Friday, July 27, 2018

New news of Harvey Weinstein

I saw a film last night about Southies growing up and venturing beyond their fence, Good Will Hunting. A story full of interest in the American vein of making it, at the expense of stripping away of ties. Alas, the film has in common with a sparkling fantasy on Shakespeare in Love, a moral stain, to earn it a place on our proscribed roster of illegitimacy. Harvey Weinstein was involved.

I am told I have a problem with how good we are, to allow myself these viewings, these listenings to James Levine's Onegin, my periodic visits to Monticello and the Mission Santa Barbara. It's not so much that I'm sentimental about old ties, as that I'm impertinent toward my new fences. Not so long ago, it was possible for thoughtful people to go to the opera, Peter Grimes, in which the artist's own falls from grace did not bind them, voluntarily blinded to every layer of its tragedy. Benjamin Britten preyed on boys, and we had to decide, does this deprive us of the finest opera in our language?

I'm not looking for Harvey Weinstein movies, but if there's a good one, I'm willing to see it. At the same time, I've lost any sense of ties with Britten, well enough to respect his music more, not less. Manichaeans clamor loudest where human frailty lends the thrill of punishment, the harshest of which is always self-imposed. But we still decide where we are. I won't live in Southie in my soul.

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