Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Three lessons we can learn from the Jian Ghomeshi case so far

1. Seeking acceptance

Ghomeshi's initial lengthy Facebook post "addressing" the allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour simply screams a desperate need for acceptance. If there is one thing I learned from the Jian Ghomeshi case, it is that I will aim to teach my ("ethnic!?") children not to seek acceptance of "native" Canadians at any cost. If someone sticks their nose in your personal life, you don't justify your personal choices--you tell the nosy person where to go, even if that means you forego acceptance. You don't need those who care about your personal life that much.

2. Public lynch and herd mentality

Apparently, everyone knew about his questionable behavior all along, but no one ever raised their voice because they feared for their careers. This shows that people are not brave enough to confront someone individually, but they are eager to run you into the ground when in a crowd. This makes me wonder who is next in line to be publicly destroyed beyond recognition. Well, at least people are not throwing stones at him.

Activists are racing to use Ghomeshi as a tool for promoting whatever their preferred message in political philosophy. Some are saying he is a symbol of a sexist society, while others are saying that he is a symbol of corporate power. Then there are those who use him as a symbol of the rape culture.
To me, his case is a great example of how quickly and how strongly the emotions of the masses can change from almost infantile adoration to almost infantile hate. This reminds me a bit of how wars start. They start with the seeds of these same emotions in the hearts of the people.

3. He had no friends

Another insight that we can gain from the Ghomeshi case is that he had no friends around him, only people who, in order to promote their own careers, would ignore his problematic behaviour. Friends tell you the truth even when they know you might retaliate against them. Jian, it is better to have only one friend who will stand with you in front of an angry mob than $55 million from CBC.

Now different slime bags are coming out with their "confessions" and their "conscience" and their "analyses" of their own culpability in the whole story. I have a piece of advice for any one of them who wants to earn some respect: Shut up, learn what you can from this, and then act in the future on the basis of what you had learned. The technical term for this kind of bahaviour is--adulthood.

This also reveals that the broader group of people implicated in this situation is lacking one basic lesson--you don't accept favours from people you despise. Sure, that means that you will often forego money, power, prestige, fame, but what you get in return is--freedom, freedom from being manipulated, emotionally blackmailed, harassed, attacked, or associated with the misdeeds of those that you despise. That's a simple rule that even a small child can learn: you don't take candy from bad people.

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