27 November 2014

Is anyone else out there...

...sick of Jian Ghomeshi?

I know I was even before we found out about Mr Big Floppy Ears.

The usual qeustions are still being asked: How could this have gone on for so long? Why didn't anyone come forward? etc. etc. At least these are the quesitons being asked when quesitons are being asked. Much of the press has done us the service of foregoing a trial and declaring him guilty. Good job, Canadian Press. I am sure Mr Ghomeshi and his lawyers are happy that, thanks to you, it is now impossible to find an unbiased jury. But that is beside the point. I too have questions. My first and foremost question is this: How did this happen in the first place? Who gave this talentless fraud a job and the prestige that allowed him to get away with it and obligated others to cover up for him?

Seriously, a guy whose first previous claim to fame was that he belonged to a mildly successful yet completely annoying band by the name of Moxy Fruvous- there's an umlaut in there somewhere but I cannot be bothered- (and by "belonged to the band" I mean belonged as in he was "the cute one") who had a a little success with a song with the stupid yet now somewhat ironic refrain: Once I was the king of Spain/ Now I eat Humble Pie. (I'm surprised no one in the media has picked that up as a title.)

So he was the guy whose job it was to smile and look cute and help the other band members get some. Somehow, he manages to build a secondary career which lands him on a radio show where he has his second claim to fame, an interview with Billy Bob Thorton. Billy Bob wanted Ghomeshi to only ask questions about his 'music career' to which Ghomeshi agreed, and then started asking him questions about anything but his music career. He was touted as 'brilliant' and a man 'possessed of uncanny instincts', yet that is the only moment anyone seems to remember from the show. It seems to me that if he had any talent, skill, instinct or even bare competence he would have had a second.

But there it is. Let us take another look at his one moment of fame, apart from his charges and conviction: He promised to play nice and then surprised his subject with something they didn't want. And now people are shocked at his behaviour in private when it was the exact same thing: Ghomeshi doing whatever it took to get what he wanted.

I remember running into him once or twice back during my university days. He was one of the rare people that I just met and despised. He had that vibe. (To be clear, one of the other of these rare people was a guy who turned out to be a paedophile.) He was the student president of York, the first to run a campaign based on his face. Prior to that, most campaign posters had a name and some vague promises. Ghomeshi slapped his smirking mug on posters all over campus, along with a series of promises that were meaningless and which he ultimately never really acted on, including one to have a university wide referendum on abortion, because abortion was a university issue. That's a quote. I remember reading his promises and thinking they were made by a guy with an eye to get laid. "Oh, it's so nice to finally meet a man who understands!" He looked like the kind of guy who carried a comb and mirror in his back pocket at all times.

Curiously about York, it has an advertising campaign going on right now entitled "It's my time! featuring students' bright predictions about their brilliant future. It also contains the faces of many York Alumni who went on to achieve the upper level of mediocrity. As near as I can tell, missing from this campaign, even before his fall from grace, is Ghomeshi. I wonder why. Did he ask for money to use his face? Or did the university know something? I suspect the former over the latter, but still, he was easily the most recognisable grad in the last twenty five years. It seems impossible he was overlooked.

People are wondering how he rose so high, or why people like him rise so high. I will now answer my own question: It is not an aberration that people like him rise so high. He believed in his own talent, and convinced other his vision of himself was actual. They believed because he believed, or at least seemed to. People like him achieve the high places. People who do what is asked of them, are nice, and don't make waves, they work in basements, and no one knows their names, or cares about their existence.

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