God is Really Dead Now

The stunning wholesale sell-out of Christian morality to the Trump Administration marks the end of an era.  Not the Christian Era, by any means, because we have long known that evangelicals often fall short in living up to the moral and spiritual values they proclaim– all the time, in your face, every chance they get–and seem hypocritical on some points, like the sanctity of non-white lives outside the womb.  But I mean the end of the era in which Christian Evangelicals could even pretend that they believed the things they claim they believe.   I wonder if they haven’t done this in the full knowledge of how this debases the entire currency of their worldview.  Is it possible they don’t even really care?  Could they possibly still think they can sell Christianity to the rest of us?  Can they still convince us to be virgins on our wedding days?  And continue to frown with convincing distaste if we use the word “damn” or “shit”?  Can they continue to whine and blather about how they are so oppressed– the only religious minority in America to face discrimination, because they can’t stick the 10 Commandments in your face every time you use a public service or go to court!

The Christian stands for sexual virtue; for modesty and humility, for compassion for the less fortunate, for integrity and personal honor and self-sacrifice.  Name any one of these values that any reasonable person would say are displayed by Donald Trump.

Long after Trump is gone, will they even attempt to support a candidate like George W. Bush ever again?  Well, okay– like Ronald Reagan?  I never thought Reagan had any particularly Christian qualities, but I suppose you could at least pretend he did.

How could they bear it?  How would they ever be able to respond to critics on the left who say, “you hypocrites: you have already proven that you don’t really believe any of it.”

Of course, as I said, this was never really a secret to the smart observer: Jimmy Carter was quite probably the only president in recent memory who actually lived according to  his Christian convictions.  He actually urged Americans, during the oil “crisis”, to consume less.  Imagine that.  Imagine a Christian who, like Jesus, believed in leading a simple, modest, un-extravagant life!  Outrageous!  And we know how the evangelicals treated him: like a pariah.  They couldn’t wait to vote for Mr. Divorcee Ronald Reagan, whose first official act was to restore the practice of having a brass band greet him with “Hail to the Chief” every time he entered a room.  How godly!   (Obama, to my disgust, did it too.)



[whohit]God is Really Dead Now[/whohit]


Microsoft Doing Whatever They Damn Well Please

If you do a search on Google for “what happens if I refuse to download and install Microsoft patches” you will find a plethora of websites all insisting that only an irresponsible IT cad would ever not immediately do as Microsoft tells them to do and download and install the patches.

But there is a plot twist.  Microsoft does not want to let you decide whether or not you should install the patches: Windows 10 decides for you.  It just goes right ahead and locks up your computer for up to two hours while it installs the latest giga-patch, over your connection to your ISP at your cost.   If you’re lucky and have unlimited downloads, the only problem you have is that your computer will not be available to you for the length of time it takes to download and install the patch.

If you pay for overages, you might have a real problem.

As I said, you have no choice.  At least, not without some hacking.

I am stunned by this attitude of Microsoft.  No, I’m not.  I’m stunned by the passive acceptance of this state of things by the millions of users of Windows 10.  There is some complaining out there, but the usual process is “massive outcry” followed by a swift retrenchment by the Corporation along with soothing messages about trying to please their customers who, after all, are the heart of our blah blah blah.

And then they back off.  And all is well again.

Not this time.  Microsoft is determined to shove this change down everybody’s throats.  I know people who were in the middle of important meetings at work when their laptop suddenly went into “choke off any possibility of function mode” while downloading and installing numerous extremely large system patches.  They were furious.

A few years ago, I had a spare computer running Windows 2000 which I left online, connected to the internet, unprotected, for several years.  Just for fun.  Nothing much happened to it, but then, I’m a reasonably astute user not likely to install some strange application or macro, or click on buttons that promise to remove a dangerous virus that is not on my computer.

Conventional wisdom is that these patches are intended to improve the safety and security of your system.  Microsoft tells you that they also improve the functionality of your system but there is no public outcry for constant, continuous addition of new functionalities.  The argument is essentially “security”, but Microsoft appears more than happy to blur this distinction.

Is there any possible reason Microsoft might be fudging this distinction as part of an over-all strategy?  Is it possible that Microsoft is sick and disgusted with people purchasing software with their computer and then not forking over more and more money to them on a continuous basis in order to keep their coffers bulging?

I use Office 2003 myself.  Yes, 14 years old and counting.  I absolutely despise the later versions of Office, all of which are kludgey, clumsy, confusing, and stupid.  Am I telling you that Microsoft doesn’t know how to design a user interface?  Are you telling me that Microsoft thinks you’ll pay for Office 2014 if it has loads of new features that you will never need or use and  looks just like Office 2003?   But then, they don’t give you the chance to decide whether your would like it or not anyway.  It’s going to come pre-installed.

You cannot go out and buy Office 2003 (except “used”– a grey area since software companies in general say that you can’t do that). Why not?  What other industry gets away with preventing you from using old versions of their products?  (Microsoft will try to convince you that new features and security patches make it impossible to continue to use old paid-for software on an indefinite basis even if you want to.)

So, they need to persuade you that you are not buying software that you might already have (like Office 2003).  They need to persuade you that you have to pay for it again and again and again– but don’t cry– for all the amazing new features and fabulously redesigned menus that you demanded.

[whohit]Microsoft Can Do Whatever They Damn Well Please[/whohit]

To the Absurd

The paradox, as I see it, is this.  We are bombarded all day and night with ads and promos and music and film proclaiming that women are so strong, so powerful, they are mighty and confident and able to do anything.

Unless some man makes a joke about hot pants.  They are suddenly liable to being reduced to a quavering mass of tepid jello:

From the New York Times, 2017-12-14:

Mr. Spurlock also said in his statement that about
eight years ago, he settled a sexual harassment
allegation for calling his assistant “hot pants” or
“sex pants” from across the room in the office.

“Something I thought was funny at the time,
but then realized I had completely demeaned and
belittled her to a place of non-existence,”
Mr. Spurlock wrote.

“So, when she decided to quit, she came to me and
said if I didn’t pay her a settlement, she would
tell everyone. Being who I was, it was the last
thing I wanted, so of course, I paid. I paid for
peace of mind. I paid for her silence and cooperation.
 Most of all, I paid so I could remain who I was.”

Is this where we are now?  To the absurd?  (By the way, why, in God’s name, didn’t Spurlock pre-empt her and issue a press release confessing that he had called his assistant “hot pants”?  It would have been comedy.  And cheaper.  And less demeaning to all concerned.)

And this is where the women’s movement wants to take us?  Where men can be sued for casual irreverence, for jokes, for not being nice?  Where they simultaneously want to be paid off and to take revenge.  Where they are dissatisfied with anything less than the destruction of a man’s career and reputation.  Where they forgive each other for taking the money and making it possible for other women to be victimized, but they demand a mans’ head for an admiring glance, for the display of sexual interest, for jokes that are only as tasteless as those offered by the most famous and successful comedians on TV.

Have you seen Louis C.K.’s stint in SNL recently?  For that, he is not only paid well, but lauded as a comic genius.  Now, if he had said it aloud in his office, he would be sued.

This is not just absurd.  It is obscene.  And it raises questions in my mind about the meaning of the entire “me too” movement.  Is this really the standard women want to raise?  This is is how weak and helpless they wish to proclaim themselves to be, that any reference to sexual attractiveness is like heresy to a Medieval Jesuit?

I have seen women behave towards each other and towards men with far more cruelty and jaundice than this.

As the story “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian reveals– accurately, I think– there is far more ambiguity in the issue than you would think from the hysterical headlines.  (This is not an endorsement of the literary value of the story, which I find mediocre at best.)

[whohit]To the Absurd: Hot Pants[/whohit]


The Contemptible Herd: The Mia Farrow Clan

You will be shocked to learn that Woody Allen liked young, attractive women.

I’m not talking about the Dylan Farrow issue, by the way.  In my opinion, the allegations of child abuse related to Farrow deserve considerable skepticism, and the fact that the adult Dylan now insists the allegations are true are likely the product of memories that were created and manipulated by her mother, Mia Farrow, in her rage at Allen.  (Dylan’s brother, Moses, recently published an essay contesting the allegations as well.  The family is split.)

And you can be as circumspect as you want about Farrow’s motivations but one of them appears to be the loss of her career as a star in Woody Allen’s films.  Isn’t it ironic?

A rather thorough investigation conducted by the authorities at the time came to the conclusion that Dylan’s account varied from telling to telling and was too inconsistent to sustain even a single charge.  There is a suspicions that she was manipulated by Mia, who, obviously, had a motive.

There is indisputable evidence, in the form of a written note in the possession of Woody and in Mia’s handwriting, that Mia Farrow constructed the charge of abuse before the date on which she alleges the abuse occurred.   Think about that.  She does not claim any abuse occurred before the note was written.  She writes the note, posts it on the door at a birthday party, and then, much later, claims there is an actual incident.

Unsurprisingly, we are now getting a lot of blurred lines.  In the middle of arguments about how Weinstein got away with it, we transition to Al Franken– how did he get away with it– as if his offenses were of the same level of magnitude.

So the author (linked above) ravishes Woody Allen’s history looking for evidence that he (gulp!) was sexually attracted to women.  Incredibly, Allen has been getting away with being sexually attracted to women for years!  With impunity!  In movie after movie, he is depicted as having a romantic interest in a young, attractive woman.  It’s repulsive!  Why is this even allowed?

The discussion sometimes takes absurd turns.  From the New York Times:

Online and in interviews, many people said they were appalled by what they saw as Mr. Baldwin’s belligerence toward Ms. Farrow and his wading into circumstances about which he has no firsthand knowledge.

No firsthand knowledge?  So said one of the millions who got all their information from an emotional television interview, now condemning Alec Baldwin for defending Woody Allen.

And nobody is going to discuss this angle: Dylan Farrow has set out on an angry campaign to destroy Woody Allen’s career and reputation.  Why?  The stock answer in these situations is almost always “so nobody else ever has to go through what I went through”, but that is ridiculously inapplicable here.  Allen is 80 years old and married, controversially, of course, to the adopted step-sibling of Dylan.   (Mia Farrow, at 21, married 52-year-old Frank Sinatra.  Take that!  Then she began an affair with Andre Previn– who was married at the time– which caused his wife, Dory, a nervous breakdown leading to institutionalization.  Bam!  Pow!   Dory eventually recovered and released an album including a song “Beware of Young Girls” that is likely a reference to Farrow! )   Allen’s marriage to Soon Ye may be distasteful to some, but it’s not illegal, and not even conventionally unethical: he was not her adoptive father though many repeat this myth in condemning him.  So what drives Dylan?

Is it really admirable in any way that she is whining about people still liking her father?  Dylan is a young woman of no discernible achievement and her only claim to fame– her value as a talk-show guest or interviewee– are her scabrous attacks on a man famous for producing one great film after another during a very long and successful career.  She seems, in some ways, to be jealous.  Why am I not more loved than my father?  He’s the bad person, because he was not nice to me.  If you are not nice to me, you are a bad person.  

Incidentally, where is all the disgust for Leonard Cohen?  Cohen, unlike Allen, was unambiguously well-liked.  Yet his behavior, as clearly recounted in his own words, was not much less disgusting, if at all.  Over and over again, in song, he expresses a passionate longing for sexual consummation with women with beautiful bodies.  “I sang my songs\I told my lies\to lie between your matchless thighs”.  He exposes Janis Joplin “giving me head on the unmade bed”.  He talks about the “joint of her thighs”.   He wants to “come up to you from behind”.  He celebrates “all the fifteen year old girls I wanted when I was fifteen”.

He must be evicted from the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame for these grievous offences!  But Cohen was a master at ingratiating himself with his potential accusers: they would instantly forgive him, because, in that weird sauce of intermingled celebrity and projection, he was nice to them.  All is forgiven.

People: grow up.

[whohit]Woody Allen and the Farrow Clan[/whohit]

Battery Nannies

For all the miraculous products computer technology has given us, the manufacturers have yet to overcome an extremely annoying problem: batteries die.  So, in order to keep your battery from dying too soon– and, presumably annoying you– almost every device gives you about three seconds to do something– annoying you–  and then goes away and blanks the screen.

It’s as if you are being followed by a battery-nanny.  Everything you pick up, everything you look at, everything you start to read, has a very short expiry time, before the nazi-nanny grabs it away from you and puts it back.  Then you have to go fetch it again.  Then you want to look at something else.  Then the first thing you looked at is gone.

Just now, I turned on my lap top to see if I can configure a sequencer to work with my keyboard.  I know that if I sit here typing for too long, the nazi-nanny will rush up to it and snatch it away: you didn’t use it soon enough.  Your time is up.  You don’t get to just sit there and think about what you’re going to do.  Gone.  The screen is blank.

Is it in coma-mode or just resting?  You never know, really.  I have experimented with doing what they do in the movies (and always works in the movies): just close the lid in the middle of my work and go away and then come back later and open the lid and…. most of the time, it is completely shut down.  When it comes back up, will my work still be on the screen, or is it going to reboot from scratch?  Will it even come up?

I think this is a source of monumental annoyance in our world.  We are constantly under pressure to finish reading that summary of the message that appeared on our smart phone before the screen goes blank.  Or log in.  But after a few minutes logged in, it reverts to the blank screen and you have to log in again.  This makes me feel like I’m perpetually in a rush, at the perverse pleasure of my devices.

The sad truth about all of these devices is worse.  I hear that stupid little tinkle telling me I have a new message: 99% of them are from Pinterest, or New York Review of Books, or Quora Digest,  or Mirvish/TicketKing, or Twitter.  Scores pop up from ball games– I never asked for that.

[whohit]Battery Nannies[/whohit]

The Healing Path to Victimization and Patrick Brown

“No one with a contemporary understanding of the dynamics of sexual victimization and its aftermath would be so insensitive and patriarchal as to try to dictate to a survivor what her healing path should be, much less goad her,” Mr. Butt said.  Globe and Mail, 2018-02-14

That is just fascinating.  Patrick Brown defied the woman who made allegations against him to go to the police.  Of course, if you go to the police, questions will be asked, and consistency demanded of you.  Her lawyer responded, as above.  This is a master craftsman at work, devising language to describe, in an appealing way, the process of denying the need for facts or evidence in support of nasty allegations of bad behavior by a politician.  Apparently, asking for actual evidence would be “patriarchal” and “insensitive”, because the woman who lied about Patrick Brown, is on a “healing path”, which, apparently, consists largely of slandering Patrick Brown.


Here’s another remarkable quote from Mr. Butt:

There’s no requirement to do that, according to Marcy Segal, a former Toronto
criminal defense lawyer who is now a litigator and advocate for victims’ rights.
“I wouldn’t say it’s appropriate to bait these people, because if you’re a victim
you don’t have to go to the police in order to prove you have been
sexually assaulted,” she said. “There’s no requirement to do that.”

It’s something that might be derailed by inconsistencies and contradictory stories, not just by her and Patrick Brown, but by other witnesses, like the man who denies that he drove the young woman to Patrick Brown’s house.

By the way, I’m not making up his last name.  Of the lawyer.

I also heard on the CBC today a woman describe how she had had an affair with her boss years ago.  The boss’ partner, a woman, became jealous of the relationship and demanded that he fire her.  I think– the woman was a bit vague.  After describing what sounds for all the world like an affair, she was invited by the CBC hostess to consider whether the relationship fell under the #metoo category because, nowadays, we understand that even consenting adults can decide to be victims later, if they wish.  She thought aloud: maybe.  Maybe now I realize that instead of an adult consenting to a casual, sexual relationship with my employer, who, she admits, treated her well, she was a victim.  She was weak and incapable of resisting his advances.  Yes, that’s it.  I was a victim.  That’s what I was.

If that last line didn’t trouble you, it should: I am a victim if I say I am a victim.  I can choose to be a victim in a previous situation, if I decide to.

Would anything about this whole movement make sense if those leading it did not seem to share a presumption that even unforced sex is evil and shameful and sinful?  The horror with which they react even to stories of consenting couples having sex somewhere… it’s weird.


[whohit]The Healing Path to Victimization[/whohit]

Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Despicable MeToo

On Friday, January 5, Ann-Marie MacDonald, who occasionally hosts programs on the CBC, appeared on CBC radio to announce her own #MeToo.

This is her story:  years ago, around 2005 I believe, Albert Schultz, the SoulPepper Artistic Director, informed several actors at a production by SoulPepper that he had raised $30,000 by auctioning off dinner with the actors to several donors.  He had not asked the actors for permission to do this.

Yes, that’s it.  That is the charge.  I am not making this up.  I have put it in bold face so you won’t miss the details of this horrific accusation.

Ann-Marie MacDonald, perhaps aware of a difficulty, went on to link this heinous behavior with recent allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior by Albert Schultz in the complaint brought forward by several former actors who were suing Schultz and SoulPepper for millions of dollars.

There must be some reason why the CBC was giving valuable air-time to this triviality.

Yes, that was it.  He didn’t ask them first.

Or, the real reason:

The idea that a public broadcaster [CBC] would form an inter-departmental investigative team to identify and bring down an as-yet-unknown culprit is not just unusual: in my 17 years of journalism, I’ve never heard of anything like it. And yet in the weeks and months after the Weinstein story, there was a sense among news editors and producers in the Canadian media that we, too, needed to get our man—whoever he might be.  From Toronto Life

Ann-Marie refused to do the dinner.  Well, good for her.  Then she went to the Executive Director.  And received another round of oppressive male abuse when he refused to take her complaint seriously. Except that it wasn’t a “he”: it was a “she”, Leslie Lester, who was Albert Schultz’ wife.  Not a word about female complicity here: it was as if MacDonald regarded Lester as just another male.  Perhaps she thought Ms. Lester was brain-washed.  Or a zombie.  Or didn’t even exist because she did not give MacDonald the respect she thought she deserved.

Not surprising, I suppose, that Lester did not agree with Ann-Marie’s complaint.  What is surprising is that the CBC would allow this ridiculous story onto the air, in prime-time.  It appears that Ann-Marie, desperate to get her own kicks in at the horrible men who run the world in spite of the amazing talents and genius of women like Ann-Marie, decided to use this pathetic story as leverage to get on the air and get her own rant in.  Why haven’t you people called me yet?

Noah Richler, who previously worked at Soulpepper but resigned due to artistic differences, told me he believes the charges against Schultz had been strategically trumped up. “The whole thing has far more to do with power and resentment than sexual battery,” he said. Although many friends and former colleagues echoed this view, Richler is the only one who went on the record…. That Fifth Estate piece was the single worst piece of publicly funded journalism I’ve ever seen.”

I have worked for a female CEO at a social service agency.  She was by far the most manipulative and dishonest manager I have ever encountered.  It would be absurd to use her as an example of sexist oppression of males, and even more ridiculous to link any of her paranoid, conniving behaviors as part of a “system” that exploits young men’s vulnerabilities.  No, she was just a lousy manager, and extremely self-serving.  Schultz’ fund-raising effort was no worse than anything this manager did.  Should I get on the CBC and launch a tirade about it?

MacDonald seized this opportune moment and her connections with the CBC and perhaps her reputation as a mediocre novelist (I found “Fall on Your Knees” tedious at best), to get on the radio and blast men.

Even though it was a woman who had the most authority in this particular “scandal”.

As for the actresses, the lawsuit alleges that the complainants could not expect to have their complaints heard by Ms. Lester “without the perception of bias and fear of reprisal”.  This is a despicable twist on the justice system: we don’t have to find any actual bias or reprisal– just allege that we “felt” it would happen.  This is absurd: did you try?  No.  But you want me to find her culpable for your feelings of victimization?  Yes.  So you will only be adjudicated by someone you like?  Yes.

“You honor, he was standing in a parking lot near a car that was not his.  I fully expected him to try to steal it so I arrested him.”

I would hope a judge throws this out without a moment’s hesitation.  No criminal has recently been convicted of the expectation of committing a crime.   As annoying and tedious as it might seem to some people, the police have to actually wait for a person to attempt to commit an actual crime before he or she can be arrested.  In this case, the complainants themselves do not seem to be asserting that they were fired or had their careers destroyed because they didn’t comply with Albert Schultz’ directorial style.  They assert that they just felt that way.

(Actually, many terrorism cases come perilously close to– oh, heck, they meet– this standard: arrested and imprisoned for thinking about a committing a crime.)

And all of this is beside the fact that they could also have taken their complaints to the Director of Human Resources, or the organization’s general counsel.

I expected no better from MacDonald.  It’s the CBC that should be ashamed of itself for allowing this to get on the air.

As for the complainants, after hearing details of their allegations, I began to wonder if they really understood what acting in modern theatre was all about.  They seemed to have quaint ideas about how sexual intimacy should be portrayed on stage.  In fact, I’m not sure they think it should be portrayed at all.  They seemed shocked that some scenes of sexual intimacy would involve touching, or that a director might physically demonstrate how a scene like that should be executed.

Here’s the crux of the problem:  there was almost nothing in their complaints that a legitimate director might not do for legitimate reasons in legitimate modern theatre.  Actors embrace, kiss, hug, even expose themselves quite regularly.   Most of them appear to understand that that is what is involved in “acting”.

These women simply felt that in the case of Albert Schultz, whom they found “creepy”, these actions should be regarded as abusive.  But in this world, we create the conditions in which an actor may at any time decide to regard things that happened on stage or at rehearsal as “abuse”, or they might regard these things as “acting”, depending on whether they were in the mood to destroy someone’s career that day.

In one case, a young female actor was the subject of the amorous attention of a male character who, in the play, approaches her on a chaise lounge and begins to caress her body. The actress did not say, “no, I don’t want this part, because I find this scene humiliating and uncomfortable”.  That’s all she had to do.  Or “no, I don’t want to be in a play directed by a man I don’t like”.  That is also all she had to do.  But what fun is there in that when you can, instead, wait ten years, and then destroy the life’s work of a man regarded as a genius by many, and publicly humiliate and shame him in the bargain?

Yes, that actress on the chaise lounge describes feeling humiliated and ashamed.  I am puzzled by this.  You are an actor?  You really found a scene of romantic interactions embarrassing?  Shameful?  Disgusting?  You didn’t want to do it.  Why are you in the theatre?  Why did you audition for this part?  Did you not read the play?  Have you never seen a play before?  What did you think actors do?

The actress is now saying that it was unfair to “require” her to perform this scene.  ‘I should get to say, “no, let’s change the play– I don’t like that scene”‘.   And, if I were a director, I would say, “Fine.  No problem.  Here’s what you can do:  go write your own play.  You can make sure there are no scenes like that in your play.  Then you can start your own theatre company, audition and hire your own actors, find a theatre building for your play, recruit an administration and a board, and raise money, and then you can put your play on and see if you can attract an audience to your plays.  Go for it. ”

“Now get me another actress who is willing to play this part.”

Would he have any difficulty finding someone?  No.

Should this scene be removed from the play?  From all plays at SoulPepper?  Or Stratford?  Or Shaw?  If you tried to do that, would audiences like the result?   And would not another theatre company soon come into being, comprised of actors who willingly commit to performing scenes like this without complaint, because they are serious actors willing to give themselves emotionally and physically to a role?  Any actors out there willing to perform “Hair” or “Cabaret” or “Rocky Horror Picture Show”?   Or “Oleana”?  Do you think they might get an audience if the alternative was a squeaky clean free from all and any sexual content play?  Bambi, anyone?

It’s clear they found Schultz creepy.  He slapped their buttocks at times.  He groped them at times.   I think he probably was creepy.  I’ve been involved in community theatre productions with a professional director who behaved a lot like Albert Schultz.  And it’s clear that there are a lot of interactions in a theatre company during rehearsals and behind the scenes that most people would find inappropriate in other settings, like a Mormon church or a Republican policy convention or Marie MacDonald’s boudoir.  (Or would they?)  But it is also very clear that not a single actor in any of these plays is inhibited from simply walking out if he or she doesn’t want to be part of this creative, lively, sometimes vulgar, often beautiful enterprise.

They both felt that Schultz exploited their youth and inexperience—and yet they both kept quiet in the hopes that they would get to work with him again.

In other words– well, figure it out for yourself.  Are you or are you not a willing accomplice?  What is so hard about “and both decided they would never work with this asshole again”?  Why is that not the last sentence in that paragraph?

It’s clear that the actresses are coordinating their stories.  It’s clear that they are seeking large sums of money.  It’s clear that a man who has a long history of admirable achievements in live theatre has had his career and reputation shredded by actors who, safely insulated by their lawyers and legal motions, now, finally, after years and years, are saying, no, I don’t want to be an actor after all.  And instead of not being an actor, I’m going to be an actor and then sue you because I can.  Because right now, I can do this with impunity because a kind of mass hysteria has taken over the world on this issue and nobody reserves judgement any more.   The lawyers and accountants have taken over and they are terrified and they will desperately seize upon any solution that eliminates their own exposure.

Please make it go away!  We’ll pay you anything, but make it go away.   The incoherent rage of your sexual hysteria has shocked and deadened my brain into complete submission: how much money do you want?

I must note the recent update on this story: 15 actors and designers who had been rehearsing Amadeus under the direction of Mr. Schultz  asked the board to cancel the production.   They stated that “we believe Diana Bentley…”   But that is not the question.  That was never the question.  That is the question you ask if someone committed an act in secret and denied it after a victim came forward.   This question is different: was Mr. Schultz mean to you?  Did you feel bad because you couldn’t control and manipulate him?  Were you jealous of the respect and admiration he earned because of his achievements while he was not even really very nice to you?

By golly, sue the hell out of him, and his theatre company too.

Why are they cancelling the production?  They are asking for healing and transformation.  But first, let’s destroy the production.

And now the Federal Government is reviewing its policies around funding for arts organizations.  Wonderful: soon, they will begin to specify how “Romeo and Julie” should be acted– no kissing, they’re too young.  And “Joan of Arc” should not be tied up.  And we know that Lady Macbeth didn’t really push her husband into committing murder: it’s obviously just an attempt to deflect responsibility.  Let’s fix it.

Let’s fix it all.

One last note: before you get all self-righteous about my piece here, let me make it clear that I do believe Schultz was a jerk and should have been outed.  Not destroyed.  Not assassinated.  Not buried under a pile of steaming shit.  Outed.  Criticized.  Face to face, not through the media.  The way you criticize a friend who insulted you or forgot to return your lawnmower or got drunk and pissed in one of your potted plants.

Did not a single one of these actresses have the guts to step forward and call him out, in front of the cast or crew or administration?  Yet everyone keeps insisting that you are all “courageous”,  that women are “strong”, and that you admire each other for being so “brave” and determined.

And no one is particularly courageous because she hired a lawyer and demanded millions of dollars.  No, you’re not.  “Courageous” would be standing in front of Albert Schultz right after he slapped your bum and saying, loudly and clearly, “if you do that again, I will sue you”.

If I smacked you on the ass and told you to get over it, would that be okay?” one irate former company member asked me.

Well, indeed, I have had that experience, a long time ago.  It was trivial then and it is trivial now.   I would never, in a million years, have decided that someone should be shamed or humiliated for it.  Never in a million years.  Never ever.  That person is still in my social circle, still friends, and having a hell of a lot better life than she would have had if I had chosen to go the route of the Soulpepper actresses.

How did it end?  There were meetings and mediation.  Albert Schultz– to his credit– refused to concede anything.  Finally, the women were asked what would be required to make them go away.   Of course, the results are covered by a non-disclosure agreement, but yes, they went away, and they never got an apology or the millions they were asking for.  In other words, they have tacitly admitted that they didn’t believe in their own words.

All you people who went along for the ride?  On to the next outrage…

[whohit]Soulpepper and Ann-Marie MacDonald[/whohit]