The True Meaning Of Indecency

I wish you were an ally
Instead of a distant foe
I wish you’d embrace reason
Instead of always saying no
I wish you would listen
And not fly off the handle
You must realize that your arguments
Are so easy to dismantle

I wish you weren’t stubborn
And more amenable to change
I wish you weren’t a partisan
Your blind devotion is so strange
I wish you gave me a chance
Instead of acting so dismissive
He’s not worthy of your praise
So stop being so permissive

I wish you’d open your eyes
And acknowledge basic facts
I wish you’d stop pretending
He’s incapable of heinous acts
I wish you’d pay attention
To the state of your nation
You embarrass yourself
With this gross infatuation

I wish you weren’t a phony
Who refuses to be accountable
I wish the odds of you evolving
Weren’t so insurmountable
I wish you weren’t defensive
When I point out your flaws
I wish you weren’t so silent
When your President breaks laws

I wish you’d admit
It’s no big achievement
Endless assassinations
Only add to their bereavement
I wish you were disgusted
With all his needless secrecy
I wish you understood
The true meaning of indecency

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
7:54 p.m.

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Published in: on March 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Forgotten Woody Allen Revelations From Mia Farrow’s 1997 Autobiography (Part Four)

26. Tam hated him.

Besides the unannounced visits to the bedroom she shared with Dylan, Allen “never ever spoke to her”, encouraged Satchel to “pull her hair” and never bought her a single gift.  Satchel and Dylan would get routinely spoiled and she would get nothing.

27. He wanted Farrow to lie to the public about their troubled, dying relationship.

By the mid-summer of 1992, several weeks before the release of Husbands And Wives, rumours were circulating in the press about Allen and Farrow’s deteriorating relationship “and that it had something to do with one of my daughters”.  The panic-stricken filmmaker had his “people” trying to deny the early reports.  He even went so far as to ask Farrow “to issue a joint press release” that painted as rosy a picture of their relationship as humanly possible.

Farrow wasn’t interested in saying anything about his moral failings, nor would she lie.

Allen then warned her if she didn’t cooperate, he was going to defend himself (“I told him his position was indefensible”) and publicly declare his love for Soon-Yi.  After making his desperate pitch for the press release and reminding her of their upcoming film shoot (Manhattan Murder Mystery which Farrow ultimately backed out of), he said with all seriousness, “If that can be done, there’s no limit to what we can have together…”

Farrow’s reply:  “I don’t feel very safe with you.”

28. Allen couldn’t defend himself when Farrow confronted him about Dylan’s accusations.

“Where were you when everybody looked all over the house?  If you weren’t in the attic [with Dylan], where were you?”  Allen “stumbled and stuttered, but he wouldn’t answer my question.”  She kept asking it over and over again.  “I asked him every which way, maybe twenty times:  ‘Woody, just tell me where you were.’  But he would not answer me.”

29. He made numerous false accusations in his fruitless child custody petition.

When he wasn’t erroneously accusing Farrow of physical abuse towards her kids and being “emotionally disturbed”, he also defended himself from a non-existent sexual abuse claim from Satchel (Allen did try to twist his leg in a furious rage once, however) whose birth month he got wrong.  (He said it was September when he was really born in December.)  He also wrongly claimed that Farrow was hoping to adopt two more blind children.  She wasn’t.

30. Faced with incriminating DNA evidence he reluctantly admitted to being up in Farrow’s attic.

Despite telling the media he was too “claustrophobic” to spend any time in Farrow’s summer home attic, after police found samples of his hair up there he gave a different explanation under oath during the custody trial:

“Mia showed me the crawl space up there.  I’m not saying I didn’t pop in and say it’s a very nice place and search it.  By the way, I may have reached in.”

31. Farrow’s lawyer warned her about Allen’s nosey private investigators.

Farrow and her family were told “to be wary of new friends.  The house might be bugged…and the car; the phone could be tapped, and there might be a transmitter near the house.” And forget about accepting flowers.

While it’s not certain whether any of that actually happened, Allen’s team did get in touch with Farrow’s babysitters and even interviewed members of his own film crew, hoping to get useable dirt.  They even bothered Farrow’s brother in Vermont.

A mysterious voice on the phone ominously warned about a possible vehicular accident.  (“Watch out for yourself on the road.”) And for three straight Sundays, their garbage was confiscated by somebody in a “grey car”.

32. He was an unapologetic jerk during his last phone conversation with Farrow.

“When I begged him for the children’s sake to stop the publicity circus, he told me he hadn’t even begun…”  Allen went on to absurdly claim that she had become “the laughing stock of the country” and “by the time I’m finished with you, there will be nothing left.”  After Farrow reminded him that he wouldn’t get away with any of his lies in court, he arrogantly replied, “It doesn’t matter what’s true; all that matters is what’s believed.”

Curiously, in an earlier conversation, he said, “Is there any way out?  I just want to be friends.”

Farrow’s appropriate reply:  “You’re crazy, Woody.”

33. He wouldn’t agree to a supervised visit with Satchel unless he could also see Dylan.

The New York State Supreme Court granted him the right to see his biological son with proper supervision but not his daughter for obvious reasons.  Allen was so upset about this he refused to visit Satchel unless he could be with Dylan as well.  The court refused to give him what he wanted.  As a result, Allen didn’t want to any spend time with either of them.  He wanted to see both or neither.  The incredulous NY State Justice presiding over the case remarked, “I find that bizarre.”

34. During the custody battle he falsely attributed a submitted drawing he made to Satchel.

In a pathetic attempt to paint Farrow in an unmotherly light Allen claimed under oath his biological son drew a picture “of a heart with five faces inside and names beneath them:  Satchel, Dylan, Moses, Mommy, and Daddy, drawn with glasses.”

It turns out he made the drawing himself, a fact that came out when Farrow’s attorney cross-examined him.  Allen confessed that Satchel only “blackened my face out…drew a heart…drew a line through it and wrote the word no, and crossed out my name.”

35. He repeatedly appealed the child custody decision.

“I have lost count of how many times Woody has brought me back into court to challenge the custody decision or to dispute its visitation restrictions.”  He lost every one.  In losing the first appeal, the court noted Allen’s “tendency to place inappropriate emphasis on his own wants and needs and to minimize and even ignore those of his children.”  Although “the five judges stated that the allegations of sexual abuse of Dylan were inconclusive, they also stated that the testimony at the trial suggested that abuse did occur.”

Even his needlessly petty legal attempt to prevent Farrow from moving her family permanently out of the city was a flop.

36. Farrow’s family hoped to avoid encountering Allen & Soon-Yi as much as humanly possible.

As Farrow and her children worried about running into her ex and their estranged sister in person, they couldn’t avoid their presence on their own Television set.  “When the older kids settled in to watch a Knicks game…and the camera suddenly cut to Woody and Soon-Yi, Moses got up and silently left the room.  Minutes later the others switched off the set.”

When Fletcher worked a Christmas job “in the packing room at a chic Manhattan clothing store” in late 1993, he was asked to deliver a package to someone in a limousine.  When he found out it was intended for Soon-Yi, “Fletcher declined.”

37. His celebrity may have helped end the ongoing New York investigation into his abuse of Dylan.

According to Paul Williams, “the Child Welfare caseworker”, based on his previous “experience…interviewing hundreds of children who had been abused, I concluded that abuse did occur and that there was a prima facie cause to commence family-court proceedings against Woody Allen.”

Indeed, regarding the attic incident alone, Dylan told Farrow herself, “He was kissing me…I got soaked all over the whole body…I had to do what he said.  I’m a kid, I have to do whatever the grown-ups say…It hurt, it hurt when he pushed his finger in [my vagina]…He just kept poking it in…”  Throughout the ordeal, Allen told her, “Don’t move…I have to do this.  If you stay still, we can go to Paris.  Don’t tell.”  (Not uncoincidentally, the filmmaker had previously suggested to the whole family that they move to Paris.)

Unfortunately, Williams noted, “[M]y superior said that Woody Allen is ‘an influential person’, she talked about his films and his ‘position’.”  After “insist[ing] that the case should have been filed”, “[m]anagers at the Child Welfare Agency responded that ‘pressure’ [to drop the case] is coming all the way from the mayor’s office.'”  They denied it but Farrow, quite understandably, wasn’t buying it.

The case was dropped and Allen was never charged in New York.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
5:27 p.m.

Published in: on March 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm  Comments (3)  

Forgotten Woody Allen Revelations From Mia Farrow’s 1997 Autobiography (Part Three)

19. He hates Christmas.

According to Farrow, the Jewish comedian never celebrated it on his own “(except for one year, when he put up a bare tree for us in his apartment with a black bat at the top).”  On one Christmas Day, Allen showed up as he always did at Farrow’s apartment, this time handing out 50 dollar cheques for each of the kids.  When his girlfriend tried to tell him about the family’s experience at Mass (“how beautiful the carols had been and what a fine voice [son] Matthew has”), he responded, “Pardon me while I puke.”

For some inexplicable reason, he then decided to use Farrow’s juicer for the very first time in his life.  After roping Lark into cutting up some apples for him, he made apple juice.  When no one accepted his repeated offers to taste it (they already had plenty of egg nog and punch on the dinner table), instead of drinking it himself, “he poured the juice into the sink.  Then, he took Dylan out of her chair and went to another room.”

20. After Farrow found those naked Polaroids he took of Soon-Yi he still wouldn’t leave his angry girlfriend alone.

The day she discovered them on a mantel at his place she yelled at him over the phone.  He then proceeded to spend several consecutive hours talking and pleading and apologizing and reassuring an increasingly irritated and thoroughly distraught Farrow in her apartment.  (“Let’s use this as a springboard into a deeper relationship,” he told her at one point.)

He said he was in love with Soon-Yi and wanted to marry her, then quickly took it back saying he really didn’t.  He kept repeating his love for Farrow, even half-heartedly offering to marry her.  (“It’s conceivable that somewhere down the line we might even get married.”)  Previously, he was completely dismissive of the idea saying marriage was just “a piece of paper”.  He promised it was over with Soon-Yi (“Look, it was just a tepid little affair that probably wouldn’t have lasted more than a few weeks longer anyway.”) and he would never slip up like that again.  He only left when Farrow escorted him to her apartment building elevator.  (He was still talking as the doors closed.)

Then, he came back for dinner, pretending everything was ok.  (He still had the key to her apartment.)  One by one, her kids took their food, left the table and went to their rooms making sure the doors were closed behind them.  Farrow ended up exiting her own building when she really just wanted to have a relaxing bath.

He called her 10-20 times a day begging for forgiveness and understanding, then returned to her apartment again and again hoping to salvage their withering relationship with more endless yammering, hoping to once again wear her down.  He brought her flowers.  Two weeks after she saw the Soon-Yi photos, she sent one of her babysitters over to Woody’s personal screening room to finally retrieve his key to her place, something she never had the courage to do on her own because of his awful temper.

Contact would be limited to supervised child visits and occasional, teary-eyed dinners from that point on.  Farrow’s older kids made sure they weren’t around when he was.

21. He failed to convince Farrow to return the naked Soon-Yi Polaroids.

Allen “was terrified that the public would find out” about his affair with Soon-Yi and was “desperate to get the Polaroids back.”  He had no reason to worry.  Farrow wisely kept them safe in her bedroom until she discretely handed them over to a lawyer “who put them in a vault”.   Furthermore, she advised her kids to not say anything to anyone outside the family about what had happened.

But Allen wouldn’t give up.  He suggested they burn the photos together.  Farrow refused.  He “promised to leave Soon-Yi alone, if you will give me the pictures.” Farrow rejected that proposal, as well.  “…I told him they would stay in the vault for the rest of my life.  I would never take them out, but I wouldn’t destroy them either”.  She instinctively realized that if she gave in to Allen’s demand, “he would deny they ever existed”.

22. He thought his relationship with Soon-Yi was good for her.

“I thought this would be just a pleasant little footnote in Soon-Yi’s history,” he told Farrow.  “I think it was good for Soon-Yi.  I think it gave her a little confidence.”

23. His antics greatly angered two of Farrow’s protective sons.

During an argument with Farrow in her apartment the “entirely unrepentant” Allen “threatened to put me in a mental hospital and have the children taken away” whenever she expressed her completely justifiable rage or sorrow.  As he refused to leave at Farrow’s insistent request, after repeatedly screaming, “I’m going to take these kids out of here,” Fletcher confronted him.  “Get out now.  Get out and leave Mom alone.”

As Farrow recalls, “Woody fled.”

Moses gave Allen an letter that left no doubt where the man stood with him:

“All you want is the trust and relationships you had in the beginning…You can’t have those worthy things because you have done a horrible, unforgivable, needy, ugly, stupid thing, which I hope you will not forgive yourself for doing…I hope you get so humiliated that you commit suicide…You brought these things to yourself, we didn’t do anything wrong.  Everyone knows you’re not supposed to have an affair with your son’s sister including that sister [Soon-Yi], but you have a special way to get that sister to think that it’s OK…I just want you to know that I don’t consider you my father anymore.”

Shockingly, more than 20 years later, Moses has now turned against his own family to side with the man who tried to destroy it.

24. He didn’t want to tell Dylan about his affair with Soon-Yi.

According to Farrow, the filmmaker “wanted the little girl to be told that somehow I misinterpreted a joke between him and Soon-Yi.”  Unfortunately, Dylan had already witnessed them having sex at Allen’s apartment.  Farrow ended up telling her in the presence of a therapist.  (“I would have preferred to cut my legs off.”)

25. He freaked out Farrow’s blind daughter Tam when he snuck in her bedroom to see Dylan.

Before Allen was forever banned from family sleepovers, in the middle of the night he would sneak out of the guest room to sleep on the floor next to Dylan’s bed in her room, despite Farrow’s constant, preemptive protestations.  Unfortunately, when her roommate, Tam, who is blind, needed to use the bathroom, she would accidentally step on him and scream her head off, awakening everyone from their deep slumbers.

One time when Tam realized Allen was reading Dylan a bedtime story, she freaked out once again.  A coldly indifferent Allen kept on reading aloud even though “nobody could hear anything but screams”.  When Farrow pushed him to “hurry the story a little…he glared at me” and kept going until he was done.  Then, he left the room threatening to fire Farrow from their next movie if she didn’t “shape up”.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
3:35 p.m.

Published in: on March 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm  Comments (1)  

Forgotten Woody Allen Revelations From Mia Farrow’s 1997 Autobiography (Part Two)

10. He didn’t look after Fletcher during a shoot.

Allen hired Farrow’s 11-year-old son to act in Radio Days.  During an all-day roof-top shoot on a cold, windy afternoon, because the film was a period piece set in the 1940s Fletcher was wearing clothing more suitable for the camera than the weather.  “Instead of breaking for lunch, cups of hot soup had been handed out to the crew, but nobody gave anything to Fletcher.”  Meanwhile, Allen was wearing his “Eddie Bauer arctic gear, drinking hot soup, without any thought or feeling or sense of responsibility for Fletcher.”  The poor kid returned home freezing and “beyond hunger”.

11. Soon-Yi hated him as a child and he wanted nothing to do with her.

Long before their notorious affair, Allen’s future third wife reacted badly to Farrow’s pregnancy (“she burst into angry, uncomprehending tears”) and declared “he was nasty and ugly, and the baby [Satchel] would be ugly like him.”  When Farrow would ask Allen to do fatherly stuff with her like going for walks or buying her ice cream, he always refused.

12. Despite breaking up with him, he kept seeing Farrow until she gave him another chance.

Realizing her scary dependency on a cold, abusive artist was greatly interfering with her own happiness and self-identity, not to mention putting her kids at risk, a fearful Farrow dumped Allen in his dressing room.  (“He was surprised and angry.”)  But because she didn’t ask him to return the key to her apartment (which he wanted so he could show up whenever he desired) he kept coming over unannounced and uninvited “every single day”.  Despite “politely ignor[ing] each other” during his unwelcome visits, she broke down and took him back.

13. He hated his own biological child.

After the birth of his son, Allen was more interested in pursuing a terrified Dylan than bonding with the boy he personally named after the famous ballplayer Satchel Paige.  Farrow recalls, “He rarely came in to see me and he hardly glanced at the new baby.  He never held or touched him, and he didn’t seem to like me nursing him.  He seemed stern – or was it angry?  It made me cry.”  Allen also referred to him as “the little bastard” and “the completely superfluous little bastard”, awful comments made “[n]ot entirely in jest”.  Ultimately, Farrow “realized that he was not withholding his affection:  it simply did not exist for Satchel, or Moses, or any of the other children.”

No wonder the kid changed his name to Ronan.

14. He once thought he had the AIDS virus.

In the fall of 1991, a greatly fatigued Allen was readying his next film, Husbands And Wives, under less than ideal physical conditions.  Uncertain about what was ailing him he told a perplexed Farrow he needed to get an HIV test.  Why, she wondered. “He answered that there was a long incubation period for HIV.”  After convincing the neurotic filmmaker to get the damn test already Allen was relieved when it came back negative.  Unless he was secretly cheating during their dozen years together (Farrow was worried that an unnamed actress was getting a little too cozy with him on sets in the mid-to-late 80s), he was ultimately obsessing over nothing.

15. Dylan was traumatized by his constant attention.

“He whispered her awake, he caressed her, and entwined his body around her as she watched television, as she played on the floor, as she ate, as she slept.”  Farrow writes that “there was a wooing quality to his approaches:  a neediness, an aggressive intensity that was relentless and overpowering.”  Young Dylan was so repulsed by him that whenever she heard “the sound of the doorbell and the slam of the front door”, she looked for any place to hide as he entered Farrow’s apartment.  On three separate occasions, the bathroom became her sanctuary.  (She once locked herself in there for four straight hours.)  Later, she developed headaches and stomach aches from all the stress of his pursuits.  After he molested her in August 1992, she started wetting the bed again, “something she hadn’t done since she was three years old.”

When he wasn’t around, she “was a bright, chatty little girl, brimming with opinions and observations.”  But when he was constantly hounding her, “she withdrew, her talk became sketchy and hard to follow, and instead of answering his questions, she looked around the room.”  She tried imitating animals, singing, baby talk, “anything to deflect his attentions; and this only made him more insistent.”

When he was putting her to bed one night he wouldn’t let her be until she said “good night”.  As she avoided his gaze, “he pinned her shoulders to the bed and demanded a response while her head thrashed back and forth.”  Farrow ultimately pulled him away.

On another occasion, while they were in bed together “he had been wrapped around her like a python in Jockey underpants.”  As Farrow pulled Dylan away from his relentless grasp he called his girlfriend a “spoilsport” in an explosion of anger, a typical Allen response.

It was only after several therapy sessions that Allen appeared to have stopped “putting his hands under Dylan’s covers…putting his face in her lap…the constant caressing” and having her suck his thumb.  (Whenever Farrow caught him doing the latter she yelled at him to stop.)  Unfortunately, his indecent behaviour would continue.

At the family’s summer retreat in Massachusetts, Allen decided to put suntan lotion on his naked 5-year-old daughter while she was playing with her cousin, Farrow’s sister’s two-year-old daughter, who was also nude.  According to Tisa Farrow (Mia’s aforementioned sibling), “It was buggy and sunny.  Woody started rubbing some sunscreen on Dylan’s shoulders.  Then he got to her bottom, and there he took his time.  It was a momentary thing, but it was so glaringly inappropriate.  Just not something a grown man does to a child…This was such a classic example of ‘bad touching’.”  Their mother, actress Maureen O’Sullivan, was also disturbed by Allen’s actions.

16. He tried to have inappropriate sex chats with Farrow’s teenage daughter Daisy.

When she was between the ages of 14 and 17, “Woody had tried to initiate four intimate conversations with her.  He had asked her how old her friends were when they began doing things with boys, and how old she was when she started fooling around, and what sorts of things she’d done.”  He once told Farrow’s daughter, “Tell me everything you’ve done that you wouldn’t tell your mother.  I promise I won’t tell her.”  Needless to say, Daisy “was uncomfortable with his line of questioning”, especially since “Woody had never talked to Daisy privately before”.  “She didn’t have anything to tell him anyway, and she didn’t stick around.”

17. He was caught on four different occasions in compromising positions with Soon-Yi.

Daughter Lark and her boyfriend Jesse were in a limousine with Allen and Soon-Yi one summer day.  As he awoke from a nap, Jesse “saw Woody place his hand on Soon-Yi’s thigh and caress it.”

Fletcher walked in on Allen and Soon-Yi in the middle of something (Farrow doesn’t offer specifics) as he “walked into the laundry room” in their building.  (“…Woody had spun away from Soon-Yi.”)

Another time, Moses went over to sit on the family sofa with Allen and Soon-Yi to watch a sports event on TV.  As Woody made room for him, “he dipped his head for a very long second and looked between Soon-Yi’s bare legs.”  She was wearing a mini-skirt.

Dylan and Satchel were watching TV in Allen’s apartment when the filmmaker and Soon-Yi “disappeared”.  Dylan found them “out on the terrace with their arms around each other.”  When the little girl tried to get their attention, “they told her to ‘go away,’ they wanted ‘a little private time.'”  Instead of listening, “she hid on the staircase next to the bedroom door, facing the glass doors to the terrace.”  As they left the terrace for the bedroom (“the door was left partially open”), Dylan observed them having intercourse.  “…he was putting his penis into Soon-Yi’s vagina,” she said later.

18. He took advantage of a troubled, inexperienced Soon-Yi.

Allen’s wrongful relationship with Farrow’s teenage daughter began during her last year of high school.  (He actually attended her graduation, an unexpected gesture on his part.  It was the only one he showed up for.)  According to Farrow, “Soon-Yi was quiet, reserved, and cautious.”  Her tutor of six years (grades 6-12), Dr. Audrey Sieger, “whose doctorate is in learning and reading disabilities”, describes her as “a very typical learning-disabled kid, very socially inappropriate, very, very naïve…She has trouble understanding language on an inferential level.  She’s very literal and flat in how she interprets what she sees and how she interprets things socially.  She misinterprets situations…”

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
3:03 p.m.

Published in: on March 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm  Comments (1)  

Forgotten Woody Allen Revelations From Mia Farrow’s 1997 Autobiography (Part One)

In 1997, Mia Farrow released her autobiography.  Named after a line in the 1953 Theodore Roethke poem, The Waking, What Falls Away vividly documents her topsy turvy life up to that point.  Her mostly happy Catholic tomboy childhood, her scary bout with polio at age 9, her high-profile acting career, her misdiagnosed stomach ailment that had future repercussions, her remarkable parenting skills, her world travels and her famous friends & loves are all reviewed through a kaleidoscope of emotional memories, some of which are guilt-ridden.

By Chapter 8, Woody Allen enters the picture, thanks to a personal introduction from Farrow’s pal, Michael Caine.

With renewed interest in Allen’s past sexual misconduct this year, thanks to a devastatingly written testimonial from estranged daughter Dylan Farrow, here are the most interesting albeit forgotten revelations about the filmmaker almost 20 years after they were first published:

1. He hated Siskel & Ebert.

According to Farrow, Allen “reserved special contempt for film critics on television. ‘The Chicago morons’ was his label for one high-profile pair.”  He was more concerned with what The New York Times thought of his work.  He checked out their latest review “the minute it hit the stands.”  Along with Farrow, he “had dinner with the major critics of Time and Newsweek.”  But while working on set, “everyone around us knew not to mention reviews in our presence.”

2. He has a weird relationship with his sister.

Despite having “shared an unusually close childhood” and “help[ing] her financially” as an adult, Allen mostly interacts with his sibling on the phone and rarely in person.  The reason?  “He described her as ‘pushy,’ and as an example told me about her unwelcome and futile efforts to involve him with her children when they were younger.” Farrow says Allen and herself had exactly one meal with her in the twelve years they were a couple.  Furthermore, he never allows her to visit him while he’s working on set, either.

3. He’s paranoid about his health. 

Farrow notes, “…he had a doctor for every single part of his body.  He carried around his doctors’ home numbers, he rushed to the doctor before a twinge could reach symptom status.  If he felt the least bit unwell, he would take his temperature at ten-minute intervals.  He kept his own thermometer at my apartment.  In his pocket he carried a silver box full of pills for any conceivable ailment.  Whenever one of his movies came out, he’d have a screening for his doctors and their wives.  It was called ‘the doctors’ screening,’ and the room was always full.”

4. He’s fussy about the location of a shower drain.

To try to make him feel most comfortable in the family’s new summer home in Massachusetts, Farrow had “a fine tile shower built just for him” because he doesn’t take baths.  But after taking his “white rubber shower mat (for germs)” with him to the bathroom he immediately returned disgruntled.  (“The drain is in the middle.”)  Why was this a problem?  No reason was ever given.  Amazingly, Farrow had a second bathroom installed “with a shower that had a drain in the corner”.  (“It was called ‘Woody’s bathroom.'”)  Allen never used it.

5. He barely made an effort to be a father to Moses.

According to Farrow, Allen went out of his way to limit the time he spent with the first child she adopted when they first started dating.  “…he sometimes played chess with Moses, or basketball, or catch, but never for longer than five or ten minutes.  Fifteen tops.”  The reason?  “He didn’t want to break a sweat, he said.”  Plus, “he still wouldn’t take a shower at our house, not even with the new bathroom, and his own shower mat, and his special shower shoes.”  He also hated his original name, Misha.  He claimed it was a “wimp’s name”, so they changed it to Moses.

6. He has a nasty temper.

Farrow recounts the time Allen showed her where a famous right-wing intellectual resided as they went on one of their typical walks around Manhattan.  Unfortunately, during a later traipse in the same East Side area, she forgot which house was his, so “I asked in passing whether a familiar-looking house might be William Buckley’s.”  (It wasn’t.)  Although she doesn’t quote Allen’s response, she notes that the angry “attack that followed…was more stunningly awful that I had ever weathered in my life, and it did not cease until I was sobbing on the sidewalk…”

Allen also freaked out when she “didn’t know the name of a certain kind of pasta”, when she was “off in my estimate of the weather by only four degrees; and when I asked about a dream he’d had the previous night, when he had mumbled the words ‘Dolly Parton.'”  Insincere apologies always followed each incident.  After a heart-to-heart, he even promised her “it would never happen again.  Ever.”  But the scary flip-outs continued.

When Farrow asked him if he would attend her son Fletcher’s sixth-grade graduation, he harshly responded, “I’ll have to think about whether you have any right to ask me that.”  Needless to say, he was a no-show.

When she tried to address his smothering behaviour towards Dylan “he got so angry” that the subject was immediately dropped, a routine occurrence.  His increasingly inappropriate conduct continued unabated despite Farrow’s growing anxieties.  Allen’s frequently cruel comments towards his terrified girlfriend “made me feel stupid and worthless.”

He referred to her children as “little bastards”.  He once “push[ed] Dylan’s face into a plate of hot spaghetti – an incident witnessed by most of our family.”  He even threatened to do it again but thankfully, never did.

7. He’s a very controlling, manipulative boyfriend.

He would call Farrow “four or five times a day, minimum.”  When they’d eat out, he picked the venue, their companions for the meal, when they would show up, what they would talk about, and when they would exit.  He always paid the bill.  In general, “[h]is opinions were the final word.  And he could cut you quicker than you could open your mouth.”  As a result, Farrow and the kids were very afraid of him.

One time when she was checking out of a hospital (following the birth of her son Satchel), Allen told her nurse the wheelchair Farrow was going to be using to “take her downstairs” was not needed.  “I was all stooped over, and I couldn’t straighten up, my stomach hurt so much.” She ended up “cr[ying] all the way up First Avenue” in their car as she “begged the driver”, not Allen, to “go slow”.

8. He hated his parents.

Farrow writes that “every encounter” the couple had with them was “awkward” and “awful”.  Whenever they would visit the elderly couple, “Woody would ring their doorbell and then cover the peephole.  They always opened it anyway.”  During their 30-minute stays, “he did not address them directly, or sit down or stop moving.”  During one visit, Allen openly accused his mom of beating him every day he lived with her.  A regretful Mrs. Konigsberg (Allen’s real last name) claims the filmmaker was a handful as a child and needed more discipline than his more agreeable sister.  Allen then instructed his daughter Dylan to “[t]wist her nose off…She’s the wicked witch.  Go on, twist it off.”  Fortunately, his mom couldn’t make out what he was saying.  She was hard of hearing.

9. He’s extremely dependent on his therapist.

“There were three of us in the relationship:  Woody, his shrink and me.  No decisions were ever made without her.  He didn’t even buy sheets without talking to her.  I know that part of several sessions went into his switch from polyester-satin to cotton.”  At the time, according to Farrow, Allen had been seeking professional help “two or three times a week for about thirty years”.  (He should demand a complete refund.)

After Farrow discovered his affair with Soon-Yi, she actually asked his shrink “for his help in protecting my family” to which she was informed, “it’s not a therapist’s job to moralize.”  No wonder she’s so skeptical of psychoanalysis.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
2:28 p.m.

Published in: on March 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm  Comments (1)  

Switching Off The Darkness

Imagine being trapped in a one-room shack
Where nothing can be seen, it’s completely black
Time doesn’t exist and you don’t care
Your only companion is your own despair

You can move around in this confined space
But your limitations are so hard to embrace
You’ve tuned out the oblivious world outside
How to escape is up to you to decide

Helping yourself is absolutely key
Take your first step on the road to being free
Instead of hopelessly fumbling around in the dark
Think one positive truth, it will ignite a spark

You’ll realize in time that this isn’t real
And self-denigration is a lopsided deal
Torturing your senses with dishonest crap
Is how you stay docile in a cold-hearted snap

But renewing your spirit is a colossal task
It requires the removal of your protective mask
Emotionally naked and fearful to act
It’s time to develop a brand new pact

One that will release you from the shackles of hate
One that reminds you of the joy of debate
Despising yourself can be such a bitch
Brighten the darkness by flicking the switch

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
4:25 p.m.

Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm  Comments (1)  

Devil’s Insight

Intensely intimate
Casually cruel
Selfish intentions
Nobody’s fool

Devil’s insight
Hardened resolve
Liquid courage
Panic dissolve

Fraudulent premise
Willing pawn
Winsome loser
Clueless john

Easily captured
Instantly bored
Threatened expulsion
Strikes a chord

Painful debate
Disrupted meal
Desperate plea
No fucking deal

Discarded trash
Forgotten slug
False impressions
Impotent drug

Reckless movements
Endless defeats
Meaningless encounters
The pattern repeats

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
3:31 p.m.

Published in: on March 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm  Comments (1)  

I Am A Lie

(Please note:  this is NOT autobiographical.)

I hide amongst the liars
It scares me how well I blend
Real feelings are buried
Just to make a friend

I seal all the cracks
By applying more paint
This tactic is so toxic
I swear I’m gonna faint

Yet I can feel their judging eyes
Right through my clothes
They’re masters at concealing
Their double standard with a pose

Behind the sparkly smiles
And the super friendly tones
Lie so many heartless predators
Who’ll rip the skin right off my bones

But I am no better
With my phony disposition
I have no way of coping
With the coming inquisition

When they discover I am human
With deep desires and such
I can forget about the invites
They won’t love me as much

This mirage I’ve created
To shield my true self
Is corrupting my mind
And destroying my health

Because I am a lie
Who forgot how to heal
I slice myself daily
In order to feel

As I stare at the depression
Poring out of my wrist
I feel this dam burst
It’s getting harder to resist

The scars and the scabs
Must never be shown
If even one is spotted
My cover will be blown

It’s so exhausting this charade
This routine needs to stop
I can’t stop pretending
To be a beautiful prop

How I long for a time
When this culture will change
When I can abandon this dark convention
And stop feeling so strange

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, March 10, 2014
11:27 p.m.

Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 11:27 pm  Comments (1)  

The Five Men Who “Retired” At WrestleMania

1. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (WrestleMania III – March 29, 1987)

“Win, lose, or draw”, he was done.

When the villainous “Rowdy” Roddy Piper returned to the WWF in the late summer of 1986 after a brief hiatus, he was no longer hated.  But there was a problem.  His long running Piper’s Pit segment now had competition in the form of “Adorable” Adrian Adonis’ Flower Shop.

This didn’t sit too well with Hot Rod.  Adonis wasn’t thrilled with the situation, either, and with the help of Piper’s former bodyguard, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and his tag team partner, The Magnificent Muraco, he hoped to have Piper’s Pit cancelled for good.

Despite having his leg injured by Adonis and company, Piper endured.  After destroying The Flower Shop set, he battled The Adorable One and his former friends in numerous in-ring encounters over the next several months.

In 1987, with the feud still raging, Piper & Adonis were booked in a haircut match for WrestleMania III.  The loser would be shaved bald.  Regardless of the final result, Hot Rod was retiring from professional wrestling.  With a possible career in Hollywood beckoning, after 15 years of bumps, bruises and a lot of screaming, he was planning to hang up his kilt for good.

In the end, Piper won his match by submission via a not very persuasive sleeper hold, Brutus Beefcake shaved off as much of Adonis’ bleached blond hair as he could and after kissing ring announcer Howard Finkel’s bald head, he walked out of the WWF forever.

Well, not quite.  Two years later, the They Live star returned to the company to do a Piper’s Pit segment with Brother Love and the late talk show host Morton Downey, Jr. at WrestleMania V.  And shortly thereafter, he was feuding with Bobby Heenan’s stable of wrestlers, most notably Ravishing Rick Rude, in a series of matches.

Piper would disappear again following his short stint as InterContinental Champion in 1992 only to make occasional part-time runs throughout the next couple of decades.  As for Adonis, he would continue to quietly work WWF house shows for a month (while only making a couple of TV appearances) until, according to The History Of WWE website, his firing on April 27 following a house show in London, Ontario.  (Beefcake beat him in his final match for the company.)  He ended up in the AWA where Orton would later join him.  Sadly, Adonis ultimately died in a car accident while en route to a Canadian indie show in the summer of 1988.

2. Randy “Macho Man/King” Savage (WrestleMania VII – March 24, 1991)

In the build-up to the 1991 Royal Rumble, former WWF Champion Randy Savage wanted a title shot against current title holder The Ultimate Warrior.  But he was rebuffed.  Even Savage’s manager, Sensational Sherri, couldn’t charm a “yes” out of him.

So, during his title defense against Sgt. Slaughter at the Rumble event, the then-King & Queen of wrestling did everything in their power to make sure Warrior lost the title.  While the new champion prepared to drop his newly won strap to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VII, a pissed off Warrior wanted Savage.

Adding to the drama, both men agreed to put their careers on the line.  In a very entertaining match that probably should’ve been the main event (Hogan/Slaughter certainly wasn’t anything special), Warrior survived five straight flying elbow drops to go on to put Savage out of wrestling.  After Sherri attacked Macho King for losing, his former manager Elizabeth (who was conveniently shown sitting in the audience) ran down to the ring to toss her out.  They ultimately reunited and Savage turned ‘face once again.

Unfortunately, his “retirement” would be short lived.  After “marrying” Liz (who he was about to divorce in real-life) at SummerSlam 1991, Jake “The Snake” Roberts turned heel by sending a live snake as a wedding present to their reception.  Savage would ultimately be reinstated to fight him.  Meanwhile, Warrior had a real-life dispute with Vince McMahon over money & merchandising and would be absent for months.

The following year, Savage would regain the WWF title at WrestleMania VIII and successfully defend it against The Warrior (who returned to WM VIII to rescue Hulk Hogan) at SummerSlam 1992.  They would also temporarily join forces to become The Ultimate Maniacs.  However, Warrior would suddenly disappear again before the Survivor Series that year.  He briefly returned in 1996 only to work an even shorter run at the soon-to-be-defunct WCW in 1998.

Savage would enjoy a final high-profile experience with WCW beginning in 1994 and officially quit the business a decade later.

3. Ric Flair (WrestleMania 24 – March 30, 2008)

Beginning in late 2007, Mr. McMahon wanted The Nature Boy out of the business.  As a result, he would be consistently booked in “career-threatening matches”, particularly on pay-per-view shows, where a loss of any kind would mark the end of his career in WWE.

At the 2008 Royal Rumble in January, he defeated MVP.  At No Way Out in February, he survived his encounter with Mr. Kennedy.  But at WrestleMania 24, Flair ran out of luck against his old friend Shawn Michaels.

In an excellent match filled with memorable moments, none was more so than the finish.  A teary-eyed Flair, knowing full well what was coming, begged The Heartbreak Kid to finish him off.  In the corner, after saying, “I love you.  I’m sorry,” Michaels superkicked The Nature Boy into retirement.

While his in-ring WWE career certainly ended that night (but not his on-air role as a sometimes physical mouthpiece), Flair would actually continue to wrestle for other promotions, most notably TNA where he revived his hardcore feud with Mick Foley.  That said, at this point, with the man well into his 60s now, and with WWE wanting to maintain the legitimacy of the WrestleMania 24 finish, he will likely never wrestle for Vince McMahon Jr. ever again.

4. John “Bradshaw” Layfield (WrestleMania 25 – April 5, 2009)

InterContinental Champion JBL walked to the ring at WrestleMania 25 in a particularly cocky mood.  After delivering a supremely confident promo, he would lose the title in seconds to his challenger that night, Rey Mysterio.  Immediately afterwards, the shocked and disgusted Texan announced his in-ring retirement.  Despite his most recent return as Michael Cole’s annoying sparring partner on commentary, the former Acolyte has been true to his word.

5. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 26 – March 28, 2010)

Two years after ending Ric Flair’s WWE career, The Heartbreak Kid would lose his own.  Disappointed that he couldn’t break The Undertaker’s legendary streak at WrestleMania 25, he demanded a rematch.  The Dead Man refused.  So, HBK entered the 2010 Royal Rumble in order to become the number one contender to Taker’s World Heavyweight Championship.  He lost.

During the WHC Elimination Chamber match at the 2010 EC event, Michaels suddenly popped up inside the chamber, superkicked Taker and watched as Chris Jericho won the title.  Now that he had The Phenom’s attention, Michaels got his wish.

But Taker wanted to up the stakes.  So it was The Streak vs. Michaels’ career in the main event at WrestleMania 26.

In another superb battle between two of the WWE’s all-time finest performers, once again Mr. WrestleMania came up short.  Taker tombstoned him out of action for good.

Although he has returned on occasion to work as a Special Guest Referee, a cornerman and to cut promos, HBK has remained inactive as an in-ring talent for four years.  Barring some unforeseen circumstances, this will likely never change.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
9:00 p.m.

CORRECTION:  It wasn’t the fall of 1986 when Rowdy Roddy Piper returned to the WWF, it was actually the late summer.  My apologies for the mistake.  I’ve corrected the original text.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, March 16, 2015
3:20 a.m.

Published in: on March 4, 2014 at 9:00 pm  Comments (6)  

The Truth

It has ways of sneaking right out
Like a rebellious teenager late at night
It cripples your image with a single act
And you’ve already lost the fight

It has numerous methods of breaking through
No matter the efforts to keep it concealed
It carves a new path you’ll never detect
Your filthy secrets are being revealed

It can’t be smothered by your propaganda
You’re no longer in a position of strength
When they propose a sentence of many years
You better hope they shorten the length

It cancels the ambitious plans you had
By telling the world exactly what they were
It derails your ruthless momentum in an instant
Will it ever come back? Don’t be so sure

It can withstand your hapless attacks
With a foundation that’s stronger than steel
It will never wither in the face of your hate
Your sugary deceptions have lost their appeal

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, March 3, 2014
11:28 p.m.

Published in: on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 pm  Comments (1)