Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Curious Case of Toronto's incurious Housewives

The Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode Eight

The Real Housewives of Toronto continues its brutal campaign to portray women as shallow and stupid. They are depicted as having very little curiosity in anything other than malicious gossip and how "amazing" they think they all look.

Learned women are ridiculed because they put to shame unlearned men ~ George Sand

If it wasn't for Kara Alloway reciting poetry, introducing the work of new and upcoming artists and designers, or inviting us into her impressive home office where she gets down to business amongst some of the great writers of classical literature such as Melville, Tolstoy and Poe, all hope in the potential of woman would be lost. 

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Kara Alloway celebrates 22 years of marriage with a love poem and an appreciation for local artwork.
Normality is a paved road: It's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow there ~ Vincent Van Gogh

This glimmer of hope, however, does not immediately shine until later in episode eight. First, we have to endure the sight of Roxy in a bubble bath barking orders at a terrified and subservient Elise, a flurry of hearsay and exaggerated claims revolving around Kara, ditzy women hooked up to a fat sculpting apparatus reminiscent of a scene from the Matrix, a booze cruise on a bus around Barcelona, and Jana and Grego meeting up with a matchmaker. 

Jana says she isn't willing to compromise and genius Grego, who did compromise with ugly Pierre, thinks "maybe that's why Jana's single". Grego wants to see Jana "compromise in love" so that she (Jana) can be told how beautiful she is all the time because her ego isn't big enough. What is this obsessive need plastic women have to be constantly told how fucking beautiful and desirable they are? Their supposed worldly confidence masks deeply rooted insecurities. No wonder they have so many interpersonal conflicts, scandalous affairs and broken marriages. 

Lark Productions presented the same professional matchmaking scenario in The Real Housewives of Vancouver. The lack of novel ideas in the Toronto series only emphasizes the overall theme of stupidity threaded throughout the entire season.

If Brett Wilson comes sauntering in wearing a weird fucking shirt covered in fluorescent Neanderthal skulls, or some such shit, when Jana is finally set up on this matchmaker date, I think I will puke. He's getting older, his dates are getting younger. Pretty soon it'll be child brides and play dates at the swing set in his backyard, which is fitting since he does exhibit the mentality of an obnoxious shithead kid you want to flick in the head.

Here Brett Wilson is informing Mary Zilba (both using the show to "cross-promote" their various business/career interests so there's a precedence here) how great he thinks he is. He is so enamored with the sound of his own voice, his mouth never stops moving and might as well be his entire head. So that's why I've made his mouth his entire head. Learn to shut your pie hole, jackass.

The most perplexing piece of intel to come out of the whole matchmaking affair, though, is Jana confiding she has not been on a date in thirteen years. Um? The "Muskoka guy"? The "roster of men"? The "Mister Right Nows"? NONE of this carnival of penile delight has taken her on a date? It's all just straight booty call? 

And here I had credited her with being a female predator, a cunning huntress. Shame. And I don't mean "shame" for sleeping around, I mean shame for not playing a better game! What kind of challenge is that? All the disease exposure, none of the fun? Disappointing. 

Hopefully she's at least managed to snag an orgasm or two out of all this debauchery and mindless promiscuity. Good god, Jana! You will never find the core of a man's "onion" this way. Besides, I hate to break it to you, but it is a rare male specimen that has anything meaningful below the murky surface, and it's a waste of emotion trying to "peel back the layers" to find it. There are no layers. Most men are even more shallow than plastic women.

Joga tricks and tips. Wink, wink.
Have a little more respect for yourself than this. And you call yourself a "leader"? What are you leading young, impressionable women into, exactly? A life of culturally appropriated Joga tricks (Joga is a rip-off of an eastern spiritual practice), carcinogenic hair dye, hepatotoxic beverages, Maca root and endless drunken one-night stands? It's a tragic statement of our stagnant times that women like Jana Webb are still considered role models.

But of course it's silly to look for role models in a reality TV show and Jana has had ulterior motives from the outset. She is no more interested in finding "true love" than I am, and her professed ambitions to be a role model have everything to do with fame and fortune. It has nothing to do with any altruistic sense of higher purpose, and the Real Housewives of Toronto is supposed to be entertaining, nothing more. Unfortunately, though, it's not really that entertaining either, which is why I'm forced into irrelevant, possibly insulting tangents when writing these blogs.

The Kara Alloway gossip, for example, is entertaining for maybe a minute before it gets old, yet the bulk of episode eight is dedicated to badmouthing her. Get over it. She never said anything that wasn't true, unlike Roxy who intentionally makes things sound way worse than they actually are. Spiteful, lazy woman. There is no reason for her to have an assistant! Do something for yourself  better yet, do something for something else!  you entitled waste of flesh.

Bubble bath Roxy ordering scrawny Elise around while she does nothing but lie back, drink champagne and babble about how she loves everything "big". It's all "big this and big that".  She believes "bigger is better". She wants to be bigger, own  bigger and consume bigger. If she could, she'd go so BIG that she would devour the entire planet.

But in episode eight the laziness is not simply relegated to Roxy's physical leisure and indulgences. There is also intellectual laziness in the form of incuriosity that has this blogger going nuts. Joan went through a bomb scare at an airport?! Why was a bigger deal not made of this? Details, please! What the? 

When Joan attempts to convey how scary it was to live through a bomb threat and basically face her mortality, Ann pretends to listen for half a second with that unsettling Joker grin plastered on her filler-injected face (why do they all have that creepy smile?) before interrupting Joan mid-sentence to tell her how "great" she looks even though she's gone through an ordeal. 

Ann has lost her mind to filler and fluff: Who cares about bomb threats! Joan! You look scrumptious! Come a little closer, my pretty.

Joan is immediately flattered and so distracted by the compliment that she loses focus and starts gossiping about Kara. My rekindled esteem for Joan from episode seven is effectively snuffed out. Useless bauble of a woman. 

Joan: I know! I am a beautiful, perfect goddess!!! And I WILL NOT have anyone say otherwise!! "I can't have people going around slamming me behind my back. Like, I have to put my foot down". I think you mean cloven hoof, there trophy-giraffe.

I'm further disgusted with Joan, the "goddess of high society", when in a later gossip session it comes to light that, as I suspected in an earlier blog, there are strings and vanities attached to Joan's philanthropy

If Joan was truly concerned about the plight of children living in poverty, or any of the other miseries that befall many accursed soul chained to this wicked earth, it wouldn't matter to her that someone was talking behind her back. She would be able to shoulder the burden of humiliation knowing it's a small price to pay for her otherwise privileged existence, put her own feelings aside, and buck up the $25,000 for charity. Don't worry, Donald can afford it. Stingy son-of-a-bitch.

(As a sidenote, why are women always referred to as goddesses in these shows? They aren't goddesses, they are mannequins. Learn the difference).

Trophy-giraffe really missed out on some amusing weird ass shit, too. It would have been worth the 25 grand just to see Ann in that bizarre My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding gown she materialized in, dragging her dog behind her. Stephen might have even been imprisoned under the scads of tulle and ruffles, eating Joan's homegrown vegetables in some sort of sick S&M game Stevie dreamed up to keep his, what I'm beginning to think is mentally disturbed, wife satisfied.

Ann is so frantic she might lose Stevie at any moment, she makes him her captive, taking him wherever she goes, even if it means stowing him away under her dress. She keeps him in line with a vegetable to his throat. It's like watching a Boxing Helena reversal of roles. 

Observing Dr. Munchkin with his Amazonian wife as they make their Cynosure presentation, as well as the Sculpsure fat-contouring demonstration they perform using the Real Housewives of Toronto as dummy demo models was also amusing. 

Dummy Squad on the prowl. No curiosity about bomb threats or nurturing their intellect by researching new things, but Joan and Jana are excited and "curious" about being demo models. They will be modeling for Stephen as he demonstrates the SculpSure procedure to other doctors with dollar-signs for-eyes, who have come from all around the world to hear him and his marketing Amazonian wife deceive speak.

Stephen, under the ever watchful eye of his mildly deranged wife, informs the dummy models: "I'll walk you through the treatment, it'll be a comfortable way to annihilate some fat"

I don't know about anyone else, but I was literally laughing out loud watching this. I guess it could just be me. I understand not everyone shares my sense of humor, but personally I relish any time Stevie is on the monitor. He doesn't even have to say anything. The mere sight of him sets me off into hysterics (even right now just thinking about him is making laugh). 

How can any of these people take themselves so seriously?? Do they not see how utterly ridiculous they are?? I'm so confused. It's a curious thing, which reminds me: Why are these women so willing to just accept the claims of a medical technology company without any interest whatsoever in investigating the legitimacy of their products, as well as possible risks and complications? 

The truth comes out as Roxy muses, "Who doesn't want to burn off an inch of fat?" (I thought she was "proud" of her curves?). Apparently she only likes her "curves" under certain circumstances. If someone tells her she can get rid of these curves without doing anything then suddenly she's all anti-fat this, curves be damned that! Does anyone see the cognitive dissonance here? 

Roxy's thrilled just lying there doing nothing other than brushing her hair, hooked up to "the machine" with its promise of effortless fat trimming. If this isn't blue-pill living, I don't know what is.

Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes ~ The Matrix

The always guaranteed to be bland, Joan, as well as twin dummies, Grego and Jana (Jana, who already is accustomed to spending a lot of time on her back) are also quite comfortable just lying there unquestioningly, Joan stating "it's a no-brainer". She has the no brain part right, anyway. 

Jana Webb: "You have to be in great shape if you want to climb to the top (but first you have to get on your knees, lie down or bend over)". Slave.

To be fair, Jana does exhibit a brief spark of curiosity, wondering, "Will it leave a mark? You know, it's technology so there's room for error". However, this spark extinguishes almost as quickly as it appears, and without another thought she obediently submits to being hooked up to "the machine". 

As a final sidenote: Actually, Jana, often technological "errors" have more to do with clumsy human hands, inexperience and poor protocol adherence than the actual technology itself (if it's engineered properly by people driven by creativity and honed skill rather than just capitalistic greed, that is). The real area to direct your skepticism at is marketing. That's where the true manipulation and deception takes place. But I don't have to tell you about that, do I Jana? You know all about "marketing".

Until next week, then, ladies.

Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 1: Dumb, Plastic and Sleazy
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 2: Boring Housewives and Ugly Husbands
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 3: The Polished Real Housewives of Toronto
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 4: The Slut Shame
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 5: Amazing Reality TV Stars
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 6: Infomercials and Friends in High Places
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 7: Social Suicide: Game of Thrones to the Rescue
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 8: Curious incuriosity
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 9: Denials, Dragons and Dummies
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 10, Season Finale: Final Absurdities

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Social Suicide? Game of Thrones meets Dummy Squad

The Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode Seven

If you are a woman of conscience, the longer you observe a person, the harder it is to completely despise him or her, which is unfortunate if your aim is snark. Even Amanda Lindhoult (an inspiration of mine) could find some shred of redeemable humanity in the captors who tortured her and she was able to forgive. To err is human, to forgive divine.

Dummy Squad. A fool can no more see her own folly than she can see her ears.
Nevertheless, to be a highly functioning sociopath must be exhilarating. For those of us burdened with a sense of right and wrong, however, no such exhilaration exists. Or if it does, it is a fleeting mania that arrives with a mad rush and leaves with a painful thud.

It is therefore not a surprise to me that I've discovered facets of Roxy (her reaction to being a "Joga girl" made me laugh out loud) but mostly Joan I can enjoy, even admire, in episode seven of The Real Housewives of Toronto. That said, if I let my heart get in the way of my head, these blogs would dissolve into a sappy heap of goo and that's fun for only so long. Too much sugar is bad for the brain.

Tweedledee-Jana and Tweedledum-Grego think Kara has committed "social suicide" by "trashing" Joan. They meet to gossip about the situation, deciding they have to clue in blissfully unaware Joan AND confront the "evil" "master manipulator", Kara Alloway. Jana: "Joan is A GODDESS!! She will outsmart and outwit Kara and everyone! And I have NO PROBLEM saying that to her face! I'm disgusted!" Grego is also "disgusted" and decides Kara must be "insecure around Joan". Lala is ALSO disgusted at how DUMB these two are.

Besides, there's still plenty of absurdity, phoniness and arrogance to explore. Social suicide, Jana? For a former Albertan milkmaid and chicken executioner, you've really built not only yourself but Joan up into something, haven't you? 

The only reason Jana, who is neither a housewife nor outrageously wealthy, is on The Real Housewives of Toronto is to market her Joga business. I'm still curious what backroom deals and "favors" she had to trade and with whom in order to make that happen. What powerful member of the "business elite" with a penchant for blonde bimbos and reality TV does Jana have "contact" with? 
Hmm...I wonder. 

Either she's a sellout, or the other name you call a person who willingly allows herself to be degraded for profit. I won't say the name because I'm a nice person and some forms of prostitution are the unfortunate result of an oppressive patriarchal system that leaves women just trying to survive with no other choices. The world is a fucked up place and there are more than enough men who behave like disgusting pigs to make one have to unfortunately be suspicious of ALL of them until proven otherwise.

However, Jana is not a woman "just trying to survive", or one with no other choices, so although I won't call her "the name", when you watch her dry hump Gregg as she, in her words, "takes the opportunity to network and sell her Joga products to the business elites" who attend this charity golf tournament they're all exploiting, you'll catch my drift. Seriously, is all the whorish innuendo necessary? Maybe it is. Would Joga House exist otherwise? I mean, even the name "Joga House" sounds like the name of a friggin brothel.

Jana and her Joga Girls getting physical with physically repulsive Gregg and his golfing Boys. This is what they call "networking" or "cross-promotion" in entrepreneurial mentorship programs. I'm sure Joga clients are happy to be "coached".
And while I'm at it, vulture-style capitalists shouldn't be allowed to exploit wounded soldiers like this. It's bad enough that they never stop exploiting vulnerable women and girls. But as for the wounded soldiers, haven't they gone through enough? If they need financial support, just give it to them. Other people's desperation, misery, suffering, PTSD and sacrifice isn't a fucking "opportunity" for your "brand", no matter WHAT some smug, morally bankrupt, manipulative investor with selective hearing named Brett Wilson "mentors". Psycho. And he thinks he can give a lecture on critical thinking?? It plagues my mind that people can be so bamboozled by such obvious deception and conflicts of interest. Imagine how much better the world could be if gullible people weren't constantly subjected to the self-serving opinions of corrupt, filthy-minded, sadistic assholes disguised in a cloak of "integrity".

Here's Brett Wilson's idea of "integrity" and also an illustration of how stupid he clearly thinks people are. He intentionally sets up a scenario whereby his father calls him while he's in the middle of giving one of these pretentious and largely meaningless speeches he is known for at the University of Calgary. Instead of turning the ringer off, he, with the dramatic exaggeration of an obnoxious child actor, answers the phone and tells his dad that he's "a bit busy right now but I'll call you back". Apparently, according to Redefining Success, this "little gesture was not lost on the crowd" who "loved" how this showcased what a great guy he was for answering his father's phone call.  

Sorry, but I fail to see how using your elderly father as a prop for your "brand" is something deserving of applause, ESPECIALLY when several years later, still on a high (I'm pretty sure he's mildly bipolar, permanently hypomanic) over how well his gimmick worked the first time, Wilson does the same song and dance, but using his son as the prop this time. There is nothing this bozo will not exploit, including his own children. Discussing his daughter's weight, for example, to a room full of strangers?  What a jerk. Get some meds and calm the hell down, freak. If you care to watch any of this shameless self-promotion, including how Wilson, with free manic abandon, violates his kids' right to privacy, you can find the video on You Tube yourself.  He's downright giddy. It's fucking awful.

Peddling your offspring to market your "image" and contriving to trick people the way Wilson does isn't "integrity", it's underhanded, sleazy, sociopathic and makes him a shitty father.  He knows on some suppressed level it makes him a shitty father too, otherwise he would stop continuously bringing up the same anecdote, squeezing out a fake tear every time he does, about verbally abusing his daughter when she was little because she was interfering with his number one priority in life: making and hoarding money. 

But moving on now from what might seem like irrelevant Wilson bashing (it's not, he definitely has something to do with the Real Housewives of Toronto) who the fuck does Joan think SHE is, other than a farm girl from the prairies? Now? Because she's married to "a Donald" she has some ordained right to not be offended no matter how dismal her behavior? It's not like Karma Kara made things up about Joan out of thin air. Joan literally did strip off her panties and she literally DID get sloshed. And Donald? What's so great about a man named Donald who was dealt a lucky hand and granted by dark authority permission to cheat? Let me see what you do with unyielding integrity and a shitty hand, then get back to me. I'll be impressed with you then and only then.

This is one of the many problems with class/economic hierarchies. The single-minded push to achieve upward mobility at any cost transforms many an ambitious soul into unapologetic tyrants as they claw, scratch, steal and blow their way up the rungs to finally attain the power they crave. By the time they reach this idealized "nirvana" the upper echelons of society  they are so sore from having to go through so many unpleasant, possibly demeaning trials and tribulations in their climb to get there, that they now feel entitled to act holier than thou, cruel and dismissive to the struggles of another.

Jana Webb, who considers herself a "community leader", mentors young women on how to "climb" to the "top". *Hint* It has nothing to do with intelligence or character, which begs the question, when she says "top" what positional "top" is she referring to exactly? Jana coaches her Joga girls, "You have to be in great shape if you want to climb to the top". Those geriatric "business elites" are usually pretty tubby with protuberant bellies, so I guess that's why it's a "climb".

Don't ever think that just because someone has gone through an ordeal, as Amanda Lindhoult did, or lived through a traumatized past that it automatically makes them empathetic to others still living through similar situations. Not everyone is created equal. Not everyone is Amanda, which always confounds me. How can people be so unkind to someone especially when they know what it's like?

This is why the adage "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" is as much for those who suffer as for those who don't. Affliction is an antidote for arrogance. Arrogance is a virus that never ceases to need updated inoculations or "afflictions" for the sake of herd immunity. Without the protective resistance that affliction provides, "egoism and pride", as the visionary genius, Nikola Tesla, once said, "is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife". Nobody wants that.

But eliminating ego altogether is absurd. Your ego is there for a reason. We all need an identity in order to interface with material existence. The trick is not to eliminate ego, but to become aware of it. If there was more self-awareness and yes SHAME in the world, we'd have far fewer assholes with which to contend. 

You wouldn't need things like "political correctness", ethics, rules of etiquette, religion and other forms of social control, as well as good-old-fashion struggle to keep the lowly aspects of human nature in check, because with self-awareness comes self-regulation of behavior AND thought, as well as a deep regard for "the other". You begin to see everyone is a tributary of the same vein and as such, to demean another is to demean yourself (unless you're a natural born masochist, psycho, sociopath, or sadist who revels in cruelty and yearns for the day the whole world burns, in which case there's no hope for you and the rest of us can be thankful for short lifespans).

However, a great many egos are utterly unaware of the "bigger picture" or really anything other than their own perceived brilliance and are completely caught off guard if someone comes along and points out not only a flaw in this "brilliance", but that not everyone shares the same definition of brilliance. This is hugely jarring to an egoist accustomed to nothing but praise, compliments and pampering. When Tweedledee-Jana and Tweedledum-Grego, for example, inform Joan that Kara has been saying "really negative things about her", Joan is genuinely taken aback by this revelation, replying, "I really honestly did not see that coming". 

But Joan is not as stupid as she has been made to look thus far and does not immediately plunge into outrage and self-righteous indignation. She wants more details before she simply believes unsubstantiated gossip and proceeds to thoroughly question Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The twin idiots fumble about trying to defend Roxy's malicious gossiping and Joan isn't buying it. 

Joan, shrewder than she's been given credit for thus far, asks Grego: "And how did YOU hear this?" Tweedledum fumbles around trying to come up with an excuse until her sidekick, Tweedledee, pipes up, "From Roxy". Joan whips her penetrating stare on Jana now, making Madam Joga visibly uncomfortable, and demands to know, "Why didn't Roxy come to ME with this?" Jana is paralyzed with fear and can't answer right away because all she's thinking about is how she might have pissed off Joan, one of the most "powerful and respected women in Toronto" and therefore another contact Jana wants to keep "happy".

She says she will have to talk to Roxy and Kara directly to get to the bottom of this. She also questions Roxy's motives for repeating and embellishing what Kara supposedly said in the first place, advising, "When you talk about something you give it life, you add fuel to the flame". Wise woman! And just like that my esteem for Joan is rekindled.

Joan: "I'm human. When you hear bad things about yourself it's hurtful". You're going to need tougher skin than this if you insist on making a spectacle of yourself on reality TV, there Joan. The "lower" classes have a lot of pent up resentment and they want to direct it somewhere. Can you blame them? Think of the Sewer Children and their illusions of choice. Spectacle of Poverty.

That said, it kills me that Joan's being so melodramatic about how important "honesty" is to her. If you're concerned with honesty then The Real Housewives of Toronto is definitely NOT the place for you. Also, please explain how relying on a multitude of cosmetic procedures is not in fact dishonest and driven by a desire to trick people into thinking you're something you're not? How can a mind be free under the strain of so much phoniness? It must get emotionally and spiritually exhausting for these women to keep up so many pretenses.

But then, pretense is what this show's all about, isn't it? Dishonesty, superficiality and marketing schemes are weaved throughout every episode like a web that gets more tangled and sticky with each passing week. They all take advantage of this web, each character contributing her own "unique" self-serving thread, such as Roxy trying her hand at entrepreneurship with a completely frivolous app that will only add to our planet's woes by stoking the consumer's insatiable appetite for more! more! more! Look at me! Look at me!

Roxy pitching her app idea that encourages mindless, environmentally irresponsible consumerism: "I'm a little humble to come and present my idea for consuming fashion, but there's a desire out there among woman for an outfit of the day. I never want to wear something more than once, so I just imagine the general public's the same." Then she informs us that she doesn't have to work if she doesn't want to, unlike the rest of us schmucks, but thinks she should use her "genius" to make the world a worse place: "I could just go to the spa, but honestly I think intelligence wasted is such a lost opportunity." Irony! Irony! as far as the eye can see! Irony! Vultures.

Roxy proudly admitting that she never wears the same thing twice is nothing to brag about, and encouraging others to live in the same wasteful manner as her privileged donkey's ass allows HER to live makes her a disgrace. 

Privileged trash with "traction".

The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Source.

This is especially true in light of the air and water pollution, overflowing landfills and ecologic destruction already choking the globe and causing needless misery for millions, particularly in the developing world, as a direct result of the mindless consumerism and waste that Roxy and her friends represent. It might make them look "pretty" and feel pleased with themselves, but the price the planet has to pay so they can look good is too much. Plus, they don't even look good! They look ridiculous, like grown women pretending to be little girls playing high society.

Mad Hatter: You are trying to understand madness with logic. This is not unlike searching for darkness with a torch.

They do things like dress up as if they are at a Mad Hatters tea party, boasting about themselves and their achievements in various ways; some appear to have no sense whatsoever that maybe they should be embarrassed. Pride in one's accomplishments is fine, but there's a thin line between confidence and arrogance. No one likes a bragger. Tread lightly, ladies.

Ann gets all dolled up for high tea with Lady Kara and Lady Holly to discuss the AMBI charity gala. This is a closeup of the piece of broccoli Ann, Patron Saint of Plastic, intentionally decorated her hat with. She will feed it to Stephen later when they're alone after he's tried out his new toy, SculpSure on her. Getting kinky with broccoli and lipo-sculpting.
Oh, baby.

Not even Ann, the mother of a gaggle of kids and wife of a well-respected doctor, as well as a successful businesswoman in her own right, displays the slightest hint of embarrassment for her, to borrow Joan's expression, déclassé behavior and frivolity. 

Ann and Stephen use The Real Housewives of Toronto platform to "cross-promote" SculpSure and use it as an opportunity to invite the RHOT sycophants to Barcelona as dummy demo models. Jana is IN without a moment's hesitation. 

Ann just gets odder with each passing episode of The Real Housewives of Toronto. She bobbles around here and there, with a ready piece of broccoli always stashed in her elaborate hats and handbags for those occasions when she meets up with munchkin Stephen for one of their extravagant rendezvous and she wants to shove a vegetable down his throat. She seems to think broccoli will save Dr. Munchkin from the Reaper's scythe. It won't, but it's amusing to watch so carry on.

Kara attempts to interject some actual interesting information regarding the current epidemic of young women brainwashed into relying on excessive and unnecessary cosmetic procedures or "injectables" when Ann rudely interrupts. Ann is, after all, trying to use The Real Housewives of Toronto to market a plastic surgery product and she can't have Kara point out anything negative, no matter how true, now can she? Then UNBELIEVABLY, Ann has the audacity to question Kara's agenda?? The hypocrisy of these people is beyond the pale.

It's also amusing to watch the other sycophant wannabe demo models, (did you see how quickly opportunist, Jana, jumped at the chance to go to Barcelona?) Roxy, Grego and Jana, getting sloshed yet again as they cackle over how they are SURE Joan's gonna stick it to Kara. The injectable-reliant Ann, Patron Saint of Plastic, suggests they all make bets on who they think will emerge victorious.

Kara Alloway and Joan Walker heading into battle.

Will it be Kara, tiny but sly and fierce, adorned with her Game of Thrones braids? Or will it be Joan, tall and regal but self-pitying and easily distracted by bubbles and baubles, adorned with fake lashes and hair extensions?

Look and see which way the wind blows before you commit yourself.

― Aesop, Aesop's Fables

Kara is victorious, but she has enough class not to gloat. Besides, after her little "air clearing", initiated by Joan I might add, she is now well-aware that she is NOT among friends. When the other ladies ask what happened, Kara, sharp and with unsmiling precision replies bluntly, "The air is clear". Throw me to the wolves and I'll return leading the pack. How cool is Kara? Stay you, Kara. Fuck them.

There can be no doubt, of course. Game of Thrones wins. Swords, whether those that slay with word, blade or spirit, beat bubbles and baubles every time.

Until next week, ladies.

Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 1: Dumb, Plastic and Sleazy
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 2: Boring Housewives and Ugly Husbands
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 3: The Polished Real Housewives of Toronto
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 4: The Slut Shame
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 5: Amazing Reality TV Stars
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 6: Infomercials and Friends in High Places
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 7: Social Suicide: Game of Thrones to the Rescue
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 8: Curious incuriosity
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 9: Denials, Dragons and Dummies
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 10, Season Finale: Final Absurdities

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Friends in High Places: The Real Housewives of Toronto Infomercial

The Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode Six

It is official. The Real Housewives of Toronto is not a reality TV show at all. It's one epic infomercial promoting the business concerns of not just the wives and their husbands, but their friends as well. 

They present some of it in the guise of "charity" but that's merely a justification for their greed and a diversion from their true agenda. However, in the battle of good versus evil, what is good often uses what is evil as an unwitting tool of grace, so I'm not so "outraged" that I can't continue trashing this show. 

Luckily, it's not all bad, though. Watching the always amusing Stephen, especially as he struggles with his nemesis, broccoli, has put me into delicious fits of laughter on more than one occasion. He is truly the highlight of the whole shebang. 

As Ann waxes poetic about their life together, Stephen tries his best to pay attention, but all he can think about is this vile smelling cabbage head he's being forced to choke down. He's so close to saying fuck it, spitting out the broccoli and reaching for the bottle. Screw longevity. In Vino Veritas.

If satire wasn't my goal, I'd probably have nicer things to write about him and his wife, as well as the others, but you can't put a spotlight on the folly of mortal man by being "nice". It doesn't work.

Everyone gets bored and goes charging after an innocent person, group or animal to victimize. There is a sadist in all of us that demands appeasement. The important thing is that you learn to master your inner sadist so that the extent of your "cruelty" does not go beyond a barely perceptible smirk at an inappropriate joke. I myself am not quite there yet, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, the folly of the Real Housewives of Toronto is fair game.

If Truth were everywhere to be shown, a Scarlet Letter would blaze forth on many a bosom
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
But first things first. Why is Jana even on a show about married socialites? She is neither of these things. Lala smells a rat. What did she and the "Joga girls" have to do exactly, with what Roger Ailes type executive, in what after-hours, dimly-lit auditioning room with a pole? Don't be so "appalled" by the insinuation. Jana is as much a participant in her "slut shaming" as she is a victim of it. 

As for my own motives regarding these blogs, there are too many girls being sexually assaulted, abused, harassed, demeaned, permanently traumatized and forever silenced as a direct result of degrading depictions delivered to us via popular media to keep sitting passively by and watching it happen. Women like Jana, or for that matter Grego and Joan, who freely trade sexual favours for business connections, job titles, rich husbands, status, a set of new implants, cold hard cash, or to get a spot on a reality TV show aren't helping matters.  

The main problem here isn't that women shouldn't be able to do what they want with their own bodies, it's that in today's dumbed down, celebrity-influenced culture, these sybaritic portrayals of women are somehow seen as representative of ALL women. Men view all this and seem to come to the delusional belief that anything female MUST be there for the taking, like luscious fruit dangling from the lowest branch of a poisoned tree. It then gives predatory men such as sleazebag Gregg Zaun, lech Kevin O'Leary or alleged rapist Robert Herjavec, the idea and excuse that it is perfectly okay - the "natural order" even - for them to bypass any higher thought they might be capable of, allow the most elemental, appetitive aspects of their beings to take complete control of their senses and steal from ANY fenced off tree in the orchard; or more literally, to paw, molest and attack ANY woman their penis finds sexually appealing, regardless of consent, mutual attraction, law, morality or decency.

Personally, I don't particularly care if a certain faction of woman wants to use sex as a means to get ahead in life, as a form of validation or they have discovered some secret species of sexually skilled man I'm not aware of and are simply enjoying themselves. I do care, however, when pornosized women are the ONLY women we EVER see in the spotlight. Popular media and the insidious machinations of sexist propaganda have fed society an extremely skewed picture of what a woman is, what she should be and what she could be. Women are much more than their "parts".

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence ― Leonardo da Vinci

Jana explains with a lascivious tilt to her voice that she likes her Joga girls to do "tips and tricks" with the golfers so "when they come to our hole, we give them a tip that will help their golf game". 

With regards to the role the Real Housewives plays in objectifying women, even if Lark Productions (their main executive has the stench of misogyny I look for) did screw Jana over by portraying her as a "slut", this still doesn't excuse her complicity. When she sits across from Gregg Zaun batting her eyelashes, intimately reaching across the table to fondle him, and suggestively asking if he wants "her girls" to perform stretches and "tricks" (*wink* *wink*) for him and his golfing buddies at the charity tournament they're exploiting, she's well-aware there are cameras on her. 

I like my Joga Girls to give tips and do "tricks". Wink, wink. You scratch Jana Webb's back and she'll definitely "scratch" yours. Wink, wink.

She knows what she's doing and in fact says it outright: 
"It's great to have a chance to support my friends in a way that helps my business as well. We do cross promotion with Joga sponsors". 

It would seem Jana Webb's "mentor", former Real Housewives of Vancouver actor, Brett Wilson, taught her everything she knows about "cross-promotion". He openly rationalizes exploiting human suffering (euphemistically calling it "charity") for his own profit and that of his "friends", which Jana parrots wholeheartedly. You "scratch" my back, I'll "scratch" yours. Wilson is proud of this exploitation philosophy, too. He in fact never shuts up about it, his mouth constantly agape like an unmuzzled hound that's been kicked in the head too many times, slobbering capitalist propaganda wherever he goes: "I’ve made a lot of money off the relationships that I’ve built. The goal was to USE (aka exploit) our charity budget as our marketing budget and the result was that we ended up building some pretty powerful relationships. I have trouble believing that there is something wrong with USING (aka exploiting) charity" (Source). This babbling fool, supported by legions of other babbling fools, bimbos and buffoons, all consumed by greed, seems to have "trouble" believing a lot of things that are true. His money god has invaded his ability to think clearly and the sycophants who surround him fuel his false sense of being "right". But regardless of his "ideas", money, status or the parrots that flit about him, the truth is that there absolutely IS something wrong with using charity the way he endorses (SEE HERE). Refusing to believe truth and refusing to accept hard realities because those realities don't serve your personal agenda isn't critical thinking, MORON. Your mother must be rolling over in the grave. 

"Cross promotion" is obviously code for some sort of sex act (just for the sake of CLARITY, the reader is about to enter into the arena of SATIRE. Proceed with a GRAIN OF SALT, but still try and grasp the FUCKING POINT). Your guess is as good as mine as to what act specifically, but Gregg seems to know right away as he flashes a smarmy smile and answers, "You girls are always such a big hit". I bet they are Gregg. I.Bet.They.Are.

The look on Gregg's face when he hears about Jana's latest Joga girl "trick and tip". It involves cupping and lifting the scrotum of a golfer lucky enough to land on a Joga Girl "hole". "Balls up, boys," Jana quips, licking her lips like she's getting ready for a meal and not just downing more booze. So much for the Muskoka excuse.
Jana's perma Jim Carrey grin widens even more, defying all measures of probability in the process, as she reassures Gregg that her "Joga girls are all ramped, booked and ready to go" if you catch her drift. What risky business is this, anyway? Is she trying to be the Canadian sport and fitness world's answer to Heidi Fleiss?

"I really want to be more apart of it....anyway we can do that," Jana directs the golf tournament conversation into murkier waters as Gregg eagerly follows along. "Do you still want us to do the 'stretch' in the morning with all the golfers?" she asks all coy now. Gregg's definitely "into it".

Jana, the Heidi Fleiss protege, might be wise to what's going on here and gaming the show for her own ends, but slow-witted Joan is another story. 

Joan is AMAZED by weirdo looking John and his in-the-box design idea: "He's one of these out of the box thinkers", she coos. What brings on this adulation? His suggestion is to separate sectional pieces of a couch and shove "a cool little custom" walnut table between the pieces. What am I missing? How is this an out-of the-box idea that makes Johnathan so good at what he does?? What is wrong with Joan's brain? Pretty soon this really is going to feel cruel and I won't be able to say another word about her questionable intelligence, limited insight and poor judgment.

She's so busy mentally taxing herself with home decor and being "amazed" with her weird ass looking friend and his remedial school design suggestions that it completely goes over her head that she is the butt of a joke. Jana (wise only to things that she can exploit) and Grego are simply aghast when they are informed of this. 

"IT'S MUSKOKA!!!" Jana and Grego scream in unison, their faces contorting and twisting to reveal their true hideous form, "WE DO WHAT WE DO IN MUSKOKA !!" What does that mean now? There are so many innuendos when Heidi Fleiss Jana Webb is around.

Apparently they too didn't grasp the intent behind Kara's gag gift to Joan until Roxy, embittered after, in Jana's words, she was "embarrassed and humiliated" that none of Michael's elaborate gowns were big enough to fit her, spills the beans out of pure spite.

Another one whose hidden witch comes screeching out the second she is challenged.

When Roxy initially broaches the subject of how dumb Joan is to not pick up on the intent behind Kara's "gift", she at first seems to imply Kara was badmouthing the entire group and IMMEDIATELY Jana and Grego defensively launch into attack mode before they've even heard any details. 

Now that they understand Kara was only referring to Joan, they are still defensive on their drinking buddy's behalf, but nowhere near as enraged as when they initially thought THEY were the ones being insulted. These women REALLY do not like it when someone hurts their feelings. Nice to see that grin wiped off Jana's face. Reality's a bitch, Jana.

They calm down significantly, though, when Roxy, relishing in having recruited more rage and indignation to her side, reluctantly concedes that actually the only woman Kara's been saying "horrible things" about is Joan. 

In reality, the only "horrible" thing Kara has said is, "Having fun is not an excuse for behaving badly". This comment was mainly in regards to how sloppy drunk Joan got at an earlier dinner Kara meticulously went to the trouble of putting together for the women. 

When people get that drunk to the point they can't even speak, it ruins everything from dinners to other kinds of social gatherings, to childhoods, marriages and beyond. Kara was therefore completely justified in being pissed off and her approach for dealing with it was not "vindictive", as the editing might have you believe, but was inspired.

Using humor to make a statement about hard to hear truths is one of the kindest ways to open someone's eyes to the reality of self-destructive beliefs and behaviors to which they are otherwise blind. 

There is an understandable reason for this blindness – if we had to face the harsh reality of every single one of our personal failings, it would be downright debilitating (for everyone excluding those without a conscience). You'd never get out of bed, you'd lie there a tortured insomniac berating yourself with the same counterproductive thoughts over and over until eventually suicide seems like your only escape. 

That said, living in utter denial of the most dysfunctional of one's behaviors can have the same deleterious effect on a life. So when a person comes along and highlights a flaw for you, whether friend, who does it as gently as possible with humor and empathy, or foe, who does it with snark and ill-intent, it's to your benefit to take what may feel like a sting at first, not as an injustice or insult, but as a "blessing in disguise". As an old Jesuit once said: "A wise person gets more use from her enemies than a fool from her friends".

I drink to make other people more interesting (and so I can strip naked in front of other people's children without my conscience getting in the way) ~ Ernest Hemingway, with addendum by Lala

Besides, gargantuan wine glasses that fit an entire bottle of vino are hilarious. I too have embarrassed myself MANY times over the years after imbibing a "little" too much. This is why, regardless of how it may be coming across, I find this whole drunken fiasco not only hysterical, but also why I feel  – deeply feel – Joan's humiliation. You are not alone, Joan. Alcohol and the internet: The great equalizers of our time.

Not that the privileged in all their grandiosity are happy to hear from the peasants, mind you. EVEN the privileged who were once peasants themselves! Oh how quickly they forget. It's why worldwide peace is impossible (sorry to break it to you Rhonda Byrne converts). The drive for power always corrupts, bringing the evil oppressors to the top, eventually collapsing the entire dominance hierarchy into savagery and chaos.

Many of these privileged people, especially the ones who have cashed in on a "branded" public persona, seem to believe with religious conviction that whatever they do or say, no matter how depraved or ignorant, should go by without comment. They only want praise, only respond if their ego is stroked, and if you do anything other than compliment them, they either disregard you altogether as nothing but an annoying mosquito not worthy of their attention, spout some pompous nonsense about "keyboard warrior" cowardice or send their minions after you.

In addition to being in a position where they are touted as somehow better than the rest of us and are perfectly justified in dismissing even valid criticism, the privileged, like those we see shamelessly posing on The Real Housewives of Toronto, further insulate themselves from public opinion by clustering together like a coven of witches and goblins with all their financing hosts. They rig the game so that a few are always on top and stay there. 

"Cheers to us and only us!!!" Look at Joan's face. She's SO READY for another drink!

They ensure their dominance by feeding and toasting only themselves, making alliances, and striking deals with each other at the exclusion of everyone else. We see this happening in every single episode of The Real Housewives of Toronto whether it's Jana "cross-promoting" her business with that of her friend's golf tournament, or Grego taking the opportunity to display her husband's wine label like she's a cheap, poorly rehearsed infomercial spokesperson.

Grego: "This is a private label from the Spoke Club". She enunciates Spoke Club very carefully so no one misses that the wine comes from THE SPOKE CLUB.

Kara also takes the opportunity to endorse a fashion designer she's chummy with, as well as sell tickets to the other women for a charity gala dear to her heart. This perplexes Ann who cannot fathom why anyone would take money from people they don't like. It boggles her surgically mutilated head why a person would do something that doesn't serve her own vanity and her own vanity alone. 

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

But it's for charity, so who gives a shit where the money comes from? (I mean, unless it's coming from a known child molester and sex trafficker such as, oh I don't know, Jeffrey Epstein, but that's another issue). You're never going to abolish the ills of this world by snubbing them. When you find yourself living a rigged game, where the rules are set by a select few who tweak the guidelines on a whim, giving themselves advantages denied others, the only hope you have of doing any good at all is strategy, stealth and infiltration. There is no point in lamenting the unfairness of it. Wallowing in pity changes nothing. Besides, if a business venture can take advantage of charity to make itself look good for marketing purposes, then charity has every right to return the "punch" so to speak.  In other words, never feel conflicted about taking their money, Kara. 

As a believer, you're called to help those in need, and whose heathen souls are more in need than the self-glorifying rich? By giving your friends and foes an opportunity to be charitable, you're hitting two birds with one stone: You not only answer the call with regards to the poor and suffering, like a candle flickering in the abyss, you also inch the lost a fraction closer to the light, whether they realize it or not. Putting others before self replenishes the soul and helps heal the earth.

On that note, I think I've rambled on long enough. Roxy's eyelashes, Stephen's broccoli troubles, men who wear jewelry, Joga girls and Jana's childish feeling of being offended because she couldn't afford a dress will have to wait another day. 

(But seriously, how is Jana's relative impoverishment Kara's fault? And who the hell does Jana think she is anyway to put on airs like that?? It's like what I said earlier, how quickly peasant farm girls forget. How quickly nerdy Saskatchewan boys who were bullied in elementary school and whose mothers were social workers also forget. Someone needs a refresher lesson in humility. May karma go easy). 

Also, fuck you, Brett Wilson (rape apologist), picking on poor Gracie like that, you obnoxious, babbling galoot. Don't go around doing publicity stunts deceptively indicating you're against bullying and for mental health awareness when you don't put any of it into practice.

Big mouth, Brett Wilson, claims to be an anti-bully "advocate" but in practice is in fact a BULLY as well as a HYPOCRITE. I'm sure incidentally "bully" and "hypocrite" aren't the worst of it, either.
This asshole loves to claim the high ground, yet uses his platform to demean (in the case of Gracie, but she's not the only one) a single mother who has none of his power, smear her reputation by implying she's "crazy" and then send his all too happy to comply minions to harass her - all of which is actually the VERY DEFINITION of bullying, and not to mention perpetuates the stigmatization of mental illness, another issue he claims to be concerned about, but clearly he's full of shit. When a privileged white male so full of himself that he's blinded to his own cruelty contributes to stigmatizing mental illness by ridiculing the mental stability of a woman who may very well be unstable, it makes said male not only a bully but a hypocrite as well. Fuck him, again. It cannot be said enough.

Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 1: Dumb, Plastic and Sleazy
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 2: Boring Housewives and Ugly Husbands
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 3: The Polished Real Housewives of Toronto
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 4: The Slut Shame
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 5: Amazing Reality TV Stars
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 6: Infomercials and Friends in High Places
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 7: Social Suicide: Game of Thrones to the Rescue
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 8: Curious incuriosity
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 9: Denials, Dragons and Dummies
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 10, Season Finale: Final Absurdities