Asia Argento continues to be our latest guide through the cultural house of mirrors. New evidence has been emerging throughout the internet realm seeming to confirm actor Jimmy Bennett's accusations that, in 2013, Argento assaulted him.
He was 17 at the time. She was 37. The New York times released a report claiming that Argento paid Bennet $380,000 in hush money, mere months after she went public with accusations against Harvey Weinstein.
Most recently, we learned that Argento first worked with Bennet when he was 7 years old, during filming of "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things." To make matters worse, Bennet's character was the son of Argento's character in the movie. For some reason, the two became close with one another. On social media, Argento affectionately called Bennet "son," among other things.
In an eerie yet powerful sign of the times we live in, the lead up to Argento's alleged sexual assault are right there on social media. Based on their posts back and forth, we can see the timeline that led to their winding up alone together in a hotel room in California.
On Instagram, the day of the assault, Argento wrote: "Waiting for my long lost son my love @jimmymbennett in trepidation #Marinadelrey smoking cigarettes like there was no next week."
Bennett responded, "I'm almost there! :)"
Later that day, Argento posted a blurry photo of the two of them together, with the caption, "happiest day of my life reunion with @jimmymbennett xox."
Another photo features Argento draped around Bennet's neck, with the caption "My son my love until I will live."
Of course, none of this negates the repugnant actions of Harvey Weinstein. I shouldn't even have to say that, but, as I'm sure you've noticed, lately it's important to be very careful with your words. But the allegations certainly reveal a disturbing twist in the entire #MeToo movement. At this point, we just expect the Left to ignore the double standards and make some snobby, postmodern excuse about "toxic masculinity" and "rape culture." To be fair, those are increasingly reasonable assumptions. But perhaps the better route is to let this thing unfold. To trust in the goodness of justice.
Perhaps the better route is to let this thing unfold. To trust in the goodness of justice.
I've thought about this back-and-forth routine. I've spent a lot of time looking for a solution. I sat down and let the words come out, and the result is my upcoming book Addiction to Outrage: How Thinking Like a Recovering Addict Can Heal the Country.
Chapters 7 & 8 deal with many of the issues boiling under controversies like the one we're seeing with Asia Argento. A few lines in particular stand out:
We can do this. We just need to learn to accept and love ourselves and each other for the very real, very human people we all are.
We must once again return to reason, and what matters is the integrity of the thought, and not the personality.
We can't go on like this. We can't. This country will not survive as the world's great democracy if we don't learn how to work together again and tell the truth.