But Aren’t Hollywood Liberals Superior to the Rest of Us?

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Plus, a twitter feed roundup.

Time for Some Counter Views

Courting controversy, from Stacey McCain, a generally rightwing blogger:

The destruction of Kevin Spacey’s career for what he did (or allegedly attempted to do) in 1986 must be put in context of this pervasive decadence. How many 14-year-old hookers were turning tricks in New York in 1986? …

Far be it from me to defend the (alleged) behavior of Kevin Spacey, a Hollywood liberal and close personal friend of Bill Clinton. Nor is it my intention to endorse moral relativism as a defense of (alleged) behavior that was so clearly wrong. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to denounce Kevin Spacey and demand that he be banished from polite society, at a minimum, and perhaps prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But before the mob seizes Spacey — tall tree, short rope, some assembly required — I must ask, why should this one man be made to suffer grievously for his alleged wrongdoing, when so many other wrongdoers have gotten off scot-free? Because he is famous?

Because he is rich? Because he is “privileged”? Because we are experiencing belated remorse about the Sexual Revolution? Because the Harvey Weinstein scandal has reminded us of other rich, famous men who got away with worse than what Kevin Spacey allegedly did?

And from this blog’s comments, “Bryan” writes, pulling no punches:

Perhaps the teenage Anthony Rapp shouldn’t have attended an adult actor’s party, stayed behind after all the other guests left, and been found sitting on Spacey’s bed when the actor walked into his bedroom post-party and somewhat drunk.
And perhaps, since no sexual act took place (Spacey rolled over onto him and Rapp got up and left), maybe Rapp shouldn’t be publicizing this (and, himself) 30 years later when his career is dormant.
And maybe GLAAD and all the others who took Harvey Weinstein’s money shouldn’t be virtue-signaling now by helping to destroy Spacey’s life and career.

Finally, Joseph Fischel at Slate:

Let me be as clear as possible that Spacey’s alleged conduct, imposing himself unwanted on a 14-year-old boy, is in no way defensible, nor is closeted queerness an excuse that authorizes bad behavior. (Spacey’s statement doesn’t dispute either of these points.) However, we can condemn the alleged events of Rapp’s story without falling into the trap of fueling moral panic around the specter of the pedophile. And in its pitchfork-and-torches response, that’s exactly what the gay community is doing. It used to be straights who “pedophiled” gays to deny them civil rights and social inclusion. Now we apparently pedophile our own for moral purification and self-satisfaction.

16 Comments for “But Aren’t Hollywood Liberals Superior to the Rest of Us?”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Stephen and GLAAD are on the same page for a change:

    GLAAD called out Kevin Spacey for using his coming out as a way to distract from damning sexual assault allegations.

    As is everyone else with a whit of sense.

    Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    His statement actually struck me as a mix of falling on his sword and Jim McGreevey sleeze.

    I’m very surprised there’s been such a quick and strong reaction that his statement was sleeze. It’s probably because of the complaintant being a minor at the time.

    Reply
  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I’m very surprised there’s been such a quick and strong reaction that his statement was sleeze. It’s probably because of the complaintant being a minor at the time.

    Exactly. Keep your hands off kids. Pedophilia/ephebophilia really piss normal people off, as Catholic priests and any number of Jesus-loving “youth ministers” have found out of late. Even homocons walked away from Milo Yiannopoulos, the jerk, over that issue.

    Reply
  4. posted by Bryan on

    An alternative view: Perhaps the teenage Anthony Rapp shouldn’t have attended an adult actor’s party, stayed behind after all the other guests left, and been found sitting on Spacey’s bed when the actor walked into his bedroom post-party and somewhat drunk.
    And perhaps, since no sexual act took place (Spacey rolled over onto him and Rapp got up and left), maybe Rapp shouldn’t be publicizing this (and, himself) 30 years later when his career is dormant.
    And maybe GLAAD and all the others who took Harvey Weinstein’s money shouldn’t be virtue-signaling now by helping to destroy Spacey’s life and career.

    Reply
    • posted by JohnInCA on

      If it were my nephew (currently 14 I think) that told me he had been “assaulted” in such a way, I would probably respond by slapping him upside the head, calling him a fucking idiot, and being glad I wasn’t the parent that was going to have to decide whether to make it public or prosecute or whatever.

      If it had been 14-year old me? Probably wouldn’t have felt assaulted or complained at all. And probably wouldn’t have talked about it thirty years later either.

      That said? Regardless of what the teen should or shouldn’t have done, what they did or didn’t want, the responsibility on being the adult is on the adult. We can’t really compromise that. You can’t say “well they were asking for it”, “did you see the way they were dressed”, “they were coming on to me” or any of that. Even if that can be an understandable excuse, it will never be a good excuse.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      That said? Regardless of what the teen should or shouldn’t have done, what they did or didn’t want, the responsibility on being the adult is on the adult. We can’t really compromise that. You can’t say “well they were asking for it”, “did you see the way they were dressed”, “they were coming on to me” or any of that. Even if that can be an understandable excuse, it will never be a good excuse.

      Exactly. Adults have the responsibility to say no, no matter what the minor does or doesn’t do.

      Reply
      • posted by Bryan on

        He went to a adult party and was sitting on Spacey’s bed when everyone else had left. Come on, sure sounds like he was a gay 14-year-old who sort of wanted it but was also sort of scared, and when Spacey made a pass he got weirded out and left. And now, 30 years later, he’s all in with a “Me Too Me Too, hey, what about me and my career” accusation that’s destroying someone’s life.

        Reply
        • posted by JohnInCA on

          All true.

          And yet, it remains the responsibility of the adult to be the adult in that situation, and say “no”.

          Just ’cause we all fantasized about older dudes when we were teens, doesn’t mean we ever get to fulfil some teen’s fantasy about older dudes.

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        • posted by Jim Michaud on

          That’s right Bryan. Keep it classy by blaming the victim. Spacey was literally the adult in the room and should’ve kept the lid on his behavior. Do you actually have no problem with a 28 year old dude playing tonsil hockey and linger finger with a 14 year old kid? WTF dude? Spacey is the one to blame. Full stop.

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      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        It doesn’t make a bit of difference what the kid did or didn’t do, what the kid thought or didn’t think, or where the kid was or wasn’t. Spacey, the adult in the room, was responsible to control his own behavior. If you don’t understand that, I can’t help you.

        Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      And maybe GLAAD and all the others who took Harvey Weinstein’s money shouldn’t be virtue-signaling now by helping to destroy Spacey’s life and career.

      Just to keep the record straight, this from GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis (October 9, Washington Blade): “It is reprehensible to learn about Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of power and gross treatment of women, especially given his role as a frequent proponent of social justice. As the leader of an organization that advocates for women’s rights and full LGBTQ acceptance, I stand with the women who have used their voices to speak up about this and commend the free press for telling their stories.”

      Reply
  5. posted by Jorge on

    Time for Some Counter Views

    All quite reasonable. All quite likely false, too.

    Kevin Spacey strikes me as being the victim of a whisper campaign. The follow up news is showing that such a whisper campaign is probably justified.

    It doesn’t make a bit of difference what the kid did or didn’t do, what the kid thought or didn’t think, or where the kid was or wasn’t. Spacey, the adult in the room, was responsible to control his own behavior. If you don’t understand that, I can’t help you.

    …….

    I’d be more sympathetic to that reasoning if one of the twitter responders hadn’t tried to defend getting drunk and saying drunk gay people don’t get sexually inappropriate. So I’m going to have to say that that’s a standard that should be applied across the board.

    Of course Spacey didn’t remember what he did what he was drunk. He’s hiding behind the idea that he drunk, when really we should be pointing out that that’s the problem. But just like being gay is considered a “good thing,” nobody wants you to question their lifestyle of heavy drinking.

    So how about being the “adult” and not getting drunk in the first place? How about being the “adult” and not letting kids attend adult parties without supervision in the first place? That fault lies with many, many more people than Mr. Spacey.

    Reply
    • posted by JohnInCA on

      “That fault lies with many, many more people than Mr. Spacey.”
      Sure. The “real” problem is far beyond a single man and his actions. It’s “locker room talk” and “casting couches”, it’s “boys will be boys” and “she was asking for it”. It’s dick pics being both an invitation and harassment, and not knowing which until you get a reply. In short, society is all kinds of fucked up.

      But to use a metaphor, all that stuff are crew members on the ship that is *you*. They have input, they suggest this course of action or that course of action. Some will counsel you to do things you shouldn’t do. But ultimately, you are the Captain of your ship, and it is you that just find the way through rough waters and rocky shoals. And should your ship founder or crash? Well, “the buck stops here”.

      Reply
      • posted by Jorge on

        But to use a metaphor, all that stuff are crew members on the ship that is *you*. They have input, they suggest this course of action or that course of action. Some will counsel you to do things you shouldn’t do. But ultimately, you are the Captain of your ship, and it is you that just find the way through rough waters and rocky shoals. And should your ship founder or crash? Well, “the buck stops here”.

        I like that metaphor. It’s allows a good demonstration of the difference between personal conservatism and social conservatism. I also like how its colorful imagery allows me to justify authoritarian gestures such as banishing, beating, imprisoning, and executing potential mutineers.

        I believe consistency in messaging is an important part of creating personal responsibility. Guys like Donald Trump have learned the lesson that racism is unacceptable but sexual harassment is, so they go around telling the world they’re not racist and they grab women. You cannot cure someone of being an ass****. You can demand they do the right thing, but you can’t do that if you send mixed messages.

        Fine. Punish the bastard. The guy made a statement that reeks of guilt and manipulativeness. But remember that there is a culture war out there, and it isn’t over.

        Reply
        • posted by JohnInCA on

          I believe consistency in messaging is an important part of creating personal responsibility
          Nope. Consistency is important in training. But you don’t get to say “blame it on my raisin'” when you fuck up. That kind of blame-game is the opposite of personal responsibility.

          And that’s irrelevant to any moral relativism about “culture wars” and society you want to try and pull. Whether you call or right or wrong, you’re still responsible for the things you do.

          Reply
  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    And now, 30 years later, he’s all in with a “Me Too Me Too, hey, what about me and my career” accusation that’s destroying someone’s life.

    This morning’s Buzzfeed has an article (“Spacey Used The Closet To Silence His Victims“) about Spacey that is worth reading and thinking about:

    In the five days since Anthony Rapp came forward on Oct. 29 with the first public sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Spacey, more allegations have surfaced spanning four decades and two continents.

    Now, three more men — including one who was a minor at the time — have told BuzzFeed News that they met Spacey in professional settings but soon became targets of inappropriate sexual conduct. Their stories and others’ reveal a pattern of behavior that goes back decades, suggesting a reckless disregard for personal and professional boundaries. They also share a core characteristic with the stories of men who are alleged to have sexually harassed and assaulted women, like Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, James Toback, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and Bill Cosby — namely, a gross and persistent abuse of power.
    Whether as simply an older, admired actor taking advantage of a much younger one, or a star with significant clout on a set or elsewhere, Spacey is alleged to have consistently used his sexuality in a way that was unwanted and unwarranted, and often unrelenting. In Spacey’s case, these stories also demonstrate the complex effect the closet can have for men of any sexual orientation when talking about sexual misconduct by another man.

    Spacey appears to have discovered how to weaponize the closet, shielding his own behavior from scrutiny under the guise of merely protecting his privacy.

    The article documents a pattern of abuse spanning decades, based on what is known so far.

    The most interesting aspect of the article (sexual predators are a dime a dozen, including a President who brags about his ability to grope women at will, and not all that interesting) is the way in which Spacey (a) deployed the closet to deflect questions about his own behavior, and (b) leveraged his victim’s need to remain closeted in order to ensure silence about his own conduct.

    Reply

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