Woody Allen

I’ve really felt no need to comment on the Woody Allen sexual molestation allegation, mainly because there seemed to be little that could be said—for or against him—that wasn’t being said. Yet, I’ve had a certain nagging sense that something was missing from the conversation and what it was dawned on me today.

There is, for certain groups, a certain incredulity at the allegations. “Not this man,” people seem to be saying. “Not Woody.” I think if, say, Axl Rose were facing these accusations, many people, including many fans, would not be so resistant to the possible truth of such charges.

So why not Woody Allen? Why is he presumed to be to protected from such things? I don’t think that it’s merely because he’s funny or intellectual. I think it’s because he’s philosophical. Even more, he’s a philosopher of morals. He’s a guy who has seemed to agonized over issues of right and wrong (on film, in writing) for several decades. How could someone like that, the thinking goes, commit a so obviously evil moral transgression?

I should be clear here: I don’t know what to think about the accusations. Part of me abides by the above logic. But part of me recognizes there’s always been something a little creepy about Woody. He’s always been focused on sex. Is that because of some deviant swellings in his soul?

I’m reminded of a case I’ve discussed before: Bob Brozman. Bob Brozman was an eclectic folk and world music guitar virtuoso. But he was more than a musician—he was a philosopher of music. He had deeply thought out ideas on how music worked and how it had developed throughout history. Almost a year ago now he killed himself, possibly because allegations of molestation going back years were about to be leveled.

Both cases, if they are true*, assault this notion of the child molester as an evil, deviant, unkempt villain. They force us to contemplate the minds of such people and even find some kind of sympathy for them if we presume them to be cursed with dark desires. (I’ve long supposed that child attraction is some strange mis-wiring of the brain.) Because Allen and Brozman both so neatly defy the stereotype of the pedophile, the accusations against them may force us to really examine the minds of such people.

* Even if we never find out the truth, these cases attack our general cartoonish portrayal of child molesters.

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