By William Markiewicz
Everybody likes to defend his own side above all. Very few are interested in learning the opposite opinion. The main goal is to win the argument not to find the truth. There is rarely objectivity; people are either 'prosecutors' or 'defenders', not too often 'judges'. Such is aggressive human nature that nobody willingly allows himself to be convinced of anything. The French have a saying for this: "Cause toujours, on te voit venir" -- "Talk, talk -- we see where you're heading." "Justice", "equality", would mean balance of forces. In the dynamics of human history there is no equilibrium. There is always somebody dominant, resulting in a chronic lack of justice.
I saw two films, one was Swedish, Lukas's Moodysson's "Show me Love" about teenagers' lesbian love. It was not pornographic; the subject was handled with humour and drama. The film would have been excellent if not for one particular drawback probably due to the director's ideology -- liberated + + +. He had the talent to create a masterpiece and achieved propaganda. The protagonists were students about 15 years old but if the girls were full of life, multidimensional, the boys were reduced to linear symbols, totally impersonal, simply walking pants. A question to the director automatically arises: If the boys are such morons then what are they doing in school? And how did he himself escape this "syndrome of mediocrity?" I bet that no film critic will criticize this partiality because in their turn they would be accused of hostility to homosexuality and chauvinism, even if that is not the topic. Whoever wants to be successful in mass media must know the art of self-censorship and not to express his/her opinion. I call it 'velvet muzzle for democracy.'
Another movie, American, is older and well known. "Thelma and Louise". It shows two young women who hit the road for fun and one of them is almost raped in the parking lot by a new 'friend'. Her girlfriend scares off the attacker with a revolver and though he is defenceless, with hands in the air, she kills him in cold blood for a few insulting words. If this wasn't the most easy, gratuitous murder, what else was it? But the movie continued with no moral condemnation of the murderess. On the contrary, the policeman who was after them expressed sympathy over the phone. In a later sequence they overpowered a highway cop, locked him in the trunk of his own car, and while he pleaded for his life saying "I have a wife and child," one of them replied, "Then be nice to them, especially to your wife" (why 'especially'?). At the end of the movie, in order not to fall into the hands of the police, the women commit suicide, becoming martyrs to women's cause; the murdered man had intended to rape so he deserved death didn't he? A half century ago such a film would have been judged mad for approving murder in revenge for wrong intent followed by an insult.
Quite a while ago I read a gem that deserves to be a collector's item. In one of those advice columns the reader says, "You write about women being beaten and not one word about other beatings; I'm regularly beaten by my wife and I can't afford to leave." The answer: "It's not my business, Mister. You are writing to the wrong address." What kind of address is it that encourages beating men? How would this declaration be judged: "I'm not interested in helping tortured dogs, only cats"? Or, "I don't care about persecution of Blacks, only Jews." We live in the epoch of almost exclusive defence of women (and eventually children). But why should it be linked to open season on men? Indeed, we live in an irrational world.Back to the index of the Vagabond