FEAR TO POST
tRump whines about “witch hunts”. Given the number of indictments and guilty pleas, there do seem to be a buncha witches out there, nonetheless. In an era of overkill and payback, #Metoo continues to cast a wide net. And much like literal wide nets, the catch includes prey as well as much collateral capture, which is simply tossed overboard to rot and feed the scavengers.
While considerable past wrongs are being addressed and some righted, sexual misconduct accusations are becoming a bit like the concept of “pregnancy”. You can’t be “a little bit pregnant”; either you are or you aren’t. Similarly, I’d submit that the vast majority of men – straight, gay or complicated – are guilty of having sexually transgressed at some point in their lives. I can’t speak with any authority regarding a similar claim about the vast majority of women…but I suspect they too have offended at some point in their own lives. So, given the likelihood of my assertion, how does one responsibly engage discussion without offending, attracting malicious responses (there is considerable blood in the waters) or inflaming an already fuel saturated environment?
I’ve been known to tilt windmills in my time. I know many of my friends read what I post (they tell me so) but rarely engage. Why draw unnecessary fire or bring judgment and controversy into their own lives? I get it. Lurkers gonna lurk. 😉 But this attendant fear of attracting negative judgment is stifling…as is our devotion to being neurotically, slavishly PC. Within our multiple culturally partisan enclaves, we tread lightly…lest we inspire a venomous attack.
But where’s the fun in that? Some comics now avoid appearances at our colleges, once the petri dishes for counter-culture, intellectual diversity. Students value “safety” more than alternative thought. Well, it’s their money; their student loans to be repaid. But that is not the educational intention of the past. Part of higher learning entailed expanding one’s world views, if only to appreciate that other opinions can be based upon other facts…if facts they are. 😉
I read the paper daily. Doesn’t make me necessarily well informed…but perhaps better informed than many. This morning I read that, among the recent charges against Morgan Freeman is “that he looked at me, sexually.” Perhaps, like pornography, you can tell that sort of thing when you see it. For the record, Morgan has been my friend since having first worked together on stage in 1971. Over the years, we’ve shared three full theatrical productions as well as two major films and numerous other creative efforts. In all those years, I have never known Morgan to behave in any way other than professionally, courteously, generously to any of his fellow artists…nor have I ever overheard a word of negative judgment about his conduct. I don’t court gossip; I critically regard people that do. That doesn’t mean misconduct didn’t exist…simply that such commentary never reached my ears. Like many of you, many who don’t know him personally but have admired his creativity and humanity, I am disappointed by these accusations. And they are and remain just that – accusations.
I further read that the Screen Actors Guild is discussing taking back his Lifetime Achievement Award. In todays climate, without due process, this may well happen. I will now go on record for having had “sexual thoughts” about countless female colleagues as well as countless women all over the world. I’d kinda thought that was normal. I’ve never been physically inappropriate with anyone. However, if thought has become a crime against humanity, then I stand guilty.
I would hope that my union have the decency to hold off on their intentions, at least until Morgan has received due process for these accusations. There are many kinds of slippery slopes.