….Just check in here first.
Last week (11/11/17) I wrote about the psychic damage Harvey Weinstein, as the man who, for two decades plus, controlled access to more plum “prestige” parts than any other ten producers combined, had likely done to a generation of first-rank Hollywood actresses.
For those who understandably don’t want to plow through the whole thing again, here’s the salient passage (The Round Place in the Middle: 11/11/17):
So read the names: Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Rose McGowan. That’s just from those we know about.
And just from those who were attacked by Harvey Weinstein, who exactly no one thinks was a lone wolf.
Even by itself, that’s a gaping hole blown in a generation’s worth of top tier talent.
This week, the idea has taken hold across the big-name spectrum.
Here’s Dana Stevens, checking in from the left (Slate: 11/13/17):
The movie industry I’ve known for the past 30 years—and written about for more than a third of that time—is reconstituting itself in my mind this week like pieces of a broken mirror being glued back in place, the cracks now forever visible. Gwyneth Paltrow holding her Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, standing beaming next to the man whose hotel suite she had to escape from a few years earlier after he invited her to the bedroom for a massage. (He laid off after a talking-to from Paltrow’s then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, now also forever to be remembered as someone Who Knew.) Or Mira Sorvino getting her Oscar for Mighty Aphrodite and then mysteriously—or perhaps not so mysteriously anymore—fading from the screen. Or Rosanna Arquette never going on to the career she deserved—maybe she would’ve won her own Oscar, or gone on to direct, or run a studio not based on trading female flesh. Or all the once-aspiring actors like Sophie Dix, whose names I didn’t know but who I might be a fan of today if they hadn’t been scared away from show business by encounters like the one Dix still deems “the single most damaging thing that’s happened in my life.”
And here’s Mark Steyn, checking in from the right (SteynOnline: 11/14/17)
Two decades on, Ben and Matt are powerhouses in Hollywood. Ben has been accused of “inappropriate behavior” by at least three women, and Matt was calling New York Times reporters to get them to back off on Weinstein sex stories. Minnie Driver? Well, she’s just one of a remarkable number of once promising actresses in Weinstein hits whose subsequent career never quite took off – like Rosanna Arquette and Mira Sorvino and Rose McGowan. Hmm.
For the mainstream big shots, this is actually being pretty quick off the mark. Usually, on the rare occasions when I climb out on the limb of Current Affairs, they don’t catch up to me for at least a week.
Maybe things really are changing…Hah!
Harking back to an earlier time, Stevens’ reaction (you can read the whole thing here…she’s genuinely SHOCKED, in a way that is entirely credible for someone whose basic Modus Operandi I discussed here), reminds me of the women who were all over the Liberal Internet (sites like Slate, for instance) back when the revelations about Lynndie England and Abu Ghraib were fresh, reexamining their belief systems (as Stevens is doing now), because they had never imagined that women were capable of such things!
All one needed in order to have held such beliefs, was to have ignored the entirety of human nature and human history, where, until the tiny safe space we live in was created by a combination of savory and unsavory means now routinely deemed inexcusable by those who are forever discovering nature and history anew, torture was one of the primary forms of human entertainment and tribal peoples all over the world assigned the process of refining Entertainment into Art almost exclusively to women.
Failing that they could have watched a few Biblical Epics. I recommend Joan Collins in Land of the Pharaohs and Susan Hayward in Demetrius and the Gladiators for starters (gotta write about that one some day). Those who think Weinstein-style antics–including the derailment of promising young actress’s careers–are either anything new, or confined to producers, can read about Joan’s experiences here).
Powerful men using their power to procure women is as old as the concepts of men, women and power. Those concepts will all outlast our current attempts to wrassle them into submission. The only limits ever put on abuse are those imposed by Civilization, which the very people most likely to complain about the absence of limits have spent their lives erasing.
Twas ever thus. The lessons are all around, albeit mostly in libraries and old movies made by men who knew a thing or two about using their power to procure women.
I suggest taking full advantage of these resources now, before the Harvey Weinsteins of the world figure out how to obliterate them.
(Well, I was gonna put that Stones clip here, but it wouldn’t transfer except at the top. Go figure. Anyway, I wanted to play something by some lads who knew a thing or two about procuring women. There was a wide field to choose from, but when the Stones are available there’s no sense settling for second best.)