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At almost nine million views, it's a sophisticated, complicated, disturbing portrait of a man who cannot take responsibility for his actions, nor divide himself from a fictional character.
I'm not going to defend Kevin Spacey.
Does he belong in jail? Most likely, yes. Though I doubt that jail would do anything to rehabilitate him. A mental hospital, yes.
Does he need gobs of psychotherapy, probably around the clock? This video obviously says so. I think this video could also be seen as a cry for help. He's reaching out. He's desperate for attention. His greatest pain seems to have lost House of Cards, of which he was star and executive producer. It must have been a passion project for him. The video is called, after all, "Let Me Be Frank". He's pleading with us.
Having filmed and written this video himself, it's obvious he's spent a lot of time on it, on staging it and picking out the specific Santa apron he wears. Most awful is the chopping, the preparing of unseen food, the common work of preparing a holiday dinner. It is casual and it is threatening. He's doing things to the food just below the camera line,---which, incidentally, is what he was doing to us, allegedly, with all of the men he's accused of assaulting. He's not allowing us to see what he's working on. He only allows us to see him drinking from a mug. Like the monologue, he is opening up and hiding all at once.
Is Kevin Spacey beyond help? Possibly. In this video, he takes on the persona of Frank Underwood and argues, both subtly and loudly, that we have enjoyed his performances so much that we must demand him to return---no matter what he's done. I fear that he is falling deeper into himself, unable to admit that what he has done is wrong. What he's done is illegal, but what does it matter since he has been so charming, so entertaining?
A long time ago, I took a ethics and morality test to measure my values. One of the questions always stuck with me: Lord Byron had a child with his half sister and was abusive toward everyone in his life, yet he wrote some of the best poetry of his times. Does it matter that he was an asshole because of his cultural contribution? I don't remember how I answered the question. But I've discovered something recently about myself that answers the question indirectly.
With Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen, and others who have been accused and arrested for various sexual assault charges, I find I have no desire to watch their movies anymore. I grew up watching Woody Allen. His movies profoundly shaped me creatively. I've always loved watching Kevin Spacey; in House of Cards, he's stunning. His performance is textbook. He has complete control over his body in gestures, the way he walks, the way he talks. His characterization is so powerful, no other actor could take on his role. Spacey and Underwood have fused together. But watching him is no longer culturally nourishing. It's like taking milk out of the fridge and discovering it's spoiled. I once had egg salad from a deli that gave me food poisoning. It ruined egg salad for me forever.
Should Kevin Spacey be given a chance to make a come back? After seeing this video, I doubt he would even know how to do so. I think this video has also destroyed any chance of untarnishing his image. He comes off as an arrogant, self-aggrandizing, corrupt, narcissistic manipulator. He believes this is what we want and adore about him. Is it possible for someone in that position to understand how to make amends? How to make efforts to pay for what he's done? It would require complete rewiring of his thinking.
So what now? What do we do about Kevin Spacey? Mourn him and move on.
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I'm Lady Ristretto, writing under a pseudonym. My pseudonym has a pseudonym.