CASTING COUCH POTATOES

It’s less than two years since the Oscars Ceremony presented Lady GaGa’s ‘Victims Symphony’, complete with a chorus line of Survivors™ resplendent in concentration camp chic to tastefully hammer home the metaphor; and it’s less than a year since the Golden Globes provided a platform for Meryl Streep to play Meryl Streep by condemning the new tenant of the White House without naming him in a histrionic speech that ticked all the liberal Hollywood boxes. Last autumn, the red carpet residents sided with a woman complicit in covering-up her husband’s innumerable infidelities and opposed the election of a man caught on tape bragging about ‘pussy’ like a teenage boy who’d never been laid. And all the time, they were aware that one of their own was apparently even worse, but said nothing. Dame Meryl had even called him ‘God’.

If Meryl Streep’s least appealing role is Meryl Streep, nobody quite does Emma Thompson as a simpering-faced identity politician like Emma Thompson; she’s been at it this weekend in a video saturating social media, adding her wise-after-the-event voice to the sudden stampede to name and shame Harvey Weinstein now that it’s okay to do so. Perhaps the Tinsel Town elite are falling over each other to damn the deposed mogul because his supposedly sleazy activities have reminded the wider world that, for all the PC makeover it has received in recent years, Hollywood is – and always has been – a grubby little corner of California where glorified pimps like Weinstein have free rein to live out their Playboy Mansion fantasies safe in the knowledge that the biz will indulge them as long as the box-office is booming.

I doubt anyone outside of the Hollywood bubble was really surprised at the revelations that have erupted this past week; maybe the only real surprise has been the sheer number of allegations. They only usually happen here if the accused is already six feet under, though the Met must be rubbing its hands together at the thought of being involved in allegations concerning someone in the entertainment firmament who isn’t on his deathbed or dead already. But it’s not as though what Weinstein has apparently gotten away with throughout his career as a leading producer has no precedence in his seedy neck of the woods.

The casting couch has been a permanent part of the furniture in the American movie business since the silents; Marilyn Monroe allegedly expressed that achieving stardom might hopefully mean that she wouldn’t have to suck anymore cocks. Fat, rich powerful men abusing and exploiting wide-eyed wannabe starlets fresh off the Greyhound Bus from Hicksville is a loathsome tradition woven into the foundations of the industry. Indeed, the only voices we aren’t hearing at the moment are those of the actresses who got where they are because they submitted to Weinstein’s advances.

Lest we forget, however, all we have so far are allegations and accusations, yet it’s testament to the times in which we live that Weinstein has been hung, drawn and quartered before any of this has reached a courtroom; mind you, it happened to Bill Cosby quick enough, so Weinstein knew what to expect when disowned by family, friends and the industry in record time. The fate awaiting Dirk Bogarde’s character in ‘Victim’ springs to mind; when his successful early 60s lawyer is threatened with the public exposure of his relationship with another man, he warns his wife that her intention to stand by him no matter what will result in utter social exclusion and the cold shoulders of friends and associates fearful of being tarred by the scandal.

Just as a virtual ‘conspiracy of silence’ appears to have enabled Weinstein to maintain his dubious lifestyle, the post-outing consensus has been set with remarkable speed. Fashion queen Donna Karan made the mistake of publicly contradicting the sudden about-turn and was forced to issue a hasty apology when swamped by a viciously hostile online reaction which only just stopped short of a mass bonfire of the designer gear Hollywood has clad itself in for decades. James Corden, a man whose comedic talents continue to elude anyone with a sense of humour, has also taken the Karan route of begging forgiveness to salvage his mystifying career following his ill-timed jokes on the subject. Saying nothing was the rule until a week or so ago; now if anything is said at all, it has to constitute absolute condemnation.

The difficulty for those not required to rush to judgement is that, having been subjected to multiple scandals of this nature over the past half-decade, every sensational addition to the roll-call of ‘hiding in plain sight’ villains inspires instant scepticism in some and utter conviction as to the guilt of the accused in others; we’ve had so many that it’s hard not to fall into a default mode. The pattern is so established now that being bombarded by the latest chapter in this thoroughly modern saga inevitably leads one to react in the same way as one reacted last time round.

As tends to be the case, initial accusations of impropriety swiftly move on to more serious allegations of rape, and one wonders how long it will take before Weinstein is accused of murdering one of the women he supposedly assaulted, let alone being a member of a Beverly Hills Satanic set indulging in ritual abuse and murder. Actually, Alex Jones is probably already bursting his lungs airing that theory on YouTube, thinking about it. The script is becoming as repetitive and predictable as the ones that make up most of the slurry the US film industry churns out these days; but it’s box-office dynamite, and that’s the currency of the movies. Hollywood, we have a franchise.

© The Editor

7 thoughts on “CASTING COUCH POTATOES

  1. I do love a bit of Alex Jones railing against Spirit Cooking! But be that as it may, i do feel that there is something rather more significant than the usual 5 minutes of scandal. I adopt some of the points made by Stefan Molyneux, the YouTube philosopher. In essence he says this: the whole of the now hard Left Democrat anti Trump hysteria comes from this position: We are morally superior to everyone else. We are the arbiters of taste and morality. Middle America! We can smell your homophobia, your islamophobia, your racism, your ignorance from a million miles away! Hence the infamous “basket of deplorable”s speech. But, as Molyneux puts it, this affair presents a grim knight’s fork of a dilemma. Remember, Weintsein was front and centre full on Democratic royalty, a close friend and ally of the Clinton’s, a man who was so “right on” he was actually in the process of funding a “documentary” supposedly railing against the trendy cause of sexual harassment on campuses (oh, those nasty white men again! Down with the patriarchy!). Someone has worked out that more actors have thanked Weinstein in Oscar acceptance ceremonies than thanked God; Streep being an obvious example. Streep, by the way, is one of those (like the talent less Emma Thomposn) who was always agitating for the charges against Roman Polanski to be dropped; before his plea bargain those included charges of drugging and both anally and vaginally raping a 13 year old girl).
    But all of these morally superior people could not detect nasty immorality in their own midst. So they have no moral sense at all. Their superiority is simply the Emperor’s new clothes. They are deluded. Or, they did know, in which case….
    Another aspect of this is that it partly explains Hollywood’s frenzy against Trump. The question Molyneux poses is: would any of this come out with Hillary in the Whitehouse? I think we know the answer.
    An interesting but little reported fact is that under Trump prosecutions for paedophile offences have surged; something like tripled. Almost as if someone had taken the brakes off.
    Hollywood is a swamp of filth. In front of the cameras its aristocracy play virtuous superheroes; at awards ceremonies they scream and bray about punching nazis like…nazis at a particularly nasty beer keller rally.
    But I can smell the stench from here. It makes me want to vomit.

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  2. Since time immemorial, young women seeking advancement have known that they possess the means to acquire influence over men of power, just as those men have known that they can use their power to acquire influence over women. Hollywood is only a magnified example of most other walks of life.

    In my corporate days, there were many go-getting young women only too eager to use all their natural resources to achieve advancement from more senior male managers, not only at the top, it was endemic at all levels of organisations. Most middle-aged, male managers found that willing ego-flattery very hard to resist, some actively went out of their way to encourage it. It’s normal, it’s life, get used to it – if you don’t want to work in that environment and accept its rules of engagement, find a different job.

    Behind all the current Weinstein hysteria-hype is nothing more than the reflection of mutual self-interest – all the parties knew exactly what they were doing and why they were doing it.
    To attempt to revisit those scenes, with their newly-discovered morality and their undergarments now firmly in place, is hypocrisy of almost the highest order.

    But even that pales into insignificance when compared to the utter hypocrisy of the ‘liberal left’ establishment, leaping in a single bound from fawning and banking the cheques to suddenly joining the burgeoning bandwagon of faux-criticism with their recovered memory syndrome.
    Gildas and I will probably vomit on them in stereo.

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  3. Reminiscing further on corporate life, I recalled that, as a rather eager, fresh-faced, 17-year-old new recruit, I was propositioned by one of the department managers, a middle-aged bachelor. I declined politely, letting him know that my inclinations lay elsewhere – he accepted that, after which we became not only good colleagues but very good personal friends, a friendship which lasted up to his early death (after which I was surprised to be named a beneficiary in his will).

    Two factors emerge from that reminiscence. Firstly, it’s not only women who can be the targets of such work-place approaches and, secondly, the outcome depends on how the two parties manage the aftermath of the approach. If everyone acts as grown-ups, it’s really no big deal.

    In later years of corporate life, as more women were ascending to senior positions, some of them displayed similar tendencies to the male managers, now using their own positions of power to gain sexual favours, with real or implied suggestions of advancement for their targets.
    I had no problem with that, that’s what equality is all about.

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  4. Hollywood is, to our current era, what the “Bread and Circuses” were to Ancient Rome. They serve up a constant diet of sex, violence, sadism, brutality and perversion that is almost guaranteed to keep the minds of the majority of, what they would see as, “The Plebs” occupied/entertained. But, just as in ancient times, it is necessary, every once in a while, for the “Elite” to have one of their own be “thrown to the Lions” as it were, in order to perpetuate the great myth that “No one is above the law!”

    The chosen sacrifice, vile, loathsome creature that he is may, or may not, be far from the worst offender in such matters, but having been a willing “Judas Goat” for many years he will now serve, somewhat less happily no doubt, in the role of the “Scape Goat.” Thus are the Demons “seen” to be exocised and thus is the egregious hypocrisy that is the “Hollywood Babylon” allowed to continue onward as it always has…

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  5. Rose McGodknows – an actress I’d never heard of – has an upcoming memoir (or ‘manifesto’) titled ‘BRAVE’:

    “A revealing memoir and empowering manifesto from one of the most provocative voices of our generation—millennial icon; star of the hit television show Charmed; indie hero; lead actress, musician; award-winning director; and feminist whistleblowing badass Rose McGowan.”

    She now claims to have been raped by Weinstein and has a cracking explanation for the master-move of accepting money from her ‘rapist’:

    ‘So I took the 100k. Two reasons. 1) it was my only way of telling the SWINE I was not willing to play along. He went ballistic… 2) Disgusting Hollywood people gave me hardcore PTSD and I needed out.’

    An image-search of the two of ’em throws up several red-carpet pictures of these two ‘disgusting Hollywood people’ – hiding their mutual loathing impressively – as she starred in a film he had (part) produced 10 years after the ‘rape’. She left her whistle at home that night to promote her role as Cherry Darling, a badass (feminist?) stripper.

    What a load of bullshit it all is, fading actresses out for revenge as they retrospectively regret having whored themselves to a repulsive turd of a man in exchange for career advancement. They deserve each other, while the rest of us deserve having the original definitions of ‘rape’ and ‘bravery’ reinstated. Fuck ’em all.

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