January 10, 2020

ZHOU ENLAI GETS HIS ANSWER: As Jonah Goldberg writes, Gabriel Matzneff Flap is a Cautionary Tale for Cultural Aristocrats:

Matzneff, now 83, spent decades as a French literary darling. His work was supported by leading newspapers and literary publications. He’d appear on highbrow TV shows where he’d regale interviewers and audiences with the sublime pleasures of having sex with children in France and on sex tours of southeast Asia.

His overdue comeuppance is the result of a memoir by one of his victims, Vanessa Springora, who was seduced by a then-50-something Matzneff when she was 14.

“He was not a good man,” Springora writes. “He was in fact what we’re taught to dread since childhood: an ogre.”

In his book Under 16 Years Old, Matzneff writes, “To sleep with a child, it’s a holy experience, a baptismal event, a sacred adventure.” The book was first published in 1974 but was republished, apparently with no controversy, in 2005. In 2013, Metznaff received a major French literary prize.

How could a country that prides itself on being so enlightened celebrate an ogre? After all, we’re not talking about a Jeffrey Epstein, as horrible as he was. The well-connected billionaire spent vast sums to keep his sexual abuses at least somewhat secret. Matzneff not only confessed to his crimes, his confessions were celebrated as literary contributions.

The answer stems in part from the fact that Matzneff was a “Child of ’68” — i.e., a product of the left-wing “May 68” movement that shook France in the 1960s. These radicals subscribed to the idea that anything smacking of traditionalism or bourgeois morality was backward. Conventional sexual morality was part of the same rotten edifice as imperialism and racism. True liberation meant freedom not just from, say, capitalism, but also from the old-fashioned view that sex with kids was wrong. “It’s forbidden to forbid” was a rallying cry.

Much more from Rod Dreher, who quotes from “An American writer who lives in France, and is married to a French woman, tweeted about this story, ‘what my wife tried to explain to me about the crazy era in france producing the idea that children should be “liberated” to have sex with adults, was that the people arguing for this were the *wokest of the woke*. Sartre, Foucault, et al believed they were being *progressive*.’ and notes how such thinking filtered its way into everything from “the Catholic Church in Belgium [which] sponsored a working group to try to destigmatize pedophilia in society,” to rock stars in the ‘70s and ‘80s, to Woody Allen’s 1979 film Manhattan (his last big hit in America for years), to today’s child drag queens:

I wrote here about Desmond Is Amazing, the New York 11 year old who has become the toast of the town, appearing on mainstream shows like Good Morning America and Today to spread the “inspiring” and “trailblazing” (seriously, their words) news of the sexualization of children for the cause of LGBT liberation. Progressive allies shriek that there’s nothing sexual about child drag queens, that it’s only about expressing femininity. I think some of them actually believe that b.s. That image above, with which I lead this column, is taken from Desmond’s Instagram feed. It is an image of him dancing for money at a Brooklyn gay bar. Yeah, you tell me that this is not about sexualizing little boys.

I want you to think about how those gatekeepers of mainstream cultural respectability, the network morning shows, are normalizing this filth as a sign of one’s progressive bona fides. Today and Good Morning America are shilling for the sexualization of children, and calling it progress. Is it really all that hard to see how French culture went berserk about child sexual exploitation from 1968 until pretty much today? And how we Americans, while not as extreme, have our own shame on that front?

Read the whole thing. In 1972, during his meeting with President Nixon, Chinese premier Zhou Enlai was famously misquoted that he thought that it was “Too early to say” what the results of the French Revolution of 1789 were. According to W. Joseph Campbell at his Media Myth Alert blog, Zhou thought he was being asked about the 1968 revolution in France. That answer is now in.

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