Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Real Denials, Dragons and Elephants of Toronto

The Real Housewives of Toronto Episode Nine

The truth is a sharp blade, a surprise attack, a dragon's flame, a slap in the face, and a bucket of ice cold water over the head when you live a shallow existence full of your own falsely perceived greatness, surrounded by sycophants, yes men and handmaidens programmed to serve your vanities and your vanities alone. This is why the Barbie dolls of The Real Housewives of Toronto were so "ambushed" by Kara's unvarnished candor in episode nine. It's not easy being green, it's not easy being plastic.



Fake people concentrate so much brain power on their outward appearance and superficial personas that they neglect to develop the kind of inner strength and depth of character that would enable them to handle the honesty of a sharp tongue. 




One harsh word, a single snide remark or an unflattering truth that challenges their denial, and they collapse in a heap of despair and bewilderment. Or they erupt into a bleating fracas of outrage, which is exactly what happened with dumb and dumber, Jana and Grego. But the title of Queen Dummy has got to go to trophy-giraffe, Joan.


Yes, well-preserved second wife Joan is still considered a trophy wife even though she has been married to a Donald for "20 years". Perhaps if she had  not kept up the cosmetic "fine tuning" and exercise regimen "Don loves" so much things would be different? It does make one wonder about the possibility of  secret "illicit trophies", though, doesn't it? The kind a filthy rich man pays for and uses but doesn't marry (think "Caligula Effect").

She was so slow-witted and almost slurry in her speech, it was hard to tell if she was even sober during the entirety of episode nine. I'm a little concerned for her fragile mental state. This is a perfect example of why a little hardship and having to deal with bullies, difficult people and criticism are all unfortunate but necessary training grounds for building character and emotional resilience.





Learning to deal with adversity empowers you. On the flip side, if you don't learn how to deal with it effectively, adversity and the injustices of life can utterly destroy a person. The trick then isn't to avoid adversity, but to learn how to "roll with the punches". If you don't, you'll get punched in the head so many times you'll be rendered nothing but a mushy vegetable, one that is easily manipulated around the plate.

Unless, apparently, you were born privileged, then you don't really have to "roll with the punches" because the punches are prevented from getting near you in the first place. You can just lay back and bask in your own uncontested glory, fanned by your attentive servants, praised by your adoring, awestruck subjects. 




(Joan might not have been born into wealth and privilege, but her natural-born ambition and beauty is itself a kind of privilege and not just because it landed her "a Donald" and all the trimmings a Donald can provide. Good looking people are generally treated better in society to the point of worship in some cases, and given concessions not awarded the more unsightly lumbering and lurching amongst us. 




But don't take my word for it. There is plenty of research on the subject if you care to look for it. I'd direct you to some sources, but nobody seems to care about my sources so I won't bother. Besides, if you're not interested in doing any heavy reading, there are always sitcoms to showcase life's idiosyncrasies. The super powers and privilege of beauty, for instance, were adequately and amusingly depicted by Seinfeld's Nikki the Blonde (watch here).

As for Queen Dummy Joan, even without knowing what she looks like, it's easy enough to surmise she has lived a pampered existence by her own words. The most uncomfortable she has EVER been was Kara going off on her? What the? 


Jana is shocked to see Kara at Pierre's birthday, even though Grego did invite Kara, and in classic mean girl style, Jana bristles, "She's very brave to come here". Then, Jana, smug, with the over-confidence of a Neanderthal with a low IQ, appoints herself the hero of the group and confronts Kara, referencing white elephants, which doesn't make any sense. She of course meant the "elephant in the room" but lives to regret confronting the elephant because Kara will not back down and is all "bring it!" She wants to talk about this elephant, too. It turns out the opportunist-minded Jana is confused in more ways than one and is left speechless when Kara not only freely owns up to what she actually said, but further concedes that "yes, I will judge you if you take your clothes off". Nothing like brutal honesty. This, by the way, Jana, is why people generally avoid elephants.

No wonder she and her dummy squad are so "appalled" by Kara if the worst insult they've ever experienced is being reminded they were "falling down blind drunk" (when they were!). Or that it is uncouth to strip off one's clothes at a beautifully thought out dinner party put together by a gracious hostess, who went to much expense and trouble. They treated Kara's dinner as if it was a stagette and Kara had every right to voice her displeasure with their behavior. 


Flashback to that fateful night at Kara's dinner party: After way too much wine, Joan slurs, "We should all go skinny dipping!" Ah, fond memories. When your past drunken escapades come back to haunt you, it's best to deny everything and refuse to talk about it. This unfortunately becomes significantly trickier when your humiliation is recorded and put on television. Not too bright, there, wino.

In contrast, Joan and the dummy squad don't see anything wrong with their pitiful performance at Muskoka; their only issue is if someone comments on their behavior with anything but joviality and applause. They DO NOT like being judged and will "confront" ANYONE who dares to think of them as anything but fun-loving party girls (even though they are all well past the age where that's even plausible). 



Patron Saint of Plastic and Queen Dummy confabulating nonsense only a trophy wife could follow.

They do not like hearing gossip about themselves either (which, what did they think they were signing up for?), no matter how solidly based in fact, yet have NO PROBLEM dishonestly and maliciously gossiping about someone they don't like. This is what you call a hypocrite, folks. A hypocrite is someone who condemns in another what they celebrate and condone in themselves. 


Oops, there Jana is drinking and gossiping again. The dummy squad are busy maliciously gossiping about how they abhor gossips. It makes about as much sense as confronting elephants you pretend aren't there when they ARE there and then being shocked that you've awakened a beast you never really wanted to confront in the first place. You were just playing, putting on an act. It's very confusing being this deceptive.


Joan especially does not like hearing "unkind" things about herself, no matter how true, yet babbles on about the importance of honesty. I suppose it's easy to be an advocate of honesty if you truly believe in all honesty that you are above reproach, your integrity could never be questioned, and the circumstances of your privileged life support your deluded views.




Joan then, fully expecting to shame Kara into acquiescence, asks for the truth and when Kara gives her the truth, granted with the kind of dramatic flare normally reserved for a Broadway production, Joan does not know what to do. Not only has she never been told the real truth in her whole entire life, she has never been spoken to with such irreverence and therefore panics. 


In response to Joan and Ann's insinuation Kara was only after their money, she rightly points out, which it seems should go without saying:  "I did say I'm interested in the money for the charity, because it's not MY Ambi Gala. It's an Ambi Gala for the CHILDREN. I wasn't asking you to give money to ME, Joan."

Under Kara's "hostile" fire, Joan's heart "pounds" like it's never pounded before, and she does the only thing her frantic "flight or fight" response can think to do and makes a run for it. It's like watching a giraffe being pursued by a lion, or in this case, a female dragon with "flames shooting out her nostrils". Nice. 




I didn't realize dragons found simple giraffes enticing enough to pursue. But I suppose when you're a seasoned dragon, any annoying, self-exalting creature that has the nerve to squawk at you is fair game. 


Watch out now she's breathing fire. She's a dragon lady. Look into her crimson eyes.
Say goodbye ~ Crimson Glory
I guess Joan didn't know about dragons until she confronted one. Dragon ladies are very wise, Joan, they see through vanities, pomposity, phoniness, schemes and deception with the magical perception of a mind-reader. Beware of dragons, but don't worry about the posers. Go ahead and laugh at the posers. Real dragons laugh with you.


If you ever want a taste of what privilege is, here you go: This is Joan's reaction to being faced with someone who isn't interested in stroking her ego or supporting her denial: "This was an ambush and the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE moment of my life. I have NEVER had that much hostility and anger directed towards me". This coming from a woman who has traveled  extensively and seen firsthand some of the worst poverty on the planet. Maybe check your fucking privilege, Joan, if you're going to be a champion for starving children, at least if you want to be taken seriously by people who aren't interested in feeding your narcissism.

Speaking of posers, in addition to Joan who claims to be concerned with children's charities but only if those promoting the charities want to be her "friend" (with all the innuendo that entails), who do they think they're kidding with that ridiculous matchmaker date? They choose the most unsuitable, goofy sleazebag they could find to make Jana look better in contrast and also to give her yet another excuse to plug her Joga business? 


Jana takes advantage of her captive audience to once again give her Joga girl pitch ostensibly to Rob: "We make men feel successful in yoga, that's pretty much, you know, our motto; if you can't touch your toes, you're our perfect client". Every time Jana plugs her Joga business, Heidi Fleiss immediately comes to mind. I'm sorry, I can't help it.

They again did the exact same setup in The Real Housewives of Vancouver. The viewer is expected to suspend disbelief and unquestionably accept these "arrangements" are all spontaneously put together purely for "romance" with no ulterior agenda, no foreknowledge of who each other was, or what they were going to say. The viewer is supposed to just docilely sit there, distracted by fanciful fairy tale themes, as they're subliminally exposed to "branding" ploys and infomercial-style presentations. Come on.


Jana tells loser Rob Pagetto she hasn't been on a date in fifteen years because "you know, I didn't date while I was married". This is why I do not trust men and keep my distance. Jana stays faithful while douchebag Dave cheats on her and blows up her life. Dave isn't too bothered by what he's done though, and just goes out and finds a new replacement trophy wife named Haley of all names, leaving Jana alone with her bottle of wine, trying to piece back together the shards of her devastated existence.

Also, after weeks of casting her as the "slut" of the show (not me, the show is doing it, I'm just pointing it out, don't shoot the messenger), suddenly now Jana's all demure and grimaces at Rob's vulgar comments? But of course not too too demure. They do, after all, open the dating segment with Jana confiding, "I'm dipping my foot back into the dating pool and maybe, if things go well, I'll get wet". Classy


Jana: "Like, how can you let your hair down and have a good time when you know someone is looking at you and judging every move that you make?" Maybe don't put yourself on a REALITY TV SHOW if you don't want to be "judged", yogi.

But it begs the question, with her "roster of penis", hasn't she been getting wet enough? You'd think she'd be downright drowning in semen the way she carries on about it. Although, if her roster consists mostly of the "business elites" who invest "in" her, it's possible her own pleasure is of no concern to them. The best she can hope for in the "getting wet" arena is a money shot to the face.

(Again, don't shoot the messenger. I'm merely drawing attention to the way these shows, in subtle and not so subtle ways, manipulate the viewer's mind to think of women in predominately sexualized and demeaning terms. When they purposely leave comments like "getting wet" in the editing, they want your mind to "go there".


Jana stays naively hopeful: "Sometimes you have to meet a lot of frogs before you find your prince". There is no prince, Jana. It's just a swamp. Maybe some flies, but that's it.

These kinds of "bimbo" depictions of women in popular culture are at least partially to blame for why a man like Rob, Jana's date, sees NO PROBLEM with saying to a woman he just met and was supposedly trying to impress that "the French are horny and Italians are the best lovers". He thought he was being flirty and charmingly funny. He thought women loved that sort of thing. What Rob said is a "tell" that indicates he's an idiot. It also indicates he's been watching way too much internet porn and most likely has a problem. Porn addicts make terrible lovers anyway Jana, so no big loss.

It might incidentally seem like I'm being overly harsh towards Jana, but other than the slut thing, which probably has more to do with the editing than her as a person in real life, I actually find Jana's loyalty to her friends, messy hair, hippie vibe and awkwardness endearing. Snark, however, is my intention so that's as good as you're going to get).

Getting back to reality TV's convoluted concept of "truth", in the grand finale of episode nine, amidst another one of these extravagant adult birthday parties The Real Housewives are renowned for, Jana takes the lead and confronts Kara on Joan's behalf using a mixed up elephant metaphor to segue into her beef. A white elephant, Jana, and "the elephant in the room" have different meanings. 




Maybe a little less Joga and a little more reading there yogi, leader of bimbo, master of the word "like". Your athleticism and good looks will only get you so far, my little bleached-blonde Maca root. I suggest Elephants and Red Herrings (see here) to get you started. Better late than never.

In the meantime, if you're going to be this stupid at least have a sense of humor about it. Kara getting a banana boat to make them vomit is hilarious especially since it backfired on her! Why are they making such a big deal about this? Not only did they not vomit, but Kara ended up injured as a result of her attempt at banana boat "revenge" which Kara herself has a sense of humor about (when she isn't being irritatingly accused of inane falsehoods).


Kara reminds the dummy squad that they were all talking about skinny dipping but it was Joan who got blind drunk and took her panties off at Kara's dinner party. Jana, whose panties also come off on a whim or faster than you can say "Joga" screams in Kara's face, "Who cares!!!" No class, this woman. You can take the girl out of Alberta, but you can't take Alberta out of the girl.
It however is understandable that Kara wasn't laughing about them implying she used the Ambi charity gala for personal gain, Jana basically accusing Kara of embezzlement. Kara was thus totally justified in her indignation and reaction to Jana's accusation that "how dare you go and ask Joan for 25 thousand dollars for your event!". 


Kara mentors the dummies in clear, simple language, like she's speaking to obnoxious children who are having trouble following directions, "We can debate this all you want, but denying it doesn't mean it didn't happen". She then lays out again in straightforward language what actually happened. But this does nothing but confuse the dummies even more. After being schooled by Kara, rather than learning the lesson, Jana and the others are left in a state of bewilderment: "What just happened? How did this happen? Somehow she manipulated the conversation. I'm, like, wow, who is this woman?" She has the spirit of a dragon, Jana. Never underestimate dragons.

There is no way a dragon worth her fire can let slander like that go unanswered, but like any shrewd dragon, Kara sticks to the facts and simply, albeit dripping with sarcasm, replies, "It's not my event, my dear, it's about the children. It's not about me". Duh, Jana. Come on!

Jana, though, a woman whose entire existence is built around detecting "opportunity" like a rat looking for an opening into a well-stocked pantry, doesn't believe Kara. It doesn't align with Jana's worldview that a person would do anything, not even anything charitablethat doesn't foremost serve his or her personal interests.


The look of a woman whose illusions and denials have been tampered with.
It also doesn't seem to align with Ann's worldview, who ironically (since Ann looks more rubber doll than human) comes to the weird ass conclusion that Kara's reaction to their confrontation is because she "isn't human". 

Ann, "I get charity, but I don't get 'I'm really mad at everybody but I want everyone to spend money". Joan also doesn't get it, "When I hear essentially Kara just wants my money, I can't believe that she would even say that". It's CHARITY dingbats! The money doesn't go to the person asking for the donation! What the hell is wrong with you??
Ann just goes to prove you don't have to be particularly smart to be rich or enjoy worldly successful. She's as slow-thinking as Joan, who now doesn't know "which way is up" after Kara's superior intelligence has "confused" not only her (Joan) but the others as well.


Joan, still shell-shocked from being told the unvarnished truth, tells Grego she feels like she's been "trampled on". She says she "honestly doesn't know how to process" Kara's sugar-free honesty. And rather than wake up from her denial and take into consideration what Kara said, brilliant Joan decides instead that they've entered "the realm of ridiculous" (yeah, that must be it) where she doesn't "even know which way is up anymore". Sweaty Grego's "heart is beating" as well because she too has no idea which way is up. LADIES! Look behind Grego! Those two balding men know which way is up, just follow their bottles! Everyone knows how much you girls like "the bottle" so this should be a "no-brainer". Good grief. Is it safe for these two to be wandering around unsupervised?

But in the final moments of episode nine, as Kara's dragon tail effortlessly swats at the dummy squad's feeble attempts at character assassination, I'm more left wondering where lounge-lizard Pierre has gotten off to. My bet is on those Brazilian dancers his ditzy wife encouraged him to get up close and personal with. 


These people look totally insane. Am I the only one who sees it? Grego is downright manic over the debauchery, too. She says, "I wanted the dancers to grab Pierre!!!". As for Pierre, he admits the Brazilian dancers were the "icing on the cake". I bet they were, lounge-lizard. I. Bet. They. Were.
Perhaps my suspicion from an earlier blog of Pierre's lack of faithfulness is unfair. His wife seems to want him to partake in the fleshy delights of ladies who are not her. I've never understood women like this, who encourage a man's natural tendency to stray by enticing him with their friends, strippers, topless servers, pornography, etcetera. But then I'm the one with the failed marriage so what do I know? Personally I'd rather die broke and alone than put up with crap like that, but to each her own. I'm not the one living in a mansion.

That said, I think I've abused this episode enough.

Next week we enter the final stretch. Until then...

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

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