Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rosemary's Baby of Berkeley

Although both Roy and Sadly, No! have spread the word, I like to think that WO'C has done more than its share to introduce Robin of Berkeley to the larger, if less wacky world outside her head.  Certainly, Jay B. holds us responsible for the death of his innocence.  "I blame you that I know of this woman's existence," he writes.  "But it's more fascinating than upsetting."

Frankly, I think Jay is being overly lenient with us, which only encourages the sort of recidivism to which bloggers like us are statistically prone.  But he did manage a measure of revenge by making us read Robin's recent plunge into film criticism:
America's Baby

I don’t like horror flicks and avoid seeing them. However, I recently made an exception and rented the 1960’s classic, Rosemary’s Baby. (Reader Alert: Movie Spoiler)
Robin doesn't actually spoil the movie, because she becomes too distracted by the set dressing and angry thoughts about Woody Allen to actually describe the plot, but I think the "Reader Alert" is a nice piece of customer service, and she should consider adding one to all her columns.
I saw the movie sometime after it came out, though I was only a teenager.  I can’t imagine how shocked I must have been.  I grew up secular, with no education about God and evil. The movie confused and horrified me.
Well, it was a horror movie.  And given that Robin is confused by most things, from facial expressions to bike lanes to the code of conduct governing the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, I'm going to have to score the match for Polanski so far.
And yet, the movie wasn’t graphic at all, not the way horror flicks are today. The 60’s was a completely different time, film-wise, before blood and gore were flung in your face — in 3 D. The horror movies back then were understated, subtle, which allowed the imagination to run wild. And, in many ways, this made the films even creepier. 
I don't want to accuse Robin of Bay Area elitism, but it seems clear she didn't spend much of the 1960s at the drive-in.
I also noticed some fascinating moments, such as when Rosemary’s husband hides the book she received on witchcraft. The camera lingers over other books on their shelves. There are two books by Kinsey, both on male sexuality. I wonder whether the writer of the film, Ira Levin, knew that Kinsey was a pervert, or whether Levin was making inferences about the danger of unfettered male sexuality.
I wonder whether he also insisted that copies of Highlights be prominently displayed in the waiting room of obstetrician Ralph Bellamy, in order to subtly remind the audience that Goofus and Gallant were originally fairies who were into three-ways and man-on-dog:

 Goofus:  "I'm thankful for my dog and Tom.  I don't like anybody else."

Or as Jay remarks:  "Who on Earth would write about Rosemary's Baby, put in a plug for 'Spoiler Alert' for a movie that's 41 years old and then focus the books on the shelves, a Time magazine from the doctor's office (Charles Grodin, if I remember correctly), both of which she credits to the SCREENWRITER (I can see it now: "Note to Roman, please put some Kinsey around the house -- just a thought, thanks, Ira")."
The movie is even more disturbing in retrospect, since we know the evil that befell some of the main players. Only a year after the film was released, Director Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn child, and several other people were victims of the most demonic mayhem and mutilation possible at the hands of Charles Manson’s “family.” How strange that Polanski made a movie about the Devil, and then endured the agony of having his wife and unborn child brutally savaged in a manner that could only have been inspired, if not engineered, by Satan himself. 
So Satan was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Tate-LaBianca murders.  It's always a little shocking the way rich, well-connected people and manifestations of supreme evil can commit heinous crimes and get away scot-free in this country.  Sort of like Florida Governor Rick Scott.  I guess the only remaining mystery here is how the Father of All Lies managed to avoid being swept into office by the Tea Party landslide of 2010.
Rosemary was played by Mia Farrow, who cohabitated with Woody Allen, a grade A slimeball himself. Farrow discovered nude pictures Allen had taken with the daughter that they were both raising, Farrow’s adopted child, Soon-Yi. 
Well, that's creepy, but not exactly a movie spoiler.
And finally, for another macabre fact about Rosemary’s Baby, it was filmed in and around the Dakota, the apartment building where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived. Tragically, Lennon was murdered right outside of the Dakota by crazed gunman, Mark David Chapman.
Actually, it was filmed outside the Dakota, since the co-op board wouldn't allow the production access to the interior.  But if your standard for "macabre" is "a building outside which somebody was killed," then good luck taking a frisson-free stroll down any given block in New York City.
Rosemary’s Baby author, Ira Levin, was inspired to write his book upon hearing about the creation of the Church of Satan. (Which I’m proud (not) to say was started in San Francisco.) Levin accurately foresaw what would happen if Satanic forces were unleashed, while “God is Dead.”
A New York Times bestseller, followed by boffo box office?
This phrase is from the infamous cover of Time Magazine, an issue that Rosemary peruses in her doctor’s office. It’s also the statement bellowed by one of Satan’s followers during the jaw-dropping, climactic ending of the film.
I think Nietzsche did some of his best work as a staff writer for Time, although I realize many people prefer his earlier, funny stuff.
While the film twists and turns in complicated ways, the message of the movie is quite simple. Without God, we are all vulnerable, not just a young woman like Rosemary, but every one of us. And not simply people, but this country and our entire world.
I thought the message of the film was, "boo!"
It’s not a coincidence that Rosemary is chosen to be violated and used in the most demonic manner imaginable. Rosemary is unsealed; she lacks the armor of God. Consequently, she is utterly unprotected.
I suppose she could have gotten MacGyvery and tried to fashion a Bible into a makeshift diaphragm.
Several decades have passed since the release of Rosemary’s Baby — and Time Magazine’s proclamation that God is Dead. Many atheists celebrate the untethering of people from the grip of God. But what have been the results? Wickedness and depravity that no one would have believed even in the l960’s.
We were so innocent then, all we wanted to do was give the World a Coke and teach it to sing in perfect harmony; perhaps do a few swing choir shows in our free moments between assassinations, war crimes, riots, and sensational serial killings.
Back then, we would have been incredulous to learn that girls would be gang raped, and their assailants would upload the footage on Facebook. Or that child and violent pornography would be available in seconds with the click of a mouse.
So back then we were blasé about evil, but flummoxed by technology.
It would have been inconceivable that female conservative politicians would be verbally raped and threatened (it didn’t happen back then) — or that people could pen rape jokes and obscenities and other vileness and then simply load it onto the computer or text or sext it.

Joel:  "Sexually provocative humor wasn't on TV, it was on cocktail napkins, and we liked it that way!"
Rosemary’s Baby was a cautionary tale of what transpires when people abandon God. When people are left to their own devices, they create a hell on earth, just like Rosemary’s next door neighbors. We don’t have to look any further than the evening news to see what has happened to America’s Baby. 
So Satan knocked up the Founding Fathers against their will?  No wonder the National Archives keep getting all those hits for "Federalist+Papers+mpreg."
But the good news is that things have gone so far south that many people are turning back to God. I hear it all the time: people returning to church, or those, like me, attending for the first time. 
And I'm sure you'll do the same thing for the church that you've done for the image of psycho-therapy.
But that doesn’t need to be the case for the rest of us, for America’s Baby. Not if we have the courage and the wisdom to wake up and seek safe shelter — the only iron-clad protection in this universe — before it’s too late.
 So the victims of the Manson Family were vulnerable to guns and knives only because they were atheists, and faith is a guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to you?  That's a novel theory of good and evil.  Or maybe Robin just means that believing in God grants you iron-clad protection against Ruth Gordon.


maryclev said...

I suppose she could have gotten MacGyvery and tried to fashion a Bible into a makeshift diaphragm.

Hm. I've got a ball of string, a bible, a picture of Eve Arden, and Satan breathing down my neck. What would MacGyver do?

M. Bouffant said...

Well, I know what I'd do w/ a picture of Eve Arden, but don't tell Robin, 'K?

those, like me, attending for the first time

I noticed the religious tone running through it. This is not going to be a pleasant ride. Imagine all the whining she can do about being a persecuted Xian as well as a secret conservative in Berkeley. The sky's the limit!

What any reputable therapist would say about her obsession w/ secret messages from the magazines & books in a 40-yr. old flick I will leave to a reputable therapist.

Anonymous said...

Ira Levin didn't even write the film, he wrote the novel. Polanski himself wrote the screenplay, and he was even Oscar-nominated for it, his first nomination.

-- Bettencourt

Li'l Innocent said...

I guess the only remaining mystery here is how the Father of All Lies managed to avoid being swept into office by the Tea Party landslide of 2010.

Oh, please! Nobody ever called The Infernal One stupid. Polanski might be one thing, but you think the Dark Lord wants to associate with those people?

Li'l Innocent said...

Heck (you should excuse the expression), my indent tag din't work. Just imagine flaming sulphurous quotes around that first para...

Doctorb said...

"Back then, we would have been incredulous to learn that girls would be gang raped, and their assailants would upload the footage on Facebook."

Take a look at the lynching photographs at withoutsanctuary.org -- large crowds of white people looking straight at the camera while a black man hangs on a noose behind them. In an otherwise decent society, this would be called evidence that they are at the very least accessories to murder, and yet there they stand, or sit, looking straight at the camera and not covering their faces at all. Plus in those days you had to hold pretty still for the picture not to come out all blurry.

Anonymous said...

The 60’s was a completely different time, film-wise, before blood and gore were flung in your face — in 3 D.

Yeah, I remember an ad for a film in the early 70s/my tweeage years and a movie I saw part of (My sisters were with me and hustled me out of the theater halfway through). The ad showed a woman wrapping a chain around a guy's neck and it was pretty clearly about to snap his head right off. The movie I saw part of featured the Salem with trials and I was told later that it had a woman's tongue being pulled right out.
Uh, no, y'all are right and Robin's a blithering idiot. There was some extremely uber-violent content in the movies around then.

What the frak?!?!?! "verbally raped"?!?!?! I can't even conceive of how such a thing migt occur.

Carl said...

Save me a space. I have some comments but no time.

Doghouse Riley said...

Okay, so now I'm trying to figure out why Hitchcock's wife wasn't pecked to death by birds, why no one slashed Buñuel's wife's eyeball with a straight razor or turned Tod Browning's wife into a mutilated freak.

Maybe God missed those flicks. Except Quentin Tarantino's still walking around loose, so God obviously doesn't give a shit.

scripto said...

"The 60’s was a completely different time, film-wise, before blood and gore were flung in your face"

Just vomit. Bright green, projectile vomit...good times.

Chris Vosburg said...

And, remember, Scripto, she's talking here about a film produced by William Castle, one of the most cheerful and gratuitous purveyors of blood and gore previous to this movie.

Chris Vosburg said...

Robin writes: I saw the movie sometime after it came out, though I was only a teenager. I can’t imagine how shocked I must have been.

Well, Robin, you could ask someone who was there at the time, I guess, like, oh, I dunno, YOUR FUCKING SELF?

heydave said...

Wheels within wheels, man.

Carl said...

OK, so let me see...Robin of Lox-lee has decoded Rosemary's Baby like it's the Rosetta Stone and come up with a theory that would do credit to the Birthers.

And she, um, teaches? And is a psychologist?


D. Sidhe said...

My last shrink expressed wonderment that I could tell the zombies were hallucinations. I in turn expressed dismay that she wouldn't be able to.

"Listen, if I look up and there's a zombie standing in front of me, maybe I don't necessarily think it's a hallucination, maybe I assume someone has drugged me or is playing a trick on me or I need new glasses or something, but I don't automatically assume it's a fucking zombie, because zombies don't exist. Apparently, though, you wouldn't do that kind of basic reality testing, and how come I'm the one taking the antipsychotics?"

I tell this story partly because on a per-amusing-anecdote basis we paid hundreds of dollars for it out of pocket when the insurance company felt I was sane enough too, but because any relationship with a mental health professional will lead to at least a few "How is it I'm the one on the couch?" moments. But even by that measure, Robin is something special.

Chris Vosburg said...

D. Sidhe writes: any relationship with a mental health professional will lead to at least a few "How is it I'm the one on the couch?" moments.

D, I suspect that most, if not all, mental health professionals begin their interest in the field on a couch. "I knew that if I had the chance, that I could make those people dance", sang Don McLean, by way of metaphor, recalling the first time he was moved by music to spaz out with abandon on the floor.

Carl, if Robin were a Psychologist, she'd no doubt add that to her blog's minibio, and I'd think that goes for the teaching angle too. We beat this half to death in a comment thread once, as Robin proudly boasted of her prowess in besting semiliterate detractors while complaining that liberals lacked grace.

Incidentally, the same post from our S.Z. brought a insight into the troubled tale of an American Thinker moderator charged with the onerous duty of insuring Robin never hears the sound of dissent, and finding it impossible to endure for long.

And therein lies another tale: In Robin's following post at The American Thinker, Robin complained brayingly of sabotage and underminage from those she trusted and I wondered in comments to Scott's coverage of that if this was the moderation team's inability to scrub thoroughly enough.

You might well ask. That was the last post of Robin's at the American Thinker which permitted comments.

TruthOfAngels said...

"Not if we have the courage and the wisdom to wake up and seek safe shelter — the only iron-clad protection in this universe — before it’s too late."

Hmm. Primo Levi wishes to quibble slightly with Robin's definition of 'iron-clad', unless she wrote her 'fuck the Jews' in invisible e-ink, which she did, of course.

trashfire said...

The placement of Kinsey's book on the shelf was either a humorous gesture by the director or producer (or some wise-ass production assistant), or maybe Kinsey's publisher had some product placement deal with the film studio. You know, sort of like the way the Acme Co. got all their cool merchandise on prominent display in all the Road Runner cartoons?

Chris Vosburg said...

Actually, I think Warner Brothers sold off their animation division to Acme Co of Fairfield New Jersey in 1952, to the regret of certain of their employees.

Acme was sued by Wile E Coyote in 1990 for $37.75 million; the case is apparently still pending. As the complaint makes clear:

As the Court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of manufacture and sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote's work. It is our contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the detriment of the consumer of such specialized products as itching powder, giant kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-foot-long rubber bands. Much as he has come to mistrust Defendant's products, Mr. Coyote has no other domestic source of supply to which to turn. One can only wonder what our trading partners in Western Europe and Japan would make of such a situation, where a giant company is allowed to victimize the comsumer in the most reckless and wrongful manner over and over again.

Had a hell of a fast delivery service, though, with orders often arriving even as the purchaser was walking away from the mailbox.

Anonymous said...

how the Father of All Lies managed to avoid being swept into office by the Tea Party landslide of 2010.
Because Frank Luntz makes more money behind the scenes?

Lucy The Wonder Dog said...

OMG! Did you kids see this?

Attorneys for a Christian professor in North Carolina are celebrating a decision handed down by an appellate court, calling it a victory for academic freedom.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys argued that criminology professor Mike Adams was unconstitutionally denied a promotion at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington because school officials were hostile to the political views he delivered in his columns and speeches.

Mike AdamsA lower court had ruled against Dr. Adams, saying his comments on matters of public concern constituted "official" speech as part of his job duties as a criminology professor at UNC-Wilmington -- and therefore were not protected by the First Amendment. But now the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found that Adams' writings and speeches are protected by the First Amendment, and that if Adams winds up winning his case against the university, school officials could be held personally liable for damages.


Kathy said...

Robin is such an unimaginative dullard- even her wild-eyed conspiracy-of-The Devil theories are boring and pointless.

Chris Vosburg said...

KWillow, most born-agains are, this may be the reason that Robin's "Rosemary's Baby" post is not at The American Thinker.

Further, it may be the reason that commenting on any of Godbothering Robin's stuff had simply become so unmanageable at the AT that they and Robin simply threw up their hands and agreed to simply redirect it elsewhere-- to Robin's blog, and like I say, it's allowed there.

Say what you will about The American Thinker, among the several "comment rules" they list is a restriction on proselytizing, and Robin's postings encourage this in spades, and you'll find a number of examples at her blog, where such is allowed.

So, just sayin'. Perhaps one of many reasons American Thinker and Robin agreed that it'd be better if the comments were elsewhere.

There's something else that may shed some light on Robin's relationship with The American Thinker. They still post some of her contributions, although commenting is no longer permitted, and have somewhat abbreviated the disclaimer newspapers traditionally insert in the footer of columns written by psychics, fortune tellers, mindreaders, astrologers, and psychotherapists from Berkeley:

Used to be: A frequent American Thinker contributor, Robin is a recovering liberal and a licensed psychotherapist in Berkeley. Robin's articles are intended for entertainment and informational purposes. They are not intended to provide treatment or diagnosis. Should you need psychological help, please contact a local therapist for assistance. You can reach Robin through her blog: www.robinofberkeley.com.

Now: Robin is a recovering liberal and a therapist in Berkeley. Her articles are intended to entertain and to inform, not to offer therapeutic advice or diagnoses. You can comment on this article here ["here" is a ref to Robin's blog site].

You may note that Robin is no longer identified by The American Thinker as a "licensed psychotherapist" in the second footer, but is instead identified as a "therapist". By way of reminder, psychotherapists require licensing by the state, and therapists, of any other type or description, do not.

I presume there is more to this, and all I can say is this oughta be good.

Chris Vosburg said...

Robin is, at least in the eyes of The American Thinker, no longer a psychotherapist. She is a "Therapist" now.

This is significant.

D. Sidhe said...

Chris, I totally get that. I mean, it may *seem significant, but it's probably just a technical decision. When my insurance company decided it could relabel my shrink visits not-medically-necessary anymore so they wouldn't have to pay for anymore of them, they just declared me to not be a psycho anymore, either.

It probably doesn't reflect progress on Robin's part so much as a decision by American Thinker's legal department that they want plausible deniability when she inevitably starts flailing away with her umbrella at someone who kills a bug and they are accused of not better supervising a known menace.

Chris Vosburg said...

It's significant because in order to call oneself a psychotherapist in the state of California, one must be licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (thus the phrase "licensed psychotherapist" is, in this state anyway, redundant-- there isn't any other kind).

Any fool can call themselves a therapist, however, and I wonder if Robin just failed a relicensing exam, or got her license pulled as the result of complaints to the board, mine among them, about her behavior-- or was simply never a licensed psychotherapist to begin with.

I emailed my pal Robin about it (well, she did tell me she "wanted a dialog," so here's your chance, Robin), however, and I'll let you know how it all turns out.

Anonymous said...

"...or was simply never a licensed psychotherapist to begin with."

That's where my money's at.

Chris Vosburg said...

Hmm, that's odd, no reply from Robin, but at her own website, a word has just quietly gone missing from her "About Robin" page:

Courtesy Google Cache, last week: Hello, I am a recovering liberal and a psychotherapist in the leftist place around, Berkeley.

Today: Hello, I am a recovering liberal from the leftist place around, Berkeley.

[whispering] The secret word is-- psychotherapist. [ding]

Carl said...

Chris, she's a "the rapist"?