Paul Simon's Arrest & the Danger of Feeling Sad, Not Angry, About It
The news of Paul Simon's arrest for disorderly conduct strikes as surprising. The singer, half of the incredible and revered Simon and Garfunkel, is a beloved figure and a living legend. To hear, then, that the 72-year old Simon was taken by police on charges of a domestic dispute incites a reaction of disbelief and sadness. But why should it? If ever there are confirmed reports of domestic disturbance, shouldn't the first reaction be outrage, no matter who the perpetrator is?
Simon's arrest makes us question the "face" of domestic abuse. The most infamous case, of course, in the past few years of highly publicized domestic violence, is that of Chris Brown; he became notorious as an ugly, abusive and remorseless figure, but when the abuser is a famous white man, there is traditionally an uncomfortable trend where they are less persecuted for their crimes. Such is the case with Sean Penn, Michael Fassbender, and Charlie Sheen, among others. For these men, their troubled histories with domestic abuse have become"accepted" parts of their past, and it's unfortunately likely that Simon will benefit from the same.
Yes, his wife Brickell was arrested on the same charges, and that makes both Simon and Brickell victims, but in the coming weeks, as details of the incident will surface, Simon will probably receive sympathy from the press.
We want to believe that beloved figures like Paul Simon are not capable of such heinous acts, and while we don't know the details of what occurred between Simon and his wife Brickell, in cases such as this, we have to treat all parties equally, and not allow Simon's celebrity as a musical genius to cloud judgment.
It's dangerous to react with sympathy; bad men are capable of great things, and vice versa, but just because Simon is such a genial-seeming character doesn't mean he is incapable of the insidious.