Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am at a loss...

Roman Polanski is a rapist. There is no discussion about it. The facts are not disputed. He gave a quaalude (or a "sliver" of one - whatever) with some champagne and then raped a 13 year-old girl orally, vaginally, and anally (that word seems wrong somehow). And let's be specific about her participation in the whole thing, if one can really say a 13 year-old has the wherewithall to participate in anything sexually, especially with a 43 year-old man. She told him to "keep away" from her and told police she didn't resist more because she was "afraid of him."

Regardless of whether she resisted or not, she was 13. A 13 year-old girl (kid) CANNOT consent to sexual activity with a man, 30 years her senior. Especially when she's drugged.

So why, then, are celebrities and/or artists (if that's what they really are) calling for the release of Polanski? They are going so far as to sign petitions asking for his release calling his arrest a "travesty," saying he's an artistic genius, etc., etc., etc. Of course there are issues involving any kind of extradition but to excuse his behavior because a) it was merely sex with a minor (no such thing - that's called rape)* or b) Polanski is a genius and therefore doesn't deserve to be locked up with all the common, gutter trash is absolutely fucking insane.

*I do believe there is a difference between this situation and a senior in high school having sex with his under 18 high school girlfriend.

If those assholes want to sign petitions eschewing their allegiance to a rapist, artistic or French as he may be, I will help them along. I'm posting their names and boycotting their products and/or work. It'll hurt but these fools deserve it. And I'll add any name I find along the way who supports Roman Polanski being released from prison.

Here are the ones I know of right now (I'm listing in order of my own personal importance w/r/t boycotting - the ones that'll hurt the most and then alphabetical after that):

David Lynch (this hurts my heart)
Wes Anderson (really? I always thought you were a freak but in a good way. Guess I was wrong.)
Martin Scorsese (give me a fucking break)
Diane von Furstenburg (ouch. good thing I can't afford her dresses anyway)
Michael Mann (guess I can't see anymore of your stupid movies with G now)
Jonathan Demme (like his work - Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs, etc. Oh well.)
Harvey Weinstein (what has Polanski or child rape ever done for you that you owe them so?)
Tilda Swinton (um... you're living in a group marriage thing so I can understand you wanting to stand up for non-traditional relationships but this is not one of those)
Woody Allen (big surprise - pot, meet kettle)
Salman Rushdie (as if boycotting this douche will really hurt)

Isabelle Adjani
Pedro Almodovar
Paul Auster
Pedro Almodovar
Asia Argento
Jean-Jacques Annaud
Darren Aronofsky
Fanny Ardant
Asia Argento
Olivier Assayas
Gabriel Auer
Christophe Barratier
Gilles Behat
Marco Bellochio
Monica Bellucci
Jean-Jacques Beineix
Yamina Benguigui
Patrick Bouchitey
Jacques Bral
Pascal Bruckner
André Buytaers
Christian Carion
Henning Carlsen
Jean-Michel Carre
Patrice Chéreau
Elie Chouraqui
Souleymane Cissé
Alain Corneau
Jérôme Cornuau
Miguel Courtois
Alfonso Cuaron
Alexandre Desplat
Arielle Dombasle
Georges Dybman
Betrand van Effenterre
Jacques Fansten
Michel Ferry
Stephen Frears
Thierry Frémaux
Sam Gabarski
Tony Gatlif
Costa Gavras
Jean-Marc Ghanassia
Christian Gion
David Heyman
Laurent Heynemann
Isabelle Huppert
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Gilles Jacob
Just Jaeckin
Pierre Jolivet
Neil Jordan
Nelly Kaplan
Wong Kar Waï
Jan Kounen
Harmony Korinne
Milan Kundera
Emir Kusturica
John Landis
Claude Lanzmann
Patrice Leconte
Bernard-Henri Levy
François Margolin
Mario Martone
Radu Mihaileanu
Jeanne Moreau
Claude Lanzmann
André Larquié
Claude Lelouche
Claude Miller
Mike Nichols
Michel Ocelot
Alexander Payne
Michele Placido
Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Yasmina Reza
Laurence Roulet
Walter Salles
Jean-Paul Salomé
Marc Sandberg
Julian Schnabel
Barbet Schroeder
Ettore Scola
William Shawcross
Abderrahmane Sissako
Paolo Sorrentino
Radovan Tadic
Danis Tanovic
Bertrand Tavernier
Cécile Telerman
Alain Terzian
Pascal Thomas
Daniele Thompson
Giuseppe Tornatore
Serge Toubiana
Nadine Trintignant
Tom Tykwer
Wim Wenders

Monday, September 28, 2009

Go buy the Girls' Album....

No really. The Girls are a boy group and their album is titled Album. Go buy it now! I listened to it this morning and I'm officially completely sad and in love with the lead singer. My favorite lyrics are from Hellhole Race, which I'd quote from but I can't find them online, but my favorite sounding song is from Ghostmouth. Christopher Owens (singer) sounds like some kind of 50s crooner and it's completely awesome. The whole album seems to be about some girl he broke up with (or who broke up with him or simultaneously or whatever), but the sounds are so cool that I keep laughing during the middle of some heartbreaking diatribe about wanting to be happy again.
It's like Truvy (Dolly Parton) said in Steel Magnolia's, "laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." While I'm not sure laughter is emotion, I completely agree.
Listen to it on Pitchfork and go buy the album at Amazon.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So that's what that was called...

I've learned a word (thank you Jezebel!) to describe my complete obsessive disorders related to my neighbors. It's called a hate crush. I wouldn't say I go so far as to "hate" my neighbors but at times the venom I spit out probably seems like that to others.

I do know the one neighbor plays tennis (as in carries multiple rackets and has a tennis bag backpack thing). He also reads the NYTimes on Sunday and drives a big truck, which he'd like to trade in for a Prius. He's recently updated his bumper sticker collection (vary sparse) with a school's mascot (not my school). He's pursuing an MBA at said school.

I suspect one of the other neighbors might either a) travel a lot for her job or b) be a high-class escort. Mainly due to the traveling and BMW she drives. I suppose her parents could be monied or she could have a boyfriend she spends a few nights a week with, but I've really latched on to the high-class escort theory. I like her a lot more lately, because we bonded over the horrid workers our landlord hires.

And the other couple. The couple. Who take up 2 parking spots in our small lot when each unit should really only get 1 spot. (I say this because I'd like to have a spot open at all times for my visitors - not theirs. I should win. I've been there longer.) And the stupid girl portion of the couple tries to steal my parking spot occasionally. It's not bad enough that they take two, but she's got to sneak in and steal mine when I'm gone for a few days? As if. My spot is MINE. It's right outside my apartment door and did I mention I've lived there longer than anyone else? I WIN.

There's also an inordinate amount of peeking out the window to see what the goings-on are out there in neighborland. Of course all of this is complete cheese compared to my hate crush on the previous neighbor (before the tennis playing boy above). I only realized the last day he was there - his move out day - that he only had one arm. The entire two years he'd been there I'd observed his sexual habits (suspected gayness more out of shirtlessness frolicking with other shirtless boys than actual boy kissing or anything), his sporting habits (crew, which come to think of it is slightly impressive given the whole one arm thing), his obnoxious friends (they were the worst parking infringers), and his suspected trashcan moving tactics (don't ask). I also fell over the stone fence thing behind his apartment once when I was trying to look for something. It hurt a lot.

Long way of saying that Jezebel rocks. They have given me a new label for my neuroses and I'm incredibly grateful for it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm a little shocked...

Admittedly I've been avoiding most of the "you lie"/Rep. Wilson mess since it happened. I preferred not to contribute to what I considered low hypocrisy on the part of Wilson and the media frenzy that followed. Not to say I wasn't ticked, but I figured there were bigger things to worry about (i.e. my boss not eating me alive today for one).

Last night I stumbled across KO for the first time in a couple of weeks (I guess since the Wilson mess) and heard the dreaded R word - race. At first I sort of laughed a little. Race? Wilson was just being a jackass. How does that have anything to do with racism or race issues? Wasn't this just Keith being a little out there? I normally agree with most things Countdown but not always. And I thought maybe this was one of those "not always" bits. But then I read about Jimmy Carter thinking the same thing. And then I clicked on "white supremists" on jezebel and found out that Wilson has a history of supporting white segregationists with confederate flag complexes. I think that last bit is perhaps a stretch on calling Wilson racist or anything, but it does sort of get to the heart of the question: does race play a role in all of this vitrolic Obama hate from the right?

I'm one of those naive people who likes to say they understand the role race plays in modern America, all the while being white and middle-class and completely incapable of understanding the role race plays in modern America. I've never dared to say we're in a post-racial society though, because, quite frankly, I know better. I know people. I've heard things. We're not even close to being there. But I did think, again naively, that Obama getting elected meant there were more of us than them. And the "them" was not as vocal and/or adament as one might imagine.

I guess I'm a little shocked, because I've just realized I'm wrong. Or that I was wrong. Or stupid or whatever you want to call it. I didn't want to think these vocal minorities were inherently incensed because of race. (I still don't want to think it.) I also didn't want to be a person who screamed "racism" at every person who had some kind of criticism or complaint, regardless of its accuracy or not.

Aside: A repub friend of mine accused me of throwing out the racism label a little too freely a while back. We were having a discussion about Rush Limbaugh, and while Iwas completely right - that dude is racist (among a whole litany of offenses to pile in the racist column is the fact he was fired from Monday Night Football for making, ahem, racist comments and the lovely, lovely "Barack the Magic Negro" song he played over and over again on his radio show during the election cycle) - I was also self-aware enough to know that she was right. I could very easily throw out the word "racist" and have no qualms about labeling just about anyone I thought was a bit of an ass on the right. I didn't do that, of course, but I could have done that. Labeling a hate-monger or nut-job racist wasn't a big deal to me. Given my recent realization about my propensity to label, fairly or not, I didn't want to fall into the "cry wolf" category if I could help it.

All of this said, I'm not at all calling Rep Wilson a racist. I have no idea if he is or not. I hope he's not. But I've naively blundered my way into thinking the world is a happy, nicer place because Obama is president. It's not. And I'm beginning to think, slowly and haltingly, that race is playing more of a role in the diatribe than I'd ever cared to admit before.

What do you think? Are people calling it correctly?

Oh and I think Jezebel hit it right on when they gave Matt Lauer what for for asking if it's worse to be racist or to have the label of racist thrown around. Um, what do you think, Mr. Privileged White Boy? I'd say it might be worse to be abused than to be called an abuser. Let's ask Rihanna or Chris Brown who has it worse. Bad example. Let's ask Rihanna in 20 years once she's come to her senses who had it worse. (Don't get me started on that stupid Chris Brown song making the rounds because of some dumb wedding dance. People are idiots.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh Serena...

Disclaimer: I really like Serena Williams. I don't care that she acts like a big baby after she loses matches, although I fully admit it, and I like the way she calls the media out on their bullshit.

So then she goes and does something like this Saturday night.

In brief, she got called on a foot fault (questionable) to make it match point. She acted a fool and got penalized a point, which caused her to lose the match. Serena was also fined $10,000 (and $500 for breaking her raquet earlier in the match), and now the powers that be are contemplating suspending her and/or taking away all her prize winnings for the year and/or the U.S. Open. There are a few points to consider since it's rarely as simple as all that.

1. She probably would have lost. Clijsters was beating her fair and square. Given #1,

2. The whole incident took away Clijsters awesome play and win in the semis.

3. The questionable foot fault. I'm of the opinion that the call was dubious, possibly correct (Serena admits she might have foot faulted), possibly incorrect, and uncalled for. Now I'm not a tennis expert, by any stretch of the imagination. However I do watch a fair bit of it. I've been known to wake up at 4 a.m. to catch portions of the Australian Open. (I do love my Rafa and Gonzo, although Rafa's new sleeve look and haircut are making him physically less appealing.) I've never heard foot faults called as much as they were at the U.S. Open, specifically against the Williams sisters. I have no idea if the Williams sisters are fudging the line, if the linespeople are anti-Williams, if the U.S. Open is attempting to be uber-fair, or if it's some kind of coincidence. I do know that there is a large portion of tennis watchers/players who believe foot faults should never be called, unless insanely bad, and they especially should not be called when it puts the game at match point. I tend to fall in the later category. I don't think all foot faults should be ignored (they're faults just like anything else), but I do think the line judges should err on the side of caution on a match point foot fault when it can't be challenged (replay). In baseball the umps give the runner the benefit of the doubt on too close to call cases. Why can't tennis officials have the same policies?

Of course never let it be said I'm not a hypocrit, because if I hated Serena, I'd probably be espousing "rules are rules." But, to be fair, I've never been a stickler for rules unless it involves a) A Rod (hate that douchebag) or b) steroids. I don't even like the false start rule in track. Shitty rule, imo.

4. The important stuff - the yelling. She flipped her lid, said something that resembled shoving the fucking tennis ball down the linesperson's fucking throat. And apparently holding her raquet (as tennis players are want to do) helped to make the whole thing some kind of crazy threatening showdown. Or whatever. So I saw her yell. I saw her walk over the linesperson and let flow a tirade of which I could only imagine the likes. And I can't say I wouldn't be completely terrified if Serena came at me screaming expletives and raquet all a-wonk. I would be absolutely, insanely scared for my life. Of course I would be acting completely ridiculously and everyone I know would make fun of me for being a wuss. I guess while technically shoving a tennis ball down one's thoat could kill a person, it seems a stretch to accuse one of attempted murder on the subject, no?

5. I know the whole argument about Jimmy Conners and John McEnroe used to do it, so everyone should be able to do it is a shitty argument. But isn't it true a little bit? Of course they have to decide at some point that outrageous behavior on the court is ridiculous, but is it at all suspect that they choose Serena to do it? Could be coincidence but if so, it's quite the coincidence. Every sport has different rules, but I can't imagine a baseball player being suspended for pointing the bat at the ump while he called him a "walking penis" or some such nonsense. Or an "abortion" as John McEnroe so famously put it. I might be wrong but even so, it wouldn't be much of a suspension, maybe a game or two. Nothing spectacular. Talking about banning Serena from all future grand slams is all about the ridiculous.

6. People are pissed because Serena hasn't apologized. As a non-apologizer myself, I can feel her pain. Plus she said she acted badly. Personally I don't see how an admission of bad behavior is any less than an apology. To me it seems more sincere. What difference does apologizing make if she doesn't admit she acted badly? If she talks about acting poorly or lacking good judgment but without the words "sorry" or "apologize" in the sentence, I don't think that makes anything any less sincere. And technically she's been fined the max for her actions, so why should she apologize? Isn't it a bit like double taxation? Like the time my car got towed for parking in a valet only spot and then when I picked it up I had a ticket too? All that said, a well-worded and somewhat heartfelt group of words can go a long way to making people fell like it's okay to be okay with said person again. For example, Djokovich (hope I spelled that right) acted an ass a couple of years ago when he played Roddick and I thought he was a dick. This year he said he was a bit up his own ass (or some such language) then and shouldn't have taken things so seriously. That isn't an apology either, but somehow he made nice with all the tennis fans because of it. Should we all still hate him because he didn't use the correct words? Or should we not care because he didn't "threaten" Roddick?

Long way to say: I'm torn on the whole Serena thing. Part of me is mad at the line judge for being a stickler, all the while admitting she had every right to be so, enthralled by Serena for daring to propose shoving a fucking ball down an official's fucking throat, and the pacifist part of me is slightly appalled by the violent display she vented on the linesperson. I don't want the rules to be enforced on Serena when they haven't been on anyone else, but I also don't believe that you don't get to be tougher just because you weren't in the past (i.e. Conners/McEnroe arguments). I'm all aflutter with conflicting thoughts and I feel wronged for Serena. I can't decide if I'm biased (because I like Serena and she's a woman) or if there's really something wrong with this picture.

I can say I would like for all the sports writers to stop being so holier-than-thou. As if they've never lost their cool before (assuming they played a sport or were/are competitive in some way) and done/said things they really shouldn't have. I have a friend who threatened to cut her boyfriend's head off once. She really meant to be funny and mention something along the lines of "I'll cut you," but she was pissed and it came out all wrong. I doubt she really meant to threaten him with decapitation.

Le sigh.