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Our long national nightmare is over

Returning to the pages of the National Post tomorrow with a Roman Polanski column. I'm not sure how good it is! Consider it the equivalent of warmup pitches.


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Comments (9)

Paul Denton:

Too generous to Jonas by half. (And I say this usually liking his work.)

Crid [CridComment @ gmail]:

That was a great column. I agree with every word, and it caused me to learn the pronunciation for Ougadougou (Firefox plugin: no biggie). Two quibbles.

First, props to your commenter 'edd333ed', who said flatly:

> Polanski committed RAPE-rape

Would we admire Polanski more if he had in fact clubbed this girl violently over the head as she walked down the street, and penetrated her in the bushes, Whoopi-style? Is befriending a schoolgirl before poisoning and buggering her a lesser offense? It's not just that Goldberg wants to describe misconduct is a continuum, which it surely is– It's that this behavior is so egregious that no mother of a daughter (like Whoopi) should be able to mention that gradient without saying where she'd want her daughter to experience it.

So much of this 2009 kerfuffle revolves the limits of sophistry. Knowing that the mob got this one right makes it easy to enjoy, even when reading the thoughts of our wordiest, most discerning columnists, like Cosh & Hitch.

Second, if the (much later, deeply adult) forgiveness of the rapist by the victim deserves mention at all –even for proper and immediate dismissal, as by Cosh– it should be noted that it may in fact be an old-school indulgence.

Also, I have questions about the art. When you first get a corner office to do your work at the National Post –I'm thinking kind of like the boss's quarters in Mad Men, elegant carpet, lots of Japanese pieces and a few large-scale Modern paintings– do they send in an old guy with wrinkled, leathery skin and a ancient knife to do the woodcut for the top of your column? And is he telling stories of the Depression the whole time, to give you an expression like that?

Probably just a Photoshop filter.

Crid [CridComment @ gmail]:

Darned HTML ruined my comment.


I may never have a less flimsy pretext for announcing that, brothers and sisters, I have been to Ougadougou.

It's quite modern, at least in the city centre. The next time you need a quirky backwater tribal reference go with Bobo-Dioulasso down the road. Similar vowel content; totally forlorn of modernity or sanity.

Crid [CridComment @ gmail]:

> brothers and sisters, I have been
> to Ougadougou.



Colby, have you seen the documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" (HBO)?

The justice system was going off the rails — without making any apology for the original (very serious) crime, fleeing the jurisdiction (another very serious crime) appears to have been a direct result of some very unjudicial conduct.



Top notch as usual, Colby.

But don't expect logic to convince the Polanski apologists and fanbois.

Still, though futile, it's nice to hear a voice of reason once in awhile.


Um yeah. Unjudicial conduct. Would this be the part where Polanski feared that, as a result of his heinous acts, he might actually have to serve hard time?

My sympathy level for that line of reasoning is low. Also, this Explainer column suggests that the judicial misconduct was quite minor (a California prosecutor who was not involved in the case talked to the judge during the sentencing process, which is a no-no), and the most common remedy in these situations is to have a new judge preside over the sentencing.

Since the old judge is dead, Mr. Polanski will get a new judge. The system works.


Ryan, if you have seen the documentary, the Explainer column you link to tells only a small part of the story. Both the prosecutor (the real one, not the ex parte communicator one) and the defence lawyer tell of Judge Rittenband's behaviour. They claim he had them play-acting for the media, when his mind was already made up. He was using the psychiatric assessment provisions (illegally) as a form of punishment.

The judge also asked a reporter what he should do about the case.

Again, I'm certainly not apologizing for Polanski's rape of a young girl. Nor am I saying that fleeing the US was an appropriate response to Rittenband's bizarre and illegal behaviour. But that trial had gone completely off the rails.



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