Best Of The Web
“The mainstream, post-Weinstein phase of the MeToo movement is often considered in a vacuum. These ahistorical readings erase activists like Tarana Burke, the founder of the movement, as well as early accusers who did not have a hashtag, let alone any support or sympathy from their industry.
The new documentary Rocking the Couch, written and directed by Minh Collins and produced by Andrea Evans, focuses on sexual-misconduct allegations from the early ‘90s, but makes sure to establish that predatory behavior and sexual assault have always been Hollywood staples. This alternative history of Hollywood begins with the absolutely horrifying story of Virginia Rappe. In 1921, the American actress was allegedly raped by silent film star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. Rappe died four days after the alleged attack, and Arbuckle was charged with manslaughter. After the first two cases ended in a hung jury, Arbuckle was eventually acquitted in his third trial. But, as the documentary points out, his career never recovered—a far cry from our current wave of #MeToo comebacks.
After a heavily-abridged history of sexual-assault allegations in old-timey Hollywood, Rocking the Couch fast-forwards to the ‘80s and ‘90s. The documentary’s strongest and most compelling interviews are with a number of current and former actresses, reflecting on the sexual harassment and assault that functioned as their introductions to the entertainment industry.
Tonja Walker, a former Miss USA contestant, recalls moving out to L.A. and immediately getting soap opera work. At one casting, she met a soap star who proceeded to ask her out for dinner. Walker was excited for the date; she remembers hours of careful preparation, getting ready for their plans at 6:30. He showed up hours late, in a hockey jersey. “I knew immediately that this was bad,” she explains. They walked to pick up pizza, with Walker noting that, “I couldn’t wait to go home and be done with him.” At her door, she said goodnight—“and he said, not so fast.” The anonymous star closed her door and pushed her toward the bedroom, saying, “You know you want to do this.” He raped her and left, and she never heard from him again.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."