Polanski's arrest in Zurich got me stirred up and I am not even a fan of his movies. I swear the boards are the modern lion dens or witch hunts and sinister hangings of times I had believed long gone. Screams of bloody murder with the throwing of the rapist, if not in the fires of hell, at least in to prison to rot for the remainder of his life. Rape and child are the buzz words, although like any word the meaning can take on all kinds of colors.

According to the victim her experience does not qualify as rape as it lacked the violence she would associate with such. While rape is rape as concerns the lack of consent and the proceeding even while being told no, there are shades here. The child had sex before and supposedly was only weeks away from the age of 14 and the ability to offer consent legally.

A child being drugged in order to be taken advantage of, sounds so sinister, yet Qualudes were so common and so easily accessible, even to school kids that wanted them. I know, I grew up in Switzerland, it was a cinch to ask my friend's boyfriend to get me some illegal pharmaceuticals (once LSD for my mom's friend. Bless my mom's heart, I believe she never learned of this.) Offering Quaalude and Champagn seem to be equated with today's dating drug abuse scandals, while in the sixties and seventies were the social norm in certain circles.

Offering alcohol to a 13 year old in Europe is common and would never warrant the American outrage. I must say I hate the infantilization of American kids that are old enough to be sent to war, but not old enough to have a celebratory sip of alcohol. I hate that a 19 year old having an affair with a few year younger kid can be prosecuted for child abuse and even incarcerated if sex is involved. Yet I remember plenty of school mates actively in pursuit of sex at a tender age of barely noticeable sexual characteristics. I remember how at 12 years of age some men judged me to be 20 years of age, and that without any provocation, certainly not of a sexual nature on my part.

No, I do not favor middle aged men having sex with very young girls and no, rape is inexcusable. Neither do I favor the laissez fair or letting go of crimes because of times that did pass. Obviously Polanski is a fighter. He survived the Holocaust in Krakau, got over a Dad that told him to fuck off and had to deal with the brutal slaying of his wife and had to endure the suspicions of the authorities and fellow Americans. Somehow looking at the larger picture, his escape when the judge's ambition became obvious seems befitting, if ill chosen. What possibly in his past could have made him place his trust in the American legal and political system?

Apprehended now, I hope he will have a chance to finish this sordid and long overdue business, pay his debt to society without going to prison, I hope. Compensating the American tax payer with a fine that would cover the expense of keeping his case open for 30 years seems just. And I would add a punishment of having to produce films of an educational nature that have sexual abuse and boundaries at the core, suitable to be shown to kids, in various age appropriate versions. This seems to me a good and fitting punishment without wasting good talent and filling already overflowing prisons with another individual that really poses no longer a threat to society (considering no new allegations of child abuse come to the fore.)

Back to my beginning what irks me are the cries for revenge clothed in terms of Justice. Polanski admitted to guilt only as regards to unlawful sexual intercourse, not rape! The fact that he is white, rich and well connected seems to get some folks ire, as rage mounts at the thought of another aborted attempt at legal justice.

His victim forgave Polanski in 1997 and considered his 30 years in exile as sufficient punishment. No, victims are not to dictate legal procedures, but should their word not count for something? Or do we once again infantalize the victims by acting 'for their own good' while ignoring their testimony?

No, money, power and status ought to not determine the justice system. What I would like to see is a justice not based on needs for revenge, not meted out by the book, but considered with true wisdom that looks at the crime in a differentiated fashion rather then black and white and can address the real needs of society, victim and perpetrator.

Meanwhile let's keep on enjoying Swiss Chocolates!


  1. Good blog Uomis. I have every expectation that Polanski will get out of having to take responsibility for what he did.The most surprising people are leaping to his defense. Whoopi Goldberg is quoted as saying .... I don't know what it was but it was not rape! Really? you could have fooled me. But he is a great artist they say....being an artist does not guarantee morality. Wagner was an even greater artist but he was also a rather nasty person.
    For what ever reason, Polanski abused a child, it was planned, pre meditated enough to get the child into a semi drunk state. I'm very sorry for the tragedies in Polanski's life but that does not give him a free ticket to perpetrate crimes. Children have to be protected and the message has to be given that there is no tolerance for this deviant behavior. Too often these days we forget that justice has to done and it has to be seen to done.

  2. The victim herself does not associate what has happened with rape! Rape, child, drugs can all have such varied meanings. Seems to me we should not jump to conclusions, but listen, avoid condemnation and cries for revenge and judge wisely. I sure appreciate your commenting, we will see what unfolds, om.

  3. The latest news is his confinement to his chalet in Switzerland where he can receive visitors. Being rich sure has it's rewards.

  4. Polanski was released, supposedly because of the failure of the US to produce evidence requested by the Swiss. One can only shake one's head and wonder.