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 suspect, 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 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: Still Making Mistakes, 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 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 around. 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-glorification, 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 then humbly bragging about what a mistake-prone "failure" he is. GIVE ME A BREAK.

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 and I'm definitely holding a grudge) 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 (HERE 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 Amanda, which always confounds me. How can people be so unkind to the suffering and struggle of another 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, the rule of law, 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 (ON THE OTHER HAND, sometimes when you do not address the early sparks of a raging fire you will be too late to have any hope of putting out the flame before it's engulfed your entire life, Joan. Also, FUCK YOU and that Adam's apple you've had yourself shackled to. Stupid woman. Hope it's worth it because from where I'm sitting? You look REALLY stupid and more importantly, since appearance is what you're all about, REALLY ugly. Women who sell themselves when they don't have to are pretty fucking gross).

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, spiritually and mentally 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.

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" (God only knows why) 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. Pipsqueak 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: Plastic, Pretty, Petty
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 2: Boring Housewives and Ugly Husbands
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 3: All Scrubbed Clean and Lacquered Pretty
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: The Real Denials of Toronto Housewives
Real Housewives of Toronto, Episode 10, Season Finale: Final Absurdities

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