, I guess it must be a blind spot of yours. I’m sorry about that, but I’m stopping short of trying to think how to draw you the fucking point you are missing using stick people.

  72. 72
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    His recent remarks are equally stupid with or without knowledge of what he did 35 years ago.

    Equally stupid, yes. There is an extra dose of “still a shit, I see” and “his regard for women has improved so much over the years. He didn’t even suggest forcing a woman to anal sex would be a cool way to romance her” though, considering the rape, but whatever. It’s obviously as irrelevant as what he ate for breakfast on Wednesday. I mean, who the fuck cares, right?

    I’m sure that if someone who has severely beat up a black man twenty years ago comes out saying that [insert insulting name for black people]* are good for nothing criminals, those two things could and should not in any way be connected. No indication that the man’s low regard for black people is as obvious as it used to be, if expressed less violently…. Nah. Two totally separate events not to be spoken of in the same conversation.
    —-

    Since I don’t want to think you are deliberately trolling because you’re bored, I guess it must be a blind spot of yours. I’m sorry about that, but I’m stopping short of trying to think how to draw you the fucking point you are missing using stick people.

    *the comment got eaten by the spam filter when I used the word (at least I think it got eaten for that reason)

  73. 73
    brianpansky

    “It’s the ad hominem fallacy”

    really, what position was being pushed through with the aid of this fallacy? what is left unsupported by pointing out this ad hominem? which “therefore” is being interrupted?

    wikipedia: “argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.”

    ‘against their argument’ is key here. i don’t think any of the information PZ posted was included to conclude that polanski’s position is therefore unsupported or whatever. i think beatrice got some of the point clearly there.

    more wiki: “Ad hominem arguments work via the halo effect, a human cognitive bias in which the perception of one trait is influenced by the perception of an unrelated trait, e.g. treating an attractive person as more intelligent or more honest.”

    sexism, misogyny, and that sort of thing are of a similar trait, this isn’t adding apples and oranges, just apples to apples.

    meanwhile, being a film maker is an unrelated trait.

  74. 74
    DLC

    Polanski is a convicted rapist who deserves to spend time in prison. I do not care one whit if he made the best films ever produced or the worst. “he’s an artist” is not an excuse for rape, any more than it would be for theft, armed robbery or arson.

  75. 75
    anchor

    “Who claimed that here? Do say.”

    I never claimed that anyone here said so, as you claim. I simply pointed out that there is in point of fact a tendency in people generally to presume such a thing, and you are once again on my back declaring I’m aiming remarks at US HERE.

    That’s a pretty rotten thing to stew on over, even if you were NOT WRONG in presuming it.

    Beatrice, please, I’ve always admired and agreed with most all of your comments and have been one with you in and all others in common agreement and consensus. I have no idea why you have found my comments so grievously antithetical to our common cause, for example, as to lure me into that hideous chamber of horrors which I studiously avoid as well as its antithesis.

    I can understand where you are coming from – believe me, I am the product of a parent who had barely escaped the unthinkably ultimate consequence of a concentration camp and have had more than my share of misery and horror meted out to myself, my loved ones, and other real flesh and blood people that would melt the coldest heart…or you may choose not to.

    Get the hell off my back…ok? I’m not crawling all over yours, as anyone here can readily attest.

  76. 76
    anchor

    Pardon the glitch – I meant to say, “or you may choose not to…consider the possibility that I agree with you, or support what you have otherwise said very well indeed.

    If you are going to target somebody for a takedown, please do take a moment to make sure you’ve selected a worthwhile target. You are good at it:} but I would hope that considerable skill was directed at our shared adversaries. It is wasted otherwise.

  77. 77
    anchor

    “Except that no one said that Polanski’s movies sucked, just that it is annoying that every conversation about Polanski’s bullshit has to have several comments prefacing accusation with praise of his work. The more I think about it, the more it looks like being apologetic.”

    I’m afraid to disagree with you. I never said anyone here suggested that Polanski’s movies sucked. It is you who say I suggested that. Unfortunately that’s not at all true.

    There was the one particular response I was pointing to, from #16 , Marcus Ranum, who supplied the following:

    “Fine filmmaker

    Fearless Vampire Killers

    Now, go wash your mouth out with soap and burn some incense at the grave of Stanley Kubrick.”

    True enough, he did not suggest that Polanski’s film’s “sucked”. But he did imply that Polanski’s best effort was “Fearless Vampire Killers”…a work that preceded (as far as we know) his despicable tendency to rape underage women. I simply pointed out that he in fact made a film considerably more refined, graceful, and eminently more humanitarian than that particular example. That’s all.

    You like to impute more than my intent. Why is that?

    It may be shocking that a vial rapist asshole is capable of such a thing as a magnificent work of art, but it has been known to happen…as I pointed out. Hard to swallow, but its so.

    Next time you are tempted to “think more about it”, please try doing so with some decent measure of objectivity that doesn’t automatically require your preference for your particular preconceived conclusion.

  78. 78
    anchor

    One more point: yes, indeed, Polanski’s wherewithal as a filmmaker is definitely off the topic here. Its absolutely ridiculous to bring UP his films as a metric against which to measure the merit of that fucking asshole. But when it was brought up, as the side issue it inevitably became, it required remedial remarks.

  79. 79
    Nick Gotts

    This post reminds me of two things.

    First, George Orwell’s essay Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes of Salvador Dali, in which he lays into Dali (the essay is in part a review of Dali’s autobiography). The essay itself has some problematic features – Orwell being as homophobic as most 1930s writers, and in some ways prudish e.g. about masturbation – but is well worth a read.

    If Shakespeare returned to the earth to-morrow, and if it were found that his favourite recreation was raping little girls in railway carriages, we should not tell him to go ahead with it on
    the ground that he might write another KING LEAR.

    This seems rather optimistic in view of the petition in support of Polanski cited above.

    Orwell also says:

    One ought to be able to hold in one’s head simultaneously the two facts that Dali is a good draughtsman and a disgusting human being.

    This is difficult to do, and Orwell himself can be accused of downgrading Dali’s talent because he loathes him so much:

    suppose that you have nothing in you except your egoism and a
    dexterity that goes no higher than the elbow; suppose that your real gift
    is for a detailed, academic, representational style of drawing, your real
    metier to be an illustrator of scientific textbooks. How then do you
    become Napoleon?

    There is always one escape: INTO WICKEDNESS.

    I think Polanski’s misogynistic remark does have to be seen both in relation to his crime, and in relation to his films: if it were not for the latter, no-one would have heard of the remark, and the crime too would long have vanished from public awareness. As for the crime, he has apologised to his victim, but if he were really repentant, he’d have realized that anything he thought he had to say about “romance”, or gender relations generally, he’d better keep to himself.

    The second thing I’m reminded of is the revelations in the UK about Jimmy Savile’s long career of sexual assaults on children, and the subsequent revelations that while he was the most prolific British celebrity child-rapist, he was not the only one; and that both he and others seem to have got away with their crimes for so long because of a similar “benefit of celebrity” to that Polanski is granted by many of his fellow artists and admirers. “Everyone” (i.e. many people in or reporting on showbiz) apparently knew about Savile’s practices, and former BBC presenter Stuart Hall, who recently pled guilty to sexual offences against underage girls, was apparently notorious among female BBC staff for his sexual assaults on them, but like Savile, escaped any penalty, criminal or professional, for decades. One wonders how many of Polanski’s supporters are primarily concerned about crimes of their own coming to light.

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