Monday, October 27, 2014

Thinking about Privacy

Last night the CBC let the media know that they terminated their relationship with talk show host Jian Ghomeshi. In their statement the CBC refused to state why. Shortly after their release Ghomeshi released a long statement on Facebook stating he was fired because of consensual sexual activities with disgruntled ex-girlfriends "that included role-play, dominance and submission...rough sex (forms of BDSM)." In his statement he repeatedly refers to these acts as part of his "private life. That is my personal life." 

Leaving aside the issue of consensual sex between heterosexual men and women (can heterosexual bedroom games ever challenge existing systems of power or do they reify them?) and issues of power & privilege we are left with Ghomeshi's invocation of privacy. While it is true that each of us deserve privacy for what we do as long as it involves consensual adults, the invocation of privacy by those who live in the public eye always seems a little disingenuous. Celebrities rush to invoke privacy when they want it but then want fans to buy their product. Living in the public eye they have access to power and privilege to reach out to the media to broadcast their message. The rest of us do not. 

Becoming a public figure includes a host of benefits and compensations that others will never experience. At the same time living in the public eye carries burdens and pitfalls, justifying the compensation they receive. When those in the public eye cry privacy, it seems hollow and self-serving. If they really wanted privacy than they should not have chosen a life dependent on being in the public eye. To yell for privacy in a public forum is the ultimate form of irony.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Friends, Food & Film

Yesterday I spent a quiet day at home while Mr.T went out to a charity bowling event for work. In the evening we met up with Mr.D, Mr.Z and Ms.E at The Keg Mansion for dinner. Mr.D chose the restaurant for a birthday dinner. This was my first experience with The Keg Mansion and I was surprised at how popular it was on a Saturday night. Located in an old mansion the place is a warren of poorly lit rooms on three different floors. On weekends they do not take reservations and after being informed that it would be an hour and half wait we made our way upstairs to the second floor bar area where Ms.E scored a nice table with high banquette seating. Packed with tight fitting tables, dim lighting and lots of wood we were told we could order from the menu and instead of waiting for a table chose to have dinner in the bar area. Because of the dim lighting and dated features it had the feeling of an old haunted house. Everyone ordered steaks while I opted for a spinach salad and some grilled shrimp. Not surprisingly the portions were ample and I was surprised to find the food actually quite good. It was expensive but you are paying for the experience of dining in this Toronto institution. Our only issue was with the music which was really loud and not at all what one would expect from such dining. It consisted of dance music with a pounding beat that made it difficult to hear. 

Making our way home Mr.T and I settled down for a quiet evening at home. On OutTV we found a Chinese film Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow about a young married Taiwanese man who finds heterosexual marriage has not cured his homosexual desires. It was sweet and touching showing how gay men in Taiwan manage being gay in a culture that privileges heterosexual families and marriage. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Too Long

As we head into the final days of the municipal election, all I can say is thank goodness. I am tired of people coming to the door wanting to speak about the promises they will never be able to achieve. This election has went on too long, with far too much pamphleteering, electioneering, glad-handing and speeches. Wouldn't it be great if the person elected promised to shorten the length of these marathon elections reducing the amount of time devoted to fights about who is better than who so we can all get back to governing the city.