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The Heart of Emptiness

“It is no strange thing … to find a violent persecutor a perfect unbeliever of his own creed.” (Edmund Burke)

I can’t have read 1% of what’s been written about Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood in the last few days, so to say there’s a point I’ve not seen spelled out may mean very little. But as I’ve not seen it yet, I’ll say it here.

Of course, I’ve seen much that I agree with – and much that I already knew.

– Long before this story broke, I knew that the very industry that virtue-signalled its devotion to PC in public was certain to be the very place where vile conduct would abound, just as Sweden is rated a world-leader in feminism – and is where a raped girl waits more than a month for the police even to interview her. Only someone stupid enough to be surprised that the workers are starving in socialist Venezuela would be surprised to find the politically-correct victimising a group they patronise.

– I see, as Virginia Postrel does, that Hollywood’s recent rush to escape Harvey includes a preference cascade – far, far, far more of one than the way everyone in East Germany had always hated communism after the wall fell. (For a rare exception, if you can pass the Times paywall, read the revolting Matt Frei’s revoltingly sympathetic account of his revolting East German apparatchik relations’ feelings in the October 24th 2009 edition.) It’s easy to see why the PC mantra ‘regret is rape’ is so well liked by those who remember how unenjoyable their career-enhancing trysts with Harvey were  – and remember less well how indifferent they themselves were to others. I have not a moment’s doubt there were actual crimes; the details of Harvey’s technique that have emerged scream that there were. And I have not a moment’s doubt that the acted pleasure of others, who knew well the bargain they were making, was as fake as the better sex under communism that the NYT believes in (but I don’t). Who wouldn’t ‘regret’ spending time with the elephant in the hotel bedroom? Thay say power is an aphrodisiac; it would need to be.

– I see, as many do, that this phoniness of many Hollywood women is grossly (in every sense) matched by that of many Hollywood men. I’d like to write that I can’t imagine a less convincing apology that Tarentino’s – except that I don’t have to imagine it. Hillary Clinton, let alone his fellow Hollywood types, offered still worse or still less honest or still slower, or all three. If Brad Pitt had carried out his threat to beat up Harvey long ago – if he had done it somewhere so public that the story was unkillable – then he might have spared more than just Gwyneth Paltrow from future unpleasant encounters. That would have meant taking a risk; that would required him to act like the heroic characters he acts. But Brad took it out in unpublicised venting – which still puts him well above the filthy norm of Hollywood, I guess. Far lower is writing a blank-verse poem (after the story broke!) about your shameful inaction in all the years before. It shows some contrition, but my poems rhyme and scan, so I rate low the value of one that doesn’t make that much effort. At least the author’s poetic form lets him naturally repeat again and again his refrain: “Everybody-fucking-knew”. Finding out that Harvey’s contract included a clause protecting his company from paying his harrassment suits is as if we learned Hillary’s pre-nup included a protection against her money being used to pay off future Juanitas, Paulas and Etceteras. We don’t need that to know Hillary is full of it – and we didn’t need that clause to know that the poem tells less than the whole truth, not more.

– I see that Sarah Hoyt writes sense about passes, and that Stephanie Gutmann describes a real un-Hollywood workplace. I see just as clearly that those who took their pay-offs in career-boosting gigs or confidentiality-agreement payouts or both have yet another reason to indulge the left-wing tendency to blame society as a whole, not specific individuals typical only of their specific self-chosen society. On recent data, Harvey perpetrated one-and-a-half incidents per year over decades. My not-so-left-wing views tell me that many crimes are committed by far fewer criminals, so I agree with those who say that number will rise.

So (if you’re still reading 🙂 ), what have I not seen? Well, John Ringo, repeated in instapundit, tells a parable about how many in Hollywood (and it would be men as well as women) might need, for their own self-respect, to believe men outside Hollywood are far worse. It’s a well-written piece and it could explain the crazy antics of an Ashley Judd. But Occam whispers a simpler explanation in my ear. THESE PEOPLE ACT. The one thing we truly know about them is they can act – all of them competently, some exceptionally.

(To pick a name entirely at random) I never believed Chloe Grace Moretz drank blood for dinner because her vampire character does in ‘Let Me In’. I never thought she loved guns better than Dana Loesch because Hit Girl does, or that Hit Girl’s mocking, “Dude, that is one gay-looking taser”, meant Chloe never bowed to the tyranny of “you can’t say that”. I would very gladly believe she never suffered at Harvey’s hands what her character does in “I love you Daddy”. But when we see her nervously praising Hillary at the Democrats 2016 convention, why would we believe her? I don’t mean, why would we believe she is a good judge of political character, I mean why would we believe this is not just a career-serving acting gig in her own mind? It is easier, and less demeaning, to feign liking for Hillary in public than liking for the elephant in the bedroom in private – isn’t it? (Female commenters, please feel free to correct my victorian-valued mansplaining if I’m wrong about that.) In a Hollywood where some were enduring Harvey and more were covering for him, and this is far from the only such scandal, why on earth would we assume that anyone’s enthusiasm for PC is any more sincere than the eagerness for Harvey that was feigned on the casting couch? That Harvey never believed in his public creed is well, kind of obvious, but isn’t it the simplest explanation to assume that pretty well none of them do?

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39 comments to The Heart of Emptiness

  • Paul Marks

    Even if Harvey W. is entirely innocent of all the charges now being made against him (made against him by people who were only too eager to be seen with him up to a few days ago), he has been backing these P.C. people and groups for DECADES so it is hard to have any sympathy with him.

    Harvey W. cheered them on (and funded them) when they tore other people apart – now (guilty or innocent) it is his turn.

  • bobby b

    I know a state-level politician whose head assistant does all of his hiring. He’s a younger gay man, and he hires mostly younger gay men to work for him. It’s a well-known secret that there is a casting-couch element to getting a job there.

    I worked in a law firm in which a couple of the older male partners personally hired the new associates to work in their own groups. They generally hired nubile and willing young ladies. After a period of favoritism, they would be moved on to the general population of young associates, to sink or swim on their own. Most sank, because that’s not what they were hired for.

    In a large city near me, the chief of police was a lesbian. She selected several lesbians as department heads. It all sort of exploded once it came out that each of those heads had been involved with the chief close in time to their selection, and their breakups were messy.

    My point is that the Hollywood mess is only one small part of a much larger phenomenon that pervades every organization or structure in which someone yields power over others. Money and power buy what we want them to buy, and we want sex more than we want many other things.

    This has been going on forever, and will continue until we’ve all been neutered upon entering society. To talk about “who knew” is disingenuous; every adult knows that wealth and power buys whatever is offered, especially if what is offered is young and attractive. Every adult also knows that there are jerks in the world that will happily coerce that transaction when they can.

    So, people might not have known the specifics of whom Harvey was squiring last Thursday, but we all knew that he was doing it, and had been doing it forever, because that’s how things work.

  • pete

    Fatty Arbuckle.

    Nothing new in the world.

  • mila

    Abuse of power comes as no surprise, whether you are a Weinstein or a pussy grabbing president.

  • Mr Ecks

    Trump spoke the truth in a locker room but that puts him up there with Weinstein?

    I think not.

    And–despite all the bullshit now airborne there are plenty of females who are all too willing to put out tit for tat if cash and advancement are involved.

    Or even just if the male in question is a powerful, status-loaded alpha himself.

    Check out the giggly-girl behaviour of the female reporter here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMq6xDHBKwQ

    Do any of the commenters on here think she would react the same if any of us dragged her onto our knees? Arrested is what we would get.

  • bobby b

    Mr Ecks
    October 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    “Trump spoke the truth in a locker room but that puts him up there with Weinstein?

    I think not.”

    Exactly.

    Anyone who has been in a hiring position (for good slots, not fungible ones) knows that you get all sorts of offers to change your grading system. Trump commented on that aspect of having power. He didn’t say “I grabbed them”, he said “they make it clear that you can grab them . . . ”

    And they do make it clear that you can.

  • Lee Moore

    I agree with Niall. Train drivers drive trains. Grave diggers dig graves. And actors act.

  • Alisa

    Niall, to your (rhetorical?) question about acting vs sincerity: the point you may be missing is that good acting is sincere.

    BTW, this is to put Pitt’s story in perspective – as far as I can tell, he’s done better than most.

  • Thailover

    The “casting couch” is a tradition nearly a century old, starting back when screens were literally silver. Now we’re supposed to feign outrage when one particular maggot is exposed, as if this is’t as common as sliced bread. Where’s the torch parade looking to hang Angelica Houston who walked in Jack Nicholson’s joint and then turned around and walked out, because Roman Pulaski was there, busy buggering a drugged 13 year old girl in the ass? The only reason they circled the wagons then rather than now is that Weinstein has been marked by the powers that be as poison.

  • Thailover

    Trump and Billy Bush were guffawing in bemusement as well as amusement at what groupies do and invite. That in no way compares to a disgusting pig of a man like Weinstein blackmailing young girls into sexual submission to his perverted desires. According to a few of the girls, the more terrified they become, the more “turned on” he became.

  • john malpas

    “blackmailing into submission”- what had they done that they could be blackmailed?
    was there no quid pro quo.

  • Slartibartfarst

    Before reading this excellent post on SQOTD, I had just read on abcnews.go.com news that: Donna Karan sorry after comments praising Harvey Weinstein

    Since people are now speaking out about this, I just wanted to state – for the record that, and to my knowledge – I have never mentioned my thoughts and/or feelings about “Todger Chippy” (as he liked us to call him) – unless it was perhaps by chance when I might have been unaware of what I was saying, whilst “under the influence” during a phase of heavy drinking that I went through, prior to undergoing rehab for alcoholism.

    In any event, if I did say anything, and though he got me my most important acting role, I would never have spoken in praise of him, since he was the cause of my descent into alcoholism and feelings of gross inferiority and depression for a long period, after he pressured me into letting him fondle my naked body under the suds in the bubble bath, whilst we were between takes on the set, in the steamy bathroom scene in the movie “Return to Jeopardy” – based on a true story – and where I was acting the role of the heroine, Emily Jasper Cudgewhistle – a respectable homosexual transvestite, professional accountant and reformed pedophile, who was an ex-army gunnery sergeant-major and who became a UK Conservative MP and later Defence Minister and Cabinet Minister, and who was also a skilled campanologist, well-known and sought-after in church parishes around the counties of Essex, Middlesex, and Nossex, and who simply wanted to marry a nice, unattached younger American man called Rodger Datt (whom she had fallen in love with at first sight when she met him in a gay bar in Soho) and settle down and start a new life and a new family with him. It’s a tragedy, because the marriage did not eventuate (read the biographies; very sad) and she eventually died single and alone in her bath (presumed drug overdose), at age 58. A great loss.

    I had only tolerated Todger’s disgusting and wholly unwanted behaviour at the time because I was naïve and, out of what I later regretfully realised was an entirely misguided sense of gratitude, because he was the one who had got me this – my first – starring role in the first place. I was too ashamed of the event to ever mention it to anyone until now, and, after revealing the above, I feel refreshed and cleansed – more so than I felt cleansed after that fateful bubble bath episode, which is seared unforgettably into my memory and the cockles and sub-cockles. At the same time, he made me feel somehow vindicated, when he said – very kindly – as he fondled me, “I don’t care that you’re a man, Griff. You feel like a woman, to me”. The cameramen on the set used to refer to him affectionately as “Old AC-DC”.

    Sadly, the film production ceased about half-way, so, of course, the film never made it to the box office. The backers had had second thoughts and pulled out, you see, citing the reasons that the heroine in the story lacked credibility and amidst concerns that “filmgoers would not be able to easily empathise” with the complex character of Emily Jasper, nor with the substantial hurdles and battles that she had confronted so admirably in her unhappy, foreshortened life, as she incrementally discovered herself and came to terms with who she was and her real gender. It was just too profound and too progressive a story for them, I suppose, at the time, and they didn’t want to take the financial risks. They may have been prejudiced too, though I think it could be a smash hit nowadays, as, thanks to improved education, people are far more understanding and tolerant of human differences and alternative views and lifestyles than they used to be in the old days – thank goodness.

    Well, that was many years ago, and this is now, and I’m a fit 93½ year old superannuitant, with a good acting career behind me, so, if they ever do decide to make a reprise of “Return to Jeopardy”, I likely shan’t be in it (LOL)! However, whether the production is in a movie, or for the stage, I wish whoever might eventually be cast in the role of Emily Jasper “break a leg”. It’s a difficult, challenging role, I can tell you, and not just anyone could do it and probably not without it changing their lives too. It certainly changed mine. Five years later, having never been comfortable with being “Griff”, I changed my name to Leslie and settled down happily with the lovely actor who played the part of Roger Datt so admirably in the movie. We’re still together. Sounds prosaic, I know, but there’s a saying that “life follows art”, or something.

    Not only was the role challenging, but the campanology bits were difficult too, and I had to study and practice for a hundred or more hours in a Norman church in Lillingstone Dayrell (a tiny village near Buckingham, UK), before I could pull correctly on the bellend rope at just the right time and with just the correct force, and not keep breaking the ruddy stops on the backroll with the heavier bells, whilst still maintaining perfect sync with the chimes of the other bellringers. I’ve always appreciated hearing good campanology and well-rung chimes after that, and have much admiration for those who can pull on a bellend with such precision – because I know how hard it can be.

  • Matthew McConnagay

    “…pretty well none of them do[.]”

    Well, some of them must, else none of them would bother creating that impression.

    Or at least, those that feign PC must be under this impression: that there are enough sincere SJW-types in Hollywood that it’d be a good career move to join the team.

  • Slarti wins the internet 😈

  • Roué le Jour

    you have one role to cast, and one hundred attractive young applicants with less than a fag paper between them in terms of talent. How do you choose? Even if you draw lots, you are going to have ninety-nine disgruntled thesps convinced the draw was rigged. Yes, Harvey was a brute, blah blah blah, but I would very much like to see a workable proposal for handing out “breaks” that satisfies everyone, because I suspect no such system exists.

  • Alisa, October 22, 2017 at 12:15 am, I read your source (thanks) and very slightly rephrased my still-far-from-impressed text, and substituted Gwyneth for Angelina as the example of who might have been helped. [Omit complicated back-story of why I said Angelina first time.]

    After WWII, many SS men were very annoyed to find no evidence that refusing a mass-murder order caused any greater punishment in the SS than harm to one’s career. Somehow, that fact has always stuck in my memory.

  • Mr Ed

    I would very much like to see a workable proposal for handing out “breaks” that satisfies everyone, because I suspect no such system exists.

    Roue l J

    How about making it open, by advertising with the disclaimer:

    ‘Ability to shag fat, middle-aged toads without barfing or blabbing would be an advantage’?

  • Thailover (October 22, 2017 at 12:41 am): “the more terrified they become, the more “turned on” he became.”

    My own reasoning that led me to say that

    there were actual crimes; the details of Harvey’s technique that have emerged scream that there were.

    was also the way it reminded me of those mugger gangs from New York’s bad old days (now returning in San Francisco, I gather) who would ask their target for the time, then for a light, then for a small sum, and so on. But though those precise statements by those particular girls must be in the 99% I’ve not read, I had formed the same idea from what I had read.

  • “…pretty well none of them do”
    Well, some of them must, else none of them would bother creating that impression.
    (Matthew McConnagay, October 22, 2017 at 5:48 am)

    One of Stalin’s senior interrogators used to boast that if he had Karl Marx to question, he’d soon have him confessing he was an agent of Bismark.

    The communist party in China believes in keeping itself in power – but not so much in the ideology of communism, these days.

    Hollywood (and not just Hollywood) is run by types who believe passionately in maintaining the power structure – the elite’s ability to silence critics. Belief in the ideologies by which they do so is less common.

    In one of the best essays ever circulated in samizdat, The Power of the Powerless, Václav Havel explains why a greengrocer under communism displays in his shop the sign “Workers of the world, unite!”. Hint: it is not because the greengrocer believes they should.

    I add – and this is sort of the point of my post – that the greengrocer is not really convinced that those who will make him regret not displaying the notice believe that the workers of the world should unite, any more than he does – maybe even less. The greengrocer believes he will regret not displaying the notice. And those who will make him regret not doing so believe in making him regret not doing so.

  • Jacob

    From Virginia Postrel’s interview:

    Q: Why now and not, say, 25 years ago?

    A: Two factors jump to mind. At age 65, Weinstein is well into the last third of his career. People must have started to sense that his influence is waning.

    It’s not that Hollywood repents or changes it’s ways.
    It just dumped an old fart.

    Of course, old farts need to be conscious of their waning power and quit before they get dumped. They never do.

  • lucklucky

    “That Harvey never believed in his public creed is well, kind of obvious”

    Is it? There are many Marxist reasoning that makes it possible and justifiable.

  • Alisa

    What Jacob said: Weinstein is simply no longer the money machine he once was, and his age makes a comeback unlikely.

    Niall:

    If Brad Pitt had carried out his threat to beat up Harvey long ago – if he had done it somewhere so public that the story was unkillable – then he might have spared more than just Gwyneth Paltrow from future unpleasant encounters.

    Why would he do that? He was at the beginning of his career, dating a girl who was in the same place as he was career-wise. The girl’s boss was making passes at her, Pitt got into the boss’ face and told him to knock it off, the boss grudgingly complied, end of story. If I dated a guy and found myself in a situation like that, that would be exactly what I would be expecting from him.

    Note that this was mid 90s, still early in Weinstein’s career as well, so he may have not yet been as infamous as he has become later on. Plus, Pitt seems to have been avoiding work with Weinstein until many years later – the latter being to his oblivious discredit, but nobody’s perfect.

    For further context, compare his conduct with that of the guy whose chin apparently far outsizes his testicles – YMMV, but I see a significant difference.

    Lastly, even when there are men (or women who are witnesses rather than victims) who are willing to speak out, their impulses tend to be dampened by the victims themselves – at least that is my experience when no actual violence is involved, but rather “mere” attempts at coercion, social pressure, threats and other such means. Most women are very reluctant to make such things public, choosing instead to try and forget the unpleasant experience and to get on with their lives.

  • Alisa

    Yes, Harvey was a brute, blah blah blah, but I would very much like to see a workable proposal for handing out “breaks” that satisfies everyone, because I suspect no such system exists.

    Let’s try to define dissatisfaction from the applicant’s POV in this context:

    1. You don’t get the job.
    2. You get “an offer you can’t refuse” totally unrelated to your professional capacity as an applicant for the job, you refuse the offer, and then you don’t get the job.

    See any difference?

  • Laird

    “whose chin apparently far outsizes his testicles”

    Ouch! But funny as hell, and probably accurate.

  • Laird

    And how about if you accept that “offer you can’t refuse” and you still don’t get the job? Now there’s dissatisfaction. Weinstein would have had to be very careful to select only one victim per project or this would have blown up a lot sooner.

  • Alisa

    I’m sure that happened too, Laird.

  • And how about if you accept that “offer you can’t refuse” and you still don’t get the job? Now there’s dissatisfaction. Weinstein would have had to be very careful to select only one victim per project or this would have blown up a lot sooner.

    Perhaps in the earlier days, but until somewhat recently Weinstein was a power to be reckoned with in Hollyweird (though no longer it would appear), against which the claims of some apparently disgruntled wannabe actress would be what exactly?

    It would seem that the knowledge of his antics were well known among the Hollyweird types and going back more than a decade those in the business who were more outspoken (such as the execrable Courtney Love) have made obscure reference to him (albeit probably while coked up to the eyeballs).

    It sort of reminds me of the Jimmy Savile thing, with nobody wanting to be the first to speak out.

  • John Galt (October 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm), your mention of Savile is relevant. However my impression (which could be incomplete) is that Savile (and John Nathan Turner for the matter of that) targeted more genuinely vulnerable individuals. Unless I’ve missed some, the victims of their worst behaviour were underage nobodies who remained nobodies (or whom they had every reason to expect would probably remain nobodies). Harvey targeted many who were somebodies, or whom he himself intended to make somebodies, and whom he expected to espouse hard-line PC-feminist ideology in public, just as he did, and be well known for it.

  • patriarchal landmine

    the “metoo” hashtag has now blown up and revealed itself to be yet more naked misandry.

  • After WWII, many SS men were very annoyed to find no evidence that refusing a mass-murder order caused any greater punishment in the SS than harm to one’s career. Somehow, that fact has always stuck in my memory.

    Last week I wrote a post on this, about how the lack of moral courage is widespread through organisations and how people avoid even the slightest black mark against their career prospects to be the equivalent of a death sentence.

  • Of course, old farts need to be conscious of their waning power and quit before they get dumped.

    Trump being the exception, of course. I expect he’s as surprised as anyone to find himself President.

  • morsjon

    “whose chin apparently far outsizes his testicles”

    At least there are two of them, so there’s that.

  • Matthew McConnagay

    Niall Kilmartin
    October 22, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    True true, but I think there are still some true believers in Hollywood. (At least, that’s the way it looks from this armchair.)

    Hollywood isn’t a totalitarian regime, and the consequences for the rebellious green grocer are much rougher than what Hollywood types can expect. For instance, there are publicly conservative actors in Hollywood, and some of them are quite successful. How many “conservative actors” were there in the USSR? Didn’t Vaclav Havel go to jail?

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – I suspect that Edmund Burke may have been thinking of Ferdinand of Aragon.

    Ferdinand (the husband of Isabella) strongly supported the creation of the Spanish Inquisition (rightly thinking it would be a big money spinner for the Crown – as confiscated money and property would go to the Crown, not the Church). Yet, privately, Ferdinand had nothing but contempt for religion – or so it is said.

    In the KGB actually believing in Marxism was considered the mark of an idiot – a Western “shit eater”, someone who “ate the shit” of Marxist propaganda. Of course many of these “shit eaters” were high powered academics (such as the late E.H. Carr) – their defining feature was a lack of Common Sense.

  • Paul Marks (October 23, 2017 at 7:04 pm), Burke was indeed very knowledgeable about – and loathed – past, religiously-justified persecution, both Catholic and Protestant (as I’m sure you know), but the precise context of the remark I quoted was the French revolution – specifically the post-Robespierre directory. After slaughtering tens of thousands all over France for not believing in the revolutionary definition of equality – or just for being rumoured not to believe in it enough – the Thermidoreans who survived the terror let it be casually known to British emissaries that they were as casually junking that particular bit of their ideology. Burke warns British negotiators that they never truly believed it even when they were killing others for not pretending to, and it is no reason to trust them that they have openly ‘apostatised from their apostasy’; the act merely shows them yet more insolent than the persecutors of old.

    The first of the “Letters on a Regicide Peace”, from which this comes, is actually in some respects a hilarious read; imagine your favourite blogger eviscerating some fashionable absurdity and then imagine it translated, if you can, into the style of the 18th century, with rival pamphlets replacing rival blog-posts.

  • Also re Paul Marks (October 23, 2017 at 7:04 pm), Kravchenko (‘I Chose Freedom’), notes that, while it was common in circa 1940 Russia to meet those who would justify the 30s trials on political grounds, it was only when he came to the US on a trade mission that he met people who actually believed in them literally. In Russia, when not in one of the public rituals, people at his (relatively prestigious) level in the party spoke in a way that conveyed support without crudely suggesting literal belief in the actual ‘evidential’ details. He describes how once, in a factory in the Urals named as a centre of plotting in the trials, he affected to believe literally and “got a very odd look”.

    So I can well believed that by the time the NKVD became the KGB, this attitude was still more prevalent.

  • mikee

    Belief in political ideology, or any other madness/nonsense/silliness, is not required of the faithful within the cult.
    In fact, belief is a disadvantage to the cult member, because internal inconsistencies make belief impossible, especially when the ideology must make a sharp turn in professions of faith. It isn’t belief one wants in a cultist, it is loyalty to the cult, the ideology, the party, the heirarchy, that is desired most and rewarded most.

    Actors don’t go out and make asses of themselves for the public with their inane political speeches, they bray to enhance their careers within their cult.

  • Since comments on this are approaching an end, I think I will sum up what I have learned from them so far.

    Most useful were Alisa’s on Brad Pitt. Since all her points in his defence were perfectly fair, it forced me to think about why that tiny story-within-the-main-story about his behaviour (much better than most) nevertheless annoyed me. I realised that Brad, to me, was like the talking horse in the Narnia story (‘Bree’ in The Horse and his Boy). Raised among horses that don’t talk – among ‘dumb, witless brutes’ – he thought himself very brave and clever; at the end of the story, he is forced to realise that in Narnia he’ll be very ordinary and average. Living among the vocal, witty brutes of Hollywood, Brad seems impressive by comparison. (In fairness, I do not know whether he himself tried intentionally to present things in that light.) Out in the real world of western anglosphere culture that Hollywood seeks to destroy, I hope his words in defence of his then-girlfriend would seem far nearer the ordinary starting gate of decent behaviour (above which, any true heroes tower).

    (Alisa’s other point, about good acting being ‘sincere’ – which I took to mean that you don’t act a part while simultaneously consciously thinking “I’m faking it here”, but instead ‘get in the part’ – was also useful, but discussing it would make this final comment too long even for me. 🙂 It would also bring in Matthew McConnagay’s remarks and my responses to them above.)

    Paul (and Perry IIUC) wrote “Even if [Harvey] is innocent” rather than “Even were Harvey innocent”. I see the irony as they do. I also know that in the #metoo queue you’ll find mattress girl and Jackie from Rolling Stone and the absurd Ashley Judd, alongside a crowd of liars faking an alibi for their callous complicity and the ‘regret is rape’ frauds, but in Harvey’s case (and not just his) there will also be some of the real thing. I see no reason to write “Even if Hollywood is innocent” rather than “Even were Hollywood innocent” any more than to write “Even if the communists did not introduce real slavery to replace what they called ‘wage slavery'” rather than “Even had the communists not introduced real slavery to replace what they called ‘wage slavery'”, since Stalin’s slave-labour system was a fact.

    Thailover’s remark that Trump and Billy were bemused, as well as amused, by actresses that were PC extremists in public while abasing themselves to power in private has a point; how appropriate that the tape is called the ‘Access Hollywood‘ tape. However, while Trump gets on with running the US, I think Mike Pence – one man who is not being accused of the fashionable vice it is suddenly fashionable to denounce even in lefties – would be a better choice to make any moral pronouncements on it.

    Hollywood is not the only vile subculture in the world, as anecdotes from bobby b and others remind us, but it is one aggressively trying to tell the rest of us what is right and wrong in these matters. When the BBC avoids mention the party of the latest scandal-causer, I know what that means; bobby b was similarly discreet about the politics of his more political examples, but I don’t know what that means, if anything – maybe just that he is discreet. 🙂

    There were other comments with insight – and Startibartfast’s made me smile. Thanks to all.

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