[guest post by Dana]
Meryl Streep’s unloading on Donald Trump was pretty rich, on a number of levels. Was anyone surprised by her rant? If you were, then you haven’t been paying attention and shame on you. What else would you expect during a self-congratulatory show where a liberal icon has a captive audience full of fellow believers still collectively trying to figure out how the gods turned against them. Don’t they know who we are?!! To me, Streep’s tired tirade was about as surprising as Trump’s complete inability to resist taking the bait and keep his yap shut. Both utterly predictable. Both absurd.
I don’t really want to take too much time examining the stunningly insular arrogance of a multi-millionaire, but hey, she got on the soapbox, so just for kicks, let’s look at a few of her comments. Be careful not to step in the puddle of dripping condescension:
So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.
Oh boy, those Tinsel Town Saviors are ready to save you from suffering through a pedestrian sport where 70% of the players are black, and another one that has been described as the “most racially and internationally diverse sporting organization in the world.” Instead, Streep believes you prefer a steady diet from Tinsel Town’s visual buffet of glorified gun violence or objectification of women. You choose. It’s a rich irony, don’t you think, that a wealthy, lily-white Patrician beauty seems wholly oblivious to her condescending dismissal of a segment of the population who have, in large part, found their way out of generational poverty and gone on to great success through these chosen sports? Oh well, high-brow, low-brow…
Also, Streep would like you to know your place. And it isn’t all that great of a place either:
This brings me to the press. We need the principal press to hold power to account to call them on the carpet for every outrage.
That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedom in our Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists because we are going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.
Streep’s classism makes yet another appearance, reminding the non-elites that it is only the uber-wealthy of Hollywood fit to protect the truth. In the hands of a less sophisticated group, truth, such as it is, would apparently be lost.
But the one performance this year that stunned me and sank its hooks into my heart was this egregious display of moral smugness:
But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.
Yes, Trump’s behavior was reprehensible, rude and vulgar. But in this instance, it is Streep who is “teaching” the unwashed masses, and if she is going to talk about the powerful riding roughshod over the vulnerable, then do it with some honesty. I think it’s of utter importance that when anyone attempts to enlighten and impose their moral determinations upon us, they be fully conscious of the log in their own hypocritical eye. Because, in the interest of safeguarding the truth, if a wealthy and powerful individual like Streep lectures the masses about the weak being bullied, yet gives a standing ovation of congratulations to another wealthy and powerful individual who just also happens to be a child rapist, then that truth should be made known:
(At the 1:11 mark)
And just so we’re very, very clear about the truth Meryl Streep wants to safeguard, this is the very graphic and horrific grand jury testimony from Roman Polanski’s 13-year old rape victim:
A. Then he lifted up my legs and went in through my anus.
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. He put his penis in my butt.
. . . .
Q. Do you know whether he had a climax?
Q. And how do you know that?
A. Because I could kind of feel it and it was in my underwear. It was in my underwear. It was on my butt and stuff.
Q. When you say that, you believe that he climaxed in your anus?
Q. What does climax mean?
A. That his semen came out.
Q. Do you know what semen is?
Q. Did you see some semen or feel some semen?
A. I felt it.
Q. Where did you feel it?
A. I felt it on the back of my behind and in my underwear when I put them on.
Safeguarding the truth. A noble calling.