High life

Hollywood is the new Spanish inquistion

2 December 2017

9:00 AM

2 December 2017

9:00 AM

There’s fear and loathing in this town and in El Lay it’s even worse. Torquemada and Savonarola are in charge, and if this is not a new version of the Spanish inquisition I don’t know what is. The enemy is ‘toxic masculinity’, as exhibited by the latest to lose his job for ever, Charlie Rose. He’s not a bad guy but a bleeding-heart liberal who acted like Benito in front of fair maidens. Or so they claim. In the meantime, he’s toast. I have only one question: what ever happened to due process?

What also bothers me is that the latest purge is the only subject of conversation nowadays. At Thanksgiving dinner with Oliver Stone and his charming family chez Michael Mailer, I literally had to bully Madame Stone to run away with me to Mykonos in order to change the subject. (I didn’t dare do it to his lovely daughter Tara because at 22 she might be called underage in view of me being overage.) In the meantime, the director just looked at me open-mouthed as I repeated the Mykonos offer after every gulp (and I took many).

Let’s face it, this is not the first time I’ve brought this up. I’ve been writing 50 columns a year for the past 40 years, which means I’ve mentioned La La Land around 2,000 times. So some of you old-timers can give this one a miss. Here we are in the grip of a sexual counter-revolution, with stories of abuse and harassment being believed, and alleged abusers and harassers being thrown to the wolves without a trial. Yet at the same time Hollywood chooses to go all out for Call Me By Your Name, a movie that tells the story of a 24-year-old man seducing a 17-year-old boy, and the love affair that follows. I haven’t seen it, and don’t plan to, but I couldn’t avoid reading about it and hearing the usual suspects going ape over it.

In other words, doing it with a youngster of the same sex is OK, but undressing and making suggestions in front of a mature woman is not, especially if she’s an aspiring thespian. It’s OK if it’s a gay relationship, is the obvious message. Having said that, what about a great actor like Kevin Spacey? (I know, Rod Liddle covered it two weeks ago, but still. Without Spacey House of Cards is House of Crap, even if the divine Robin Wright, whom I once tried to steal a kiss from, is in it.)

Hollywood’s false and wrong values continue to reverberate throughout our culture. These values have corrupted our sensibilities and blighted our souls. They have made the bad guys look good and the good ones appear very, very bad. Looking through recent American contributions to culture, I find only nihilism and bogus rhetoric about liberation and other very tired subjects. Apart from Norman Mailer, Philip Roth and Larry McMurtry, the last two still very much with us, I cannot read American novels. Or phonies such as Susan Sontag, a purveyor of non-stop nonsense and radical chic attitudes. Give me Jerry Lee Lewis any day, the great pianist-singer who married a 13-year-old. When Lewis visited London he had no qualms about bringing her along to the press conference. That’s what I love about America — not our highly praised cultural heroes of the 1960s but the blue-collar workers in the south of the country; in other words, the deplorables.

Be that as it may, I know I’m a bit of a dinosaur nowadays. Trump’s economy is not only chugging along, it’s going like the blazes, and no one can tell for how long. What makes the left in general so loathsome is the hypocrisy involved. Every bicoastal cultural wannabe thinks that anybody who voted for the Donald is a yahoo who sleeps with his sister and wants to reintroduce slavery. The fact that slavery exists in Africa today doesn’t seem to bother the wannabes. And does it bother those African-Americans, who refuse to stand for the national anthem, or take Muslim names? What do they make of the fact that Africans were enslaved, shipped and sold by Arabs? As the drunk said to the sheriff when he woke up in a cell, something’s very wrong here.

Otherwise everything is hunky-dory. Felonious assault should lead to complete ruination, as someone told me when I was about to get into a fight. But so does a pinch on the bottom, I answered. Everyone laughed and that was it. If more people were to laugh when some fool or other takes off his pants and desecrates a plant, maybe fewer people would do it. What I’d like to know is why a woman who is raped by Harvey, as Paz de la Huerta claims she was, then puts herself in a position where she is allegedly raped again. And why does an Italian lady who is allegedly raped by him then go on to have a consensual relationship for five years?

Finally, a Supreme Court judge who shall remain anonymous told me that most of these cases will never reach a court of law. There’s trial by the media and then there’s the real thing. Enjoy it while you can, sweetie-pies.

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