Counter Punch | 03Oct2009 | Orest Slepokura

Geezer Renditions

Alex Cockburn;

I was watching the ABC reality show "To Catch a Predator" some 2-3 weeks ago. You probably know the routine for the show. Some wannabe pedophile gets into a chat line dialogue and talks to who he believes is a 13-year-old girl, and "the girl" (actually an adult working for the program) responds positively to suggestions put forth by the wannabe sex fiend that they meet somewhere. The "somewhere" turns out to be the house, wired for sound and image, set up by the ABC TV crew. I was struck by how uniformly creepy all those wannabe child molesters -- whether middle-class or blue-collar, a rabbi or a redneck -- turned out to be. Which brings us to Roman Polanski.

You may recall his brief cameo in Chinatown, where he plays the goon who nicks the gumshoe's nostrils (thereafter necessitating the bandage on Nicholson's nose). Polanski plays a very creepy, verminous character. I realize now that the film director had, in fact, been baring his soul.

That said, your "cool beatnik" reflections on "geezer rendition" neatly capture the glib, ad lib style of coffeehouse philosophy, like you mashed the keys on your keyboard between two hits of BC bud and two hits of espresso. Far out, man!


Orest Slepokura
Strathmore, Alta

Dear Mr. Cockburn,

I refer to the following phrase of yours in your piece "Geezer Renditions" as published on on Oct. 2-4, 2009:

"So far as old Nazis are concerned, geezer renditions now prompt a certain embarrassment at the trouble and expense involved. Why not leave the ancient camp guard to rot in his nursing home in Cleveland, goose-stepping into oblivion, arm-in-arm with Herr Alzheimer?"

That was a drunken-frat-man-style mouthful.  Gratuitously badmouthing a defenseless old man -- in this instance, John Demjanjuk -- is the mark of a guttersnipe.  A person can't get slimier than that.

Yours contemptuously,
Roman Korol