The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 55

caracas-music-festival.jpg

“All set for the Caracas Music Festival!” (Note the old seven-star flag, being held upside down. The current Venezuelan flag has eight stars. What decade is this, again? With the oppos, it’s always yesterday once more. Shooby-doo-lang-lang.)

Good evening, world, and welcome to yet another fine edition of VenOpIronía. Today’s installment: How to commit auto-suicide. Sounds a bit redundant, yes? Yes, it is — but it’s the only word that fits when this happens:

Hooded protesters gathered on Sunday afternoon at Plaza Francia, Caracas, causing security forces to appear on site and suspend the 6th annual Reading Festival.

The protest was organized by United Active Youth of Venezuela (JAVU), who informed of their activity on Twitter.

The municipal police tried to prevent the demonstrators from blocking Francisco de Miranda Avenue and decided to temporarily suspend the Reading Festival in order to prevent that.

The demonstration was criticized by [opposition] personages such as Leonardo Padrón, Sumito Estevez and Ibéyise Pacheco, generating controversy on the social network.

Leonardo Padrón tweeted: “The protest at Plaza Altamira ruined the close of the Reading Festival, it’s an exercise in sovereign stupidity.”

Sumito “El Cheff” Estevez wrote: “Don’t try to paint the stupidity of these little kids forcing the closure of the fair a few minutes ago as heroic.

“Don’t go to the book fair at Altamira. They just advised me that the guarimberos closed it. Obviously, my two events are suspended.”

Ibéyise Pacheco wrote: “This protest today looks just like an ‘auto-suicide’.”

Clearly, these personages protested because their interests are under attack. They should have screamed to high heaven when 43 Venezuelans fell dead at the hands of these same guarimberos.

Translation mine.

I can’t imagine why a book fair located in an upscale, mostly opposition sector of Caracas could have brought these right-wing hoodlums out to “protest”. Maybe they were hoping to kill their own cultural stars and fob the blame off on Chavistas, as usual?

Oh, probably. Only problem is, they wound up alienating their own.

Suddenly, all the right-wing media figures are scrambling to distance themselves from JAVU. The same who were silent about JAVU’s violence in recent months, when 43 Venezuelans died, are now squealing like piggies because they got their little literary shindig shut down…by JAVU. It’s especially rich that Ibéyise Pacheco, who made something of a name for herself in 2002, calling for a future “without Chávez, of course” every night on the TV news right before the April coup went down, finally got a taste of her own putschist medicine.

And I…cannot stop laughing at the stupidity and ineptitude of them all.

Icelandic funnyman wants to mack on Julien Blanc. Dafuq?

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Squeal like a pig!

While Ireland is working hard to make sure Julien Blanc doesn’t get so much as a look-in on their green and rugged turf, a very different situation seems to be brewing in a country just one letter different. In Iceland, comedian Hugleikur Dagsson, of Reykjavík, has other ideas. Instead of keeping him out, argues “Hulli”, why not chase him out…the same way he chases women?

I do not think we should prevent him from coming here. Barring people from coming here is stupid. Why make a martyr out of him? Scumbags like him are always the first ones to celebrate censorship and deportation. Because fuckwits like him like to pretend they are the true champions of freedom of speech, and use that rhetoric ad nauseam to justify the diarrhoea that flows from their throats so freely. If we deny him entry, he’ll brag about it on Twitter and probably get loads of retweets from a sad army of braindead, semen-reeking, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing humanoids. He’ll be a hero among skunks and shitheels, and this is what he wants. Let’s not do him that favour.

[…]

I’m now speaking to the men of Iceland: It’s time we use our privilege for good. Chauvinists like this creature are almost without exception homophobic. They fear nothing more than someone treating them like they treat women.

I say we hit on Julien Blanc. Every single one of us.

If we see him in the street, we’ll give him a wink. Whistle at him. If we meet him at a bar, let’s pinch his ass. Blow him a kiss. I urge every male reporter to stroke his thighs while interviewing him. I urge every large man to tell him what a purdy mouth he has. I urge every male bartender to whisper in his ear how much they want to be inside of him.

I think this will be the funniest thing ever. Let’s not help him feel like a hero. Let’s make him feel like the one thing he most despises. Let’s make him feel like a chick.

I have to admit, I kinda-sorta hope somebody does that and catches it on video, and posts it to YouTube for the world to see. It’s not like he doesn’t have it coming. Julien Blanc’s biggest humiliation would be good for a laugh and a half. And it would be nice to think that he might learn a bit of empathy by seeing what it feels like to have his own throat grabbed on the streets of cute little Reykjavík without warning, or his own puny head forced into some strapping, red-bearded Viking descendant’s big, sweaty ol’ crotch.

But at the same time, assault is still assault, and even if it’s funny to the rest of us just to imagine it, the eyes of the law might see it very differently. I don’t know what the legal situation is in Iceland regarding assault, but an international incident is really not the best way to squelch him.

Worse, it probably won’t teach Julien Fucking Blanc a thing. He’s beyond help. He will NEVER learn to respect women, not even if he’s placed in the same position as one by a dude brawny enough to fold him up and tuck him in the ticket pocket of his lumberjack jeans. He will always hate them, and that will guarantee his endless, epic failure with them, no matter what he does, and no matter how much he charges to tell men differently. World without end, amen.

Happily, nobody but RSD’s little ass-barnacles (and the occasional contrarian media idiot) is seeing him as a “martyr”. Most people, once they know what bag Julien Blanc comes out of, have no problem with barring their nation’s doors to him. Because who wants a violent criminal, who also promotes violent crime for big bucks, on their soil?

And besides, he’s a colossal wimp. Canada didn’t even have to formally bar him; the mere existence of a couple of popular petitions against him, plus a smattering of unfavorable news reports, was enough to make all RSD’s odious stable of pickup coaches cancel their dates here. Not to mention that his tweeter’s still on lockdown, and likely to remain so for the duration. I’d say that the simple, nonviolent use of our own free speech to expose this nest of cockroaches* to light was sufficient to send them scuttling.

And we didn’t even have to ask any big, strong machos to sacrifice their heterosexuality for it, either.

*Apologies to actual cockroaches for the odious comparison. And thanks to Hulli for the mental imagery!

Bad news for ammosexuals

Music, Maestro Cummings:

Ah, that was lovely. And now, the news.

First, the sublime: It looks as though John “Mary Rosh” Lott has been definitively debunked, by real scientists not in the pocket of the gunmakers’ lobby. Instead of “More Guns, Less Crime”, it’s “More Guns, More Crime”:

Across the basic seven Index I crime categories, the strongest evidence of a statistically significant effect would be for aggravated assault, with 11 of 28 estimates suggesting that RTC laws increase this crime at the .10 confidence level. An omitted variable bias test on our preferred Table 8a results suggests that our estimated 8 percent increase in aggravated assaults from RTC laws may understate the true harmful impact of RTC laws on aggravated assault, which may explain why this finding is only significant at the .10 level in many of our models. Our analysis of the year-by-year impact of RTC laws also suggests that RTC laws increase aggravated assaults. Our analysis of admittedly imperfect gun aggravated assaults provides suggestive evidence that RTC laws may be associated with large increases in this crime, perhaps increasing such gun assaults by almost 33 percent.

In addition to aggravated assault, the most plausible state models conducted over the entire 1979-2010 period provide evidence that RTC laws increase rape and robbery (but usually only at the .10 level). In contrast, for the period from 1999-2010 (which seeks to remove the confounding influence of the crack cocaine epidemic), the preferred state model (for those who accept the Wolfers proposition that one should not control for state trends) yields statistically significant evidence for only one crime – suggesting that RTC laws increase the rate of murder at the .05 significance level. It will be worth exploring whether other methodological approaches and/or additional years of data will confirm the results of this panel-data analysis and clarify some of the highly sensitive results and anomalies (such as the occasional estimates that RTC laws lead to higher rates of property crime) that have plagued this inquiry for over a decade.

“RTC” = “right to carry”.

Higher rates of robbery, rape, aggravated assault AND murder (not to mention accidental gunshot wounds and deaths) go hand in hand with “right to carry” laws. Who’d of thunk? Guess that puts paid to the whole “if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will carry guns” canard of the NRA & Co. Seems that the more legal guns are, the greater the number of outlaws who find themselves free to carry the same. And consquently, the more powerless the cops will be against them, unless they happen to be better armed. What a coincidence, right at a time when even small-town police forces are starting to look more and more like miniature armies, while weapons manufacturers all rub their hands and yell “Ka-CHING!!!”

And now, the ridiculous. Since carrying a gun creates an automatically greater risk that you will wind up on the outlaw side of things, it’s getting harder to tell the cops from the robbers. Particularly in Ferguson, Missouri, where racism is uniting bigoted ammosexual cops with bigoted civilian ammosexuals like never before:

Some suburban St. Louis gun dealers have been doing brisk business, particularly among first-time buyers, as fearful residents await a grand jury’s decision on whether to indict the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

Metro Shooting Supplies, in an area near the city’s main airport, reports selling two to three times more weapons than usual in recent weeks — an average of 30 to 50 guns each day — while the jury prepares to conclude its three-month review of the case that sparked looting and weeks of sometimes-violent protests in August.

“We’re selling everything that’s not nailed down,” owner Steven King said. “Police aren’t going to be able to protect every single individual. If you don’t prepare yourself and get ready for the worst, you have no one to blame but yourself.”

[…]

Protest leaders say they are preparing for non-violent demonstrations after the grand jury’s decision is announced, but they also acknowledge the risk of more unrest if the panel decides not to issue criminal charges against Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot Brown, who was black and unarmed.

No word on what color most of the gun buyers are, but you can pretty much guess. It’s the same color as most of the NRA’s membership. And all of the KKK’s. Ammosexuality is, when all’s said, a white man’s disease.

Julien Blanc gets choked by CNN

Well, well. What have we here?

Credit where it’s due to the the guy from the Chicken Noodle Network…he did a pretty good job of holding the world’s most unconvincing con man accountable there. He brought up everything from the “Diss Fatties Bang Hotties” shirt, to the choking video (which was part of his actual technique that Creep Stubble there teaches in his grossly overpriced “seduction” boot camps). And all Julien can do is babble canned and unconvincing platitudes about how sorry he is, and how it was all just a joke (oh really? Then why did he delete the “Choking Girls Around the World” video?), and how he’s attended the weddings of people who met using his non-starter techniques, blah blah blah.

Yeah, right. Pull the other one, Julien…nobody is buying. And with any luck, no one else WILL be buying your courses from now on, either. Because if this is how you perform in interviews, you’re not likely to be any more convincing when you spring your stupid spiels on random women in the street.

PS: It gets worse. Julien’s boss, Owen Cook, has openly bragged of raping a stripper. The video in which he did so is also down, no doubt because it makes RSD look even worse than the “Choking Girls” one did, but a graphic description of its content is here.

Music for a Sunday: Uns privat, Frau Studienrat…

…sind Sie doppelt so apart, ja ja:

Oh, you want a translation? Okay, then…

No More School

It’s been written
And there’s some truth to it,
Yes, the dumb ones live themselves to death,
You only get out of it with brains, yes, yes.
Do you want Dad’s praise,
His car, and gas too?
Then participate in school!
E.g.:
Gretchen Grün
Was always coming on real keen
And the teacher
Had the answer ready fast
And said:
“If you want to be smart
And get good grades, no shit,
Only this exercise will keep you fit!”
And he’s got his slide rule with him…
No thank you!
No more school,
No school, no more.
Because your beard, Mr. Teacher,
Isn’t smart enough for me! Yeah, yeah!
No more school,
No school, no more.
Because the circumstance is known:
Too much school makes you sick!

Monday morning,
Jonas Maier’s having trouble
Recognizing that Duty
Has stepped into his life and says:
“You have a choice,
Do you want blessings or torment?
Don’t bug your teachers!”
But then —
In the last class
The patron’s making the rounds
And it’s come to this again:
Jonas is ready to do his thing.
His Dolby 2-Way Super Stereo’s all hooked up,
And what does whole class hear now,
Just ripping through the hallways?
You hear:
No more school,
No school, no more!
Because our lives, in actual fact
Are hard even with your grades. Yeah, yeah!
No more school,
No school, no more!
And just between us, Madam Teacher,
You’re twice as far out! Yeah, yeah!
No more school,
No school, no more…

PS: This one’s going out to the douchebags of RSD, natch. Seems that they’ve been awfully quiet when it comes to terrorizing the streets of Berlin; no word as to whether their little pick-up seminar actually happened or not — or if so, where. Probably all the counterdemonstrators and women watching out, ha ha.

Pick-up shut-down: Canada and Germany fighting back against RSD

Julien Blanc’s infamous “choking girls” video, in which the PUA “coach”, of the firm RSD, gives racist “advice” on how to pick up women in Japan: Literally grab them by the throat and scare/embarrass the hell out of them, and they’ll supposedly do anything you want. Does it work? Only if your goal is to get arrested…or make an ass of yourself in public, and maybe get your ass kicked out of country, too. Already he’s gotten the boot in Australia; now, two other countries are taking note and locals are formulating plans against him and his ilk. One is my ancestral country; the other, my home and native land. Here’s what’s going on in Germany, according to the Berlin Daily Newspaper (the TAZ):

The video is no longer available. It was taken down by the owner. But when it was still up, it showed a bearded young man in front of an audience of other young men, bragging that he had penetrated a woman who didn’t want him to. They had had sex the night before; the next morning, he wanted to do it again, but she didn’t. But that didn’t matter to him, he says, proudly.

A little belatedly, the US firm, Real Social Dynamics (RSD), for which the young man worked, found out, that someone had confessed to rape on video. Many had seen it already — and RSD, which offers “seminars” for men on how to pick up women, is suddenly a concept. Under the Twitter hashtags, #TakeDownRSD and #TakeDownJulienBlanc, an outraged protest is gathering. “The goal is to shut them down entirely,” the protest’s initiator, Jennifer Li of Washington, told the BBC. And on Change.org, there’s a petition to stop RSD’s seminars.

Who is behind RSD? It’s people like Julien Blanc, whose videos are still to be found on the net. “In Tokyo, if you’re a white male, you can do what you want,” he tells his audience, “I’m just romping through the streets, just grabbing girls’ heads, just like, head, pfft on the dick.” Yes, really. Then there’s a few scenes in a disco, in which he demonstrates the recommended procedures. The women really do giggle. But probably just because he’s acting like an idiot.

Who goes for such racist, sexist baloney? A lot of people. The company offers seminars in 70 countries around the world. RSD claims to be the biggest “dating advice” company in the world. You can book an audio course, an e-course, buy a DVD set, or even attend a multi-day “boot camp”.

Next weekend, one of the “boot camps” is slated to take place in Berlin. Not Julien Blanc, but another trainer is set to lead it: “Ozzie”. He’s written a book about “The Physical Game”. Subtitle: “A Pickup Coach’s Complete Guide to Approach, Physically Lead and Bed Women.”

The seminar is already sold out, according to RSD’s website. It costs $2000 US, and runs for two days, including practice runs in the wild. “Every woman they talk to is attracted instantly, because they understand the subcommunication that women respond to”, says a testimonial by one Joseph G. in Minneapolis on RSD’s homepage. “It’s the kind of thing that’s applicable to any person who takes the program.”

Because this is supposed to be made possible through the grossest harassment of women, and some individual “coaches” speak openly in favor of sexual coercion, a fast-growing community of critics is coming together. Hotels are being asked to cancel the room reservations for the seminars. In Australia, the plan has already borne fruit: Several Australian hotels cancelled the seminars. In the end, even Australia’s ministry of the interior reacted: Last Thursday, it placed Blanc on the list of personae non gratae, and withdrew his visa. He had to leave the country.

In Germany, the women’s rights organization Terre des Femmes reacted as follows: “As far as we can see, in these conferences they’re calling for sexual violence against women,” says Birte Rohles, a spokeswoman for the organization. “That is not covered by freedom of speech [legislation].”

Politicians are also taking notice: “Not only Julien Blanc is intolerable. Hotel owners should think twice about whether they want to rent rooms to these coaches of violence and sexism,” says Left Party delegate Cornelia Möhring. Ulle Schauws, of the Greens, says: “This marketing angle is unsurpassed for open sexism. And towards men as well as women.”

Now RSD is reacting. It’s shut down videos and its co-founder, Owen Cook, who calls himself “Tyler Durden”, after the protagonist of the film Fight Club, has released a statement regarding Blanc’s video: “I think Julien’s video was absolutely stupid”, he wrote, after a report by the Washington Post. “It was totally out of context and he posted it to get shock, not realizing the full outcome. I’m sorry about the video. I would have taken it down if I’d seen it, but don’t monitor all social media postings”, he says. But if you look for that statement on his homepage, you end up in a password-protected area.

It’s doubtful that this will suffice to calm down the protests. Canada is also thinking about barring entry to Blanc and company. And the hotels, in which the events are to take place, are being kept secret by the company. TAZ inquiries to RSD didn’t go through yesterday; the server was down.

Translation mine. Linkage added.

Meanwhile, in Canada, this is happening:

A petition to prevent a man promoting misogynistic approaches to dating from entering Canada may have worked.

Julien Blanc, a 25-year-old man who is often accused of instigating violence against women has already been barred from entering Australia

Blanc offers seminars to men around the world, vowing to make them “pimps” with women and promising to help them get scores of women to sleep with them.

So far the petition to bar his entry, posted at change.org, has received more than 7,000 signatures.

[…]

The petition notes that Blanc is set to tour Canada and asks Federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander to bar his entry. It points to a video posted online that shows Blanc instructing a group of men about how to get Japanese women to have sex.

Here’s a screenshot of Chris Alexander’s response to a tweeter bringing the matter to his attention:

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And if you’re looking to help out, the petition is here. Please be sure to stick your John Hancock on it.

BTW, if you’re in the mood for a good bellylaugh at the expense of some seriously shitty dudes, by all means, check out RSD’s website. Fair warning: You won’t learn a blessed thing about how to talk to women or get sex out of them, but you’ll see a lot of them (in badly drawn cartoon format) on the site, and you’ll also see “testimonials” from a choice selection of the sad sacks that this company is peddling its crap to.

And yes, the video testimonials attest that these guys really are as pathetic and as yucky as you’d expect. They even dress like over-the-hill low-level mafia douchebags. The reek of cheap cologne practically wafts off the page! So go on, enjoy…and don’t forget your nose plug.

PS: Here’s a German petition on Avaaz to help keep RSD out of Germany. Sign and share!

PPS: Korea has taken note of what RSD did in Japan, and is now barring entry to Julien Blanc (and hopefully his colleagues) as well. Eat your kimchi, fellas.

PPPS: Brazil has just refused entry to Julien Blanc as well. On Wednesday night, the Ministry of Exterior Relations issued a statement saying that “should a visa request be received by any embassy or consulate in the exterior, there exist sufficient elements to recommend a denial.” The move comes in response to another Avaaz petition against Blanc and RSD.

Good news (and not so good) from Australia…

…courtesy the Angry Aussie, who knows how to say “fuckwit” with the perfect amount of juicy relish:

Yikes, Australia…didn’t you just HAVE a catastrophic fire season? And now you’re having another? And your conservative politicians don’t want to accept it? Yeah, keep trying to deny that global warming exists, you fuckwits. I hope your houses burn first.

On a happier note, one “Julien Blanc”, serial harasser and sex-assault “instructor”, has been turfed from The Land Down Under after video of him putting chokeholds on women in various countries went viral in the worst possible sense. A firsthand account from the scene is here. And here’s a hilarious satirical summation of what didn’t happen (but we all wish did):

The cruise left Melbourne harbour early last evening for a seminar that The Backburner understands was a dedicated homage to The Little Rascals’ He-Man Woman Haters Club. According to initial reports everything was running according to plan with participants receiving top quality lessons on dehumanising women when the unthinkable happened and the boat was able to complete its journey without becoming shipwrecked.

“It’s truly a disaster,” said a representative of the Ports Authority. “We train for nights like this but you hope it never happens. Seeing all those men return to shore without incident just breaks my heart.”

“Obviously there will be an inquiry into safety standards of all boats in the region. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

The controversial cruise, which set out on an important journey to ‘neg’ the ocean, had been hotly protested by a group of activists who claim that women were human and shouldn’t be treated like the victims of a creepy hypnotist. The Pick Up Artists are contesting this claim.

Negging the ocean. Yeah, that’s what all the Real Men™ are doing these days. “You know, you’d look so much hotter if you were less green and more blue.”

But hey! I suppose that beats trying to strangle it. The worst thing that could happen is the tide could go out and leave these guys high and dry. Oh, if only.

“The Game” is up for Jian Ghomeshi

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Could this book (or another cheesy, overpriced volume just like it) be on Jian Ghomeshi’s shelf, right next to the now-infamous “Big Ears” teddy bear? I don’t know for sure…yet. But if this National Post report holds true, it looks an awful lot like the recently fired CBC radio host has been taking leaves from just such books. They may look harmless, but they are NOT. They are practically manuals for the physical and mental abuse of women. And the behaviors they endorse make ideal cover for a sadistic sociopath, as well as giving him fast-track access to more victims.

Take, for instance, this description of how Jian allegedly trolled for dates:

The woman, now 35, also said she observed some unusual dating strategies by Mr. Ghomeshi. He would search for messages about him posted on Twitter or Facebook by women who appeared attractive, then contacted them directly, she said.

“He did this every single night,” the former producer said. “He was soliciting non stop. It was his playground.”

“Soliciting non stop”? That, right there, is something pickup artists do all the time. It’s a numbers game to them. Whenever they see an attractive single woman, they try to move in on her. That flashy, handsy guy at the club, the one who keeps oozing around from one woman to the next, always getting too close for comfort but never within striking distance of a good hard No? Probably one of them. Jian has been described in similar terms.

And he’s far from alone.

The point of “The Game”, insofar as there is one, is to “seduce” any woman who’s not nailed down. The strategies vary, but the basic objective is the same: Chat up as many ladies as you can, try to get their phone numbers…and whatever else you can out of them. Uncomfortable escalations of physical contact are common in “The Game”, and are meant to lead to only one thing…and it is not real intimacy. To a PUA, sex isn’t something you do (with a willing and happy partner), it’s something you “get”, by hook or by crook, from a person who is (understandably) reluctant to “give it up”. And the implication of that, if you’ve read any of their sleazy writings, is that the man gains, and the woman loses. Fun, wow.

PUAs are ubiquitous sex pests. And they’ve existed, in some form, throughout history; Casanova was the prototype of the modern PUA, and Don Juan is the archetype. I’m so old (ha, just two months younger than Jian!) that I can remember sleazeballs who spouted corny pick-up lines at women being the butt of many a silly movie or TV sitcom. (The punchline invariably came when their targets shot them down.)

But with the advent of the Internet, they’ve become much more organized. They also have a greater volume of women to pick on, and thanks to social media they can do it at high speed. The danger they pose has grown exponentially, but — thankfully — so have the means of organizing a resistance. Last December, the Eaton Centre in Toronto was slated to be the scene of a PUA “training” session, in which hordes of harassers tried to put the teachings of their “seduction guru” into practice by hanging out in front of stores known to be frequented by teenage girls and women in their early twenties, and throwing their hastily rehearsed spiels at anyone unlucky enough to be in their path. They were foiled by an alert group of Torontonians on Reddit, who in turn alerted the mall’s security staff. The PUAs had move their harassment — oh sorry, “day game” — operations elsewhere.

Sometimes, PUAs use “seduction” strategies only as preliminaries to an actual relationship — the idea being to get lots of dates, and hope that something eventually sticks. Many of them drop out once they find a steady girlfriend, and some come to regret their gloopy phases. But even when they’re involved, some others are still playing games. The idea there, it seems, is to control women by keeping them guessing, presumably so that they don’t lose interest and wander off with someone better. Or so that they become subservient, cowed, afraid of losing the loser who’s got his hooks in them. Or to string them along as one of several, playing each off against the other(s). And here, again, we see shades of that last “game” in Jian Ghomeshi’s skeevy behavior at CBC:

At work, the former Q employee said the host would usher her into his office and talk about personal matters, leading her to think she was a friend and not just his colleague. But he would also play her off against another young, female producer, she said, treating one nicely and the other very unkindly one week, switching roles the next.

She said she and the other employee would take turns crying in the privacy of a nearby disabled washroom.

Nice, eh? Classic PUA abuser strategy, right there. Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. Well “played”, Jian.

By the way, this is the same young woman who also says she endured Jian’s butt-groping and “hate-fucking” remarks on the job. And it sounds like he did a bit of gaslighting on the side, too:

Then during a script “read-through” meeting when she kept yawning, Mr. Ghomeshi said quietly, “I want to hate f— you to wake you up.” Later he talked of wanting to “grudge f—” her.

Two years later in 2009, he reached out and groped her bottom as she passed his desk, saying “I couldn’t help myself.”

That, of course, is straight-up bullshit. Did his hand just suddenly develop a mind of its own, à la Dr. Strangelove? No. He was on the other end of it, in control at all times. And since we now all know what a control freak he is, the excuse that he just suddenly lost control at the sight of a woman’s pretty little derrière won’t wash. This is another classic abuse-and-control strategy: Say “I couldn’t help myself” after doing something you know perfectly well to be abusive and unacceptable in the workplace, so that the victim feels guilty and to blame, and sorry for you, too. Make her second-guess herself constantly. That way, she’s less likely to complain to management and get your ass fired.

And that’s just one news story. There are others. Apparently, half of young Toronto has gotten creeped on by Jian at some point or other…or knows somebody who has. Word gets around. Women — and men, too — have been warning vulnerable young ladies away from him for friggin’ YEARS. Jeebus, this dude even majored in Women’s Studies; talk about your perfect places to learn all the right “politically correct” pickup lines!

And now he’s on the verge of becoming a very lonely man indeed. Since Lucy DeCoutere and Reva Seth have come out publicly to denounce him, the tide has shifted against him, just as I predicted yesterday. Lights has dumped him as her manager, and Amanda Palmer won’t be letting him tag along on her book tour, either. His promoter and “crisis management” firm have both deserted him. CBC just now revealed that it even has ironclad video evidence against him. (Oops, so much for that $55 million “defamation” suit, eh Jian? Ha, ha.) Rumor has it he’s currently scurrying around in Los Angeles, where fewer people know him…or his grungy history. (Heads up, LA ladies!)

The problem with making “The Game” your lifestyle, fellas, is that it inevitably backfires. Karma’s a bitch, and she’s got your number; lord knows you gave it away often enough!

And in Jian’s case, that bitch just bit him right on the ass. Non-consensually, as Karma is so often wont to do.

Jian Ghomeshi: Kinky, or hinky?

jian-ghomeshi.jpg

“Hey, ladies. Want a piece of this? Better lawyer up, because I am gonna FUCK YOU UP.”

No, Jian Ghomeshi didn’t actually say that to anyone, as far as I know. But that, in effect, is what he said this week, when he announced that he was suing the CBC for $55 million, following a sudden dismissal after 14 seemingly very successful years. And when he posted a 1,586-word Facebook status (yes, I counted) claiming he was just a poor innocent kinkster, being let go by a bunch of sex-negative fuddy-duddies who were afraid of, in his words, a “jilted ex-girlfriend and a freelance writer” wreaking havoc on their family-friendly brand.

On the surface of things, it was a masterstroke in terms of PR and pre-emptive strikes. However much Ghomeshi paid that “reputation recovery” firm for their services, it would appear to have paid off handsomely. The women in question (four of them, initially) were more afraid than ever to go public with their stories, much less press criminal charges. If it were a simple matter of “he said, she said”, then what he said carried the day. Even though there was way more than one she. Even though he’s officially out of the CBC, Jian Ghomeshi is by no means out of power and control.

And of course, right away, his fans only amplified the big noise he made. Reactions ranged from purblind defences of male privilege and sexual-satisfaction-at-any-cost, to an unbelievable amount of very ironic slut-shaming aimed at the women (eight of them now) who have accused him of assault, harassment and stalking. There’s even a Change.org petition (which I will neither link to nor endorse here) to sign for his reinstatement, and it’s racked up thousands of signatures in just a couple of days. Remember the Fukushima tsunami? This was, easily, the media equivalent. The sheer magnitude of his chutzpah, the unheard-of damages he’s seeking in this far-from-litigious land, the avalanche of slut-shaming, victim-blaming and fan outcry combined — well, who wouldn’t be intimidated by all that? And who wouldn’t be cowed into silence and submission?

If one reads between the lines, however, a very different picture emerges. And it is one that bears talking about, and criticizing, rather nicely. It may even spell a turning of the very tide he has tried to steer in his own favor.

For starters, it seems highly unlikely that the CBC would turn their most profitable radio cash cow out to pasture over a little thing like a naughty-naughty kinkster image. Ghomeshi’s radio show, Q, is not only popular north of the 49th Parallel, but also syndicated to some 180 US public-radio stations. At a time of deepening government cutbacks, CBC is keen to keep the cash flowing from wherever they can get it. Letting him go, lawsuit or no, is already costing them money, and that’s not something they’d countenance unless they had a compelling reason to fire him in the first place.

And private matters like a consensual BDSM lifestyle don’t, generally speaking, count as such. Q is, after all, a pop-culture show by and for mature adults. It’s not aimed at small children. The discussions featured on it are not “family” fare. Not everything that CBC does is strictly family-oriented, nor do Canadians expect it to be. We’re a liberal country, and CBC is a liberal network. So the idea that an overt-but-consensual kinkster would be fatal for CBC’s wholesome “family” image simply doesn’t wash.

Also, it’s hardly the first time a CBC radio host has had a brush with sexual controversy. In 2006, Sook-Yin Lee (of Definitely Not the Opera) appeared in the indie film Shortbus (whose focus, significantly, is open sexual experimentation), not only fully nude but masturbating. To an actual, unsimulated orgasm, yet. And while it drew a lot of outrage from the usual pearl-clutchy places, she was not let go. DNTO is still alive and well. After all, Sook-Yin’s erotic movie role had no bearing on her CBC radio antics, which were already pretty irreverent. And, more to the point, she also didn’t go around hitting and choking people, grabbing people’s asses, forcing them to supply sex, and making lewd propositions to unwilling ears.

All of which Jian Ghomeshi stands accused of doing, in and out of CBC’s downtown Toronto broadcast centre. The accusations against him are not about sex, but about violence.

Granted, no charges have been filed…yet. And there is no police investigation…yet. Nobody has even filed civil suit against him…yet.

And yet, and yet.

I’ve perused an eye-glazing number of comments on various websites breaking news of the story. And while the commenters are anonymous, a startling number of them are saying the same basic things: Jian Ghomeshi is arrogant as hell; as he’s grown older (he’s 47), he’s hit on on progressively younger women, the most recent ones a good 20 years his junior; he routinely oversteps the boundaries of propriety too; and yes, physical violence is a prominent part of that. And no, it’s NOT consensual.

A damning pattern, to be sure. And one easily dismissed as just hearsay, not legally actionable, and so forth. But it constitutes a groundswell of sorts, and one that he’ll be absolutely unable to control if it continues to grow, as indeed it has.

But anonymous scuttlebutt commenters aren’t the only ones with the power to undermine his carefully-wrought PR campaign. Sex educators — and specifically, ones specializing in kink issues — are also calling him out. And they’re pointing out the flaws in his argument with the meticulous communicative skills that are vital to their practices. After all, in kink, you have to use your words, safe and otherwise. People can get hurt badly if you don’t. Accidental deaths due to kinky activities are rare, but they have been known to happen. And, all too predictably, the kink community has also seen a number of straight-up abusers hiding behind the kink shield, and thus endangering real kinksters, especially women, in ways that go far beyond just a battering of the community’s reputation. This sort of thing is just what they don’t want, or need, to raise their profile. So whenever a well-known and reputable kinkster says “hell no, Jian’s not one of us, what he’s doing isn’t safe, sane, OR consensual”, you can be sure I’ll chalk up one more point against him on my mental scoreboard. (And yes, I’m keeping one.)

If it ever comes down to a civil lawsuit, or a criminal prosecution in this case, kink educators and writers should be called as expert witnesses. They are undoubtedly the best ones qualified to poke holes in Jian Ghomeshi’s assertions that his troublesome behavior was just a “lite” version of Fifty Shades of Grey. (And for the record, that god-awful trilogy isn’t about BDSM, it’s about physical and mental abuse. Actual kinksters have said as much. Which makes that reference just one more creepy little red flag among many.)

Legal experts like Brenda Cossman, too, are weighing in on where “consensual kinky sex” ends and actual, sexualized violence begins. And what they’re saying points, again, not to sex but to violence. Because in Canadian law, the more extreme forms of BDSM are not treated the same as the lighter stuff. If it can cause serious injury or death, it doesn’t matter if you gave consent beforehand; you have to be able to withdraw it at any time. And this, too, is important; in matters of life and limb, there’s no such thing as no-holds-barred. Some holds are legally barred for safety’s sake. It’s one thing to be open-minded about sexual experimentation; quite another to let one’s brains fall out. And when it comes to the risk of severe brain damage (or psychological harm equivalent thereto), the law errs on the side of barring that hold.

Our law also errs on the side of refusals being non-negotiable safewords, incidentally. No means no; you cannot legally negotiate no, don’t, and stop into meaning “no, don’t stop!” Because there is always a chance that a sub may accidentally forget to say “pomegranate”, “brambleberry”, “palomino”, or whatever. No is a perfectly good safeword to fall back on when you can’t remember anything else.

And if the word NO isn’t respected in kink, where negotiation is key to all interaction and even a weak demurral should spell an immediate halt, then that sets a bad precedent for the non-kinky world as well. Rape culture, which Jian Ghomeshi earlier this year reprehensibly characterized as a mere “debate”, is already so pervasive everywhere. There is no “debate” about it; it is a constant, horrid fact of women’s lives. Do we really need to have a former pop singer turned radio host blurring those lines out of all recognition with a whiny, windy, possibly scripted but definitely douchey manifesto, full of “nutty and slutty” dog-whistles?

Yeah, NO. Because that’s not kinky. That’s hinky.

And that creepy screed, like the rape culture that spawned it, is just downright stinky.

UPDATES:

Looks like Jian is strangely silent now that the first of his named accusers has bravely come forward to tell on him. He issued a terse tweet, but no new manifestos about “jilted girlfriends”. Meanwhile, the big long whine on his Facebook page is losing support by the hour. Cheese with that, Jian?

Also, there is a petition to show love and support for all the women in question. Several leading Canadian musicians have added their names to it; please consider doing so as well. There’s also this one, to Change.org, asking them to take the other ones supporting Jian Ghomeshi down.

Evo cracks the 60% barrier!

bolivian-vote-counts.jpg

The latest figures from Friday’s Bolivian presidential elections are in, and it looks like Evo’s an even bigger winner than originally projected. Here’s the lowdown:

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has widened his margin as winner of the recent general elections, with his percentage of the votes climbing to 60.97% — half a point more than the previous estimate — according tot he latest figures from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), with 96.5% of the votes counted.

Up to now, 26,445 of the 27,403 polling stations’ results have been submitted. Opposition candidate for the Democratic Unity (UD) party, Samuel Doria Medina, remains in second place, with 24.39% of the votes, followed by the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) candidate Jorge Quiroga, with 9.14%. For the Movement Without Fear party (MSM) of Juan del Granado, the vote is at 2.78%, and the Green Party of Bolivia (PVB), of Fernando Vargas, 2.73%, according to Telesur.

Translation mine.

So, now Evo is at over 60%, a trend that seems unlikely to reverse itself. You can see that he did even better, percentage-wise, in votes from expatriate Bolivians (over 72%), than he did at home (60.97%).

I sure hope Tuto has plenty of ketchup ready, it looks like he’s gonna need it. He did promise to eat his watch if Evo came in over 60% on the final count. Which could be any day now. Ha, ha.

Posted in All About Evo, Karma 1, Dogma 0, Schadenfreude. Comments Off »