Woody Allen and the Feministic Fascistic Berufsverbot
In the foreword to the popular culture and philosophy series on Woody Allen, Tom Morris writes:
Philosophers love Woody Allen, in part, because he writes us into his movies. What other well-known filmmaker in our time has had philosophy professors as central characters in his films? For that fact alone, I believe the American Philosophical Association would give him a gold statue, if we could afford the gold. But even better, Woody Allen fills his films with the most important philosophical questions and ideas. Some are brilliantly expressed in dialogue. Others underlie the action. Since we have no award to present him for all this, we do the best we can. We show his movies in Philosophy 101. We crack his jokes in class. And we often see the surprised looks of students raised on Adam Sandler and Vin Diesel flicks when they first realize that you can actually grapple with important ideas on the big screen.
Of course, Morris continues, Woody Allen isn´t the only creative thinker to deal with the deepest human questions in the context of drama. The ancient Greeks did a decent job of it long ago. And so did certain twentieth-century existentialists.
The ancient Greeks and the existentialists, were common in viewing philosophy as a way of life. Therefore they differ from the abstract discourse which most modern philosophy has developed into. Asking philosophical questions in a meditative-existential was in fact a meditation technique for the ancient Greeks. Philosophy was a spiritual practice with a spiritual purpose.
As Morris says, Woody Allen is not at all a philosopher in any academic sense, and his short stories and essays often poke fun at the professorial approach to the perennial issues. But he calls us all back to those gripping questions that get people interested in philosophy in the first place. What is morality? Is there really an objective difference between right and wrong? What is the meaning of life? Can there be justice in the universe? Is there a God? How should we think of death? Is philosophy just the ultimate sublimation of sex on the part of very intellectual people who can´t get a date?
Anyway, it seems like we have to wave goodbye to Woody Allen. Watching his movies will from now on create a guilt by association in us. Why? In a leader in the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen, called Me and Woody (Mig og Woody, February 9, 2018), the editor, and Jew, Martin Krasnik, quotes Woody Allen:
You can't control life. It doesn't wind up perfectly. Only art you can control. Art and masturbation. Two areas in which I am an absolute expert.
Krasnik now explains what can be meant by that in the context of the MeToo campaign. Woody Allen is namely facing trouble. His adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, has presented the 30 year old accusation about, that he had harassed her sexually when she was a child. Now in the light of the MeToo movement, movie stars promise that they never will work with him again. Numerous high-profile stars like Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page, Rebecca Hall and Colin Firth, have said they will no longer work with him. And the producers, with Amazon in forefront, have walked away from a contract with him (Woody Allen has sued Amazon for $68 millions).
His filing read: “Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old, baseless allegation against Mr Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr Allen – and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract … There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.”
Allen has always denied the claim. And, luckily, he has now found funding from Mediapro, the company who also produced his films, Midnight In Paris and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. So, Woody Allen will shoot his 51st film in Spain this summer with a cast including Christoph Waltz and Gina Gershon.
Krasnik writes that while we no longer can count on new Woody Allen movies, other artists have been exposed to consummate berufsverbot. National Gallery of Art in Washington has cancelled a planned exhibition with American art photographer Chuck Close, because two women have accused him for “inappropriate commentaries”. The museum is also cancelling an exhibition with the photographer Thomas Roma, who likewise is accused of “bad sexual behavior.”
In a large essay in New York Times, the reviewer, A.O. Scott, writes about My Woody Allen Problem, where he, in the light of the present discussion, finds a fundamental problematic approach to women in Allen´s film (Krasnik lines up Scott´s Evidence #1: The movie Manhattan, where Woody Allen´s main character has a relationship with the college student Tracey). Scott writes:
Part of the job of a critic — meaning anyone with a serious interest in movies, professional or otherwise — is judgment, and no judgment is ever without a moral dimension.
Krasnik writes that if art was understood in this way, the cleanup work could begin. The list is long. Krasnik lines up some examples from the journal Paris Review: Picasso´s “bad sexual behavior” is a confession; because he called women “machines for suffering”. Egon Schiele took advantage of his young models and was jailed for having seduced a 13 year old. Caravaggio sexually assaulted young boys and was accused of murder. Eric Gill, who was the man behind sculptures in Westminster Cathedral, abused his own daughters. The history of art, movie and music is filled with tainted people, from Max Ernst to Roman Polanski, and if you include female artists with failing moral and transboundary relations, you are getting even more busy.
I could add another art museum: Manchester Art Gallery. The museum had temporary removed – both at the gallery itself and on-line – Waterhouse’s Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece, Hylas and the Nymphs. The painting – part of the gallery’s highly prized collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings – was temporarily removed from display as part of a project the gallery is working on with the contemporary artist Sonia Boyce, in the build-up to a solo exhibition of her work at the gallery opening on 23 March 2018. So, she uses this piece of art in the promotion of her own lack of artistic talent.
Boyce’s artwork is all about bringing people together in different situations to see what happens. Since its filmed removal as part of the Boyce project, the painting and its temporary absence from the gallery has captured the attention of people everywhere, and in so doing “has opened up a wider global debate about representation in art and how works of art are interpreted and displayed.”
The “problem” with Waterhouse´s painting, is that it shows women with bare breasts. What a scandal! The “positive” results of trying to “create debate” depends on who you are political. Not all see this kind of performance art as something great. And the awareness is turned away from the art to these “artists” themselves.
Why have mildly erotic nymphs been removed from a Manchester gallery? Is Picasso next? is an article by art critic Jonathan Jones. He writes:
Manchester Art Gallery says it has removed JW Waterhouse’s 1896 painting Hylas and the Nymphs from its displays “to prompt conversation”. Yet the conversation can only really be about one thing: should museums censor works of art on political grounds?
There can only be one answer if you believe in human progress.
My, what a utopia these new puritans have in mind – a world that backtracks 60 years or more into an era of repression and hypocrisy. The great freedoms of modernity include, like it or not, freedom of sexual expression. Even a kinky old Victorian perv has his right to paint soft-porn nymphs.
In Frankfurter Allgemeine, Jürgen Kaube, in his article, Ist das Kunst oder muss das weg?, writes:
“Earlier, the moral guardians, with a though radius on zero, came from national and religious environments. Now this congregation of moral executioners consist of people who regard themselves as left-wing, intellectual and progressive. Their aggressivity is disguised, partly as sensitivity towards the feelings of minorities, hereunder women, partly as discourse. But there isn´t any discourse. Their conclusion by observing pieces of art is given in advance.” (my translation).
You can read more about this kind of “evolutionist art” in the first chapter of my Ebook, Evolutionism – The Red Thread in the Matrix Conspiracy: Illustration of evolutionistic absurdity as it is seen in the artworld.
Krasnik writes that through the last part of the 20th century we have enforced a strong formalism, where artist and art is separated. This is not due to that we are letting the artists escape critical interest, but it insists on a liberation of the work of art, and give it to the audience, to the community. Roland Barthes called this principle “the death of the writer”. Art should make us talk about life and death, love and moral. Krasnik writes that the new isn´t the knowledge, that many artists are living socially transboundary. The new is, that we now shall judge their art according to this. As Scott writes:
The separation of art and artist is proclaimed — rather desperately, it seems to me — as if it were a philosophical principle, rather than a cultural habit buttressed by shopworn academic dogma. But the notion that art belongs to a zone of human experience somehow distinct from other human experiences is both conceptually incoherent and intellectually crippling. Art belongs to life, and anyone — critic, creator or fan — who has devoted his or her life to art knows as much.
Krasnik´s answer to this is that such an approach is a fall, which can´t be exaggerated, down into a darkness, which we have been in not so long ago [Nazism].
Art is the victim, not the artist. When we demand, that the artist shall be judged after current social norms, and have removed his art from the walls of the gallery, the next step is to judge art itself from the same scale. Therewith the critique becomes totalitarian, and we judge both the artist and the art morally. You can, as Woody Allen said, not control life. But he – and many other artists – try to master their art form, so that they can create versions of life, that give a little bit of meaning – or, at least, a version of meaninglessness, which we can see something beautiful in or laugh of. The current attempts of controlling art are really an attack on life itself.
As I have stated several times: radical feminism is a central part of The Matrix Conspiracy, which I claim is a fascistic ideology (see the Matrix Dictionary entry The Matrix Conspiracy Fascism and my article The Difference Between Philosophical Education and Ideological Education).
In Hitler´s Germany in the 1930s there were developed a so-called Aryan physics, represented by, among others, Philip Lenard and Johannes Stark, which was set up as an opposition to Jewish physics, which main representative was Einstein. Einstein´s theories were consequently condemned and taken out of the physics curriculum on the universities. The deeper reason was, that the genes of the Aryans (the true Germans) and of the Jews were different, and that the thinking and perception in the two ”races” therefore also had to be different, but that the Aryan race was the true. This is called scientism: science used as a means in an ideology.
The radical feminists of today claim something, which fundamentally seen is the same. Since women have two x-chromosomes, where men have one x- and one y-chromosome, then the female perception, thinking and picture of the world et cetera, are different from, and truer, than the masculine.
The main manifest of the feminist aspect of the Matrix Conspiracy fascism is the so-called SCUM Manifesto. It is written by Valerie Solanas. The manifest begins with the statement:
Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.
It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males (or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so.
Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.
The Manifesto is in radical feminist circles widely regarded as satirical, but based on legitimate philosophical and social concerns. So, when Valerie Solanas attempted to murder artist Andy Warhol in the late 1960s, this should, radical feminists claim, only be viewed as a kind of satirical performance art. She shot at Warhol three times, with the first two shots missing and the final one wounding Warhol. She also shot art critic Mario Amaya, and attempted to shoot Warhol's manager, Fred Hughes, point blank, but the gun jammed. All satirical performance art, according to the radical feminists. So, now you know what radical feminism is ready for.
Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts. Radical feminism frequently supports gender essentialism (the idea that men and women are inherently different). Gender essentialism is where The Matrix Conspiracy Fascism comes in (see Wikipedia´s entry on Gender Essentialism).
In an article from Skeptical Inquirer, March/April 1995, the American female philosopher Noretta Koertge, writes about her worries for the development of feminism. She writes that a Rip Van Winkle of feminism, who might have fallen asleep in the 1970s, would have been astounded over the opposite attitude, which is dominant among academical feminists today. The thick-skinned and strongly armed Rosie Riveters (reform feminism) have become replaced by moralizing Sensitive Susans (radical feminism), who individually are trying to find new ideological splits in the so-called “patriarchal, racist, colonialist, eurocentric, cultural dominion discourse”.
They are in progress with a systematic undermining of the intellectual values of the free education. Young women are being made alien towards science in many ways. One of the strategies consists in redefining, what counts as science. Instead of for example telling about great female researchers such as Emmy Noether, Marie and Irene Curie and Kathleen Lonsdale and their struggles – and triumphs, the radical feminists, in their account of the history of science, now accentuate the contributions to it from midwifes and from the claimed arts of healing, which herbal cultivators and witches mastered – in short: New Age. Instead of motivating young women to prepare themselves to a line of technical subjects by studying science, logic and mathematics, they now teach the students in womens studies, that logic is a tool, which men use to dominate with.
These women refuse rationality and critical thinking, and claim that this is inconsistent with ”womens ways of knowing”. These feminists characterize themselves as ”subjective knowers”, who are characterized by ”a passionate rejection of science and male scientists”. These ”subjectivistic” women regard the methods, which you use in logic, as ”alien territory, that belongs to men” and consider ”value-intuition as a more safe and productive path to truth.”
Well, in connection with the berufsverbot against Woody Allen, this has led them to the thought distortion called Proof by Ignorance. Proof by ignorance (argumentum ad ignorantiam, argument to ignorance, argument from ignorance, and appeal to ignorance), is a fallacy in which a lack of known evidence (or just knowledge) against a belief is taken as an indication that the belief is true. However, ignorance of evidence against a position does not prove that there could not be evidence against it; at best it is only indirect support for it.
Many logic texts list Proof by ignorance as a fallacy of reasoning. Examples vary, but some of the more popular ones refer to Sen. Joseph McCarthy´s justifying a name remaining on a list of suspected Communists because “there is nothing in the files to disprove his Communist connections.” The critical thinker Robert T. Carroll used to call this the “Mike Wallace fallacy” when he was teaching logic courses; he named it after a tactic Mr. Wallace frequently used in “60 Minutes.” He would show up unannounced, confront a surprised person with accusations of some sort of wrongdoing, and then the scene would cut to a slamming door or a grainy film of a car driving out of a parking lot. Wallace would then announce something to the effect of: Mr. X refuses to answer our questions and still has not shown any signs that he is innocent of the charges we`ve made. It should be obvious that not having proof that someone is not a Communist is not proof that he is and not defending yourself against charges is the same as admitting they are true. This is what we see frequently in the Metoo campaign.
Another common example, and which especially feminists ought to reject, and not support, and which is given in text books, is from the Salem witch trials of 1692 where some of those testifying claimed that they could see specters or auras around the accused, but these specters were visible only to the witnesses. Such claims are impossible to disprove. They´re in the same class as the claims of mediums who say they are getting messages from the dead. One would assume that a reasonable person would require more evidence than just the word of a witness or medium when judging either the cause of the perception or the veracity of the sensations reported. Furthermore, the fact that an accused witch could not prove that she didn´t have a demon´s specter around her or that a skeptic cannot prove that John Edward is not getting messages from someone´s Aunt Sadie does not imply that the accused is a witch or that Edward is really psychic.
It is easy to see why this won´t do, since precisely the same lack of evidence could be used to “prove” the opposite case: that therefore I am not a Communist, and therefore I am not a witch; that is: because you don´t have any evidence against me.
Another area where Proof by ignorance is a common thought distortion is within the area of healing. Since "healings" typically are held to be miraculous because they are "medically inexplicable", claimants are often engaging in Proof by ignorance, where they are drawing a conclusion from a lack of knowledge. Touted healings may actually be attributable to such factors as misdiagnosis, spontaneous remission, psychosomatic conditions, prior medical treatment, the body´s own healing power, and other effects.
If you believe that your subjective intuition is enough to judge people, there is not much place left for intelligence. The Metoo movement is a part of the politically correct elite, either the social constructivists, or the progressive neoliberalists. This was for example seen in the Oscars in 2018. In an article in Weekendavisen, called Hævn (Revenge), Leny Malacinski writes that the Metoo-movement that day was participating in the Oscars. The showdown with sexual offence was triggered in Hollywood the year before, and, as Malacinski writes, on Sunday 2018 this showdown moved down the red carpet with glittering celebrities in their thick make-up, artificial eyelashes and colored lips. But, as Malacinski writes, behind the neat exterior something less photogenic hides. The Oscar party showcased how metoo in the United States has become a lynching mood, with the masses plunging over anyone who does not march in tact. Nice dresses, ugly intentions.
Ryan Seacrest, one of America's largest and most popular TV hosts, was on the red carpet to interview the celebrities on their way to the awards ceremony. Usually, the stars line up to reach his microphone, but not this year. He had been charged with violations by his stylist, and although he and his television channel have rejected the charges following an investigation, it does not interest the flock. Rumors of an assault today trump the question of whether it happened at all.
For several of the actresses nominated, the answer was simple. they bypassed Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet. So did Meryl Streep, who, as Malacinski expresses it, otherwise moves through life with a self-perception like Mother Teresa. So did Frances Mcdormand, who won an Oscar for Three Billboards, a movie about a mother who is searching for her daughter's killer and must admit she is chasing the wrong one. And so did Sally Hawkins, nominated for The Shape of Water, a movie about that a repulsive misfit in water also has feelings. These same women, who claim to fight against exclusion and humiliation in Hollywood, used their Oscar nominee status to practice just this against a man with a microphone. As Malacinski writes, this is not emancipation or empowerment, but revenge. Three actresses, whose politically correct self-styled images make them blind for the very messages of the movies they are participating in and representing, on the very same day. Subjective knowers.
As a comment to how the politically correct elite scorned The Lord of the Rings, when it first was published, the philosopher Peter Kreeft said that we live in a culture where, “philosophers scorn wisdom, moralists scorn morality, preachers are the world´s greatest hypocrites, sociologists are the only people in the world who do not know what a good society is, psychologists have the most mixed-up psyches, professional artists are the only ones in the world who actually hate beauty, and liturgists are to religion what Dr. Van Helsing is to Dracula – it is no surprise that in this culture the literary critics are the last people to know a good book when they see one.”
In an article in Huffington post, Harold Bloom: Preposterous ‘Isms’ Are Destroying Literature, Michael Skafidas is interviewing the traditionalist, Harold Bloom, about teaching literature. He writes:
MS: You have always been an advocate of the primacy of the aesthetic: “To read in the service of any ideology is not, in my judgment, to read at all,” you have argued. Is it still possible in our post modern age to prioritize the aesthetic values of a work over the considerations of race, class and gender?
HB: In my view, all these ideologies have destroyed literary study in the graduate schools and in the academies. Whether you call it feminism, which is not really feminism, has nothing to do with equal rights for women, or whether you call it transgenderism, or ethnicity, or Marxism, or any of these French manifestations, be it deconstruction or one mode of differential linguistics or another, or whether you call it — what I think is mislabeled — the new historicism, because it’s neither new nor historicism, but simply a dilution of Foucault, a man whom I knew and liked personally, but whose influence I think has been pernicious, just as Derida’s, with whom I also shared a friendship until eventually we broke with each other. All these “isms” are preposterous of course; they have nothing to do with the study of literature or with its originality. As I’ve said before, the esthetic is an individual and not a social concern.
Woody Allen belongs to a dying group of artists. As Morris writes:
He´s a bit like Sartre and Camus, only funnier. No one can lead us to the edge of abyss like Woody, and then hit us with a joke that somehow makes it all easier, and even more memorable, “Not only is there no God,” he quips, “but try getting a plumber on weekends.” And this comedic genius isn´t just a comic. He has made some thoroughly serious films as well, with no jokes whatsoever. These also tend to be the ones with no audiences whatsoever. But they are all very well done, and extremely powerful in their explorations of the human condition.
Despite all his great wit and person charm, Woody Allen is an atheistic existentialist with, understandable, strongly pessimistic inclinations on even a good day, which in his own estimation means when it´s raining hard. Every silver lining has a very dark cloud around it – and who needs silver when even gold can´t buy off death? That´s his perspective. But this cinematic genius is not just a messenger of gloom full of nihilistic neuroses, he´s also a classic romantic as well. He´s a master at depicting out hopes and dreams as well as our foibles and fears. Vivid scenes in his films help us to understand the practical psychological impact of the deepest questions about life and death, and how tenuous all out answers can appear, especially in the hour before an important exam.
Woody will make you think. He may make you mad or leave you depressed. But along the way he will make you laugh, and appreciate the ultimate questions in a deeper way than before.
Unfortunately, we are on our way into an age, where such artists are being crushed by lack of thinking, by the elimination of philosophy.
Woody Allen and Philosophy – [You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong?] – Popular Culture and Philosophy Series. Edited by Mark T. Conard and Aeon J. Skoble. Open Court.
Feminism as Fascism
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