Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner

“Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner face new allegations of sexual misconduct”

Sex is not the only thing they were entitled to.

Rock stars created the paradigm. Nobodies who became somebodies who could act with impunity. Prior to this, you had to be rich to get away with it. Fame helped too, but the rock stars were both. Which is why everybody wants to be a “rock star” today. There’s the rock stars of tech, the rock stars of finance, only they’re not, rock stars that is. Rock stars drew women to them based on their art, their songs, without them they were oftentimes dullards unable to speak to the opposite sex. Check history, seemingly every legend says he got into it so he could meet girls. That’s the power of song, when done right, rock music is life itself.

But most people cannot become rock stars.

You also have to realize men are in competition. There is not the community of women, happy just to be a member of the group. No, men are constantly climbing the ladder, pushing others down, showing off, and when they get to the top, they think they’re invulnerable. Like Harvey Weinstein. Forget that he did it, the fact that David Boies kept it out of the press undercuts our entire notion of society. We thought you paid for your sins. But you don’t. If you’re rich and famous you hire the best attorneys, who are thrilled to get paid and be members of the club, and you skate. Kinda like Brett Ratner. Everybody’s entitled to a defense, but Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer keeps bloviating that the accusations are false and is on a path to put questions in the public’s brain to allow Mr. Ratner to go free. Do you think you could afford the services of Mr. Singer? Would he even want to represent you if you’re a nobody? Give Louis C.K. credit, at least he admitted it. That’s what people with good upbringings used to do, until the President himself lied. That’s right, they were after Bill Clinton but he manipulated the truth and I don’t want to make this about left and right but when you see the upper class lying, why should you tell the truth?

And who raised these guys? Maybe I’m just an outsider. Maybe I learned from my father, who was also an outsider. Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up in a female-dominated household. I never ran with the pack and was egged on by my compatriots. Oh, we’ve all been exposed to this behavior, at the frat, the trash-talking bullies, but it always made me feel uncomfortable, I wanted to extricate myself from the scene, where you want to act like a bro to be part of the group. And groupthink takes over and you do heretofore unthinkable things. Believing you’re invulnerable and the group has your back.

But if you’re rich, that too is a club, with its own markers. Do you fly first class, NetJet or have your own plane? Can you snap your fingers and get what you want? Let’s be clear, we no longer live in the sixties and seventies. Reagan legitimized greed and now there are tons of rich dudes who emulate rock stars without the portfolio other than the cash. And let’s be clear, women are attracted to money, not all, but a certain number. And when women come in contact with this cash and power oftentimes bad things happen. Not always, but in the case of Ratner and Simmons, they do.

And now I can’t say any more. This is kind of like Rodney King, we heard about police oppression for years and didn’t believe it. We’ve been hearing about rape culture for years, and here it is, the evidence. And now most men are afraid to weigh in on the topic, they don’t want to get caught in the maelstrom, and I don’t want to either. But I’m wondering where this all ends up.

We’ve got to stop venerating the rich. We’ve got to stop saying they’re the job-creators and so much better than the rest of us. That’s just patently untrue. Too many are complicit in this myth.

We’ve got to eradicate bro behavior. This is a tough one, since it goes back millennia. But men are no longer hunter-gatherers, they’re no longer killing dinner every day.

And we’ve got to hold people accountable. Wall Street blows up the country and gets off scot-free. So you’re supposed to play by the rules? Once again, culpability is turned upon the opposite party. You took the mortgage, you were in the house, you’re responsible, not them. But Wall Street skated because one of their own was in charge, Timothy Geithner not only resisted calls for criminal culpability, he paid the perps, gave their outfits money to stay in business. It’s like the deal with Meek Mill. Jay Z was right. Meek Mill might have been a bad actor, but he was in perpetual probation, in a way white people are not. You see a black rapper and believe he’s guilty. You see a rich white guy and believe he’s not.

So what happens now?

The ball is being moved downfield. Thinking men will alter their behavior. But they will still want to be rich and successful for the perks. And the number one perk is sex. It even trumps money. That’s what men want. I hate to admit it, but guys judge you based on who’s on your arm.

Do the accused ever work again? Does the punishment fit the crime?

It’s like the rest of life. Their timing was bad. You could get away with it then, but not now. Mel Gibson came back, maybe they can too. But I’m not going out of my way to see Mel’s movies, Hollywood may have forgotten, but I have not. But that’s just evidence of the cracks in the system. The rich and powerful believe they’re in control, but in many ways they are not. We are, and new communication tools have delivered this to us. Then again, the internet has allowed untruths to prosper.

But this story has been broken by the press. The supposed dying outlet of fake news. But in an era of duplicity, where no reporter can make the cash of a techie, it’s important to stick to your guns, do what you do. That’s what’s wrong with music today, it used to be an exponent of truth, now it’s just a vehicle for wealth, with the makers complicit in the system. We want to hear from people outside the system, not those inured to it.

As for Trump, he was elected because too many felt abused by the system we’ve got. Which is why Bernie got traction. They were both appealing to the disaffected. But Bernie got shafted by the DNC and Trump employed the old playbook, deny, deny, deny, to escape culpability.

But homey don’t play that game anymore.

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