For some people counting stops at two.
TODAY’S 3D DEFINITION: SECOND CHANCE
Hollywood’s not-so-secret secrets have come to the fore thanks to the first public denunciations of the very extreme and repetitive behavior of a mogul who apparently worried so much about the degree of his power over others that he constantly had to put it to the test — in particular with women. The earthquake that toppled Harvey Weinstein was brutal and the aftershocks appear to be endless. But that doesn’t prevent him from imagining a bright future thanks to what appears to be a pretty solid tradition — if not a rule — for the class (wealthy and powerful) he belongs to.
Here is the reassuring news coming from the Hollywood producer’s camp: “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
Here is its 3D definition:
1. after one mistake, the opportunity to try again while avoiding that mistake
2. as applied to members of a certain social class or with appropriate financial means, the number of mistakes is never limited to one, and the standard price to purchase a second chance is alternatively called “rehab” or “counseling”
After dozens of actual complaints and an uncountable number of undeclared instances, Weinstein defines “second” as a number following any other ordinal number, from first to umpteenth and beyond.
People swear by numbers, and by the time all the numbers are in on Weinstein, there will indeed be a lot of swearing. But the real story is the snowball effect. For the first time, the denunciation of an entire privileged and protected class of otherwise respected, even adulated people — men in power in the entertainment business — has begun and shows no sign of abating. And it is stretching beyond entertainment. The real question is this: Will power get a second chance?
*[In the age of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain, another American wit, the journalist Ambrose Bierce, produced a series of satirical definitions of commonly used terms, throwing light on their hidden meanings in real discourse. Bierce eventually collected and published them as a book, The Devil’s Dictionary, in 1911. We have shamelessly appropriated his title in the interest of continuing his wholesome pedagogical effort to enlighten generations of readers of the news.]
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