A dinner in honour of Arki Busson hosted by Michael Mailer in his brilliant Brooklyn flat on the banks of the East River and overlooking the Statue of Liberty a quarter of a mile away. His father, Norman, had some pretty brainy people living it up in these premises, and Michael has continued the custom of feeding pretty women, bitchy columnists, talented cinematographers and brainy tycoons like Arki, who is one of the few I know who combine looks and the ability to seduce beautiful women with making lotsa moolah for clients.
Needless to say, everyone got very drunk — three beautiful ladies and five horny men, including the actor Griffin Dunne, who is not only talented but also a born gentleman.(His documentary on his aunt Joan Didion is extraordinary.) The subject at dinner was, needless to say, sexual harassment, and everyone at the table had the opportunity to have their say. Although many of those present were in the movie business, everyone was adamant that Hollywood is the pits. And always has been.
My view of Hollywood was the same but my theory went a bit deeper. When they were at school, the perpetrators were mostly indifferent to glory. While the rest of us tried to be Saturday’s heroes, breaking our bones and cracking our noodles on the sporting field, certain boys were hitting the books. Hence they did not get to kiss the campus queen after Saturday’s heroics. Once they got into the movies, however, they tried to make up for lost time and get the rewards we received when we were at school. A sudden entitlement ensued, and you’ve read the rest. It went down like the proverbial lead balloon.
One subject that the media have ignored is the organised ring for young boy actors that is believed to exist in La La Land. It is un-PC to mention it, hence the silence. Another silence was that of the New York Times ex-Washington bureau chief Michael Oreskes, who was reported to the New York Times, which failed to do much about it. He’s had to say bye-bye to his national radio job.
Sexual harassment is a wicked mixture of sex and power, and harassers possess what shrinks call hostile masculinity. As is often the case, the shrinks are wrong. Sexual harassers are ugly men who never got the girl and were not born gentlemen. Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster and William Holden were not exactly born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but they were gents to their toes. Harvey and Dustin and Brett are not. It’s as simple as that. But there is a witch hunt going on, and it will continue until the ultra-feminists leading it overstep the line, and then we’ll go back to the good old days when a man was innocent until proven guilty.
Otherwise, Uncle Sam and Blighty both seem to be in the trigger sights of the Times, NBC, the Atlantic, CBS, ABC and the Washington Post. The liberal media are still stunned and outraged at last year’s presidential result, and are out to annul anything that stems from it. Britain and Brexit are seen as being just as outrageous. So a sort of dreamland has been invented by fake-news perpetrators, a vast defiant territory that is in reality composed of the bicoastal states of New York and California. This is a place perfectly governed by Democrats, where no one goes hungry and everyone is happy; where it never rains and even the cockroaches vote left. Talk about La La Land — both New York and California are teeming with drugs, murder, sexual deviancy and child porn. You name it, the anti-Trump camp owns it.
The Donald might be very hard to defend at times, but the anti-Donald camp is impossible to excuse. It believes in democracy as much as Robert Mugabe does, and its smug bicoastal liberals are furious that those they see as deplorables have had their way via the ballot box. This is where merry old England comes in. If British attributes are lightly born knowledge, social ease, self-deprecation and understated emotion, American strengths are energy, a never-say-die belief in equality, and lots of self-confidence. The smug hypocrites who rule the media in America see Brexiteers as Trumpists. Brexit means Britons chose not to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Trumpism means a repudiation of the Bush and neocon doctrine of democratic crusades around the world, and the colossal disasters they cause. Hence papers such as the New York Times let loose paid agents to spread the word that Britain is in a terrible mess and only a reversal of Brexit can save her. Good salaries and great expense accounts have been known to make some hacks toe the line. Reportage and editorials are one and the same where the Fake Times is concerned. The readiness of the Times to lie and peddle untruths gives me great pleasure at times, pun intended, especially when hacks use the exact same words to blame the right.
Britain is not a ‘hollowed-out country’, which is the description quoted by Steven Erlanger, the paper’s chief diplomatic correspondent, Europe. Nor is it ill at ease with itself or deeply provincial. And America is not a nation run by Nazis, religious fanatics and Ku Klux Klaners. If anything, Trump and Brexit have exposed to the world how the big lie — that of the media in America and the left in Britain — works.