The brutal reality of sexual abuse in Hollywood and among the social elite came to the attention of the world in the person of Harvey Weinstein. Upon the global exposure of Weinstein’s sexual victimization of at least thirteen women who were interviewed during a ten-month investigation, a dizzying flurry of sexual assault allegations were quickly uncovered against various prominent social figures. Seth Rogen, Kevin Spacey, and a slew of Silicone Valley businessmen were quickly put under the spotlight of the media and were accused of various sexual crimes such as rape and pedophilia. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the current sexual scandal discovered among the social elite is that the earliest instances discoverable stem from the early 1990s. This, of course, infers that all of these crimes against sexual victims has been an ongoing phenomenon for decades without being exposed. The scariest part of Weinstein’s exposure is not that he is a sexually repugnant human being; rather, it is that an onslaught of witnesses and testimonies were easily kept quiet for years before finally being discovered by the public.
With these recent cases, more and more of the public eye is willing to offer more speculation and less trust to influential social figures than they once had. Hollywood has, to an extent, been stigmatized, and a dubious sense of having been lied for decades to has been embedded in the minds of millions. In recent months, the scandals that have emerged out of Hollywood can be considered to be nothing less than a betrayal.
And now, after so many witnesses, documents, and other damning sources have been revealed to the public by investigators and the media, yet another piece of the sex-crazed puzzle has been brought into the light by the internet.
American actor and director Crispin Glover, known best for his role as George McFly (Marty’s father) in Back to the Future, published an essay in 2003 titled, “What Is It?” The essay shared the name and provided a subtext for Glover’s 2005 film of the same name.
The essay is essentially a cultural analysis that asks a plethora of questions revolving around the general ethos and context girding the pioneer of Hollywood, Steven Spielberg. The following is a transcript of the essay (it’s a little long):
What Is It?
(An essay concerning the subtext of the film by the same title)
by Crispin Hellion Glover
Is this culture content? Is it happy? Are the smiles broadcast by this culture’s media the smiles that reflect the collective mind? Does the self-professed compassion of the media for the unfortunate seem sincere?
Is this culture a Judeo-Christian culture? Is forgiveness a quality of Christian ethos? Didn’t Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine high school pose with a caption that stated, “Stay alive, stay different, stay crazy”? Didn’t they target Christians? Weren’t they accused of being “Nazis”? Wasn’t one of them Jewish? Wasn’t one of them an honor student? If these fellows were staying “crazy” and staying “different,” and thinking on their own, were they perhaps manifesting a counter-cultural ideal?
What else in this culture were the Columbine killers attacking? Aren’t “jocks,” whom they killed, generally considered common “good guys” by our culture? Don’t jocks represent pro-cultural values? Do those who hold values that counter the culture see jocks as boorish, vapid, brute, conceited and condescending, who willfully insult and violate those who refuse to gang with the masses?
Were Harris and Klebold reacting to the media itself? Did they give their own lives and take others to make a point about the media at large? Can it be true that the media-at-large is so neurotic that it is unable to truthfully describe the Columbine event? Is it true that a videotape they produced just before the killings is now being withheld so the public can not determine their own thoughts about Harris’ and Klebold’s statements?
In Civilization and Its Discontents, did Sigmund Freud define a neurotic as an individual holding thoughts that clash with those held by the prevailing culture, an individual who subverts those clashing thoughts to the subconscious that later manifest in the form of anxiety and unnecessary behavior? If this is so, what does one consider a culture whose prevailing ideas express hypocrisy, sham and double-standard? Does this somehow define a neurotic culture?
Does Steven Spielberg hold the same values I wish upon myself? Does the mind of this grinning, bespectacled, baseball-capped man entirely reflect this culture?
Is it true that in his waning years, Orson Welles asked Steven Spielberg for a small amount of money with which he could make a final film? Is it true Steven Spielberg refused? Is it true that Steven Spielberg bought a sled used in Citizen Kane for an extremely large sum of money?
Do Steven Spielberg’s passions burn? Do passions burn in the man now imprisoned who wished to anally rape Steven Spielberg? Do our cultural mouthpieces confidently inform us that the wish to anally rape Steven Spielberg is a bad thought? Could anal rape of Steven Spielberg be simply the manifestation of a cultural mandate?
Do you believe Steven Spielberg is an ideal guide and influence for our culture? Do Steven Spielberg’s films question our culture? What do Steven Spielberg’s films question? Does Steven Spielberg focus much of his fantasy life on young people? Did he portray children wallowing in sewers filled with fecal matter in Schindler’s List? Did he use children to finger paint an adult in Hook? Does he collect the illustrations of Norman Rockwell, such as the one showing a young boy in his underwear examined by a doctor? Are the inclinations of Steven Spielberg above suspicion by the media-fed culture? Was Steven Spielberg very friendly with Michael Jackson? Wasn’t Michael Jackson supposed to play Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg’s version of the story? Now that Michael Jackson is no longer held in favor by the mass media, does Spielberg associate with him? Do Michael Jackson and Steven Spielberg share similar opinions about the sexuality of young boys?
Did Joseph Goebbels popularize certain ideals to the mass culture? Does Steven Spielberg attempt to do the same thing? Is celebrity more special than actual truth in art?
When you join in a conversation with strangers, do you openly discuss any idea whatsoever without fear of conflict? Or do you restrain yourself from discussing certain things for fear of offending people and then becoming an outcast? Are there laws that deem certain forms of thought as bad and wrong? Is what is now termed “hate” a form of thought?
Does our culture consider it acceptable to have a minstrel represent a black person on film? Does our culture consider it acceptable to have a person of average intelligence represent a retarded person on film? Why is one thing questionable, and one thing acceptable? Did Adolf Hitler entertain any good thoughts? Was Shirley Temple sexy as a young girl?
What if you wish to express these ideas? Can people sue you for expressing ideas, particularly if they’re blamed for inspiring behavior considered antithetical to cultural norms?
Would the cultural mainstream ever silence or suppress Steven Spielberg? Has the United States government given the immensely wealthy Steven Spielberg millions of dollars to fund a media project that reflects his religious heritage, and his cultural beliefs? Does The Talmud speak of the superiority of the Jews and the inferiority of other cultures and beliefs? Does Steven Spielberg reflect this religious imperative? Is Steve Spielberg neurotic? Is this belief hidden and suppressed?
If one discovers that everything one has been taught to be good is actually false, what then? At what point is one neurotic?
Did Vincent Van Gogh, Diane Arbus and Rainer Werner Fassbinder die for the sins of their culture? Did Joseph Goebbels?
Are we fed massive cultural propaganda? Are we infused with the belief that we act as we wish and do what we want? Are we not simply believing what cultural propaganda suggests us to think?
Do you like MTV? Do you like Steven Spielberg? Do you like post-punk rock? Do you like trip hop? Do you like rap? Do you define yourself according to the music you listen to? Do you consider yourself a true lover of music because you are in a rock band, or because your boyfriend is in a rock band? Do you like tattoos? Do you like body piercing? Do you believe that love, kindness, compassion, recycling and equality will save this culture from all its woes? Do you? Do you?
Is it considered “career suicide” to question Steven Spielberg if one is involved in the entertainment business? If one is not involved in the entertainment business is it considered a social suicide to question Steven Spielberg? If these things are so, what does that point to? Does this mean freedom of expression is actually curtailed in our culture by certain social pressures? Is calling someone a “fascist” in American culture today the counterpart to saying someone was a “communist” during the Joseph McCarthy era of the 1950s?
Does our culture congratulate itself for taking interest in the lack of original ideas personified by the name of Steven Spielberg? Do his films take chances or take risks in order to amplify, change or challenge the cultural though process? Does Steven Spielberg take risks, or does he simulate the idea of taking risks? What risk was involved in making Saving Private Ryan or Schindler’s List, or adopting a black child? Was there any risk at all? Would Steven Spielberg have adopted that same child in the Deep South of the 1950s where there would have been risk of being called a “nigger lover”? Were the adoption of a black child and the subject matter of his movies actually business decisions for which he knew he would be congratulated?
When Steven Spielberg clutched his Academy Award for Schindler’s List, saying it’s for the “six million,” was he speaking of a quantity of people killed, or the quantity of dollars poured into his bank account?
Did Steven Spielberg truly help the culture understand Stanley Kubrick’s ideas at an Academy Awards eulogy? Or did he accuse Kubrick’s films of being “hopeful” to make them seem as if they sell the same ideas as Steven Spielberg’s movies? Was A Clockwork Orange about hope? Was Barry Lyndon about hope? Was Dr. Strangelove about hope? Was Lolita about hope? Was Full Metal Jacket about hope? Was The Killing about hope?
Was Steven Spielberg’s company sued by an African-American woman who claimed that Amistad was based on her writing? Was this African-American woman suddenly happy with Steven Spielberg after he deposited a lot of money into her bank account?
Does the amount of money taken in by people determine happiness in this culture? Is the earth an unlimited resource, or is there a definitive quantity for people to exploit for gross amounts of money? When a capitalist invokes the word “hope,” does he speak about the continued escalation of his earning power, without being stopped? Could this hope be an illusion?
Are the ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctic melting and shearing off? Could negative population growth possibly help solve this problem? Isn’t one child per two people negative population growth? Would Steven Spielberg ever support the idea of negative population growth within the medium? Have the goals of Freemasonry, as encapsulated by the back half of the dollar bill, succeeded? Has a megastate of greed been created?
Did DreamWorks, the megacorporate entity co-owned by Steven Spielberg, consider paving over the last remaining wetland in Southern California to create a studio? Does Steven Spielberg feel comfortable emasculating the natural? Is climbing the Alps, or is riding the Matterhorn rollercoaster in Disneyland, more attractive to Steven Spielberg? Is the theme park mentality of our culture, which is made to feel “right” and “moral” by the propagandizing movies of Steven Spielberg, helping to destroy individual thought processes and emasculate what remains of the earth?
Is it possible that the Columbine shootings would have not occurred if Steven Spielberg had never wafted his putrid stench upon our culture, a culture he helped homogenize and propagandize?
Would the culture benefit from Steven Spielberg’s murder, or would it be lessened by making him a martyr? Or would people then begin to realize their lives had become less banal and more interesting due to his departure?
Because I think it is possible a beautiful piece of non-lingual music could well be written by an angry victim once Steven Spielberg becomes a corpse. It could be that this angry victim of banal and ruinous propaganda will have written an anthem signaling a new era, a new thought process, a new music, and a new culture that is desperately needed in the coming days, and forevermore.
The one question lingering before this new utopian culture may very well be:
The essay is certainly long and well-written, and Glover can be commended for paying attention in his English prose courses in college. Evidently, the themes that Glover seeks to get across to his audience revolve around what he perceived to be an upcoming cultural conflict within the United States. Evoking fetal ideas of false media narratives, cultural sins and divisive national conflict, materialism, and class conflict, Glover seems to have been, in a way, prophesying of the contemporary era. All of the questions he asks, however, which seem to be rhetorical rather than actual due to their sheer number, revolve around the person and actions of Steven Spielberg. Consider the following excerpt of the above essay with the modern scandals occurring behind closed doors in the culture of Hollywood:
“Does Steven Spielberg focus much of his fantasy life on young people? Did he portray children wallowing in sewers filled with fecal matter in Schindler’s List? Did he use children to finger paint an adult in Hook? Does he collect the illustrations of Norman Rockwell, such as the one showing a young boy in his underwear examined by a doctor? Are the inclinations of Steven Spielberg above suspicion by the media-fed culture? Was Steven Spielberg very friendly with Michael Jackson? Wasn’t Michael Jackson supposed to play Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg’s version of the story? Now that Michael Jackson is no longer held in favor by the mass media, does Spielberg associate with him? Do Michael Jackson and Steven Spielberg share similar opinions about the sexuality of young boys?”
In calling upon Spielberg’s numerous depictions of young boys in potentially compromising scenarios, Glover is clearly suggesting that the internationally renowned film director is guilty of the very thing for which Weinstein has been convicted. Ten years ago, such a suggestion may have been shrugged off by both the public and media as nothing more than pointless speculation, or at worse, a “conspiracy theory.” Now, however, due to recent events, a reckoning is in order.
On October 5, 2017, only hours after the New York Times published its incriminating story on Weinstein’s “previously undisclosed allegations… stretching over nearly three decades,” Spielberg refused to comment on the situation. Telling the Associate Press that he “had a lot of opinions” on Weinstein’s sexual scandal, Spielberg did not deem the topic worthy of further discussion.
Unsurprisingly, like many Hollywood stars, Spielberg and Weinstein have been friends for decades. At the 2012 Tony awards, Emanuel Azenberg mentioned Spielberg in the second point of his acceptance speech concerning sexual acts in return for movie roles (watch the speech here).
Corey Feldman, a prolific child actor during the 1980s, is most notable for testifying against pop star Michael Jackson the singer’s child molestation trial in 2011, however, the two were good friends and there were several cases when Feldman came to the defense of Jackson during instances of defamation. However, Feldman has been very forthcoming regarding his history of being sexually abused as a child, and confirmed Elijah Wood’s claim that there is organized child sex abuse in Hollywood. Although there is no explicit claim of predatory behavior, Feldman mentions Spielberg’s name while recounting his history of being abused at the hands of men in Hollywood.
Speculation of this variety is appropriate when so many tragic incidents in Hollywood have unfolded under our very noses. Perhaps it is time to take seriously the rumors that have been tossed in the bin for years, and to confront the behemoth of sexual degeneracy that has lied dormant in the entertainment industry for decades. It is unlikely that the social elite will ever out themselves or one of their own; so, the question rises. Who will?
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