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The Public Burning. Woody Allen, The Media and the Specter of anti-Semitism. (part 1)

Unable to actually prove that Woody Allen has committed a crime and (so far) unable to generate an effective career ending boycott of his work or force enough people to stop working with him the media has resorted to a campaign of outraged sadness in which, they demure from watching his films or from saying anything about him without voicing a sense of shame. This of course is a boycott via the backdoor as they have found the front door effectively blocked by the inconvenient facts and the courage of Diane Keaton.

This media program of course is all completely disingenuous, intellectually bankrupt and possesses the morality of a committed whore who having been busted for turning tricks, screams that they’ve found religion – while giving a preacher a hand job.

Consider the feckless A.O. Scott of the Saddam Hussein must be destroyed New York Times who has discovered that Allen has a particular aesthetic and a particular point of view of which Scott does not approve.

Allen, according to Scott, likes younger women! He also views women as difficult, and prone to neurotic and unpleasant behavior – except of course for when he doesn’t. And while Scott is quick to point out examples of Allen’s on screen personae being Lotharios he seems to want it both ways. Allen he says is a both nebbish and Don Juan and that’s unacceptable to Scott. And therefore, apparently it should be unacceptable to us.

He then rounds up the usual suspects – Annie Hall being Exhibit A. Never mind the gentle ending with its sense of acceptance for foibles and neurosis or the sense of resignation to life being a calamity that overpowers everyone. No, what matters to Scott et al, is that Allen has dared to portray relationships and sexual attraction as fluid and complicated and having more in common with the Uncertainty Principle than an anatomy textbook.

Scott goes on, (and on) about how Allen depicts older men who fall for other women (without mentioning that Hall and Alvy are approximately the same age); how often those objects of desire are (scandalously) young and doesn’t bother with the fact that the men who fall for them are trapped within their own delusions, illusions and societies hypocrisies and demands. He of course (along with everyone else) neglects to mention the existence of young ladies who strut their sexuality like neon signs and dare the world to find them desirable. This retrograde Victorian prudery with its ayathola infused neo-fascist, Handmaid’s Tale insistence, that young women are virgins devoid of eros is exactly as toxic as it appears the moment one actually deconstructs its hypocrisies. It is an attempt to resurrect a pre-Freudian world devoid of complexity but full of rules. Ultimately it is both misogynistic and prurient because it strips women of their sexulaity while turing them into a fetish controlled by self-appointed gatekeepers.

This selective reading of Allen’s ouvre and of the culture as a whole, would be funny were it not so fascistically, (American) republican, soviet-esque and thus dangerous.

And of course no mention of one of Allen’s masterpieces, Hannah and her Sisters. While the entirety of Allen’s career stands as a rebuke to the selective readings being used to destroy him, Hannah is by itself sufficient to make the case. There are no sweet young things in the film, there are only confused angry frightened adults who are caught up in the blowback of their experiences and are suffering from the emotional shrapnel exploding in their faces.

Marriages are portrayed as war zones of the unexpressed and the half-assed expressed badly; of mistakes and conflicting desires and the no man’s land where ignorant armies clash by night. Chekhovian in its confusion and its repressed longing; O’Neil-like it in its frustrations, it is sublime. It is a masterpiece of the genre and brings film to the level of literature.

And how does the film end? With the initial (relationship) mistake being the source of moral, and spiritual redemption as the adults join together in the face of existential doom to stand united in a relationship based on a woman (a grown up adult woman) being pregnant.

If there is a more bourgeois (optimistic) and conformist note in the Allen cannon than that we are unaware of it.

Scott of course is not alone. The Guardian with it’s just on the edge of the typical British antipathy towards Jews approach has taken the same tone. On the one hand we are told there’s vile artists like Wagner who hated Jews (sic!) and there are others served up to make the point that even horrible people make great art. But, then there’s Allen and he should be placed in a special category in which he is held in (morally outraged) aspic. Watch his films (if you must or want to) but in effect he will now come with a warning label that says: JEW! Pervert! Culture we are told is a messy thing reflected both in the messy lives of artists and in the messy lives they depict in their art. But! Allen likes younger women! He paints a portrait of entitlement among men (who the articles fail to mention are all essentially crippled by a lack of self-awareness and are always portrayed as fools and victims struggling to survive).

But the award for most blatant vomit pretending to be a think piece goes to The Washington  (Journalism Dies Under the klieg lights) Post where a pile of steaming shit has been served up denouncing Allen for existing. This Allen is, misogynist, sterile, offensive, selfish, rude, not funny, and so on, all supported with cherry picked quotes, incorrect references, false statements, opinion masquerading as analysis, snark masquerading as wit, and lack of context, that then manages to stick the landing by invoking Walter Benjamin by way of suggesting he’s some sort of irrelevant dinosaur because he had the temerity to point out that all cultural expressions are built on a foundation of barbarism. Well, fuck Walter because The Post has gone full Der Sturmer and is burning a Jew at the cyber stake. This is not hyperbole. Benjamin’s point about the symbiosis between the sublime and the awful was denounced by fascists on the left and the right as they lined up their victims and sent them to the lagers and the gulags. Recontextualizing Benjamin to attack an artist, who is also a Jew, reeks of the fellow traveler making common cause with terrorists. It sounds like what you would read at an exhibit of Deviant Art.

But then notice that there has been no corresponding campaign by any major media (certainly not The Guardian) about self-declared child rapists David Bowie and Jimmy Page. (see the link below for an examination of the Page and Bowie story).

Who just both happen to be English, white, goy males and icons of an era when Britain was at the center of a world-wide cultural revolution.

This of course is part of a consistent pattern generally in the media and specifically at the sanctimonious Guardian which never misses an opportunity to look down it’s left-leaning nose at the Tory press while telling everyone it’s shit doesn’t stink.

Borderline anti-Semitic, hypocritical, smug, shallow, and dangerous, the media is drunk on its power and is weaving through the culture in a car it can’t control.

The crash, when it comes (and make no mistake it will happen) will be devastating.

The stage will be littered with corpses and among the dead and the mangled will be what little remains of the so-called free press and its integrity.

For a look at the vomit and the hypocrisy see the links below. Note: The Washington Post hit piece is found via link in the NY Times article.

For Bowie and Page:

Update: 2/11/178

Adding it’s shriek to the whirlwind of tyranny fans, Jezebel has a piece denouncing a NY Times piece denouncing the assaults on due process vis Woody Allen. Focusing on fact free slipshod faux journalism at the Times, neither the Jezebel writer nor their editors had a problem with the following:

“Stephens neglects to mention that Allen hired private investigators to “dig up dirt” on the police, according to an anonymous Connecticut State Police investigator. ”

Well, an anonymous source told us that the author of the Jezebel piece is a Chinese spy, a bank robber, a washed up former surgeon, and knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.

But printing that would be an example of irresponsible journalism so we won’t do it.

See the article/hit piece here:

Update: 2/12/18

An artist makes an excellent and terrifying point:

Update: 5/24/18

We note that The Guardian has given minimal attention to Allen’s son defending Allen against charges of assault and has provided a wide context for the family dram/tragedy of the Farrows and Allen. We note that unlike the hysterical guilty by twitter mode used to hang Allen this counterpoint is being treated as if it is locked in media aspic. For details see the following:


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