I’m violating my “never post more than one entry a day” rule just to say in reference to the last post I finished not more than half an hour ago, there’s a new piece on the Huffington Post that says Dylan Farrow claims Woody Allen’s defense is bunk. To give her the benefit of the doubt, if she is in fact telling the truth and he’s the one who’s lying, he owes it to his fans to confess what he’s done. This would admittedly be a very difficult thing to do, but it would also be brave. Moreover, it would be the only way those who’ve made up their mind to condemn Allen as a child molester could have the opportunity to forgive him (not that they necessarily would, of course). Granted, it would also mean alienating anyone who still takes his side, along with fence-sitters, but maybe what Jesus said about the truth setting you free is true. (In a world that runs on lies, it’s hard to tell.)
As I said, I found Allen’s case persuasive, but I haven’t perused all the facts yet, and I’m sorry for having perhaps come to a premature conclusion. I wasn’t there, and neither was anyone else besides the two principals, so whichever story one chooses to believe requires a certain leap of faith. It’s likewise uncomfortable to go on suspending judgment interminably (consider any number of conspiracies regarding JFK, MLK, John Lennon, 911, RFK, George Harrison, J. R. Ewing, Mr. Burns, etc.), although certain murky, controversial events (anyone feel like rehashing the O. J. trial?) positively scream out for an agnostic interpretation, so rife are they with ambiguity.
The existence of God or who or what created the universe and why is another one.
One thing that makes me think that maybe Dylan’s story is the one to go with is the plot of the Woody Allen film Crimes and Misdemeanors, which came out about time this whole brouhaha ensued. It’s the story of an ophthalmologist who gets his brother, who’s in the Mafia, to bump off his mistress as she’s threatening to expose their affair to his wife. The doctor agonizes over his guilt, asking for advice from his rabbi without going so far as to make a full confession. The rabbi tells him that confessing could lead to forgiveness, but the doctor eventually shrugs it off and goes about his business unimpeded by further considerations of conscience. The film appears to want the viewer to regard him with a jaundiced eye for being a smug hypocrite (instead of taking the course adopted by Raskolnikov in Dostoyevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment, which the movie was inspired by).
Granted that art is one thing and life is another, but it seems possible that Woody may have had some guilt festering in him at the time (as he undoubtedly would have if he’d actually done the things he’s been accused of to and by Dylan Farrow, unless he’s been an unrepentant sociopath all along), which would account for the theme of the conscience-stricken protagonist. Of course, it’s equally possible that Allen was merely exploring the theme by chance, or as an ironic, modern homage to Dostoyevsky.
We may never know the truth, which reminds me of the scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which the eponymous relic is concealed in a large plywood crate and wheeled into a huge government warehouse full of identical wooden crates, never to be disclosed to the public.
By the way, I’m also waiting for an apology from Steven Spielberg (who directed both Raiders and Jaws) for having made sharks so scary that we’ve had to wipe most of them out in the name of conquering our spineless, endlessly exaggerated fears.
A Chinese restaurant in Seoul charges fifty bucks for a bowl of shark fin soup. Order now, before they go extinct!
P. S. Regarding the advice I gave to Woody Allen (an avid reader of this blog–just kidding), I’d say the same thing to Dylan Farrow: Tell us the truth, or shut the hell up.