the mia-dylan neverending story (and “the character assassination of woody allen” – part 3)

Es­ti­mated reading time is 7 min­utes.

I WROTE A PIECE on this bit of media and In­ternet brouhaha on Jan­uary 18, 2014, and ti­tled it “the char­acter as­sas­si­na­tion of woody allen in the media con­tinues as ig­no­rance and opinion trump facts.” (And I do not con­sider the world­wide web a part of the “media.”). The title of my piece should tell you all you need to know on my stance—nothing has changed since then: there are NO new facts, meaning NO facts at all sup­porting the claims of ei­ther Mia or Dylan Farrow.

The (way too many) letters/comments that I have read give me this im­pres­sion: that those who have “sided” with the ac­cused have con­sid­ered the fact that he may be guilty but that there is NO ev­i­dence to sup­port that, ergo they have to side with him—even though it may be causing harm to the accuser.


We create fic­tions that ab­solve us of re­spon­si­bility, restoring our be­lief that we are smart, moral, and right—a be­lief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, im­moral, and wrong.


The exact op­po­site seems to be the case with those who have “sided” with the ac­cuser: they seem to com­pletely ac­cept the ac­cuser’s mem­o­ries as based in fact, ergo the ac­cused is guilty.

That we have just lived through three decades of false memory syn­drome and both un­in­ten­tion­ally and in­ten­tion­ally im­planted false mem­o­ries (or memory im­plan­ta­tion) does not seem to be of any concern.



Ap­par­ently, the state­ment “Mis­takes were made—but not by me” has been ut­tered in one form or an­other by every Pres­i­dent in re­cent memory. The au­thors here at­tribute it to Henry Kissinger for his dis­missal of his role in killing 2,000,000 people in South­east Asia to pre­vent the Com­mies from in­vading San Fran­cisco. Cannot rec­om­mend this book enough: must read right now!

Innocent and falsely accused?

Nor does the pos­si­bility that the ac­cused is po­ten­tially what he claims: in­no­cent and falsely ac­cused. They are, in fact, faith-based “true be­lievers,” and nought will change their view of things—especially facts that con­tra­dict their faith. And this is where I get to sug­gest that anyone that has got this far in reading this essay should read Mis­takes Were Made (But Not By Me) – Why We Jus­tify Foolish Be­liefs, Bad De­ci­sions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and El­liot Aronson.

“Renowned so­cial psy­chol­o­gists Carol Tavris and El­liot Aronson take a com­pelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mis­takes, we must calm the cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance that jars our feel­ings of self-worth. And so we create fic­tions that ab­solve us of re­spon­si­bility, restoring our be­lief that we are smart, moral, and right—a be­lief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, im­moral, and wrong.”

That is what the pub­lishers claim the book to be about. What I read was this” that once we take a path based on faith, not fact, then any and all facts that come our way that dis­credits that be­lief not only does NOT dis­suade our faulty faith, it ac­tu­ally bol­sters it, makes us even more en­trenched in our faith, makes us “true be­lievers” (and yes, I am using that term con­de­scend­ingly and am im­plying fearful portents).

The whole af­fair sums up the strengths and the weaknesses—especially the weaknesses—of re­lying on the “in­for­ma­tion” to be found there: the vast ma­jority of opinion-staters don’t seem to even un­der­stand that an opinion without a fac­tual basis is no opinion at all.

That is, there are so many com­menters with strongly held po­si­tions making strong state­ments that someone to­tally un­fa­miliar with the case could read hun­dreds of state­ments by people who re­ally have no clue as to what they are talking about and come away with the be­lief that they do . . .

Oh, there is one change: the Allen-haters seem to be even more vit­ri­olic in their public pum­meling of Mr. Al­len’s rep­u­ta­tion and character—none of which they ever have to an­swer for . . . 

The opinion vs. the findings

While typing the word “ex­pert” in the sub-heading above (I was re­placing the word “doc­tors”) I re­al­ized some­thing: for those who have sided with Ms. Farrow, there is only one “ex­pert”: Ms. Farrow! I don’t think that this is some­thing that those who have “sided” with the ac­cused un­der­stand: that the ex­perts aren’t ex­pert at all in the minds of Ms. Far­row’s supporters!

Many writers and com­menters seem im­pressed with the fact that the judge in the case way back when was of the opinion that there were enough facts to carry the case for­ward. What they don’t seem ti un­der­stand is that the court called in ex­perts (the team from the New haven hos­pital) who found NO ev­i­dence of sexual abuse.

The judge simply de­cided that his non-expert opinion was more mean­ingful than the find­ings of the ex­pert opin­ions. If you want to take the judge’s side here, you need to have one hell of a reason why you would opt for a judge’s opinion over med­ical find­ings. But, of course, and alas, this is al­most NEVER done by the Allen-haters.

I re­ceived a single com­ment from a reader and while I truly ap­pre­ciate anyone who reads my es­says, I ap­pre­ciate even more those who take the time to re­spond in print with a com­ment to one of them! Alas, my com­menter was an ap­parent Allen-hater for whom Ms. Far­row’s mem­o­ries suf­ficed as “ev­i­dence.”

My ob­ser­va­tion on the over­whelming ma­jority of so many “writers” for so many sites (some of which I stumble over—how does one NOT while doing any kind of in­ternet re­search the past couple of weeks—and some of which are sent to me by friends who have read my essay) on the in­ternet is this: they are pre­dom­i­nately women who have had a hor­rible ex­pe­ri­ence, but they seem to have little or no training in searching for some kind of ob­jec­tivity in pre­senting an ar­gu­ment, and they rarely seem to know the basic facts in the case. 

Mere memory is NOT ev­i­dence of any kind, but a phys­ical ex­am­i­na­tion of a 7-year old child claiming rape and NOT having any sign of rape is ev­i­dence of a kind. (For X-Files fans: The facts are out there.)

And the al­most unan­i­mous opinion is damn the tor­pedos (the “tor­pedos” being that afore­men­tioned lack of ev­i­dence) full speed ahead and Woody should simply come clean con­fess repent!



Fan­tastic car­i­ca­ture by Russ Cook.

Taking flak for stating the obvious

Most rea­son­able ac­count that I have seen so far comes from Robert R. Weide, the man re­spon­sible for the doc­u­men­tary on Allen. “The Woody Allen Al­le­ga­tions: Not So Fast” deals with the facts in the case AS WE KNOW THEM that is NEVER men­tioned in the “ar­ti­cles” (few qualify for more than opinion pieces) that con­tinue the as­sault on Allen.

Need­less to say, Mr. Weide is now having his in­tegrity called into ques­tion for men­tioning these facts that are—alas, for the Allen-haters—actually FACTUAL. (I know, I know: they just get in the way of one’s opinions.)

Jes­sica Winter, writing for Slate (a site I used to ad­mire), called Reide’s piece “full of sleazy in­nu­endo, bad-faith pos­turing, and passive-aggressive self-promotion,” NOT A WHIT of which I read in that piece. I have in­cluded the link to his piece above; if this horror show in­ter­ests you, please read Weide, look up some of the al­leged “sleazy in­nu­endo” and make up your own mind. 

Ho-hum and it won’t get any better and Dylan and Mia ain’t gonna drop this. Like . . . EVER. 

PS: I was dis­cussing this offnet and asked my con­ver­sa­tion partner if he re­mem­bered the Valentine’s Day card that Ms. Farrow had pre­sented to Mr. Allen decades ago. He did not and I ex­plained as best memory served. Now IT is back in the news. The BIG dif­fer­ence be­tween Allen’s ac­cu­sa­tion and Farrow’s: Allen has ac­tual evidence—the card. Check it out . . .

Strunkandwhiten it!

The word brouhaha is de­fined by as “great ex­cite­ment or con­cern about some­thing” or “a state of com­mo­tion or ex­cite­ment.” Syn­onyms in­clude hubbub (an­other great word) and up­roar. And de­spite the fact that saying brouhaha seems/feels soIrish, it is in fact, de­rived from French. 

“There is a bit of a brouhaha over the et­y­mology of “brouhaha.” Some et­y­mol­o­gists think the word is ono­matopoeic in origin, but others be­lieve it comes from the He­brew phrase “bārūkh habbā’,” meaning “blessed be he who en­ters” (Psalms 118:26).

Al­though we bor­rowed our spelling and meaning of “brouhaha” di­rectly from French in the late 19th cen­tury, et­y­mol­o­gists have con­nected the French de­riva­tion to that fre­quently re­cited He­brew phrase, dis­torted to some­thing like “brouhaha” by wor­ship­pers whose knowl­edge of He­brew was limited.

Thus, once out of the syn­a­gogue, the word first meant “a noisy con­fu­sion of sound” -- a sense that was later ex­tended to refer to any tu­mul­tuous and con­fused sit­u­a­tion.” (Merriam-Webster)

The character assassination of Woody Allen

This ar­ticle (“mia dylan nev­erending story and the char­acter as­sas­si­na­tion of woody allen – part 3)” is the third in a se­ries of ar­ti­cles lumped to­gether as “the char­acter as­sas­si­na­tion of woody allen.” Here are the parts so far:

1.  the char­acter as­sas­si­na­tion of woody allen in the media con­tinues as ig­no­rance and opinion trump facts
2.  if you’re not with me, then you must be against me
3.  mia and dylan and the nev­erending story
why mariel hem­ing­way’s new rev­e­la­tion doesn’t matter


HannahSisters bw 1500

HEADER: This is the pose used in the ad­ver­tising and pro­mo­tion of Hannah And Her Sis­ters. Mia Farrow, Barbra Her­shey, and Diane Wiest are at their ex­tra­or­di­nary best and each should have been nom­i­nated for an Academy Award as Best Ac­tress and all of them should have won. Best final scene in movie his­tory; makes me cry every time.


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I com­ment when­ever I like a post on a site or I have some­thing to valuable
to con­tribute to the dis­cus­sion. It is caused by the sin­cer­ness dis­played in the ar­ticle I looked at.
And after this post mia and dylan and the neverending
story (and “the char­acter as­sas­si­na­tion of woody allen” – part 3) |
I was moved enough to create a thought :-) I do have 2 ques­tions for you if it’s okay.

Could it be simply me or does it ap­pear like some of these responses
come across like left by brain dead vis­i­tors? :-P And, if you are
posting at ad­di­tional on­line so­cial sites, I’d like to follow any­thing new you have to post.
Could you list every one of your public sites like your twitter feed, Face­book page
or linkedin profile?

Feel free to surf to my web page; great post to read