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Katha Pollitt, Roman Polanski, George Orwell, and Saul Steinberg Updated

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Martin Schneider writes:

POE (pal of Emdashes) Katha Pollitt skewers the misguided Roman Polanski apologists.

It's funny: I suspect that at FOX News headquarters the defenses of Polanski are an instance of the moral relativism of the Left. I'm a liberal, and most of my friends are liberals, and I have never spoken to anyone who seriously entertained the notion that Polanski shouldn't be incarcerated, and here is one of the leading figures on the Left, ridiculing the idea that Polanski's masterpieces give him a free pass on rape. Last year I was at a dinner party with about ten Viennese journalists, the very picture of decadent "European" elite, and everyone present agreed that Polanski was guilty and should be sent to jail.

So I don't know who, exactly, is really defending Polanski. I wouldn't be surprised if the set of people who defend Polanski consists mostly of cultural elite types; the point is that it's a small group and that most liberals don't hold this view. Can someone generate a Venn diagram for me?

Pollitt's essay reminded me of George Orwell's "Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali," I was a big Orwell addict in the early 1990s, and I'm still a big fan, but what's striking about the essay is Orwell's cultural conservatism. Then again, it was 1944, pre-John Waters, pre-camp, pre-Lots of Things.

On the subject of Polanski: I should stress that I don't dismiss his post-exile works. I'm a big fan of Frantic, and I thought Bitter Moon was terrific, and I liked Death and the Maiden a good deal too. (I haven't seen The Pianist.) Polanski's an extremely talented fellow. And he should be sent to prison.

Unrelatedly: some wag has updated Saul Steinberg's famous map "View of the World From Ninth Avenue" (actually, it's possible that its creator has never heard of Steinberg). What I don't get about the update: What, exactly, is inaccurate about it? It looks just like a standard U.S. map to me.

Oh, one last thing: hail the jumper colon! I've sprinkled a few in this very post!

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