Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Polanski, Abbott and the liberal elite
If you concentrated the Roman Polanski debacle, condensed its duration and added a vial or two of innocent blood, you'd end up on the Jack Abbott square.
Abbott was a lifetime criminal who started a correspondence with Norman Mailer from prison in the late 1970s. Mailer became enchanted by Abbott's writing and successfully supported his parole efforts. There was a Random House book, In the Belly of the Beast, and a flurry of literati adoration for Abbott. He was granted parole in 1981.
Six weeks later, he stabbed Richard Adan to death when the 22-year-old waiter told Abbott the cafe's bathroom was not for public use.
Abbott was convicted for murder and returned to prison. He committed suicide in 2002. Here is the Wiki write-up on Abbott. Here's an unabridged version (recommended) by Mark Gado.
So here comes Roman Polanski who allegedly drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, also in the late 1970s. Back then Polanski admitted to having sex with the girl, then fled the country. Now after his Sept. 27, 2009 arrest in Switzerland, he's ready to fight extradition and sentencing.
As I read over comments from Polanski supporters about how he was a "brilliant guy" who made a "little mistake" 32 years ago, all I could think of was Norman Mailer and all the others that swarmed around Abbott, citing his gift for writing as if it erased his crimes. That's one set of elite liberals you won't count me among.
You want to see a prejudicial Erin? Show me a 50-year-old man with a 25-year-old wife/girlfriend who looks like she's 14. That's when I pull my daughter aside and whisper in her ear: no hugs for him. Now think how patently girlish Mia Farrow was in Polanski's 1968 effort Rosemary's Baby.
Polanski's victim does not wish to see his extradition pursued; and I doubt Polanski will so much as blink at a minor girl ever again. Nonetheless, when a well-heeled sliver of the artistic community imparts largesse on someone like Polanski because he has money and talent, it sours me to the core.