Heather Mallick: When abnormal becomes the new normal
We’re so long past breaking norms of behaviour, we are gaily crossing legal lines and leaping fences and walls. What were norms anyway? Dusty old things. Having a U.S. president with hair something other than implanted, drug-induced, dyed yellow and flipped over like a chicken’s tail feather, that was a norm. Donald Trump’s “Just grab them by the p---y,” that was another.
But lines were lines. They weren’t social, they were major, they had “Do Not Cross or You Will Be Hit by Train. We Mean It” signs all over them. And thanks to Trump, people are taking an axe to lines, they are holding line-crossing parties with contests for the thickest, blackest lines.
Readers, I’ve been postponing something. I’ll just say it. Details have leaked from Stormy Daniels’ book on being paid to stay silent about sex with Trump. She has described his p---y-equivalent. Now when she sees him on TV, she thinks “I had sex with that. Eech.”
Women often say that though.
“He knows he has an unusual penis,” Daniels writes. “It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool … I lay there, annoyed that I was getting f---ed by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart.”
I told the infantilized Trump analogy in two separate tranches to my British husband this morning when he brought me coffee because it’s too much for a civilized person. He doesn’t understand American pop culture references like Toad from Mario Kart and Yetis, so I said, “Know what mushrooms look like? Huge bulbous cap? Trump’s ...” He backed away from me.
Then I asked him over toast, “You know what a Yeti is? Cartoons. Abominable Snowman. Hairy imaginary beasts, fantastically hairy. Well, Toad is sitting in a forest of yeti hair.” Now he looked frozen.
People online are saying they’ll never eat mushrooms again, not even if they’re chopped into tiny pieces. Maybe especially not then.
The next horror story: Premier Doug Ford and actual intelligent sane person Attorney-General Caroline Mulroney crossed a legal (and moral) line by intervening in a democratic election. When a court said no, Ford and Mulroney crossed a big black line by using the notwithstanding clause.
Toronto filed an appeal and the matter is being fought out in court as Ford attacks judges and threatens 406 towns in Ontario with his notwithstanding wrecking ball.
If the courts don’t protect Toronto voters, I expect Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell to do her constitutional duty to ensure that the democratic will of Ontarians and their elected representatives is upheld, and refuse Royal Assent for Bill 31.
If she does, the point of having a monarch — this has eluded me since gormless Charles sent Diana away to her death — will suddenly become clear. I will take back everything I ever said about the monarchy and hail Elizabeth II and almost all her offspring.
At the moment, Britain’s future is so Brexit-doomed that it’s looking to be the first nation to win a Darwin Award. But thanks to our lieutenant-governor, Britain, the pitiful nation that doesn’t get picked for freeze tag at recess, will have one loyal friend, and it will be Canada.
The third crossed line is Leona Alleslev, MP for Aurora-Oak Ridge-Richmond Hill, who ran for the federal Liberals, won, and is now crossing to the Conservatives for reasons not made clear. “To publicly criticize the government as a Liberal,” she told the House, “would undermine the government and, according to my code of conduct, would be dishonourable.”
Floor-crossing is fairly common and acceptable under the rules. But the honourable time for it would have been at the next election. Alleslev could have resigned and run again as a Conservative. She wants to hold onto her pension rights, fair enough, but she has betrayed the voters of her riding.
I would list more line-crossing. There’s that little J’accuse of misery from the oily Jian Ghomeshi, at 51 still hanging around karaoke bars hitting on women. Remember Big Ears Teddy?
But on Monday, Republican men are going to try to do a Prof. Anita Hill on Prof. Christine Blasey Ford, so save room for that.
Heather Mallick is a columnist based in Toronto covering current affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @HeatherMallick
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