I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
-H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me—that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter—except to show how very dull we are,”
-James Branch Cabell
October 31, 2014 - 11:04 a.m.
Going to be interesting today. I know what I'm going to write about but not exactly sure what I will write. So I'll start with my usual day's roundup.
Yesterday I made the matzoh brei I planned on making the day before. I could actually remember what I was doing from the time I put the egg in the mixing bowl to cooking it. I just forgot that it's better in the cast iron skillet. It was very good though. I cooked it in bacon fat. There was Taylor ham in it. I'm a bad Jew.
I spent much of the day with Heather. I went over in the afternoon. Ran an errand with her and went back to her place. OK not that much to write about there. I had Chicago style pizza for dinner. Seems wrong. Even that fake Chicago stuff is good. Is there a better food than pizza? It's not my favorite but everybody likes pizza and they don't just tolerate it, people love pizza.
OK so I want to get back again to the Jian Affair. For those of you late to the party; Jian Ghomeshi: 8 women accuse former CBC host of violence, sexual abuse or harassment.
This has been an almost constant topic of discussion with my Frühead friends. Emotions are at a very high level. Not for me but for my friends. But it's for them I want to write.
There is a lot of misplaced guilt. People feel they should have known. We weren't friends with Jian the way I'm friends with musicians now but we all talked to him sometimes one-on-one. If I drank I could have had drinks with him. He always loved coming out and talking to the fans after a show and if you ran into him before the show he'd stop and talk to you. He wasn't a friend but someone I was friendly with and that's is how it was with many of us. We didn't know him from afar but we weren't intimates.
Jian had a reputation, well-earned, for liking young women, teenagers. Everyone I had knowledge of was of legal age, in Canada that was 14 till this last Sunday when it was raised to 16. . The ones I knew were legal in New York too, 17 or 18. We knew he had a feeling of entitlement, we called him "the captain of the football team." So yes we knew he was "peculiar" as my parents would say. But he could also be genuinely kind and I saw that more than once. Most of the time I enjoyed talking to him, at least when we were alone.
So he had a creepy side but there's a huge leap from liking teenage girls to sexual violence. We had no reason to suspect that and nobody should feel bad about not knowing. The girls we knew about were not children and they were more than willing. I am bothered by the asymmetric relationship, he's the big star and they are the fans but the Beatles did the same thing do people think that makes them bad people. Celebrities are human and can resist anything but temptation. Yes I'm going to go back and forth o this.
I have blogged about Creepy Guys 1, 2, 3, and 0. Some people will tell me, "He's harmless." We don't know that he's harmless. There's no way of known that someone is capable of sexual assault but there are some that it's more likely than, than others.. I won't punish someone for my thinking they are creepy but that doesn't mean I won't be wary. Creepy guy number 1 announced "I don't see anything wrong with a teacher having sex with his 15-year-old student.' I feel justified in telling people to keep him at arm's length. The same for the other creepy guys. Now Jian never struck me as creepy as them but I would not have trusted him with my daughter.
It's important that I'm not basing these things on vibes. There are specific events, not rumors, that made me think these people are creepy. Yet I now people that will hang out with them. Why? It's hard to think that anyone you really know is capable of terrible things. Sure they may be off, may be creepy, may be peculiar, but they wouldn't hurt someone. They are harmless. People will say that it's how we treat celebrities but it's true of anyone we know. It's just that a lot of people feel they know celebrities.
Then look at Ted Bundy. He was a serial killer. He was also well liked. He was a popular social guy. People couldn't catch that. We're humans not like detectors. If we started feeling threatened by everyone that felt wrong we'd be wrecks. And of course there are people like that. They do suspect everyone and they ARE wrecks.
As for me I didn't expect it but I'm not shocked. If it were Mike, Dave, or Murray, I'd be shaken. If Früheads jokingly voted "which member of Moxy Früvous is most likely to commit sexual assault I'm sure Jian would have gotten the majority of the votes. But it would have a joke, not something we really believed and I don’t think I'd like to live in a world where everybody did. I'm sure the vast majority of creepy guys are harmless. It's just that they are more likely to be harmful than a random person. So like everything else it's about not having a hard and fast rule and using common sense and treating each case individually.
So stop feeling guilty my fellow Früheads . There's no way we could have known. And Don't feel bad about liking Jian. I saw him do remarkably kind things. People don't fall into boxes, good and bad. We each are capable of both.
I've been talking like we know that Jian is guilty but we still don't. The odds seem strongly that way now but that doesn't make it a fact. I hope the woman comes forth and makes a legal complaint and there can be a proper investigation.
OK now back to me. I didn't buy tickets but if they are still available I'm going to see NY Theremin Society: Ghost in the Machine tonight. I will be going alone but maybe I'll think of a last minute costume I can throw together. I've had some great success with that in the past. Now for some bacon and eggs.
Creepshow - October 31, 2014