You’re A Very Nosy Fellow, Kitty Cat
These three things are true:
(1) Roman Polanski deserves to go to jail for raping a thirteen-year-old girl – not merely statutory rape, but coerced, drug-induced sex with a thirteen-year-old. The years he spent outside of the United States do not count as “time served” for his crime, since they clearly did not limit his freedom in any meaningful way: he was still able to make an Academy Award-winning film. Whether there was judicial misconduct in the 1977 case is irrelevant. The lightest that Polanski could likely get off with in this case is a new judge at the sentencing hearing – which he’d get anyway, as the original judge has died – so Polanski still ought to appear.
(2) Were one of you guilty of an unspeakable crime – not just accused, but actually guilty – and had the option of fleeing to a country which would not extradite you to the U.S., where you could live and work surrounded by friends, would you be so noble as to say, “No, thanks, I’ll stay here and take my medicine”? Especially if that “medicine” were ten to fifteen years in a California prison? I can’t peer into your souls and say you’re lying if you say, “Sure, I’d go to jail,” but I have my suspicions. That being said, point #1 still stands.
(3) Chinatown and The Pianist are still great movies. Polanski being a rapist doesn’t change that, even if it makes everyone curl their lips back from their teeth, draw in a sharp breath, and nod sadly.
I bring this up only because I used to be ambivalent – that is to say, wrong – on the subject of whether or not Polanski deserved to be brought to justice. The new media attention coming from his extradition illuminated more facts on the case, and those facts changed my mind. But beyond that, Polanski’s extra-legal status had a sort of Schrodinger’s Cat uncertainty to it before this week. You could debate whether or not he should return and face justice, but everyone knew he wouldn’t of his own volition. Now that he’s in U.S. hands once again, the question should be moot.
Like A Bird On The Wireless
In a fit of frustration, I yanked the Internet cable out of my ancient Linksys router on Sunday and plugged it back into my desktop. This router (which was too old for Linksys to provide tech support for in summer 2007) has the habit of freezing once every few months, forcing a hard reset – jiggling a pen in the back of the unit until everything flashed, logging into the router interface to create a new admin password, then to create a new wireless password, then to rename the network to something other than “linksys,” etc.
But the problem is as much with the iMac as with the router. I would use Firefox to log on to the router and (say) change its name. I would click “OK” to confirm my changes. Airport would then flip out, since it could no longer find the router it was just on (“Where’s ‘Linksys’? What’s this thing called ‘Professor Coldheart’s Apartment’? I don’t understand!”), and give me a “Page Not Found” in Firefox. So then I’d have to open up Airport, find what I’d just renamed the router to, click on that, make sure it took, and then reload the router log-on.
Then I’d change the wireless password. Repeat the above.
All of the above is understandable: using the wireless Internet to change my wireless router settings should be fraught with peril. But when the router itself is so old that it tends to freeze if you give it too much to do at once, the process becomes too frustrating to bear. So no more wireless at the Fortress of Solitude, until I get a slightly newer router.
In Soviet Russia, Car Drives You
I sifted through my car’s glove compartment night before last to find some paperwork that might suggest what my mileage was a year ago (car insurance thing). In this search, I pulled out vehicle inspection reports, oil change receipts and maintenance documentation going back three years and more. I also pulled out a registration sticker.
Huh, I thought. How long have I been driving with an expired registration sticker? Answer: one month. This puts me in mind of another Tale from the Brain Trust:
Fraley, Hawver and I sat in the living room one evening, lamenting our inability to manage even the simplest financial details of our lives.
“You know,” Hawver declared, “maybe the welfare state is the way to go.”
“Have the government make every decision for us!” Fraley chimed in. “Because clearly we can’t manage.”
” ‘What would you like to spend your monthly $20 allowance on, Citizen Fraley?’ ”
” ‘Pudding!’ ”
” ‘Now, now. You really ought to have a more diverse diet than …’ ”
” ‘All on pudding! All on pudding!‘ ”
Of course, all three of us got our acts together and are now upstanding members of our respective urban communities.