Privilege Gone Wild, Hammer Edition

“If you believe in making deals with the devil, the Hammers are top of the totem pole. Every generation of my family has been involved in dark misdeeds, and it just gets worse and worse and worse.”

So claims Casey Hammer in the trailer to House of Hammer, an upcoming docuseries on the family of oilman, art collector, and museum founder Armand Hammer. The nuance-free trailer foregrounds the tabloid scandals of canceled actor Armie Hammer, great-grandson of Armand. But the less photogenic side of the Hammer family has a truly interesting tale too, involving communists, capitalists, fake Fabergé eggs, an illegal abortion doctor, a Christian broadcaster, and a sex throne. Or, in the words of Discovery+ publicists, "a dysfunctional dynasty with its male characters exhibiting all the devastating consequences of privilege gone wild."


Anonymous said…
A lot of the wealthy elite fall into a category sometimes labeled "Limousine Liberal" or, for the less wealthy ones, "Latte Liberal."
Anonymous said…
Incidentally, Armie Hammer in a movie a few years ago played the leading role of an adult in an intimate relationship with a young teenager. It was a same-sex version of the 1962 movie "Lolita."

Art imitating life, and life imitating art.
For your awareness...

The story [referenced by the above commenter] takes place in Italy in 1983, where the age of consent is 14. As Slate points out, same-sex age of consent laws have historically been higher due to homophobia, but that doesn't appear to have been the case in Italy. Of course, legality doesn't automatically make something ethical.
Anonymous said…
Armand Hammer was a weird guy, at least pertaining to the business of collecting art. But I imagine if you put any family under the microscope, you’d find a lot of misbehavior among your relatives as well.

As for Armie, this is mostly an indictment of his sexual fetishes and role playing kinks, saying a lot about Americans’ puritanical morality in all things having to do with sex.
Anonymous said…
What is termed as either puritanical or lecherous is altogether in the eye of the beholder. It comes down to the politics of the observer.

The puritanical-scolding or lecherous-enabling groups, at the drop of a hat, are known to flip around their opinions. They will sometimes hold two contradictory viewpoints at the same time or on occasion even make for odd bedfellows.
I've never been to see his collection, though I've seen some works sent out on loan.
He had stunning taste in art.
I'm studying Gustave Moreau right now, and Hammer's examples are delicious.
Anonymous said…
> Of course, legality doesn't automatically make something ethical.

Speaking of ethics, adults in old-time Italy were known to castrate young males in order to prevent their voices from changing and maturing. Uh, yikes.