Mavis Gallant was one of my writing mentors. She both inspired me and scared me. I wish I had the courage to follow in her footsteps. My fiction career was put on hold while I raised my daughter and pursued a career as a first a technical writer and then travel journalist. I remember her words of advice: "Read, read, read and then read some more. It will all get tumbled together and help your find your voice." I'm still searching. Finding it is my goal this year when I turn 57.
The whole Woody Allen debate is certainly pushing buttons. I've never gotten hate mail on this blog so it was a first for me. After I posted my first blog on Allen, I was told I should never be allowed to have children since (oops -- too late for that one, I already have a well adjusted 24-year old daughter). I also have a "little, insignificant life" -- so I guess that means I should shut-the-fuck-up.
Obviously this topic is hitting a lot of buttons. An Esquire article showed an obvious stream of sexual exploitation in Allen's movies. Is that what people are reacting to? Are they defensive because they watched the movies and enjoyed them without noticing this theme or did the theme speak a part of them that liked the idea of sexual exploitation? I think
It's interesting to see how both sides are condemning the other for not getting their facts straight but it is appears to me that the Allen supporters are far more vehement. Are their buttons being pushed? Is this opening up the whole unspoken debate about May-December relationships and the
power dynamics in them? At what age are you being a creepy pedophile
desiring someone young enough to be your child?
I'm irritated at this latest development of Allen taking the victim role and presenting this whiny, sad-sack neurotic victim. Hasn't this man been in psycho-analysis for over 20 years? Isn't it time for him to grow up and accept some responsibility for his actions? Any judgment handed down to me that I was wildly inappropriate would give me pause to reflect. I would have more respect for Allen if he examined how his behaviour is contributing to all of this. And to be fair and balanced, I do feel Mia Farrow needs to step aside from tweeting like some teenager hell bent on revenge.
There is certainly some compelling evidence against Allen. Maureen Orth has been writing about it for a few years and she has done her homework. I think it's also interesting that Allen has never expressed any concern towards Dylan but continues to slam her and imply she is crazy.
My heart goes out to the kids involved in this messy situation and the fact it is being aired publicly. They are the real victims -- not Allen. Dylan is the one who should be treated with compassion and should be allowed to tell her story without being condemned. Since it's being played out in public, she should be given enough air time as well.
Whether Allen is guilty of all the charges, being a great artist is not carte blanche for acting like a douche bag towards your family. Accusations aside, Allen has acted terribly towards his family. But, I guess when you see yourself as a victim you don't feel the need to examine your own behaviour and apologize. It's easier to to whine you way through publications pandering to fame.
Final point: read this excellent article Brainwashing Woody that is well researched by Lili Loofbourow. Scroll down to the final quote from Allen.
Time to return to my "little, insignificant life."
I lost interest in Woody Allen a long time ago. I laughed at Annie Hall and some of his earlier works. Then I got tired of his poor-me, whiny act and wanted him to grow up. His films stopped speaking to me as I aged and was looking for something with more depth and balance. His drooling obsession with young girls as he continued to age grossed me out.
We don't need to question Dylan and try to prove her wrong. We need to back off from her and not blame the victim. She was a young kid in the midst of this storm and has needed time to sort herself out. She has as much right to put her story out there and have us listen if that helps her to heal and move on. Would we be doubting her story if the prep wasn't famous?
is, many writers, painters, actors and artists are fucked up creeps who
act badly. Look at how Picasso treated his wives and children. Gauguin
deserted his eight children. Gertrude Stein was a misogynist who didn't
treat Alice properly. Orson Scott Card is a homophone right wing Christian. Van Morrison is mean. There are thousands of examples of how the body of work doesn't match up to the personality.
We need to acknowledge that often the creative
spirit does flow through flawed humans allowing them to produce great works of art
that speak to us. to. Even after producing these works, they remain human with all their foibles and bad behaviour.
The lack of privacy in the world has stripped us of this illusion that great art is made by great men and women who are somehow above us mere mortals. In the past when we didn't know about the real lives of artist we could turn a blind eye and keep our lovely fantasy. We separated the art from the person by default of not having enough information about their lives. It's harder these days when there is no privacy. This is the argument around Woody Allen and his sexual abuse incident. We are being asked to separate the body of work from the person's behaviour and not judge his work based on this incident with his daughter. I agree with that but it's got to be a two way street. If we are being asked to keep his work separate, then it also shouldn't be used as a reason not to hold him responsible or sweep his behaviour under the red carpet. Being an artist doesn't excuse you from your commitment to the rest of humanity to be a decent person and not hurt others.
In the end, it really is between the Farrow-Allen family to sort things out and try to heal. I wish Dylan all the best. I hope Woody Allen can use his many years of psycho-analysis to recognize his part in all of this and help heal the wounds.
a lifetime of hard work, no handouts and not many breaks, I am tired of
being told I am privileged because I am white. I'm privileged because I
live in Canada who by proxy gets some of the spoils of the USA. I am
tired of being clumped into the same category as American rednecks,
right-wing nut jobs, religious zealots and greedy capitalists just
because I share the same skin tone. I don't agree with them, I don't
support their racist ideas or policies nor all the shitty things rich
males in power have done. I've done my best not to take advantage of
people, be a good person and make the world a better place while working
and raising my child. I keep working at becoming kinder, less
judgmental and cruel, more compassionate and conscious. I don't excuse
my behaviour in the past and hope not to repeat it. So please, may I
excuse myself from the finger-pointing discussions about white