Monday, February 3, 2014

Woody Allen and Small Town America: Shameful Things We Have in Common

Woody Allen

Sometimes Hollywood imitates small town life and sometimes small town life imitates Hollywood. Why were we so accepting of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death due to heroin, but can’t comprehend that Woody Allen can’t help his accused, unnatural behavior? We have to believe the reason of Hoffman’s untimely death because there was proof. Proof is very believable. In a world where we only believe solid, unmitigated proof, one accusation is not enough to turn the public’s head to demand justice.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Hoffman is a perfect example of a deeply artistic person that has a touch of madness around the edges. The ‘tortured artist’ tag has been attached to many people in the course of history, but we only need to site a few names to gain knowledge of the type. Hunter S. Thompson, writer (drugs, alcohol), Earnest Hemingway, writer (alcohol, suicide), Whitney Houston, singer/actress (drugs, alcohol), Johnny Cash, singer (drugs, alcohol), Vincent Van Gogh (mental illness, cut off his own ear because of the announcement of his brother’s wedding, suicide)….and many, many others. One thing everyone on this list has in common? Incredibly talented, artistic and deeply tortured by things they either can’t or won’t control. Madness and genius go hand in hand. So supporters of Woody Allen, you were right all along! He is a genius. Let’s not forget that some of the traits that are usually pinned on those that are highly artistic do not always paint the best picture. Some of these I’m sure apply to Allen, I know a few apply to me. They are hedonistic (sensual self-indulgence) and impulsive, resist rules and conventions and have a rebellious attitude.

Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow

It doesn’t matter if you live in Tinsel Town or my home town, sexual crime accusations are a shock. What is the difference between accusations leveled against a favorite director, or a local city councilman, elementary school crossing guard, youth mentor or church member? Belief. The horrors accused of a man, my kids grew up near, has the weight of belief. Belief in a child’s accusation, and belief that we have the responsibility to protect other children he may come in contact with. The man from my town did not toe the artistic edge…or marry his stepdaughter.
Allen did not meet Soon-Yi, his current wife, until she was 10. Somewhere between there and 19, he became deeply attracted to her. 2 years later when the fact that he was discovered to have slept with, and taken a lot of dirty pictures of, the 21-year-old adopted daughter of his decade-long partner, Mia Farrow and he claimed there was nothing remiss about it. Why? Because he was neither her father, nor her stepfather. He never legally married Mia Farrow, so there was nothing kinky there. Even though she viewed him as a father-figure, the man attached to her mother, he wasn’t “technically” her father in ANY capacity. Not to mention Allen’s and Soon-Yi’s affair began while he was still married to her mother, Mia Farrow. That alone would make a Jerry Springer show! Soon-Yi’s father, Andre Previn has cut her and Allen out of his family’s life. He gave her a choice to be Mia’s daughter of Allen’s wife and she chose the latter.  Previn went so far as to photoshop pictures and videos to reflect his views on his, once loved, daughter.So if Allen's denial of something the majority of us believed was wrong, how can we trust his judgment here? He’s proven that he sees things very, very differently, especially where morality is concerned. Add to that Allen's refusal (at original date of accusation) to submit to ANY testing or answer questions until he was assured, promised and guaranteed that what he said would NOT be given to the press. Even then, he still refused. I think if you have absolutely nothing to hide, you prove your own innocence by submitting to whatever testing was needed to prove that. So maybe the 7 year old knew something was wrong and he brushed it off as a crazy plot by her mother. Maybe he had power and influence on his side to convince everyone she was just out to slander his good name. After all, no charges were ever pressed. That should exonerate him, right? I mean, this is America. Sexual offenders, especially offenders of children are ALWAYS charged.  What difference does it make? It may make a world of difference to a child that doesn’t have to live with that abuse.

Woody Allen
        Do you think Soon-Yi wonders if she's raising her own replacement? I would.
I’ve tried to get my kids to lie before. “Tell dad we didn’t go out to eat tonight”. “Tell dad Mommo bought you the new toy, not mom”. “Tell dad we did not shop for shoes.” Apparently I need to apologize to dad, but every time it was “Mom told me not to say, but…” Even with coaching, kids don’t lie well. Even with coaching, kids don’t lie consistently. My kids had trouble with the difference between reality and fantasy, too, as the independent investigators claimed was what prompted Dylan Farrow to accuse Allen when she was 7. My oldest daughter had invisible ‘guys’ that rode skateboards over all the buildings we passed when we drove. My oldest son believed his stuffed pet, ‘Dog Dog’, actually talked to him. My youngest son believes pancakes turn him into The Flash. None of the kids I’ve been around in my lifetime, and that’s a lot, have memories or stories of trusted persons touching them in a way that is not acceptable.
Does Allen expect everyone to believe that HE is so important to these people that they have dedicated their life to ruining his name? What does Dylan Farrow have to gain by voicing these issues today? I don’t think she’s looking for a criminal report and a day in court to appease her inner child. She is voicing what people don’t want to believe of those we trust and respect. Sometimes the nice guy really turns out to be the bad guy. Do you think she’s worried about the children he is related to or not “technically” related to in his life? So far, she has gained some sympathy from those of us on her side, but she has gained a lot of horrible accusations about her character and personality by Allen, his attorneys and the colleagues that shamelessly protect and praise his name. She has nothing to gain, but everything to lose in writing her story for all to see.
Do we not give this the weight it deserves because it was only one accusation?
It was a long time ago, so it doesn’t matter anymore, is that it?
Do we need to wait for his damning confessional a la OJ Simpson, ‘If I Did It’?
If I remember right, Jerry Sandusky’s accusers were not 7 when he was convicted, either.

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