Many years ago, I read a rather good book by Edward Crankshaw called The Shadow of the Winter Palace: Russia’s Drift to Revolution, 1825–1917. It is, as the title suggests, an examination of Russian politics from the failure of the Decembrist revolt to the triumph of Lenin. Except that Crankshaw abandoned his narrative in December 1916 with the murder of Grigori Rasputin.
Crankshaw admitted that the conclusion of the Russian elite that their country could be saved only by despatching a mad monk filled him with despair. Such madness was beyond rational consideration.
— Marnie Recker Photo (@marnierecker) August 6, 2016
One hundred years later, Canada has achieved a similar level of inanity. On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau transitioned from man to clickbait. He was captured “accidentally” photo-bombing a beach wedding in Tofino, BC. I say accidentally because the photographic distribution of his body has become as important to him as food, water and air. If Trudeau were no longer photographed, could he be said to exist? I leave that question to the philosophers.
— PTBO_CANADA (@Ptbo_Canada) July 27, 2016
Eleven days earlier, Trudeau had been accidentally captured shirtless emerging from a cave thousands of miles away. The Toronto Star’s Verity Stephenson reported this appearance much as one might the appearance of a yeti or its American cousin, the Sasquatch.
When a Peterborough family set out on a hike inside Quebec’s Gatineau Park, they didn’t expect to see a cave, let alone a shirtless prime minister popping out of one!
“It was like a 20-foot-wide round hole and Justin (Trudeau) emerged with his family in tow and said, ‘This is the moment of truth; do we stop here or do we carry on?’” said Jim Godby, who was on a five-day camping trip at the park last week with his wife, Arlene, and two kids — Alexander, 13, and Charlotte, 10.
“This is the moment of truth.” How heroic! One is reminded of the famous occasion when General Douglas MacArthur, then the virtual dictator of Japan, found himself sharing an elevator with a “humble Japanese carpenter.” As William Manchester reported in his biography American Caesar, this incident was swiftly accorded the gravity of myth.
Newspapers ran the story, a one-act play was written about it, and a Tokyo artist painted a heroic canvas of the elevator confrontation which was reproduced and hung in Japanese homes, like the Iwo Jima flag-raising in the United States.
Future historians will come to regard the introduction of women into journalism as a mistake comparable to or perhaps even greater than women’s suffrage. Now that women dominate journalism, what was once called “the news” is now a concatenation of trivial events relentlessly personalized—and sexualized.
Consider the account by New York magazine’s Gabriella Paiella of Trudeau’s phallic emergence. (The heavy breathing and bosom-heaving that accompanied the creation of this passage is thankfully beyond our ken.)
Picture this: You’re on an idyllic hike through the woods when all of a sudden, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau pops out of a cave out of nowhere — and he’s shirtless. No, this isn’t a start to some excellent Trudeau fanfiction (though feel free to run with it, the mind is a wondrous place), but something that actually happened on Tuesday to a family hiking through Gatineau Park in Quebec.
It actually happened! “Why Don’t I Ever Run Into Shirtless Justin Trudeau While Hiking?” Ms Paiella laments. In case the depth of her longing has not been expressed sufficiently, her subhed reads, “Trudeaun’t Go Breaking My Heart.”
It is not yet proved that Justin Trudeau possesses the same healing touch that so commended Rasputin to the Romanovs, but there is no doubt that most female journalists (and more than a few male ones) cannot disguise their desire to enjoy sexual healing with him.
Meanwhile, Canada stands on the brink of economic disaster and political dissolution. It has not recovered from the 2007-08 global crisis. Its oil and gas industries have been devastated by the collapse of prices, with no end in sight but anti-climate-change intervention on the way. The mining industry faces ruin from the combined threats of environmental opposition and weighty but undefined powers granted to aboriginals. Soon, British Columbia will be the only “have” province left and will presumably be expected to pay for all the others all by itself.
What does the Canadian elite have to say about any of this? Nothing. It is content to luxuriate in the fantasy that our sexy, awesome sauce Prime Minister will surmount any challenges with the mere flexing of his mighty pecs. Such madness is beyond rational consideration.