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 . . .
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
4. why mariel hemingway’s new revelation doesn’t matter
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.