[Perhaps a more appropriate title would have been "Roman Bone and Skate" ... since that is more exact vernacular... but I truly thought that was too much of a stretch for people to get. See, I do edit sometimes.]
As always, what is interesting to me is not the actual stuff that happens. It's the failure to generalize. That seems to be a real theme for me. We all know what happened. It's been in the news for 30 plus years. Roman gives hottie teenager booze and drugs. Roman bones hottie teenager. Roman confesses and is convicted. Roman jumps bail. Like I said: that story just isn't all that interesting.
And, to be honest, I've had a lifelong wishy washy feeling about statutory rape. I mean, I get it: it's wrong to bone a child. But let's be honest: there are some 13 year olds that are actually pretty mentally mature. And, furthermore, there is an ever growing pool of twenty-somethings that are still mental children. And I've been that 18 year old boy looking at jailbait very near my own age -- knowing that the girl was technically "more mature" than I was by physical, emotional and developmental scales and "less mature" only by legal scales.
And many, many cultures just don't have a problem with "under 18's" having sex. For grins, just check out the ages of consent over North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. You'll see that the ages are all over the board. And, in fact, it wasn't so long ago in the US that it was not uncommon for 13 to 16 year old girls to be married. So California's age of consent of 18 is really sort of an arbitrary number we've all sort of just had to agree on.
What is interesting (to me) is the Hollywood outrage over his arrest. And it's interesting for multiple reasons. Hollywood is aghast that someone would be so crass as to arrest this poor genius so long after we've put this all behind us. After all, he's a genius. Did I mention he was smart and really good at what he does? But, in our current culture and time, tell me exactly what Hollywood elites would think if it were Spork in this predicament instead of Mr. Pole-and-ski?
I can give you a hint... it would have most definitely turned out differently. I would have been charged with providing alcohol and drugs to a minor. I would have been charged with statutory rape. And I would most likely have been charged with real, honest-to-goodness "rape rape" (to steal a phrase from Whoopi-cushion Goldberg.) In almost every description of "rape rape" I have seen, giving someone (over 18) booze and drugs to get sex is classified as rape. And while that may shed a dark shadow on margarita night with the wife, it is most certainly universal in law.
And how would the Hollywood elite have felt if convicted child rapist Spork skipped bail and left the country? Would they be aghast if I was one day apprehended?
The answer to all of these (extremely) theoretical questions is pretty obvious. I doubt entirely that Whoopi-cushion or Debbie Winger would come to my defense. And just as a pre-emptive strike -- I publicly declare that if I am ever charged with a sex crime, Woody Allen is not to speak in my favor even if I am innocent. I just don't think the dude that married his daughter provides a whole lot of moral fuel to any cause. (But in Mr. Allen's defense: He is a genius and an artist.)
It's this same stupid, obnoxious thread of ideas that always lets the movie star and professional athlete get away with anything and everything... And the same ideas that even bubble down to looking the other way while our high school quarterbacks take their liberties with the law. If it's the law, it's the same law for Hollywood, football players and for Spork.
Now let's generalize one step further out -- because that was really where I was heading, even if the road was a winding one. Can you remember just a week ago when Hollywood moralists were telling us how we, as Americans, are morally responsible for the health care, housing, education and feeding of each and every citizen and/or non-citizen that happens to be standing on our soil? Remember how Hollywood elites strut with their noses in the air and tell us exactly how our money will be spent on their ideas of goodness and morality?
Yes, it's ad hominem. But it still works.