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Thursday, April 14, 2011


Thank goodness I'm not scoring the Green Party, or we'd have to have some discussion about this jackass:

A Green Party candidate in British Columbia has resigned after concerns were raised about him posting a comment about rape on his Facebook page.

Alan Saldanha, who was running in the riding of Fleetwood—Port Kells, resigned Wednesday afternoon after it was revealed he posted, "If rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it!" on his Facebook profile. The comment has since been taken down.
So, here's the thing. This probably isn't meant as literal advice, but as a metaphor - rape standing in for some terrible or at least unpleasant inevitability beyond one's control. The specifics of Saldanha's use here, I can't imagine - the story doesn't make it clear. Maybe Saldanha didn't specify. (Maybe he didn't get it as a metaphor either, which brings up other concerns about the candidate's competence.) But others who have used the same line have traditionally been more specific.

Don't get me wrong - it's a terrible metaphor. But the conversations are nonsense unless we admit that it is a metaphor.  The story describes the line as "... a comment about rape...".  Hey, remember when Ignatieff was attempting to say nothing about coalitions, and the media would talk about the elephant in the room?  Yes, I certainly enjoyed all those news articles about elephants.

I heard Newsworld anchor Carole MacNeil suggest candidates should consider sensitivity training before running, and perhaps that's true. But meanwhile, the media should take some courses in literary devices and comedy, because they seem completely deaf to both.

Edited to add: CBC reporter Kris Reyes did acknowledge the candidate's explanation a few minutes after noon MDT, but dismissively. My favourite part what when she explained that the candidate had been told it was a quote from Confucius "... but I hardly doubt that," she helpfully gaffes. I believe the candidate has confused the real historic figure and the old joke construction suggesting barroom wisdom of some sort, "Confucius say...". In fact, two minutes of Google searching turns this up:

22 July 1971, Winnipeg (Canada) Free Press, pg. 1, col. 6:
Winnipeg Police Chief Norman Stewart countered municipal opposition to one big Greater Winnipeg police force Wednesday with the flat statement that such a force is inevitable.
Quipped the chief:

“To them I say what Confucius said: ‘When rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.’”
So, in conclusion, I think the CBC should be better funded, so it can afford some fancy Googling contraptions.  Or something.

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