I’m now on the flip-side of a conference I manage. For the two weeks before, I tune everything out. My focus is on nothing but the conference. It’s not until it is behind me that I get back to my regular routine of listening to NPR while driving to and from work, and watching TV news magazines while I do chores.
Nothing in the news seems much different than two weeks before: Trump is still at odds with someone, or possibly this time, everyone. Mother Nature is still on a rampage, this time in Northern California. They still aren’t sure of the Vegas assassin’s murderous motives. And the local report is still rife with stories of police misconduct, Amazon’s search for HQ2, Seahawks football, infrastructure cost overruns, homelessness and the upcoming mayoral election.
The story that caught my attention is Harvey Weinstein’s great fall. In a time when sexual abuse and harassment are no longer “boys will be boys” dirty little secrets, why did people actually cover up for him? Is it too simple to blame the money? Reputation? What were those orchestrating the cover-up telling people who suspected Weinstein? That the women who came forward misunderstood the reason Weinstein excused himself during a meeting to undress and then ask for a massage? Gee, sorry for the inconvenience, but here’s some cash in exchange for your silence. I mean, talk about your conspiracies.
I’m not a victim of abuse or harassment, but I have been…how shall I put it…aggressively pursued, and not in a flattering way. First time by a stranger and second time by an ex. Both times I was afraid. So, I don’t have sympathy for the man. I don’t understand what compels such frightening behavior in a human being. Nevertheless, I hope the recovery program he ran off to Europe to undergo has greatly evolved from the arcane practices of “curing” one of sexual obsession, like electro-shock therapy and chemical castration (though, I’m sure, victims of assault and abuse would say, “I can only hope that is his fate”).
Lastly, if Weinstein is truly sick as the media declares, where is the humanity in those who covered for him all these years? Those that took the buy-offs; that were more concerned for their career? I know—sadly, too well—addiction is a complicated matter. But, enablers must acknowledge they are culpable in the damage brought about by addiction. Ultimately, they don’t save anything, or anyone, including themselves, from ruin. They only manage to put off the inevitable, and, in doing so, litter the landscape with more casualties.
The prompts are: Dirty little secrets; the cure is worse; nothing they tell you is real.