Pretentious Scold Bernard-Henri Lévy Decries "Lynching" of Roman Polanski

[Trigger warnings apply, especially for the external links.]



I found this article by Bernard-Henri Lévy (the creator of the original "Free Polanski" petition) on a French site the other day, and I wanted to translate some of it for you. Turns out the HuffPo has already taken care of that. It sickens me that the man gets a platform for the bile he is spewing.


In this new pile of utter bullshit, Mr. Lévy once more tries to educate the simple-minded on why arresting Roman Polanski should be a moral no-no. He should know. After all, his own website describes him as "dedicated to all struggles for human dignity."


For those who can bear to do so, let's have a look at some of his arguments. The gist of his text is that the way everyone is behaving in the Polanski affair is just shameful. He keeps repeating this word, over and over again, like he invented the anaphore.

Since we're at this point, since time is passing and everyone seems to find nothing wrong with the situation, since Roman Polanski's supporters are losing faith and, sometimes, are even starting to doubt [yay!], since the pack of gossipers have even succeeded, it seems, in convincing the French minister of culture that he spoke too hastily, and under the influence of emotion, though he only did his duty, I want to say again, once more, why this affair is shameful. [...] It is shameful to see the regulars of the global Café du Commerce [the French equivalent of bar-room politics], whose Pavlovian anti-Americanism never leaves them at a loss for words when lambasting America on any and everything, are suddenly silent, become gentle as lambs and, when it comes to Polanski, just repeat: "Ah, that's America... better not mess with American law... dura lex sed lex (the law is harsh, but it is the law)..."

Those people (who are they, anyway?) couldn't possibly have come to the conclusion that he should be extradited, could they? No, they are suddenly, inexplicably intimidated by America, that's it!

It is shameful to see the intellectuals, whose role should be to calm the frenzy and cool popular anger [elitism anyone?], ratchet up, like Michel Onfray in Libération, the moment when "the worst are full of passionate intensity" (Yeats) and to indulge, in the name of abused childhood, in the most obnoxious amalgams [Onfray had said that if you think a pedophile sex tourist should be punished, you simply cannot say otherwise about Polanski].

Right. Because Maude help us if the intellectuals aren't there to think for the masses. Also: I feel passionately about this issue. Does that make me one of "the worst"? Ouch.

[W]hy don't we hear these intellectuals denounce with equal ardor, the limitless outrage that is the martyrdom of child soldiers in Africa, or child slaves in Asia, or the hundreds of millions of children dead of hunger, according to the estimates of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the last...32 years?
You want to bash your peers for willful ignorance of other people's suffering? Go right ahead.


I have to ask though, what the FUCK has this got to do with Roman Polanski? Why is there something worse, something more important that punishing someone for something he did to another human being? Oh, that's because, like dignity and human rights, justice is only available in limited stock, and we can't be going around handing it out to just anyone, now, can we?

It is shameful to see Luc Besson rush to television, cloaked in ingenuous probity, inveigh against Polanski, like in the worst era of the McCarthyist witch hunts, and denounce his friend.

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