"It makes no difference
anywhere you go,
I got something
I want you to know.
I got ants in my pants, baby,
(Bo Carter, from the song, "Ants in Your Pants," recorded in NY City, 1931)
It's not as though scandals began in Hollywood with actor Fatty Arbuckle (sorry kids, you'll have to look his name up on that there inner net thingie). Fame and public curiosity put his name up in the bright lights of, not merely Hollywood, but police stations, as accusations flew like dirty undies rocketing down a laundry chute. Make no mistake, any day of the week folks would gladly congregate at newsstands of old to gawk at salacious tales involving celebrity s e x, murder and intrigue, all the while gasping and expressing shock and outrage -- as wide eyes hungrily absorbed every sordid detail and hoped for more. Nothing has changed.
So, one Michael Egan, now 31, has come forward, claiming motion picture visionary Bryan Singer sexed him up in more than one way back in the nineties as Egan occupied, more or less, the 15th to 17th years of his life. Seems that Egan recently started seeing a therapist, apparently became re-enlightened about being abused way in the past, hooked up with a lawyer bent upon changing the world of Hollywood pedophilia -- and now a lawsuit at six figures (or more?) way after the original complaint is in the works. It's not about the money. They say. Okay, fair enough.
Egan, we learn, wanted to be an actor as a teenager and his parents kindly accommodated him by moving to the Los Angeles area. It didn't take long before he encountered a bevy of Hollywood intimates who promised him much more of the world than he ever got and extracted sexual favors in the process -- all against his will, but helped along tremendously with complimentary gifts, booze and drugs. The major complaint here is against Singer, alleged to have forced upon the youthful Egan sex here, sex there and sex with friends at all-nude male pool parties, and even sex at both ends during a hot tub session, tempered by warnings and threats severe enough to scare the pants off a teenage boy whose pants weren't already off.. Do I have all of that right? Sex drive? Sex crimes? I don't know. Singer, nevertheless, apparently denies that any of this happened.
Obviously, I'm a clueless blogger and harbor no idea whether Singer is what he's alleged to be -- and, wow, is this ever one of those occasions when one has to pepper sentences with the words, alleged and allegedly. But I do harbor my own complaint about Bryan Singer -- I paid to see his movie, Superman Returns at a theater, and it could have been so much better. That's the crime that interests me here because the sex thing is such, I don't know, daily news anymore? Shouldn't we just condemn Singer for his movies? And if he can be sued years later for alleged sex acts, can I at least find some crusading attorney willing to sue him for my ticket refund?
Of course, the obvious question is, where are the parents whenever this little I'm-gonna-make-you-a-star-kid unpleasantness pops up? Hey, we're talking about Hollywood, a mystical kingdom of possibilities which appears under control by day, yet becomes savagely feral by night, all of it constructed of make-believe and let's pretend, with special places reserved for those who will literally do anything to get an acting job. Whatever it takes. Act one, as the theater curtain opens, often turns out to be a sex act.
The unwritten law for fledgling actors and actresses determined to scale Hollywood's amoral moat-encompassed estate to claim a piece of its grandeur and stardom seems to dictate that a price must be paid, and sometimes that price involves far more body than soul. This sort of thing was once known as the casting couch, though the mistaken impression back then assumed that only young women were the intended targets. So what's new? Who cares? I started caring less and laughing more about this stuff when "they" started whipping up and posting sex offender lists on the Web. Sex is always potentially offensive to somebody, in my view, and some folks are probably sexually offended by exposure to jars of salad dressing or bottles of spring water. Had sex offender lists, separated into neat little "level" compartments with explicit rules, existed at the dawn of human history, there would have been no humans to make history. Internet lists can be posted, but nobody can explicitly enforce rules of sex any more than one can herd cats. Good things happen and very, very bad things happen. Among the Hollywood culture, since when did anybody encouraging their children into acting expect anything different?
Teenage boys don't know what varieties of sex lie in wait "out there," when sex is pretty much all that boys of that age think about? They are not, how would we say it -- uninformed regarding the options and pitfalls of sex, desired or not, and certainly not as recently as the nineties.
Months ago in this blog we referenced a little history about another part of the world and indicated that what is caustically referred to as pedophilia in our society is accepted as surprisingly normal, almost spiritual or equivalent to "prep school" for adulthood (!) in other cultures -- and let's nor forget that as recently as the seventies and eighties, and perhaps even beyond, in much of the USA one could walk into magazine stores and encounter displays of perfectly legal boy and girl "youth" magazines, with very suggestive poses on the covers, for sale -- yes, naked children -- and states obviously were collecting some pretty respectable sales taxes as a result.
One suspects the Singer lawsuit (and others just announced) will end up with nobody claiming responsibility for anything much, but the alleged victims and their legal defenders may mysteriously depart with lots of money from Hollywood bank accounts for murky reasons which nobody will ultimately disclose in depth. Word is, the alleged Singer -- affair -- has precipitated an extreme case of nerves in Hollywood, with intensive nail-biting over who's next. Yeah, you had better bite those nails, because Egan's mom is now making the rounds in defense of her son, and even though the nineties are so, well, nineties, she's angry and -- the real kiss of death for those presumed guilty -- she's crying in front of the TV news cameras. Head for the hills! Surely, Roman Polanski wrote a book about emergency evacuations in cases such as this?
Years have passed, but I wonder, just exactly how much a piece of . . .gold. . .is worth, long after tarnished encounters in Tinseltown? Sorry, but I'll be very hard-pressed to find a hero in any of this Hollywood business-as-usual.
Meanwhile, as if part of some grandiose assembly line, a bustling throng of parents from coast to coast carefully readies the kids for child actor screen tests and stardom that can't fail because their children are special. And to think law enforcement personnel confine the word, grooming to pedophilia, not parenting!
Yet, I am curiously enthused, now firm in the conviction (pardon the unfortunate word) that Bryan Singer allegedly owes me a ticket refund, and if I have to shed tears or attend one of those nude Hollywood pool parties, or jump into a hot tub to get it (that is, the refund, not the. . .I mean, when I say get it I'm talking about the refund, not the. . .), maybe I should start packing.