Two Cool Guys
October 4, 2009 5 Comments
The Roman Polanski arrest is an interesting case study in how the culture of “coolness” works.
Roman Polanski drugged and anally raped a 13-year-old. Then he flouted justice and ran to Europe. There’s no ‘nice’ way to put any of that. But since he’s cool, since he makes movies, Hollywood’s knee-jerk reaction is to rush to his defense. Hollywood just can’t bear the thought that someone else who is “cool”, like them, could be forced to pay a price for a crime he committed (and no one denies he did it, although they do minimize it, e.g. Whoopi Goldberg’s inane comment that it wasn’t “rape-rape”). I mean, yes, drugging and anally raping girls is bad and all, but he makes cool movies. Shouldn’t that count for something?
The “cool” lobby actually thinks it should. In their view, there are two sets of rules, one for regular people, and one for the “cool” people.
I wonder if the David Letterman extortion attempt was a reaction to the “cool” twin-morality, an impotent attempt to strike a blow against the “cool” lobby. I gather the extortionist was living with one of the former Letterman employees alleged to have been one of his affairs (which is how he knew about them). This was probably humiliating and emasculating to the guy, some no-name TV producer. He turns on the TV every night and sees this smirking Letterman, while he knows the truth about him, which is that he regularly uses college-girl interns on the show to get his rocks off, essentially using his own show’s budget to pay for his little pathetic harem. But no one knows that, everyone applauds, night after night, good old David Letterman. Just because he’s “cool”, he’s a TV Personality, so he gets away with it. The shame and unfairness! So this evidently not-so-bright TV producer comes up with a plan, a plan that would get back at Letterman once and for all. Not a great plan, it turned out, as Letterman turned the tables and used the power of his “coolness” to call the extortionist’s bluff – this father and husband revealed that he’s been sleeping with all these silly college girls on national TV and everyone applauded. Wasn’t it cool how he did that?
These are two of our coolest guys.