Once again, a policy of the USA has brought uproar to the world. There is widespread news coverage of the demonstrations, protests and condemnations against the US by people upset by its actions and the way their own governments appear to capitulate to US demands.
Only this time it is the art world -and the policy in question involves bringing a predatory paedophile to justice. When he was well into his forties, the film director Roman Polanski admitted having sex with a 13 year old child while in the USA - and then went on the run to escape justice. Now, after travelling to Switzerland to receive an award, the dirty old git has been arrested and faces extradition to the US.
But the art world is in uproar. How dare the Swiss arrest one of their great and good? How dare they give in to the demands of the US bullies? People appear on TV to denounce the US and the Swiss for their actions in pursuing a celebrated director.
Let's put this into perspective. If Roman Polanski were just a normal every day 76 year old paedophile nobody would give a damn. They'd all be glad that this disgusting creature was finally facing justice for his despicable acts - but because he is something in the art world this somehow makes statutory rape OK?
To be honest, the reaction from the art world doesn't surprise me. Art long ago gave up trying to reflect the culture that created it and started trying to shape the culture it existed in. Art became all about "pushing the boundaries" and being "challenging" - codewords for obscene and ugly. In a world where a pile of shit can be considered worthy art it is not a surprise that a predatory paedophile is so revered.
But to me, the reaction to the arrest of Polanksi is the ultimate shaming of the world of art. At least it would be if the art world had any shame.