Monday, April 6, 2020

Woody Allen

Here's a random sentence to ponder, “I don’t see anything wrong with noting the sex appeal of particular actors, but it’s really tasteless for a man of Woody Allen’s age to talk in this way.”


Rod Dreher wrote that sentence.  Woody Allen is 84. Dreher must be in his early fifties.

Like Dreher, I also read the Allen memoir Apropos of Nothing. And I did it for the same reason: I was angry at the people who want to cancel Allen. There are accusations against Allen but they are not just unproven but doubtful at best and the source of the accusations is a person strongly motivated to want to hurt Allen.

That said, the main reason to cancel him is exactly what Dreher complains about. How dare this aging man be gross enough to be interested in younger women sexually? The actual evidence doesn't matter.

The biography, by the way, is mixed. Allen spends too much time defending himself. He also goes for one liners too often. That last criticism needs to be tempered. Allen is better at one-liners than just about anyone else still alive and he hasn't lost the touch.

Mostly, though, I found it charming. Allen as more or less the same age as my father and reading his book was like having the conversation I always wanted to have with  my father but couldn't because he was always too busy being in father mode.

By the way, the example of Allen talking “this way” that Dreher found tasteless: “It’s one thing to hear an elderly comedian wax the memories of his youthful kumquats; it’s another to listen to grandpa gas on about how “sexually radioactive” Scarlett Johansson is.” Sexually radioactive? It's not like he said, she's go an amazing set of ... .

"Kumquat" is a great word. It sounds vulgar but isn't.

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