Okay, so everyone has heard the news that Woody Allen allegedly fingered his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow twenty some years ago. She repressed the memories, but they have come back, and now there’s a bunch of hoopla in the media about how we should feel and think about all of this. People are squaring off and taking sides, defending or condemning a man without knowing any of the details.
But the thing people are missing in all of this though is, hello, Woody Allen is a masterful comedian! Did it occur to anyone that maybe this is all just satire? Of course Woody Allen didn’t mean to molest that girl, he just had to do it so he could create this mess he’s in and do that neurotic thing we all love.
It’s all just another classic awkward situation that he’s crafted in an attempt to bridge the gap between his fictional work and the real world. In an age of blogs and reality TV, who is to say what’s real or not? Can a crime be a character? An artistic vessel? Yeah sure, I guess, as long as someone famous or cool signs off on it.
Woody Allen is exactly the right person to take us into a whole new world of comedy. A world where instead of just telling rape jokes, we’re actually raping, but not because we like rape or think it’s acceptable, but because we think it’s funny and we’re trying to point out how bad it is by actually doing it. That’s really the kind of genius Woody Allen is.
You see, before Woody Allen, there was really only one comedy bit – a man would walk through a door, get hit by a pie, and then his pants would fall down. Then one day, Woody did it – but he did it dressed as Hitler and said, “I’m here about the belt.” It was called Jewish humor, and Woody had just invented it.
Think George Constantiniza on Seinfield. He was a Jewish man that was always getting into big goofs that had serious consequences – he killed his wife for crying out loud! Isn’t that a little worse than molesting someone? I think so. I think it’s worse. Yet, we all laughed. We all gathered around the TV every Thursday at 8pm and checked in to see what kind of hot water George was getting himself into. Do you think it would be just as funny if George was a character that someone was doing in real life, and had actually killed a woman? Maybe not at first, but people would learn to appreciate it. That’s the power of comedy, it allows us to joke about awful things until people accept them and think that they are okay to do in real life.
This is all just food for thought, really, but I think it deserves serious consideration because I said it and I put it on the internet. Are we jumping down this man’s throat before looking at all this as a teachable moment? As a chance to say, hey, maybe all of this molestation stuff is funny and okay to do after all. All I know is, right now, Dylan Farrow isn’t the only one who is repressing memories. America has repressed a memory – the memory of a man who taught us how to laugh, how to love, and how to power through our existential angst with humor. My hat goes off to you Mr. Allen! I can’t wait to see what you do next!