Skip to content

Are you not entertained? Nope.

July 16, 2020

If there are two stories that I find unworthy of close attention, but about which the media clearly disagrees, they are the Johnny Depp libel case and the Epstein business.

The Depp saga is sordid in the extreme. A superficial look at the headlines reveals that neither he nor his wife emerge with their reputations enhanced. When we get down to the details of turds in the bed and lopped-off fingers I stray away to other stuff.

I suppose a salacious libel case, which is a bit of a rarity these days because only those with a lot of money can afford to bring them, is an entertaining distraction from all the other grim stories on offer. But all I see is the sadness of the people involved, and the greed of those who seek to exploit their self-inflicted misfortune. The same goes for high profile divorce cases. Everyone focuses on the money, rarely on the sense of failure that must be felt by at least one of the protagonists.

The Epstein case, or more specifically the arrest and arraignment of Ghislane Maxwell, is also something I prefer not to follow in detail. I can only say that despite the acres of allegations against her, Maxwell has not yet been found guilty of any offence. If I were her lawyer, I would be questioning her chances of a fair trial, since she has already been tried by the media.

That’s not to say that she’s a particularly pleasant person. But it’s unlikely that the favourite daughter of Robert Maxwell was ever likely to have emerged from his grip without serious scars on her personality. Which is probably the conclusion you could draw about Donald Trump if reviews of his niece’s book accurately reflect its contents.

Of the two cases, the Epstein affair is surely more significant because of the high profile individuals caught up in his tangled web of friendship. Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump were among Epstein’s friends. But if Maxwell’s trial is not due for a year, it will come too late to affect the immediate political fortunes of the president, against whom there are no direct allegations. But should Trump be re-elected, anything that emerges from the Epstein case that directly implicates him in wrongdoing might rapidly bring to an end his presidency, whether or not he reasserts his claim to presidential immunity.

Be that as it may, it’s just another tale of wealth, exploitation and corruption, with a bit of conspiracy thrown in for good measure, all packaged up for our prurient pleasure. Predator porn, you could call it.

While I’m far more interested in cricket, vaccines, Russian spies and bitcoin scams, I also think occasionally of Maximus, general turned gladiator in Ridley Scott’s movie, who turns to the crowd after he dispatches his opponent and asks the crowd “are you not entertained?”

Speaking for myself, the answer is no.

From → UK, USA

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: