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Brutal Calculus, Part Two: What Price License?

As more and more people line up to excuse confessed child rapist Roman Polanski, their arguments sound more and more familiar. In fact, they sound very much like those who were excusing the Catholic Church's role in covering up the abuses of scores of pedophile priests several years ago.

In both cases, one of the most common argument seems to be "the greater good." In the Church's case, the tremendous good deeds it has carried out ought to be weighed against the harm it caused, and some measure of forgiveness offered. In Polanski's case, they cite his brutal upbringing and his tremendous artistic gifts.

To me, that sounds an awful like there is an exchange rate for horrific deeds -- commit enough good ones, and they will balance out (or, at least, partially mitigate) the bad ones.

That sounds like an idea I can get behind. Let's play this out:

I mentioned a while ago that I have a friend who is exceptionally attractive. I would very much enjoy having my way with her, but I know I wouldn't have a chance -- I'm too old, she has a boyfriend, and so on. So we're friends.

But if I could have my way with her anyway, with some help from some suitable pharmacological assistance, that could be pretty fun. Except, of course, for the inevitable consequences -- arrest, trial, and sentencing.

So I'd like to avoid all that if possible.

Here's my question: what sorts of good deeds or artistic achievements would I have to rack up first before I could rape her and not get punished?

I'll admit I'm no Roman Polanski, so I can't match his contributions to the arts, but on the other hand the young lady in question is 21, not 13, so it's not quite as heinous an offense. Also, supplying her with alcohol wouldn't be a separate crime.

As I said in my earlier piece, I'm not proposing this kind of bartering -- I'm just applying it, and looking for input on just what the exchange rate should be.

Or, as the punchline to the old joke goes, "we've already established what you are. Now we're just haggling over price."


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Comments (22)

You are a cruel teacher, So... (Below threshold)
epador:

You are a cruel teacher, Socrates.

I am still trying to figure... (Below threshold)
rich:

I am still trying to figure out what his great contribution was that the world just could not have lived without.

Here's my question... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Here's my question: what sorts of good deeds or artistic achievements would I have to rack up first before I could rape her and not get punished?

I figure she's in no danger from you even if you won a get one rape free pass in the lottery. Lots of men wouldn't do such a thing even if society gave them a pass because what rises up is their empathy, not the other thing. That tells us about the true character of Roman Polanski and explains why he should face justice.

It all depends on what you ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It all depends on what you value. If you value life, good over evil, and concepts such as honor, then no amount of anything else will suffice to get you off the hook.

In Massachusetts, wealth and power are sufficient to exempt you from punishment for everything from cheating in college to manslaughter.

In Hollywood fame is in direct proportion to the amount of evil you can get away with.

In Chicago political clout and race has long been the measure of whether you can get away with something.

What's the currency where you live?

First of all Jay Tea your a... (Below threshold)

First of all Jay Tea your are not a liberal. Therefore there is no amount of good you could do to earn a free pass. You would have to start by disavowing everything you believe in and go write for the Daily Kos or Huffpo for a few years before you could even begin to accumulate any get out of jail free points.

Ask yourself this, how many on the left rose to defend Mel Gibson when he was excoriated for calling a woman "Sugar Tits?" and use that answer to gage how far you would have to go.

Depends upon your political... (Below threshold)
saterp:

Depends upon your political leanings, doesn't it?

Jay, no one in the Catholic... (Below threshold)

Jay, no one in the Catholic church excused the actions of the gay priests, except for the priests and bishops in the Lavender Mafia who were protecting them because they were also gay.

We Catholics refuse to allow our church to be besmirched by the actions of a few evil men, and still refuse to let anyone say that the Catholic church was complicit with their actions. Roman Polanski is a man, but not all men are child rapists.

As you recall, Pope Benedict humbly begged forgiveness of the victims of the priest scandal as his first action on American soil. The Catholic church no longer accepts homosexuals into the priesthood. There's a lot of work to be done to get rid of these bad priests and bishops, but we'll get 'r done.

Just straightening the record out; if you want more, buy and read "Goodbye, Good Men" by MIchael S. Rose.

Actually the Catholic Churc... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Actually the Catholic Church has been excusing "indescretions" for a really long time. They used to call the process Indulgences. Boff the neighbors wife, give the priest some money. Presto, all is well. Now they call it confession. Boff the neighbors wife, put something in the collection box, say some Hail Marys, All is well. Same principle (or lack thereof).

Hell, why stop with rape? ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hell, why stop with rape? Norman Mailer tried to get his protege, Jack Abbott off on a murder charge deeming Abbott's as yet unwritten 'future work' would more than suffice for the death of a restaurant bus boy/waiter.

Abbott, an ex-con (previous sentenced commuted thanks to Mailer), knifed the kid to death when he had the timidity to tell Abbott to use the restroom inside the restaurant, rather than go outside and piss in the alley.

I'm offering you an indulge... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I'm offering you an indulgence for 100k. I'll accept 10% via paypal, the rest by cashiers check please. Let me know and I'll put it on Ebay.

There's another, similar ar... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

There's another, similar argument:

As a parent, before you give Roman Polanski permission to drug, rape and sodomize your child, how old would they have to be?

13 is apparently OK. How about 10?

A parent has to set limits, you know.


Polanski's latest movie is ... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Polanski's latest movie is so good he can have sex with a 10-year-old. Really! It's that good!

Stalin starved 10 million p... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Stalin starved 10 million people in the Ukraine. The Walter Duranty of the NYT covered it up and got a pulitzer for the articles. The Times still refuses to give up the award.

There is no other excuse except that Stalin's ideology was right. It wasn't so much that he had power. Other monsters of other ideologies would not have been protected so.

The inescapable conclusion is that for the left if you have the right ideology and sufficient power there is no limit to the evil you can do.

Anyone from the left care to explain where the line would be drawn for Obama? Already from the left there have been semi serious suggestions to have mass punishment of conservatives up to and including confiscation of children, denial of health care, interment etc. If Obama wanted to do it would you stand up?

I didn't think so.

The Nazi's gave the world a... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

The Nazi's gave the world all kinds of medical knowledge. How long someone could survive without air, tolerate freezing temperatures etc.
That was worth it, right?

The Nazi's gave the worl... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The Nazi's gave the world all kinds of medical knowledge... That was worth it, right?

"Generally success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics...." p.34 Alinski, Rules for Radicals.

Yes the left would say that had Germany won the war Mengele would have been a hero and that his experiments are only considered monstrous because his side lost.

That's why Polanski should get off. He's been successful. That's why Madoff is a monster, his Ponzi scheme collapsed. As long as he kept it going he was OK. They overlook ACORN's crimes because ACORN is getting them votes.

Align yourself with their ideology and you're off the hook as long as you are being successful. Once you fail you get thrown under the bus.

JT, I want to comm... (Below threshold)
corwin:

JT,
I want to comment on your dilemma.I know you are being humorous , so my initial response is to reply in kind. Still,my basic feeling mirrrors socities;one should not take advantage of someone who is too immature to make an adult decision .Obviously, this means underage . I'm not sure of the interpretation of 'alcohol induced consent' ; we all know the Dorothy Parker quote.
I do remember the case of an Art/Dance instructor in NY a couple of years ago, who performed oral sex on a feamle student who was under age. The New York 'arts establihment' protested his having to be let go or there would be no Fed'l funding . This is kind of dis jointed, so I'm going to finish my work

I think he's dead serious c... (Below threshold)
epador:

I think he's dead serious corwin.

And we're still awaiting a response from the left, not avoidance of the direct question. Sacre Tea's is not a Tease.

The left has responded by t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The left has responded by their silence. They do not think that they should even have to justify why a certain individual should escape the consequences of their actions.

The left, being the domain of moral relativists, sees no problem at all with applying one standard to person A and a different one to person B. In fact they wonder why they should have to justify doing so in the first place.

"But if I could have my ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"But if I could have my way with her anyway, with some help from some suitable pharmacological assistance, that could be pretty fun. Except, of course, for the inevitable consequences -- arrest, trial, and sentencing."

Jay, I going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that there is one more VERY important factor that stops you from going that route:

Commonly accepted moral judgment.

...something that you have demonstrated here in so many ways in the past...something that many in the "artistic" crowd find to be so hard to define that it's simply a malleable term.

And after reading the other comments, I see I'm not alone in that appraisal.

I didn't hear much defense ... (Below threshold)
Jonas:

I didn't hear much defense of pedophile priests during that scandal - certainly nothing like the current defense of Roman Polanski!

But now that you mention it, I do have my doubts about a lot of the alleged victims of priests. The typical story goes, "I was molested 30 years ago, I (or my family) reported it to the church at the time but they didn't call the police, now I want a billion dollars."

I'm just trying to imagine Polanski's victim saying she reported it to the movie studio but they didn't call the cops, boo-hoo gimme money. He'd be a free man!

It is a crying shame that P... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

It is a crying shame that Polanski is not black. The left's inability to cry racism here has got to be painful.

Well, Oyster, I'm pretty su... (Below threshold)
epador:

Well, Oyster, I'm pretty sure Mr Ducky wouldn't let JT attempt such an effort anyways. Unless the target has lots of Ms Ducky's...




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