While Hollywood has long had its share of debaucheries, the British theatrical world isn’t immune, either, as Roger L. Simon notes at the Tatler:
This week marks a departure for POLIWOOD. We’re going YouTube as well as the usual PJTV link. So now you can click above and conveniently see Lionel Chetwynd and me opining on something that makes the Hollywood Left seem like the Scarsdale Boy Scouts — the Redgrave Family. The new book The House of Redgrave left us agape with its tales of bizarre sex and Trotskyism. To hear more, click on the YouTube image above or go here for Sex Slaves for He But Not for Thee, The Perverted Politics of the Redgrave Family.
Insert obligatory reference to the quote invariably, if incorrectly associated with GK Chesterton, here.
Pace Edith Piaf and Yves Montand, there is nothing chic or hip about their adultery. After all the shared Gauloise and baiser volé, it’s just cheating. People don’t respect each other. People don’t trust each other. Indeed, they begin to hate each other. Life is wretched. It’s like a game of ritual self-and-other torture played out by a significant sector of their society — particularly in the elite classes — into oblivion.I have often speculated that this casual acceptance of (note: not the existence of) adultery is related somehow to the decline of the once magnificent French culture, the disappearance for over a half a century now of the likes of the aforementioned Piaf and Montand. It’s hard to imagine them making a film today like Francois Truffaut’s riveting 1964 meditation on the perils of adultery The Soft Skin.
So I read with some interest the French reaction to the accusations of sexual abuse by the IMF’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn, putative Socialist Party frontrunner in the race for the French presidency. Would they make a connection, as I do, between DSK’s alleged act, raping a maid in a New York hotel, which is obviously quite aberrant, and the larger cultural climate of their country? That’s a hard thing for any society to accept.
And yet another case of the Establishment Blues.