Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Atta girl

I'm listening to Babs' new album, Love Is the Answer. It's the first new music of hers that I've bought in years,* and I am enjoying it thoroughly. It's very mellow, very elegant and she is in very good voice. I'm tempted to say she sounds even better at 65+ than the decades-younger Whitney, but then, Babs didn't have to survive Bobby Brown. Besides, unlike Whitney Houston, Babs doesn't have to "come back" because she's never been away.

I've had to participate in two meetings today, and it's worn me out. (Rather uncharacteristic; I hope I'm not coming down with something ...) So a cup of tea and Babs singing a Marilyn/Alan Bergman song is just what's needed to soothe me. It's even making me wish I was in love.

Is that a Donna Karan Snuggie she's wearing on the cover?

*Since 2001, to be exact. I confirmed this at The Official Barbra Streisand Site.

But he's real, and so is what he did

If Roman Polanski were the invention of an imaginative fiction author with a gift for dialog (I'm thinking William Goldman), I might find him highly sympathetic.

Born in Paris and raised as a Catholic by his Catholic dad and Jewish mom, his family moved to Poland when Roman was still very young and the Polanskis found themselves a target when the Nazis invaded. His mother died in Auschwitz. That's enough pain for a lifetime, isn't it?

Roman proved himself a lyrical visual artist in Poland and France and came over to the USA in the 1960s. Forty years ago he became a household name for directing the movie Rosemary's Baby, and for his marriage to rising star Sharon Tate. She was slaughtered by the Manson Family, along with their nearly full-term but unborn son, Paul. The interest in that crime, and the fascination with Manson himself, has barely abated in the last 40 years. I can't even imagine how painful this is for him.

He went on to make acclaimed and classic films, including Chinatown and Tess. He also went on to give a 13-year-old girl ludes and champagne and then rape her anally. If you have the stomach to read about it, click here. He pled guilty, but escaped to Europe before he could be sentenced. He's been a fugitive for decades, living a glamorous and privileged life in overseas.

He is an old man now, and an acclaimed artist. He was arrested in Switzerland and is awaiting extradition back to the United States to face the music. As fate would cruelly have it, Susan Atkins, the woman who helped butcher Sharon Tate, died this week.

It's a compelling story and a sad one.

But it's not just a story. It all really happened. Including luring a child into a hot tub by pretending to photograph her for a fashion layout and then performing sex acts on her that she couldn't even pronounce.

Pedophilia is serial behavior. Children cannot consent to sex and we must hear their tales and obtain justice on their behalf. Roman Polanski must stand in front of a judge. It's only right. So the pleas that he be forgiven fall on my deaf ears.

Talent, even genius, can only be forgiven for so much. Abusing a child isn't covered.

Inspired silliness

Over 90 minutes and 8 emails, my best friend and I were cracking each other up with goofy, adolescent comments about men's underwear designed for lefties. Sometimes, when the whole world seems so serious, you just gotta be silly.