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Sayonara, Jian Ghomeshi

Nov. 7, 2014

Jian Gomeshi

For non-Canadians and Americans who do not listen to NPR, Jian Ghomeshi is . . . was a popular radio host with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). A writer, producer and musician (Moxy Fruvous, anyone?), Ghomeshi was the poster boy for the new Canada – youngish, hip, metrosexual and multicultural, urbane, sophisticated and engaging. Cute, too, in a furry sort of way. Unfortunately, as was revealed this week, he also likes to beat up women, a number of whom have recently come forward to present evidence against him.

Now I am not a fun person. I don’t like games or dressing up or role playing. Heck. I have enough trouble just being me, without taking on any alternate personas. BDSM seems like silly posturing to me at best and, at worst, a serious (and I do mean serious) pain in the whatever. This being said, I am aware that BDSM is some people’s thing. Just look at the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, which I, incidentally, refuse to read because, you know, why would I?

This is the crux of the problem:

Ghomeshi characterizes his sexual relations with the women in question as consensual, in which case it’s just good old garden variety BDSM, nothing to see here, folks, just move along.

The women, on the other hand, say that it was not consensual. That makes it sexual assault, in which case it’s whoa, back up here, what exactly are we looking at?

Then there’s the question of intent. It’s reasonable to assume that, in most sexual assault cases, the perpetrator at some point thinks, “I’m sure whalloping the Hell out of this woman,” whereas Ghomeshi might have only been thinking, “Whee!”

The jury’s out on which it is -- fun with whips or battery. The real jury, that is. The jury of public opinion has already cast Ghomeshi so far outside the garden that a return to grace is probably not in the cards. Even if he were able to prove the biting, slapping, punching and choking were consensual, he has lost whatever credibility he might once have had. As anyone who has ever had a kid in preschool knows, no one likes a biter.

I believe the women who have come forward and this is why. According to two accounts, before launching a full scale attack upon his dates, Ghomeshi is reported to have said that “Big Ears,” his stuffed therapy teddy bear, “shouldn’t see this,” whereupon he turned the toy to face in the opposite direction and had at it.

I’m sorry. You can't make that shit up.

In conclusion, there’s nobody I don’t feel sorry for in this matter:

  • The women who, in addition to the pain and suffering inflicted, have had to live, some of them for years, second-guessing themselves, trying to figure out how it could have happened that they were so wrong about Ghomeshi . . . or he so wrong about them. Not to mention the considerable ick factor.

  • The CBC, which has lost a valuable asset at a time when the Conservative government threatens the public broadcaster’s very existence and will seize on anything to discredit and dismantle it. (So now Rick Mercer has to do everything!)

  • And finally, Ghomeshi himself, whose arguably brilliant career has so ignominiously foundered on the Shoals of Stupid, who might have saved himself had he simply confined his activities to the BDSM community or, at least, secured a better therapist than a stuffed animal.

RIP, Jian Ghomeshi's career, and, "Big Ears," maybe it would have been better if you had looked.

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