great stuff Lacy. can't wait to see what you present to our world next
I've really enjoyed reading your column - it's how I discovered L Magazine in the first place. Thanks for the insight, and I hope to see more of your stuff again soon!
Thanks for this excellent piece, Henry. I think you are exactly right about this. If Dylan endured what she says she did, it was a horrible thing, she deserves all our sympathy, and Allan Stewart Konigsberg should never have gotten away with it. But we don't know for sure what happened. As you point out, there never was a trial (though it sounds like there should have been), so only a handful of people who were intimately involved with the situation know enough about what happened to act as judge and jury.
More to the point: if we made it a policy to look at/read/watch only works created by artists whose lives we deem virtuous, we'd have to ban many of the best works of art ever made, not to mention a whole lot of perfectly good or entertaining stuff. So who would that hurt? Mainly us, the audience deprived of that art.
If we imposed such a ban while the artist was still working, it would also hurt the artist, depriving him or her of an audience and an income. But is that really how we want to punish people who have broken our moral code? Aren't we supposed to be a nation of laws, where people are tried in a court of law and punished with things like fines or jail time or community service or probation? Where is it written that someone who breaks the law should lose the right to pursue his or her career?
Besides, who are we to judge our fellow flawed human beings? Okay, I'm no longer talking about this particular case now, since I think almost everyone would agree that sexual molesting a seven-year-old is heinous. But think about some of the things artists have had to hide about themselves in the past in order to be accepted by the mainstream, like being gay. Who's to say that some of the things we would vilify people for now won't look as arbitrary and unjust in a generation or two?
I think any movie or other work of art has to stand on its own, judged for what it is, not for the private life/lives of the person or people who made it.
I think where it gets more complicated than that is that we tend to think we "know" or "love" the people who make art we respond to. But, as you say, that's an illusion. Woody Allen is no more a real person than the little tramp persona created by Charlie Chaplin -- who, by the way, got Lita Grey pregnant when she was just 15 and married an 18-year-old Oona when he was 54.
What? I'm sorry, but... what? Some troubled woman makes an allegation against a man, so he's automatically judged to be guilty? Wasn't this already looked at by the LAW and tossed away?
Gotta love society these days. You don't need proof of anything anymore. As long as you're a man, you're instantly guilty as charged.
And two crucial articles that support the theory that anyone on this ridiculous bandwagon that Henry is on is merely engaged in libelous character assassination:
End of an era, loss of a legend. Clichés, yes, and in Pete's case they apply. He served as the conscience for a nation that's lost its way—and as such, was slighted and ignored much the way we humans often treat that unprepossessing inner voice.
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