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« Sundance Wrap-Up / Review Index | Main | We Can't Wait #4: Under the Skin »
Thursday
Jan302014

A Spoonful of Linkage Helps the Blogging Go Down

Todays Must Reads
Matthew Scott, cinematographer, has a great detailed piece on Roger Deakins Oscar nominated work on Prisoners
The Wire Joe Reid ranks all seasons of all Ryan Murphy shows. Hot messes they are!

Linkage
Yahoo Movies Tom Hiddleston originally auditioned to be Thor, not Loki
The Wire Jennifer Lawrence ate Doritos in her American Hustle gown 
The Dissolve talks to Sandra Bernhard about her performance in The King of Comedy (1983). Oscar robbed! 


Fandor on why Sally Hawkins should win Best Supporting Actress for Blue Jasmine 
/Film talks to Chris Evans on the set of Captain America: Winter Soldier 
The Dissolve the SXSW lineup  

Music Break
Kenneth in the (212) Oliva Newton John will be doing a Las Vegas residency! You have to believe she is magic.  
Vanity Fair Madonna and Miley's "We Can't Stop/Don't Tell Me" duet. So cute it is

Tough Topics / Soap Boxes
Gays vs the Grammys an article articulating the most disturbing social media trend of the past few months - gays viciously attacking their allies. It wasn't just the Grammys and it needs to stop. I particularly hate the way Madonna is treated by young gays since she stood by the gay community when it was NOT cool (sorry but Lady Gaga, who I enjoy, was not risking anything by supporting us) and it cost Madonna a lot and then to see everyone turn on her? Sick-making. And also just another boring reminder that ageism is still rampant and hip and also the very dumbest prejudice since it's basically self-loathing in advance. 

The Daily Beast
publishes a must-read, unpleasant as the topic is, about the internet's desire to prosecute Woody Allen for Farrow's allegations. The list of top ten widespread assumptions of fact that are wholly and provably false in the beginning of the article is fascinating.

excellent courtroom drawing from 90s Woody/Mia custody battle. ©Marilyn Church

I love this top ten falsities lede because it basically apply to all divisive topics in this age of (mis)information...

Every time I stumble upon this topic on the internet, it seems the people who are most outraged are also the most ignorant of the facts.

It's also telling of how little facts matter to the internet and pop culture at large. I didn't even know some of this stuff and I was a mega fan of both Mia & Woody when all of this went down (and boy was it depressing and remains so because they're both great artists who made at least a few masterpieces together). The reveal that Mia Farrow approved her clips in Woody's Globes tribute is also an eyebrow raiser. Anyway it's a great read and kinder to Mia and Ronan than you'd think given its conclusions. A sad but mitigating reminder: Woody and Mia had an odd but long relationahip, probably non-monogomamous and definitely non-idyllic, and they both have a history of messy and controversial romantic relationships with collateral damage.  

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Reader Comments (30)

hear hear Nathaniel re gays bashing allies... you said it well. So the son wasn't the greatest and the execution might have been cheesy but I still appreciated the sentiment. Unlike my twitter feed... it got so much hate I almost threw away my phone.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

When is Ronan Farrow changing his name to Ronan Sinatra?

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

So nice to see Sally Hawkins get some love for her performance in 'Blue Jasmine.' She's easily my favorite of the nominees and would be incredibly deserving of the Oscar.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Nathaniel-

As a 34 year old gay man, I grew up in the era of Madonna in the 80's and 90's in her prime and I too am sickened every I time I hear people, including gays, talk about how "old" and "overdone" she is.

She will always be my personal idol and incredible role model for people standing up for what they believe in, no matter if it's unpopular!!!

Go Madge!

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave

That Woody Allen read is so interesting , this is the problem with twitter and social media in general, facts never seem to matter.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I love and subscribe everything you wrote about Madonna, Woody and the internet.

I really think that Sally might surprise us on Oscar night.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I don't think as many younger people would see Madonna that way if she wasn't always trying so hard to be hip or feuding with younger artists (I'm not into Gaga like I used to be, but she was downright rude to her). I do love her though, and Ray of Light is my favorite album ever. And things would obviously not be the way they are now without her. BUT when people say she's done, I think it has more to do with her trying so hard to be cool and relevant instead of just doing her thing and being the uber talented game changer she is. I hate when she does that because it takes away from her talent.

This is aside from the Same Love thing though, I didn't have any problems with that.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Sorry, but I'm not with you on the Madonna thing. I have always mostly liked her. I was not part of the bashing of her at the Grammys (mostly because I didn't watch). But her tweeting a photo of her black son with the caption "Dis Nigga..." Done. Absolutely done. Sorry. And I don't need to be told why I shouldn't hold that against her, or how her adopting a black child precludes her from racism...I've heard all the talking points. They don't wash with me. My "turning on Madonna" (if one wants to call it that) has nothing to do with her age, or ignoring the fact that she did to her credit stand by the gays long before it was fashionable to do so.

But...what it comes down to with me is that I'm a gay person of color. I can't separate those two things. So, I don't particularly feel loyalty to Madonna or any of other straight allies or even white gay men for that matter if they're not showing solidarity with all of me. They're showing solidarity with the mainstream gay rights movement which cares very little about people of color. We're sassy, funny, Ru-Paul's drag race punchlines to them. We are largely not seen as people and we're often scapegoated and looked down upon. I see "allies" like Madonna not seeing anything wrong with her photo caption as a micro example of this. That's ultimately where I fall on the issue of Madonna.

It may seem like a weird rabbit-hole response to the comment. Race wasn't even mentioned, so I'm not attacking you specifically Nathaniel. I am taking issue with with such sweeping generalization in the "Gays vs. The Grammys" paragraph because it treats the gay community like a monolith, when it is in fact a group that is splintered. There's a big debate going on right now in the feminist community re: intersectionality and how white feminists demand solidarity from feminists of color when it's convenient to them, while otherwise being content with walking on their backs and ignoring them the rest of the time. I wager that a similar debate is about to rear its head in the gay community and it'll be interesting (to put it mildly) to see where people ultimately fall.

I wasn't around or was an infant during the time, but I don't know, doesn't a lot of the drag houses, particularly the ones portrayed in Paris is Burning, have a bone to pick with Madonna since a lot of the dances and moves she popularized like Vogue-ing she did not directly, correctly credit to that community? I know she was close to the likes of Keith Haring but I know quite a few queer people of color who'll never forgive her for that and yeah, the grills are not helping her.

I will say though that the Macklemore backlash was so overwhelming that I, a hip hop fan who compared him to early Will Smith in terms of goofball, safe persona, put on the breaks in ragging on him because it was getting too overwhelming with people who I know who don't listen to hip hop pile on. I think I stopped when after I had mixed feelings about him publishing his text to Kendrick that he robbed him. I feel bad that he has to be in a constant state of apology at this point when that song was always well-meaning, I believe he had a cover of gay relatives on the album cover that the song was for. The song is earnest, a bit trite, goes into a few rough patches but it was for the Washington State gay marriage vote so his work was directly for a cause than just a casual, 'Hey let me pile on my own genre!' kind of thing.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Correction: the caption was on a photo she tweeted of her son Rocco, who is white. It changes nothing else I wrote, but just wanted to clarify...

CMG -- well i lived through the Madonna era and she was always pretty upfront about what she was appropriating. Certainly mores than Gaga and Beyonce are now... I mean I still kinda can't believe that Beyonce didn't put a dedicated to Bob Fosse tag on Single Ladies since it was basically a complete ripoff. Weirdly she got almost no flak for that but I've noticed that certain people can do no wrong in pop culture whereas others remaining punching bags.

I'll always be defensive about Madonna, though, I get it. she's the single greatest entertainer of my lifetime and the amount of joy and fun and fascination and everything she's given over the past 30 years... all while taking constant shit from her lessers FROM THE BEGINNING ON TILL NOW. It's fucking annoying. people should be kissing her ass rather than kicking it.

TPKITA -- i hear you on the monolithic complaint. It's hard to talk about these things without generalizing. I understand that some young gays are not stupid shallow people who don't have any knowledge of life before the year 1999 or so. But it really has been bugging me the sheer bile i've heard... and some of it from otherwise very smart people.

But SINCE YOU BROUGHT IT UP just out of curiosity then, What's your stance on Eminem? If you're done with Madonna for one instance of using the N word how do you feel about black people using it as commonly as I use the word "actress" or "movie"? I find the word disturbing due to its history but I hear it SO OFTEN (i live in a black neighborhood) that i've started to feel like the absolute end-their-career fury that greets any instance of a white person saying it (in the rare cases when someone does publicly) is enormously problematic. I mean, I get that minority communities are allowed to use words that other communities shouldn't use. I am a gay man and I have used the word "faggot" in my lifetime (always always as a joke) but usage has been very rare. Maybe once or twice a year one of my friends or myself will say it in a joking context? But I really don't understand why the N word is such an a-okay word within the african american community and I bring this up because I'm genuinely interested in an answer from people of color like yourself. One day I was so annoyed at the constant assault of it that I counted it on the way from the subway to my apartment and it was uttered by several different people on the street a total of 42 times. ON A 5 MINUTE WALK. I am not a person of color obviously so maybe i'm stepping on thin ice but does this bother you at all? Why is it used so much if people take offense to the word?

January 30, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Okay, several things.

1. Eminem (which feels like a really random example to bring up, but since you asked...) is not someone who I've ever been a fan of. His use of the N-Word is one on a long list of reasons why. So, I guess I'm done with him, though I never started with him, so I'm not sure how that works. I was like...barely in middle school when Eminem became a thing and even back then I knew that milk wasn't clean.

2. Eminem never purported to be this ally of...anything, really. Madonna does (and in a lot of ways, she is an ally). Her use of the N-word irks me to my core BECAUSE of her allegiance to the mainstream gay rights movement which a to a lot of queers of color (I promise I'm not crazy. It's not just me) goes hand-in-hand with virulent, insidious racism at its top. So, it made for a rough juxtaposition. Unfair? Perhaps, but there it is...

3. Yes, you're absolutely right. Minority groups are allowed to use words that members outside of that group are not. That's just the way it is. I don't bristle when I hear it coming from other people as much as I do the few times I've used it myself because it doesn't sit right with me. It wasn't a word we used in my house growing up. It feels like a put-on when I try to use it, even colloquially. I tend to avoid it. But I have a right to say it. It doesn't bother me when other black people say it. It bothers me immensely when other races, especially white people, use it. It cuts deep when white people use it. And while I wasn't called one as much as my parents were, it still fucking (excuse my French) hurts. I can't explain the psychology behind that, Nathaniel other than to say it's a little like when you're bad-mouthing family to a friend or a spouse. They can listen, nod, but they are (by no means) allowed to join in on the bad-mouthing because they are not in that circle. Period. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the word wasn't used by other black people to systematically strip away black people's freedom and humanity...that was white people.

4. Once again, African-Americans are not a monolith. There are a wide variety of schools of thought about the acceptability of the n-word within the black community and in-use of the word sparks a diverse array of reactions. We are not all the same.

5. My response to Madonna is in no-way an "End her career" response. I'm speaking personally. I don't have to listen to her. Also, I'm not so naive to think that in a country where (let's be real) we largely don't give a shit about people of color that saying the"n-word" would ever destroy Madonna's career. Plus, when I look at her core fanbase, I know that a little or even a lot of racism is not going to empty those coffers.

6. You see the response to white celebrities using the n-word once problematic from a community that sees in-use as acceptable. Fine. What I see as even more problematic is people outside of said group (namely, white people) trying to impose their own anxiety about the word and their own feelings onto us. What it comes down to (and I'm sure this isn't your intention) is telling people of color two things:
1. We cannot effectively manage/communicate our own emotional responses. We need white people to do that for us.
2. We cannot effectively detect when it's being used in a way to racially demean or denigrate us. Which...I promise you, we can.
So, while it may seem problematic or strange to you (and again, this is coming from a black person for whom the n-word is not part of his everyday vernacular) the correct response is to defer to the community in question and leave it at that.

And with that, I've overrun my quota of teachable moments for the day. Any more and I'll have to start charging.

TPKIA - teachable moments eh. I feel a smidge of condescension in the air because of this and point 4. (DUH... obviously.)

but anyway YOU DID BRING THIS UP ;) ... i fully appreciate your response but on point 6.1. this is yucky and i understand how that would feel and be annoying but on the other hand, we all (all colors, all religions, all sexualities) have to live together and wouldn't it be better for everyone if a word which makes so many people uncomfortable and springs from hatred and oppression and possibly self-loathing in some contexts (one of those most chilling things i saw in a movie, linguistically, was in Antwone Fisher when an old woman was using it against Antwone and it obviously was in a way that was meant to "demean and denigrate" even though she was 'within the community') be retired by everyone?

anyway... i don't know enough about why people of color MONOLITHICALLY (i'm kidding... I mean you) think there's so much racism within the gay community but that's a "teachable moment" for another day.

January 30, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel- I get that. I really don't get the rags on her appearances. She's older than my mother (yeah, I'm a baby) and people seem to want it both ways. Rag on a female star for too much plastic surgery or actually looking her age. That outfit for the 'Same Love' performance was a little much for me as was the conceit that I really wanted to love but thought the telecast cared more about its significance than whether it would work as a piece of television. Then again, given what Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were dressed like, it felt a bit OK Corral themed.

Disclosure: I'm friends with somebody who, with actually a few family members, were in the House of Ninja. Willi supposedly had something to say about not just the documentary but the people, I think maybe this has more to do with people mis-crediting than Madonna herself (like Miley and twerking), who seemed to think Madonna invented voguing.

Gaga's biggest mistake for me actually is all she does is quote. She feels like a Facebook page with a never-ending set of likes and it often does not actually reflect in her music. Jeff Koons? I get none of that from her album which I personally thought was dumb fun. There was an ARTPOP review that was like, she's more Beavis & Butthead crossed with RuPaul and Dr. Ruth which to me was actually a type of Gaga I would much prefer. I'd rather she be dumb fun dance music than trying to be a Museum of Modern Art curator.

I know little about Beyoncé in terms of what she is going for in influence, with this album the one I am actually really listening to from start to finish. To me she is definitely the Madonna of my generation (Oh my god, I actually remember when she was in Destiny's Child and she would appear on the teen shows I watched and being so young and green. Time flies!) in terms of impact. Heck this album is the TMI kind of thing Madonna would do. That album drop was an EVENT.

But what do I know? I'm the dirty punk who went to show's in people's basements during HS and my music queen is Lauren Jane Grace. I'd be curious to how the music industry in the long-run treats that Against Me! album. It's IMPORTANT. More than Macklemore's for sure and to go off TPKIA's issue of LGBT people mostly being represented as and by white gay men, I'd love it if a transwoman led punk group, my Against Me! fandom aside, were up for major rock award categories.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Nathaniel...
There was a soupcon of condescension thrown in, though not at you (if that makes sense) but sort of at...the MONOLITH of the gay community. I honestly printed #4 as more of a statement of reiteration, not as something that I honestly believed you weren't already aware of :)

I guess I'm more pessimistic than you are. I agree that the best thing to do, re: the n-word is to retire it full-stop. But I don't see that as something that would happen or as something that's even possible. To retire any word is so hard, right? Language spreads like wildfire and it would be difficult to put that genie back in the bottle. Just my two cents. That being the case, any solutions to use of the word that I would come up with operate off of that pessimism...if that makes sense. That example in Antwone Fisher is an example of how black people absolutely do use it to demean and denigrate (and Boyz n the Hood would be another) but...I dunno. It's problematic. I guess I'll say that if you were to do a per capita sample of how often black people use it amongst each other to denigrate versus how often white people are saying it to a black person to denigrate...I suspect it would be much more common that white people (when they use it) are using it to cut versus black people using it colloquially. I myself try to avoid using it in either case.

And yes, the issue of race and the gay community is a big issue (no sarcasm, or condescension). It's hard to sum up easily, but I would say that a great micro-example is the gay scapegoating of the black community after Prop. 8 passed. Digging into that would be a great place to start.

I'm really not sure why Christina Aguilera wasn't mentioned she was more of a supporter for the Gay community years before Beyonce and Lady Gaga were.

I am a bit confused, but when Michael Jackson died you and your readers were really angry offensive about him , but there are double standards with people like Woody Allen and Polanski

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Oh and the Madonna issue, it's one thing to be a fan of someone, but it's another thing to be completely oblivious to their faults. I've never cared for Madonna, especially after that horrible interview on Black Men and Women, years ago. Sorry, but that's inexcusable.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

all while taking constant shit from her lessers FROM THE BEGINNING ON TILL NOW. It's fucking annoying. people should be kissing her ass rather than kicking it.

------
You've got to be kidding me with this right? Please tell me this is a joke??? When Madonna cures cancer then let's talk.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Beyoncé have said on more than one occasion that she was inspired by Fosse for 2006's Get Me Bodied (I love how everyone forgets this) and 2009's Single Ladies. I'm not a huge fan of Beyoncé, but she gets plenty of criticism from the media on just about everything down to her skin complexion.

January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

The "fall behind Madge at all costs!" mandate from some in the gay community (not accusing you Nathaniel...I know that's not what you're saying) can be a little obnoxious. The thing about her is that if it weren't for a few (in my mind) unforgivable social gaffes, I'd totally be into what she's doing as a personality. Even as someone who has washed my hands of her personally, I could never realistically or saliently argue against the very legitimate claims that she revolutionized pop music and even our perceptions of what celebrity is. It's just a shame about the other stuff. And I totally agree that attacking her age or calling her a dried-up hag is so wrong, regardless of her appearance. It plays into so many ageism stereotypes, which is one of the most ingrained and most BORING stereotypes in terms of how it limits the way our culture sees "older" people of either gender. I liken the Madonna age cracks to how people railing against Chris Christie (who absolutely should be railed against) also throw fat-shaming into the mix. It's like...can't we criticize this individual, who you are absolutely justified in criticizing without making it about his or her appearance? Madonna's age should have absolutely no bearing on any legitimate criticisms of her that arise.

That Woody article is fantastic.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

That Woody article is indeed great. Too bad people won't even bother reading it because it's not 140 characters.

TPKIA: In regards to the whole Madonna debate: Although I don't think it was the wisest thing to do in the sense that if one of my friends did it I would call them an idiot, the "dis nigga" caption on the photo of her black son is hardly cause for outrage. You say that you don't want to hear the talking points, but they're necessary because in today's cultural climate with Twitter and the 24 hour media cycle on the internet, everyone becomes outraged by every little thing and begins to take it out of context. Hence the Woody Allen article.

So when we say that Madonna has a black son she adopted. we say that to remind people that the "dig nigga" caption isn't racist. Why? Because it's not. Because Madonna loves her son and like many members of the black community, she used the term "dig nigga" as one of endearment. Should Madonna have done that as a white woman? That's certainly a worthy question to answer. She's clearly smart enough to know that some people would be offended, but she doesn't care because she knows she loves her son. The same reason why black people don't care when they use the word: because they don't mean it in a racist way.

The whole point of the Woody Allen article, which relates in many ways to this Madonna debate, is that we have to put things into context. The utterance of the word "nigga" isn't racist by default. Chris Rock, an African-American comedian, once said that it's all about the context in which a word is used. This is why white comedians like Louis CK get away with it, and why someone like Madonna was able to say it without much backlash (she received some, but not as much as, say, Paula Deen, whose career was sadly ruined for it). Because Louis Ck and Madonna say it within an appropriate context.

You say "that's just the way it is" in regards to why minorities can use certain words, but that's not even true. I know plenty of white people who say "nigga" in front of black people, and these black people don't care because they know the white person means it in the same way that the black person does. Obviously this isn't the majority, and it's happening more with younger generations than, say, those who are the same age as Oprah, but just as a rapper like Eminem can use the word to his peers and not be deemed a racist (because, let's face it, he associates more with the African-American hip hop community), a singer like Madonna can also use it because it's within an acceptable context.

And you may say that there is no acceptable context for a white person to use that word, just like a gay person can't say faggot and a woman can't say bitch, etc. etc., but why do people get away with it?

Madonna wasn't burned at the stake like Paula Deen, and Louis CK says whatever he wants and Chris Rock still works with him. Isn't this issue a little more complicated than "Madonna's racist because she used the n word" ?

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

The fact that Paula Deen's career was "ruined" is hardly sad. Moreover, I'm agreeing with Rachel that what Madonna did was inexcusable. No context required. Is it really that hard for non-Black people to not use that word (regardless of how certain Black people may or may not feel about it)?

Knowing Black people (even adopting a Black child) does not mean that a person doesn't do racist or problematic things. I hardly think someone would say "[Insert any man here] can't be sexist because he has a wife/daughter/mother/etc." I know the caption was not under a photo of her Black son, but still.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAW

Joseph, there is one particular sentence of your reply that's problematic and offensive to me and that is "Although I don't think it was the wisest thing to do in the sense that if one of my friends did it I would call them an idiot, the "dis nigga" caption on the photo of her black son is hardly cause for outrage."

You do not get to negotiate how I as a black person react to anyone using this word. Period. It's cultural gaslighting and (once again) it's telling black people that they can't effectively manage or communicate their own emotional responses. Like...it's THIS right here. This is the problem. There are just some situations, like say dealing with the use of the n-word around an actual black person where you should listen more than talk. You're essentially telling me that my reaction to Madonna using that word is somehow wrong. How am I supposed to respond to that?

And also, Eminem has been brought up a couple of times...let me just say this. I (as I stated)am not a fan of Eminem, but I am familiar with his music and his place in the world of hip-hop. Name me the song lyric where Eminem has used the n-word? There's this assumption that he does because people conflate the world of hip-hop with the use of that word. And yes, to be fair, there are many rappers who use that word, but there are also a handful that make a point not to and Eminem is one of them. I actually had to research this after I replied initially about this because I had to think "had I ever heard him use it?" He famously doesn't use it on his records

I'm sure you meant well, Joseph, but I have to tell you that your comment is white mansplaining at its core. You're listening to me communicate my feelings on an issue...an issue I've had to deal with my entire life, computing it and then turning around and telling me why my feelings/interpretations are wrong? And you're clouding the issue by bringing up people like Louis CK and Chris Rock and Paula Deen...people who were never mentioned in the initial comment and people about whom you have no idea how I feel. I am highly insulted.

I think that Woody Allen article is crap. The ten misconceptions he lists don't change the nature of how Soon-Yi and Woody's relationship started, really. The accusations by Dylan 'don't make sense' - really? That's a common defense of sexual abusers, and really just amounts to 'I wouldn't do that in that situation', not any kind of logical argument. He also says that the investigative team found that Woody had not molested Dylan, which is quite different than the truth - they found they didn't have enough evidence to prosecute, which is not the same as proving he didn't do it.

But on the whole, the reason Allen squicks me out is that his issues with women are writ large on the screen in almost all of his movies. 'Blue Jasmine' doesn't have any glaring issues, but 'Match Point', 'Midnight in Paris', etc portray women as irrational, jealous, spiteful without ever acknowledging their underlying humanity.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Rebecca -- i think you're seeing what you want to see. Woody has issues with women, sure, but he also has been responsible for so many great female characters and it's not like his men aren't full of horrible flaws wither. It seems willfully resistant to me to not acknowledge the humanity of the female leads of hannah and her sisters, purple rose of cairo, vicky cristina barcelona, manhattan, annie hall, another woman, september, etcetera.

and those common falsehoods spread about soonyi DO change "how the relationship started". I'm not saying it's cool to sleep with your girlfriend's (legal aged) daughter. But it's also not pedophilia or incest. and Mia herself complained that he had virtually nothing to do with soonyi as a child (when from all reports it was mia who wanted more involvement from woody in her and her extended brood's life) The internet would have you believe he had his lustful eye on her when she was underage which is such a grossly unfair characterization even if, we can all admit, Woody isn't the most "moralistic" person on earth. His whole "the heart wants what it wants" thing is selfish me first way of living lie but it's also the way a lot of people live

Rachel -- i went back and read my article when Michael Jackson died and in no way does it read as angry or disrespectful... to me at least. I acknowledged that he was a mammoth star, I shared my four favorite music videos of his and i mentioned in passing that all the scandals turned me off but admitted that i was never a big fan to begin with -- this is just me being honest. When , I don't know, Justin Timberlake dies if i'm still alive... i'm not going to gush and pretend i was his greatest fan just because i liked a handful of his songs a lot.

The difference in coverage is probably as simple as this: Polanski and Allen are great filmmakers and this is a film site.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Michael Jackson is a very film related subject. He utilized filmmakers for his music videos and actresses adored him while you remain indifferent. There was plenty to write about concerning the actresses in his life as well as collaborations with celebrated auteurs.

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Nathaniel - to clarify what I meant is it doesn't change the nature of it to me, because I did not have any of those misconceptions and it seems like no one else I talk to does either, so it feels like a strawman argument. Also slightly off-topic but if people actually say/think that Soon-Yi has below average intelligence or is borderline retarded than that strikes me as infantilizing and indicative of some pretty racist beliefs about the agency of Asian women.

Thank you for your response. I am glad to discuss this with someone who does not automatically dismiss my opinions as knee-jerk feminism and man-hating. :)

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Rebecca -- you must travel in very different circles and read different blogs and twitter feeds than I do. I have heard these misconceptions everywhere -- especially the one about woody allen being soon-yis adopted father and raising her -- two obviously false things that mainstream media and popular bloggers love to repeat in order to condemn Allen. And as for soon-yi's intelligence... yeah i heard that all the time in 1992/1993 when this was all going down and no it does not reflect well on people. But things were so UGLY at the time which probably accounts for why people didn't notice how brilliant "Husbands and Wives" was. I still can't believe Mia and Woody made it through the filming of that movie since, as far as i remember, they'd already broken up and everything was imploding before they started shooting. But it was a long time ago so maybe i'm misremembering,

January 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

TPKIA -- I can't claim to know your experience and what will or will not offend you, so if anything I've said caused you to feel insulted, that was certainly not my intention and I apologize. Moreover, you're absolutely right that I can't control how you react to a situation and I have no right to tell you whether or not your reaction is "right" or "wrong." There's really no such thing, as long as it's a reaction that's true to you.

To me, Madonna is not worthy of condemnation, and she's not worth all the time and energy some people spend trying to criticize her. I think there are more important things to worry about, frankly. For others, if that's their cause, power to them.

For me, however, intention and context matter. A racist is someone who believes a particular race is superior or inferior to another. A racist projects hatred, intolerance, and disdain toward another. I don't find Madonna's "dig nigga" Instagram captain demonstrating this. She clearly meant it as a term of endearment and even went so far to say that in an apology that she didn't even need to offer but did anyway precisely because she doesn't want people to misinterpret her.

Again, you have the right to your reaction and by all means own it, but just because you have it doesn't mean Madonna is responsible for it, and it doesn't mean she's a racist. It means that you felt very strongly about something she did when she had no intention of making you feel that way. Does that make you wrong? Absolutely not. Does it make her wrong? Not at all.

That's all I wanted to say and I think it's a fair claim. It doesn't undermine your reaction but it does point out that it's just that--a reaction.

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

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