A SIMPLE Google search will turn up several thousand denunciations of Roman Polanski, so I won't burden you with another.

But the Polanski affair has raised an interesting question — does industry support for Polanski indicate that Hollywood is out of touch with the rest of society?

Yes, and more so all the time.

Only an intensely creepy insularity would lead producer Harvey Weinstein to circulate what amounts to a Declaration of Moral Obtuseness, signed by Hollywood big shots who decry Polanski's arrest and pending extradition for his conviction for having unlawful sex with a minor, apparently on the grounds that an Oscar, perhaps even a nomination, trumps due process.

That's strangely detached, but a few days earlier Weinstein did something even stranger: writing an op-ed piece in a European newspaper stating that authorities should stop hounding Polanski for his "so-called" crime.

How could Weinstein be delusional enough to describe Polanski's crime, to which he'd already confessed, as "so-called"?

I think it can be traced to the so-called Oscar he won in 1999, when Weinstein's "Shakespeare in Love" beat favored "Saving Private Ryan" to win the Best Picture.
At the time, the upset had pundits scratching their heads, but Weinstein knew something they didn't. Sure, "Ryan" reminded us of a time, not so long ago, when free men gave their lives and saved the world from totalitarian slavery.

But "Shakespeare" did something more important in the Oscar realm — its story of a theater troupe outsmarting censors reminded all of the writers and actors who vote for the Academy Awards how wonderful they are.

It's a tactic of flattery Weinstein has used repeatedly and successfully ("Chocolat," "Finding Neverland"), as he will again this year when he secures more nominations for "Inglorious Basterds," a World War II movie about ... movies.

Part of this is our postmodern age. Writers write about writing. Filmmakers make films about film, or about writers writing movies about writers ("Adaptation").
Some are brilliant — "Mulholland Falls" or "Being John Malkovich." Some crawl so far into the cave of self-examination they get lost — "Synecdoche, New York." And this inspires scabrous satires of self-involvement — "Tropic Thunder."

Good or bad, these movies, in aggregate, reflect an enlarging self-interest and a diminishing interest in the world at large.

It's stunning, these days, to encounter a movie that attempts to engage an issue. And there is no shortage of those — economic collapse, 10 percent unemployment, a couple of wars.

Hollywood would say that it's tried to make movies about the war and that people don't want to see them. It's also true that most haven't been very good.

Maybe because Hollywood has spent so much time admiring itself in the mirror, it's forgotten how to make them.