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Old January 8th, 2018, 09:08 PM   #1
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What Harvey Weinstein tells us about the liberal world by Thomas Frank

A couple of days ago, I noticed this repost of an article written by political analyst- Thomas Frank (What's The Matter With Kansas) on a phenomena he discerned from all the bafflegab about politicians and celebrity sexual harassment and assault scandals. According to Tom Frank, a lot of wealthy high profile liberals...especially in Hollywood, are posing as great defenders of women and minority rights/as they grab their bags of loot from whatever business or investment ventures they own, while flagrantly committing abuses on employees or actors looking for work.

Kicking it off was Harvey Weinstein...the now disgraced Hollywood movie mogul who used to be the toast of the town until a whole lot of women rose up against him. Take it away Thomas Frank:

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-liberal-world
Quote:
Let us now consider the peculiar politics of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie producer. Today Weinstein is in the headlines for an astonishing array of alleged sexual harassment and assaults, but once upon a time he was renowned for something quite different: his generous patronage of liberal politicians and progressive causes.

This leading impresario of awful was an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He was a strong critic of racism, sexism and censorship. He hosted sumptuous parties to raise money for the fight against Aids.

A list of the accusations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has denied many of the claims

In 2004 he was a prominent supporter of a women’s group called “Mothers Opposing Bush”. And in the aftermath of the terrorist attack against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, he stood up boldly for freedom of the press. Taking to the pages of Variety, Weinstein announced that “No one can ever defeat the ability of great artists to show us our world.”

To call this man a hypocrite is to state the obvious. This champion of women is now accused of sexual harassment on an epic scale. This defender of the press was excellent at manipulating it and on one memorable occasion is said to have physically roughed up a reporter asking tough questions.

Perhaps Weinstein’s liberalism was a put-on all along. It certainly wasn’t consistent or thorough. He strongly disapproved of Bernie Sanders, for example. And on election night in November 2008, Weinstein could be found celebrating Barack Obama’s impending victory on the peculiar grounds that “stock market averages will go up around the world.”

The mogul’s liberalism could also be starkly militaristic. On the release of his work of bald war propaganda, Seal Team Six, he opined to CNN as follows:

“Colin Powell, the best military genius of our time, supports the president – supports President Obama. And the military love him. I made this movie. I know the military. They respect this man for what he’s done. He’s killed more terrorists in his short watch than George Bush did in eight years. He’s the true hawk.”

In Weinstein’s world, politics often correlated with conspicuous displays of luxury goods – it was something you did on Martha’s Vineyard, or on the Riviera, or in the Hamptons, toasting the candidate or raising money for the good cause. Here is a glimpse of a Weinstein event for Aids research held in Cannes in 2000, as described by Roger Ebert:

“The private auction and the fashion show were followed by dinner and a public auction masterminded by Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, who this year not only offered a massage by Heidi Klum, but persuaded [actors Kenneth] Branagh and [James] Caan to take off their shirts and act as subjects for a demonstration of her skills. The massage went for $33,000. ‘Karl Marx is dead,’ observed the director James Gray.”

There are sleazebags in every party, as Donald Trump frequently reminds us. But even so, Harvey Weinstein was unusual: a militant and vocal backer of a faith he appears to have violated in the starkest way.

This strain of liberalism attracts hypocrites like Harvey Weinstein

What explains Weinstein’s identification with progressive causes? Perhaps it was all about cozying up to power, the thrill of being a friend of Bill Clinton.

Perhaps it was all about moral absolution, in the same way that lists of corporations-that-care always turn out to be led by outfits like Walmart, Goldman Sachs and Exxon-Mobil. In the world of the wealthy, liberalism is something you do to offset your rapacious behavior in other spheres. It’s no coincidence that, in Weinstein’s desperate first response to the accusations against him, he thought to promise war against the National Rifle Association and to support scholarships for women.

But it’s also something deeper than that. Most people on the left think of themselves as resisters of authority, but for certain of their leaders, modern-day liberalism is a way of rationalizing and exercising class power. Specifically, the power of what some like to call the “creative class”, by which they mean well-heeled executives in industries like Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

Worshiping these very special people is the doctrine that has allowed Democrats to pull even with Republicans in fundraising and that has buoyed the party’s fortunes in every wealthy suburb in America.

That this strain of liberalism also attracts hypocrites like Harvey Weinstein, with his superlative fundraising powers and his reverence for “great artists”, should probably not surprise us. Remember, too, that Weinstein is the man who once wrote an essay demanding leniency for Roman Polanski, partially on the grounds that he too was a “great artist”.

Harvey Weinstein seemed to fit right in. This is a form of liberalism that routinely blends self-righteousness with upper-class entitlement. That makes its great pronouncements from Martha’s Vineyard and the Hamptons. That routinely understands the relationship between the common people and showbiz celebrities to be one of trust and intimacy.
The Lutheran Nazi Era Lutheran priest and theologian-Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined a term he used to describe the kind of easy absolution from sin or even public scorn sought by the rich and powerful classes in Germany: Cheap Grace! In a very real sense today, this is what today's rich and powerful Oprah-level liberals like Weinstein are doing with their benefits, their public displays of charity and grandstanding! They want to appear to be benevolent dogooders and NOT like those greedy, nasty rightwing rich bastards who celebrate their riches and could care less about what lower classes think of them.

The problem is that when rich liberals are considered to be the left boundary of acceptable political discourse, we end up with many people having no understanding of economic class interests, so every social issue is fought along lines of group identities: race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc.. This works for rich liberals and rich conservatives, but what about the rest of us? How do people of different backgrounds and identity groups come together for common cause to address economic inequality? It doesn't happen! Because the leaders of liberalism want to keep everyone in their identity boxes and may want to collect them together when it's time to vote for the right candidates, but that's the limits they have placed on activism until the present day.

A few weeks ago, when Thomas Frank was a guest on Lee Camp's weekly comedy show on RT- Redacted Tonight, Lee asked him how many times he was on Rachel Maddow's show after he wrote "What's The Matter With Kansas?" Frank answered '11 times in total.' 'And how many times were you on her show after writing "Listen Liberal"'...his critique of the Democratic Party that was intended as a wakeup call prior to the 2016 Elections: Zero! And that pretty well sums up how much the establishment liberals are willing to listen to criticism..even when it's intended as helpful information.

Last edited by right to left; January 8th, 2018 at 09:11 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 11:06 AM   #2
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Another "friend" of feminism told to turn over his #timesup pin

I don't see anything about the latest twitter flareup - friend of feminism James Franco being called out by a few women who've known him in the past and jumped on his twitter account demanding to know why he is such a hypocrite to show up at the Golden Globes wearing a "Times Up" pin to show his solidarity to women victimized by sexual harassment. So, why not just add him to a list with Harvey Weinstein and any other manipulative hypocrite supporters of feminist causes as noted in Thomas Frank's article about Weinstein.


James Franco accused of inappropriate sexual behavior - NY Daily News

Quote:
James Franco accused of inappropriate sexual behavior

James Franco’s Golden Globe lost some of its luster after several women went on Twitter and accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Almost immediately after the actor scooped up a trophy for "The Disaster Artist" Sunday, on a night the industry spoke out against sexual harassment, Franco came under attack.

Actress Violet Paley claimed the actor once sexually assaulted her and tried to lure her 17-year-old friend to his hotel room.

"Cute #TimesUp pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?" she wrote on Twitter.

Stars react to their Golden Globes nominations

Paley, who clarified that she was an adult and not a teen at the time, added that she did have a consensual relationship with Franco, but that the alleged encounter she mentioned was against her will. Paley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The age of consent in New York is 17, but it's unclear where Paley's friend allegedly met Franco.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who was once a student of Franco’s at his acting school, alleged that Franco exploited her by asking her to strip down on set for only $100 per day after she signed a "vague and general at best" contract.

“Remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn't exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!" she tweeted. “I 100% did not feel like I had a choice to say no.”

'Shape of Water,' HBO dominate 2018 Golden Globes nominations

She also called out Franco for allegedly failing to give actresses speaking roles unless the part involved nudity.

Violet Paley is one of the women who have accused actor James Franco of inappropriate behavior.
Violet Paley is one of the women who have accused actor James Franco of inappropriate behavior.
(Twitter)
Tither-Kaplan did not specify on which film set the nude scene occurred, but the two currently have a film titled "The Long Home" in post-production.

"If a famous actor who has the ability to make or break my career with the snap of his fingers offers me a part, I don't have bargaining power. I need work. I need to eat. I need a career," she tweeted.

She declined to comment to The News.

Paley and Tither-Kaplan were not the only ones to hint at something more sinister beneath Franco’s Golden Globes grin.

Actress Violet Paley claimed James Franco once sexually assaulted her and tried to lure her 17-year-old friend to his hotel room. "Cute #TimesUp pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?" she wrote on Twitter.

Stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
During the show’s broadcast, “The Breakfast Club” actress Ally Sheedy shared a series of cryptic tweets naming the actor.

Sheedy, who starred in the Franco-directed off-Broadway play “The Long Shrift” in 2014, did not accuse Franco of anything, but took issue with his presence at the show.

“Why is a man hosting? Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much,” Sheedy wrote in tweets that have since been deleted.

At the awards show, Franco was one of many stars who wore a pin in support of Time's Up, an initiative launched by more than 300 women in Hollywood to fight sexual misconduct and give a voice to those without a platform.

Franco, 39, came under fire in 2014 after he attempted to pick up a 17-year-old girl over social media. The girl, who was visiting New York from Scotland at the time, met Franco outside his Broadway production of "Of Mice and Men," and they began to exchange Instagram messages, which eventually leaked online.

Franco later defended himself during an interview on "The Howard Stern Show" after receiving considerable backlash.

"Seventeen is legal in New York, but that being said, it's still pretty damn young," Franco told the radio host. "They make it out like I'm pursuing young women. I'm not going to high schools looking for dates. I'm leaving my work and they're coming there. So, I'm seeing attractive women."

Franco also made headlines in 2014 when he shared a selfie, seemingly out of the blue, wearing nothing but his briefs, which were pulled down below his waist. His hand was covering his crotch in the suggestive photo.

Reps for Franco did not immediately return a request for comment.

Franco himself has not responded to any of the allegations, but said Sunday night backstage at the Golden Globes that it's "everyone's responsibility" to stand up against sexual harassment and make change in Hollywood.

The News was unable to independently confirm the allegations.

Last edited by right to left; January 10th, 2018 at 11:08 AM.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 11:46 AM   #3
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Perhaps a word or two of advice, R2L: Less is more.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 11:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Clara007 View Post
Perhaps a word or two of advice, R2L: Less is more.
Maybe, but I like to cover the bases so those who want to read the background stories don't have to click on other links. Many times here, people start arguing facts on a range of issues they would already know about if they had read the links first.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 12:58 PM   #5
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Your class analysis is flawed imo, even if most of what you say here is true. The bourgeoisie aren't a monolith anymore than the proletariat are.

Not only that, but identities like race, gender, etc. are very real sociological constructs that affect ppl's lives. Even if they are actually meaningless.

Last edited by Gordy; January 10th, 2018 at 01:05 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 06:48 PM   #6
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Your class analysis is flawed imo, even if most of what you say here is true. The bourgeoisie aren't a monolith anymore than the proletariat are.

Not only that, but identities like race, gender, etc. are very real sociological constructs that affect ppl's lives. Even if they are actually meaningless.
The bourgeoisie are a monolith in the sense that they are the only class in society that understands their class interests and puts them ahead of other differences they have among themselves. Even petty things like nationalism aren't important to these "citizens of the world."

I never said identities aren't real! My point is that identity is used as a wedge to prevent the working majority from cooperating with each other by the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie...if you want to stick with the marxist terminology here.

But, this is not the point I'm making about Hollywood assholes like Weinstein and Franco anyway! What these lowlifes are doing is wrapping themselves in causes like women's rights and freedom from harassment, while violating everything they stand for! Even if Weinstein wasn't a rapist...or Franco seems to be close to the same thing, wearing pins and holding celebrity fundraisers to "raise awareness" on these issues isn't the same thing as trying to help find practical solutions.

When it comes to sexual harassment itself, the liberal mega-elite want all the attention focused at the top...on stories about celebrities rather than on the women who are never talked about/but suffer the greatest amounts of sexual abuse - the women doing those menial jobs like #1-farm workers and then the hotel and restaurant workers who are preyed upon by lowlife employers and patrons who know they can get away with it. But big money liberals don't want to make structural changes to the system that produces and reward evil, they just want to "raise awareness about it."
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Old January 12th, 2018, 12:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by right to left View Post
The bourgeoisie are a monolith in the sense that they are the only class in society that understands their class interests and puts them ahead of other differences they have among themselves. Even petty things like nationalism aren't important to these "citizens of the world."

I never said identities aren't real! My point is that identity is used as a wedge to prevent the working majority from cooperating with each other by the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie...if you want to stick with the marxist terminology here.
I understand that this isn't the conversation you're trying to have, but there are a lot of so called "proletariat" movements like the alt-right who I want nothing to do with. Despite being in the same condition, we have virtually no common goals and it is impossible for me to sympathize with them in any way. Which is why I do not really believe that class is an efficient enough rallying point (understandably nor is race, gender, etc.). I feel that ppl need to have common goals, principles, and interests before they can come together. I really don't care how much money you have, what your race is, or what your gender is.

I mean if the bourgeoisie have common class interests then how do you explain someone like Donald Trump who, despite being backed and supported by a certain segment of the bourgeoisie, is opposed by other segments at least on principles?

Quote:
But, this is not the point I'm making about Hollywood assholes like Weinstein and Franco anyway! What these lowlifes are doing is wrapping themselves in causes like women's rights and freedom from harassment, while violating everything they stand for! Even if Weinstein wasn't a rapist...or Franco seems to be close to the same thing, wearing pins and holding celebrity fundraisers to "raise awareness" on these issues isn't the same thing as trying to help find practical solutions.

When it comes to sexual harassment itself, the liberal mega-elite want all the attention focused at the top...on stories about celebrities rather than on the women who are never talked about/but suffer the greatest amounts of sexual abuse - the women doing those menial jobs like #1-farm workers and then the hotel and restaurant workers who are preyed upon by lowlife employers and patrons who know they can get away with it. But big money liberals don't want to make structural changes to the system that produces and reward evil, they just want to "raise awareness about it."
I definitely agree with this. Liberals do not actually want to change anything. They only make symbolic gestures like wearing all black.

Last edited by Gordy; January 12th, 2018 at 05:04 PM.
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