In Defense of Kevin Spacey
I am sick to death of witch hunts. More, I am sick to death of the fundamental abrogation of plain American principles that, while festering everywhere (note that NO legislation coming out of Congress has followed the usual order, hearings, statements, debate, amendments, etc. but instead comes from small cabals acting in a most UNdemocratic and non-transparent manner ending with “take it or leave it” in essence) most especially show up when the dread monster of sex shows up.
First, she may well be right:
Heather Unruh says Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted her son
Travis Andersen / BostonGlobe.comFighting back tears, former Channel 5 anchor Heather Unruh told reporters on Wednesday that actor Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted her teenage son during an encounter last year at a Nantucket bar.
Now: if past experience is any guide, some morons will assume that I condone the behavior Spacey is accused of, and paint me with the broad brush of their irrational fanaticism. I do not condone the alleged behavior, but it is LESS DANGEROUS to our republic than the lynching party that now staggers drunkenly through the land, forcing punishments and firings for executives and men in “power” who have not had so much as the benefit of a criminal hearing. Worse, there IS no statute of limitations on the behavior of the mob.
Because that’s what we’re dealing with, high-tech mob rule, aided and abetted by a “college educated” media behaving like grade school bullies and gossips.
This has ALWAYS been the American way vis-a-vis SEXUAL scandals (and please note that #metoo sexual harassment of women as an issue has been swept from the front pages by male accusations against males — even if their MOMMIES bring the charges to the public arena.)
I wrote about my own experience with a sexual predator when I was in high school, and that a great deal of my reticence in reporting it came from the sure knowledge that once my mother got ahold of it, katie bar the door, there would be a kind of witch hunt that might or might not have been justified, but whose consequences I was NOT willing to abet.
This probably doesn’t hold true for most who have been sexually stalked, groomed and trapped, but I got out of it by my own wits and that was sufficient for me. I could not (even at that age) balance reporting the offender with the sure knowledge of what would happen to him and his family by a society gone insane about human sexuality.
OK: not “gone” insane. ALWAYS insane is the more correct phrasing.
You see, Kevin Spacey just MIGHT be innocent. We fought a Revolution and then a Civil War to guarantee that any individual’s right to due process of law shall not be denied. But he has been “punished” by “moral” NETFLIX (ever wanting to be popular, and more than willing to throw anyone under the bus to appease public opinion, which is, in fact, utterly AMORAL. In fact, parenthetically, it is the same cravenness that allowed CBS to quietly fire Dan Rather as opposed to the new Spielberg film, The Pentagon Papers, in which it is the NON-cravenness of Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlee that publishes the papers and changes the world.)
And look at what our “morality” has cost: EVERYone who fed their family, paid for their rent or mortgage, sent their kids to school in clothes, etc. etc. has instantaneously lost their job. Oh, they’ve tried to claw it back by saying that they wouldn’t bankroll any version of “House of Cards” WITH Spacey, basically suggesting in the world where reality and fantasy meet that since Spacey has become a TOTAL liability and not wanting to alienate a subscription base ALREADY angered by their dollar-a-month rate increase, yes, Virginia, NETFLIX has quietly suggested that “House of Cards” kill the President of the Virtual States of America to save ratings.
It is “Network” turned from satirical Paddy Chayefsky film into Reality, just as Cyril M. Kornbluth’s outrageous 1950s satirical story “The Marching Morons” doesn’t seem so funny anymore.
We sit on the edge of empire, with industrial princes and billionaire potentates running the world and We, the People increasingly voting more as spectacle than as republic. The erosion of the Rule of Law is generally the last bulwark against tyranny, and when it goes, tyranny reigns, as we have the entire history of the Twentieth Century to look back on for compare and contrast.
Consider this: if you use a gun in the commission of an horrific mass murder, your treatment by public opinion will be far less rabid than if you use your PENIS in the commission of a … not crime? Anthony Weiner just reported to Federal prison for texting about his penis to an underage texter (statutory vape*) and Kevin Spacey and Bill Cosby are social pariahs, butt of scorn and jokes and all those people around them losing their jobs for nothing that THEY did, without anyone ever suggesting that a penis was actually INVOLVED. Harvey Weinstein, at least, is accused of openly displaying his weapon, but Spacey and Cosby are both accused of concealed carry, so far. They may be accused of touching other people’s genitals, but I haven’t seen anything about their own.
I suppose that effects of these allegations would fall under the rubric of what the late Justice Harry Blackmun might call the “penis penumbra.”
[* In the midst of all the Anthony Weiner madness, it is well to remember that the WORST thing that anyone ever accused him of was sending a picture of his penis to someone. No actual sexual contact of any kind was ever alleged. What he’s in jail for is, at worst, a thought crime. It has no tangible existence. Even the penis pix only have a more than intangible existence unless you actually print out the pictures. We have a great problem in this culture in separating reality from UNreality. Larry Hagman? Real, if dead. J.R. Ewing? Unreal and technically immortal.]
Criminal charges and one mistrial against Cosby, but he’s already been executed by society. The complete destruction of an Emmy-winning show House of Cards [full disclosure: I have never seen it] on the whiff of an accusation by a former child actor whose new show certainly HAS benefited from the publicity, no matter the truth or falsity of the allegation.
Remember what happened to Penn State? The criminal, Jerry Sandusky, was caught, tried, convicted, jailed.
But the MOB outside of that process destroyed the Penn State football program, essentially killed Joe Paterno, who died in disgrace, whose statue was brutally hacked out of its spot and left as an ugly scar on the school, and the assistant coaches and the administrators etc. all of whom WEREN’T the criminal and hadn’t known of the crime, these were all victims of the mob, not of the child molester.
We have a long and unjust history of these witch hunts, and many an Iago has thrown an enemy into the pit of the mob to be destroyed before the mob comes to its senses.
Many have been tangibly wounded by the karmic shrapnel that has spattered out in all direction from this, but wasn’t this ORIGINALLY about powerful MEN regularly and systematically abusing WOMEN, from time immemorial and how it needs to STOP?
The mob goes yowling down the street.
Let me tell you a story. I met a man in a homeless shelter, and he and I were both educated men, and in similar financial straits, and he had just gotten out of the New Mexico state penitentiary. He had done the crime, and done the time, and wasn’t going back again. But he had gotten to the New Mexico state pen just after the infamous 1980 prison riot. The first thing they had him do, he said, was to clean up blood and gore still staining the walls and floors.
And he had collected the stories and the tales of what had happened. Some of the things that happened were unbelievable. And, being an educated man, he had read the newspaper accounts in the prison library later. The long and the short of it was this: in forty-eight hours, these civilized twentieth century men had gone from angry men protesting prison conditions to a mob of rabid murderers. “All you had to do was point and yell ‘stoolie’,” my friend told me, “and that man was DEAD.”
The veneer of civilization strips away very fast when the mob unleashes. And it is much thinner than we would be comfortable to know.
And, for whatever reason, the mob doesn’t care ALL THAT MUCH about AR-15s — Favored by mass-murderers 15-0® — but the mere mention of a penis drives them insane, into savage fits of feral lunacy.
If Kevin Spacey done done whut they say he done did, the law can and ought to handle it. We can be titillated by the stories, in something I like to call a censorgasm — Faux Nooz and bluenoses throughout history love to do this; I remember in the 70s and 80s, Los Angeles’ KABC’s Christine Lund was always given the icky sex stories, because NOBODY could do that “I just stepped in fresh doggie doo in bare feet” look like Lund could — or we can eschew the censorgasmic writhings and return to the point that the mob is missing, which is STILL about sexual harassment of women in the workplace, whether the movie star to be, or the El Salvadoran maid, unpaid and illegal, forced into sexual relations with her “employer” that are no different than between a slave owner and his slaves in Antebellum Texas.
John Adams was the only lawyer who would defend the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre, and he did it because he believed every man deserves fair counsel in a fair trial.
So does Kevin Spacey.
I do not defend him, nor what he’s accused of. But I defend his right to a fair hearing. And, perhaps, PRIOR to execution.
Thus far, we have engaged in trial-by-gossip and trial-by-pundit, with sentencing preceding to trial — so as not to prejudice the court of public opinion with facts. And any number of “victims” have been showing up, many of whom are legitimate, in all likelihood, but, if history is any precedent, many of whom are NOT. This is a well-known side effect of “me too” people who want to be on TV, and not, alas, as in “I am Spartacus!” Or #metoo.
And I defend women’s right to be heard and NOT sidetracked yet again while the white guys get all the press.
Breaking (and this isn’t a joke) Charlie Sheen raped 14-year-old Cory Haim (who is dead and the National Enquirer claims accuses Sheen from beyond the grave or on his deathbed, but it’s been kept secret, etc.)
Also breaking: Jeffrey Tambor is now being investigated by Amazon production (who already fired their production head over allegations of past “crimes”) for sexual harassment himself. We are in the midst of a full-fledged witch-hunt, alas, with much hunting and not so many clear-cut witches. Now, the media mob moves, as the mob did in the New Mexico prison riots, on anyone pointed out as a “witch!”
That’s really going to highlight sexual harassment in the workplace. Yessirree.