characters, but the players! As if it werernsmart to see through the pretence to thernreal stuff.rnWell, sure, there have been all thesernheadlines. But who cares? We are notrnthinking about inviting these people torndinner. It’s a movie. These are moviernpeople, who are generically unreal.rnThose primitive tribes who refuse to bernphotographed because the camera willrnsteal their souls may be, after all, correct.rnOr, to put it in another and morernuseful way, the reality is up there, onrnthe screen. We have spent enormousrnamounts of time in the Allen psyche andrnought to have some sense of what thatrnbog is like—enough, at least, to suspectrnthat, while the affair with Soon-Yi wasrnlikely enough, the charges of molestationrnof Dylan were without precedent.rnAllen’s characters’ weakness has alwaysrnbeen for post-pubertal but still quiternyoung women, as in Manhattan.rnPhoebe Hoban’s September 21 coverrnstory in New York misses this, adducingrnstray one-liners (“In Annie Hall, Allenrncalls Lyndon Johnson a corrupt politician,rn’just a notch below child molesters'”)rnfrom which she draws thernwrong conclusion, for these hardly seemrnto be endorsements of that kind of behavior.rnOn television news programs the dayrnbefore the film’s opening, I heard thatrnMia had fired Dylan’s psychologist andrnrejected the professional’s advice thatrnthe seven-year-old child might needrntreatment for tendencies toward fantasyrnand confabulation. I should prefer thatrnthe accusations of child molestation arernfalse, as this announcement allows usrnto hope. But even if we suppose thernvery worst, then what? Must we thereforerndeprive ourselves of Allen’s films?rnOf Schubert’s music and Tchaikovsky’s,rntoo, for that matter? Chaplin’s escapades,rnpolitical and sexual, do not diminishrnhis miraculous work, and, whilernAllen’s achievement is not quite at thatrnlevel, he has made a number of finernfilms to which his present scandal seemsrnirrelevant—even this new movie.rnAllen and Juliette Lewis share onernkiss. That’s it. And the Roths’ marriagernshatters. Meanwhile, their friends Jackrnand Sally (Sydney Pollack and JudyrnDavis) break up, take other lovers, getrnback together, and seem just fine.rnWhere is the justice to that, or thernsense? What are the rules? How canrnwe even begin to guess what to do andrnhow to live?rnThese are serious questions, and thisrnrelatively frothy comedy raises themrnwith some tact and style. My interestrnin the private lives of the players is virtuallyrnnil, but my interest in a work ofrnart is considerable. I am therefore curiousrnto see how this movie will fare andrnwhat Allen’s next pictures will be, withrnan audience of the wrong size and full ofrnthe wrong expectations looking on—orrnnot even looking but leering. If there isrnany uncomfortable misalliance here, it isrnthe very old one of art and the mob.rn—David R. Slavittrn1 HE SUPREME COURT missedrnthe mark last year in unanimously shootingrndown a St. Paul, Minnesota, statuternimposing criminal liability on those engagedrnin “hate speech.” The problemrnwith the Court’s decision in R.A.V. v.rnSt. Paul is that it dwelled on legalrnniceties rather than recognizing therntime-tested, historically proven methodrnfor dealing with insults, hate speech,rnand offensive points of view aired loudlyrnin public—dueling.rnThe Court properly struck down St.rnPaul’s uncommonly misguided ordinance,rnbut it left the door open for morernnonsense by addressing the so-calledrn”fighting words” exception to the FirstrnAmendment, a concept that first rearedrnits slippery head in a 1942 SupremernCourt decision. The Court should notrnget involved in carving out “fightingrnwords” exceptions that have no textualrnsupport in the First Amendment, whenrndueling is clearly what our Founding Fathersrnhad in mind when they wrote thernConstitution. Shorn of years of lawyerlyrngloss, the First Amendment essentiallyrnsays you can say whatever yournwant, and the Second Amendment saysrneveryone can carry a gun. Cet it? Yourncan almost see James Madison winking.rnIn fact, for those who are talented atrnfinding constitutional “rights” in thernpenumbras, nooks, and crannies of ourrnConstitution, if you look real hard at therncracks in the original document inrnPhiladelphia and stand on your toes, onrncertain days you can see the Right tornDueling standing just behind the Rightrnto Abortion and the Right to Get AwayrnWith Committing a Crime if the PolicernDon’t Read You Your Rights.rnHowever unlikely it may be, the liberalrndo-gooders in St. Paul and elsewherernwho lament R.A.V. v. St. Paul as arnlicense to engage in “hate speech”rnshould welcome dueling with openrnarms, if you’ll excuse the pun. The onlyrnproblem from the liberal perspective isrnthat dueling efficiently solves the haternspeech problem without relying on therngovernment middleman and his spangledrncaravan of blue-ribbon commissions,rntask forces, advisory committees,rnand pensioned minions. The perpetuallyrnmeddling left was quick to supportrnlaws that allowed governments and academicrnadministrators to stick their nosesrnin the middle of a citizen’s sentencesrnand to sniff around for some vaguely definedrnlevel of noxiousness, but withoutrnthe prospect of some Federal HaternSpeech Commission on the horizon yourncan bet it’ll want no part of dueling.rnOf course, any dueling law wouldrnhave some parameters. In determiningrnwhether speech is offensive or hatefulrnenough to legally prompt a duel, the lawrnwould employ the approach favored by arnsignificant portion of our fuzzy-headedrnpopulace on hard social and political issues,rnparalyzed as they arc by subjectivityrnand the fear of making “value judgments.”rnSimply put, if someone orrnsome group really believes that certainrnspeech is offensive, then the offendingrnspeaker can be challenged to a fight tornthe death. This subjective approach isrnvirtually identical to the mindset of thernproponents of hate speech regulationsrnin statehouses and on campuses: if it offendsrnsomebody, it can be banned.rnThat seems fair enough, and for mernthat makes my definition of hate speechrnsimple. You could stand at the end ofrnthe bar and call me a whisky-soaked,rnshanty Irish, no-good papist I larp donkey,rnand I wouldn’t even look up fromrnmy drink. But just try to tell me thatrnwealth redistribution through higherrntaxes combined with increased federalrnregulation will solve our social and economicrnills, and watch out. For me,rnthem’s fightin’ words.rn—T. Padraig Higginsrn8/CHRONICLESrnrnrn