Mitterrand’s 2005 book, “La mauvaise vie” or “The Bad Life,” describes painful periods in his childhood and his homosexuality. One passage describes his “bad habit of paying for boys” in Thailand. Mitterrand later denied he was a pedophile, saying on France-3 television that he uses the term “boys” loosely.
Mitterrand was a television personality when the book came out but not in the government. President Nicolas Sarkozy named Mitterrand culture minister in June this year.
Concern about the book resurfaced in French political circles after Mitterrand’s impassioned defense of Roman Polanski last week. The director was arrested in Switzerland on U.S. charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 in Los Angeles.
And this is how cinematic propaganda works. Whether the filmmaker’s motivations are good or evil, the idea is to get decent and thoughtful people to start second guessing themselves as they’re enveloped in the dark and held captive by the powerful sound and fury of the moving picture. First we’re led to identify and sympathize with a particular character, then that character does something designed to challenge our belief structure. This can range from, “If John Wayne opposes racism, maybe I should,” to, “Well, if a loving mother is okay with it, maybe I need to get a little more nuanced and tolerant about this whole child-rape thing.”
On its face, that may sound laughable, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean our eyes are lying to us. Last year merely topped off a campaign targeted at our children that began some time ago.
It is my opinion that the culture wars in general and the war on Christianity in particular is all about legitimizing sin and removing guilt from it. Once it becomes unacceptable to call sin “sin” then everything changes. That way this case matters; it exposes in sharp relief the contradictions that this involves, and we will as a culture have a choice to make. Is this unacceptable or a bad habit?
That this could happen to a famous director with excellent representation should send shivers to everyone else about what could happen to them. Instead, people want to spout off on the vigilante justice they think appropriate for Polanski based on crimes to which he never pleaded guilty and which were never proven in a court of law.
Ignorance and vengeance knows no bounds in the court of public opinion. Particularly by those who turn a blind eye to the facts. (Here is the Motion to Dismiss (pdf)and the Victim’s Declaration (pdf).)
Shorter version: Roman Polanski went for a ride on the elevator of justice, but all he got was the shaft. Free Roman.
Hey we all know how much good information you can get from a film:
Loaded with powerful, new footage and in-depth interviews with the likes of Steven Earl Jones, an American physicist who has discovered undetonated explosive material in multiple samples of dust from the World Trade Center collapses, this documentary presents a wide array of evidence both known and unknown…until now. Eight years later, the American people continue to live in the aftermath of 9/11 and deal with its ongoing repercussions. Is this just another machination of power on the timeline of history? If so, the real question is what happens next? Or better yet, what can we do to prevent another 9/11
Hey that was a movie too? Maybe the Truthers are onto something…
If you can tell the difference between Talk Left’s movie driven position and the truthers position then you are smarter than me.
The hole that is being dug by these guys just blows my mind. It is lemmings off the cliff.
This is going to be a turning point in the culture wars.
I reread an extraordinary interview Polanski gave to the novelist Martin Amis in 1979, the year after Polanski went on the run.
The interview originally appeared in Tatler and is collected in Amis’s excellent book Visiting Mrs Nabokov.
Here’s a section of the first quote it contains from Polanski.
“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”
I have always maintained that the war on Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular is all about justifying one’s own sins. Andrew Sullivan doesn’t leave the Church for one that accepts gay marriage because deep down as a Catholic he still has the grace to KNOW what sin is and needs to have it justified by the Church.
This is all about trying to normalize behavior by an elite group of people who do not want to be judged.
“But DaTechGuy how can you possibly suggest this could happen?” Let me remind you of a post back near the start of my blogging days here:
Personally on a religious level I can’t support gay marriage but this is not a valid argument for a non-religious person. On a non-religious level it seems to me you can not rationally say that gay marriage is ok and should be legal without also allowing either polygamy and incest between consenting adults. Both have a longer and more accepted cultural history worldwide.
And PLEASE don’t give me the “ick” factor argument about these other things being accepted. Ick is just an argument about culture. It is the same argument that one would have heard concerning gay marriage less that 20 years ago.
Anyone familiar with the vast cultural change promulgated over the last decade and a half can’t be surprised by the elites reaction to the Polanski stuff without considerable idiocy. After all:
The idea that when you can’t always live up to your values you drop the values is the path of the coward and the fool. As the saying goes:
“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.”
I’m sure the author would like to leave it untried. A lot easier to do what you want when there are no rules, isn’t it?
It’s all about allowing the sin. And nobody described sin better than Warren in his interview with Curry last year:
Mark my words this case and the elites reaction to it and the media’s reaction to the elites will be either a turning point or a breaking point in the culture wars, and No I’m not surprised we have reached this point, I just didn’t think it would happen this fast.
What’s that from? The Mullah Omar Guide To Healthy Relationships? Personally, I prefer ’em a little older than 13, but no doubt that explains why I’m not as “grown-up” (in Polanski’s word) about this as his pals.
More interestingly how many of the people on the list that signed are women under the age of 21? That would be an interesting stat.
Update 2Michelle and Driscoll comment. This is going to explode in a lot of people’s faces.