Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

There's fear and loathing in this town and in El Lay it's even worse. Torquemada and Savonarola are in charge, and if this is not a new version of the Spanish inquisition I don't know what is. The enemy is 'toxic masculinity', as exhibited by the latest to lose his job for ever, Charlie Rose. He's not a bad guy but a bleeding-heart liberal who acted like Benito in front of fair maidens. Or so they claim. In the meantime, he's toast. I have only one question: what ever happened to due process?

What also bothers me is that the latest purge is the only subject of conversation nowadays. At Thanksgiving dinner with Oliver Stone and his charming family chez Michael Mailer, I literally had to bully Madame Stone to run away with me to Mykonos in order to change the subject. (I didn't dare do it to his lovely daughter Tara because at 22 she might be called underage in view of me being overage.) In the meantime, the director just looked at me open-mouthed as I repeated the Mykonos offer after every gulp (and I took many).

Let's face it, this is not the first time I've brought this up. I've been writing 50 columns a year for the past 40 years, which means I've mentioned La La Land around 2,000 times. So some of you old-timers can give this one a miss. Here we are in the grip of a sexual counter-revolution, with stories of abuse and harassment being believed, and alleged abusers and harassers being thrown to the wolves without a trial. Yet at the same time Hollywood chooses to go all out for Call Me By Your Name, a movie that tells the story of a 24-year-old man seducing a 17-year-old boy, and the love affair that follows. I haven't seen it, and don't plan to, but I couldn't avoid reading about it and hearing the usual suspects going ape over it.

In other words, doing it with a youngster of the same sex is OK, but undressing and making suggestions in front of a mature woman is not, especially if she's an aspiring thespian. It's OK if it's a gay relationship, is the obvious message. Having said that, what about a great actor like Kevin Spacey? (I know, Rod Liddle covered it two weeks ago, but still. Without Spacey House of Cards is House of Crap, even if the divine Robin Wright, whom I once tried to steal a kiss from, is in it.)

Hollywood's false and wrong values continue to reverberate throughout our culture. These values have corrupted our sensibilities and blighted our souls. …

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