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Odometer rollover

My last column for 2008: a short consideration of the latest, and most laughable, fake Holocaust memoir. 2009's first: analyzing the logic of the latest PR offensive by Rod Bruinooge and his underground parliamentary pro-life caucus.


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Comments (13)

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

I can't remember the name of the Italian happy-children-in-the-deathcamp Oscar winner from a few years ago. He scored well with one exploitation, but people tired of him quickly.

One thing people forget about Oprah is how distasteful her show was in early days... How confrontational and embittering. She was closer to the Springer side of things back then. Maybe she's swung too deeply into treacle as a recovery maneuver. But there's probably a case to be made that no one's done more for literature in the last 20 years. (Don't harsh me, I know nothing about these things, and said "probably".)

Oprah's literary goofs with Frazen and Frey were good fun for those of us who don't care about literature. And isn't there something good to be said for having women around who are trying to think about powerful feelings by reading these things?

Ordinary Joe:

In regards to your National Post article about Rod Bruinooge, I have a couple of things to say. First.... What are you smoking? Your article made no point or sense other than you don’t agree with Bruinooge. You are obviously pro-choice. With the exception of actually calling Bruinooge pro-life instead of anti-abortion like most of the anti-life crusaders, you made no attempt to even try to look at both sides of this issue. This shows how closed minded and unprofessional you really are. Your only hope is that it becomes against Canadian human rights laws to speak against abortion. Then, you won’t have to actually come up with something smart to defend it.

Lord Bob:

I'm not the ranking expert on the Colby Cosh oeuvre, but since I seem to remember him writing articles about abortion since the thirteenth century, I suspect he's moved long past yet another useless "abortion: is it good or bad?" article which "looks at both sides of the issue" and is instead writing about recent developments rather than retreading decade-old arguments.

Besides, that particular article wasn't so much pro-choice as pro-selling your own body parts.

Garth Wood:

Crid wrote:

"One thing people forget about Oprah is how distasteful her show was in early days...  How confrontational and embittering."

Not everyone forgets.  Me and my buddies used to call Oprah the "Men Suck" show back in the mid-to-late 80s.  I think she finally started turning the volume down about a decade later, when her shows had become self-parodies of the "Men Suck" oeuvre.  But by that time, other, lesser beings of the talk show world such as Phil Donahue had already started disappearing — you can only sustain a hate-on for half the human species for so long, it seems...


Philip Girvan:

This isn't the first time Oprah's been taken in by a bogus memoir. She selected James Frey's "Million Little Pieces" as a Book Club title 2 years after John Dolan exposed Frey as a BS artist in the eXile.

Oprah may be rich, but her critical reading abilities are nil. That's assuming she does read the books that go into her book club - if not - she needs to consider doing so and researching the authors.


My little brother was nearly three months premature. Barely larger than a kitten, confined to an incubator and constant care for the opening act.

Today he's a healthy, active, intelligent teenager.

That pretty much sets the tone for me. That late-term abortions are almost never performed seems irrelevant in the face of their absolute legality in this country.

I'm pro-choice, but I do think we should have at least some form of regulation here.

Here in the Edmonton area, a teen girl was charged the other day for failing to seek medical care during a pregnancy in which her baby died. If she'd had an abortion the day before there would have been no charges - seems an odd double standard to me.

Or worse - double homicides involving fetuses. How can killing a fetus be a homicide in one instance but perfectly legal in the next?

There's no way we're going to seriously reopen the debate here in Canada - I think most Canadians would agree that women have the right to choose - but we should get our heads straight about where the bottom line is here.

Here in the Edmonton area, a teen girl was charged the other day for failing to seek medical care during a pregnancy in which her baby died. If she'd had an abortion the day before there would have been no charges - seems an odd double standard to me.

It's not a double standard. It's just a standard. And our "head" is perfectly "straight". There has to be some day on which a fetus becomes a person for the purposes of law: complaining about THAT is weaker that just saying "Life begins at conception, dammit".

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

Cosh is precisely correct.

But here's the funnest-ever blog post about our regard for the sanctity of life.

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

> she needs to consider doing so
> and researching the authors

Well, Oprah oughta read the books... And I can't believe she doesn't. In the worst case ever, she probably gave one her Chosen Volumes (or whatever she calls them) a very thorough speed read.

But I'm not so sure about researching the authors. That smells like political correctness. It might be a better, more-enriching and challenging program for her audience if every now and then Oprah brought someone into the studio who said and thought things they weren't expecting.

Frey got in trouble when Oprah figured out that he was saying exactly what she wanted to hear; Franzen got in trouble when he figured out that his identity was being diminished by her producer's threshing machine.

But it's a free market... If Oprah wanted to do a TV show on books that simply made women feel all juice-flowy and womanish, she could produce one, and nobody would complain. I like these continuing stories of Oprah's comeuppance, and not just for the schadenfreude. These embarrassments demonstrate that a girlish appreciation for loud, sentimental emotion can't alone bring reliable insight into people's lives. (Feminism itself never promised that it could, but gals of a certain disposition had high hopes that the revolution could rock ever-onward.)

Meanwhile, Oprah's early enthusiasm for these works has no guile. And her reputation is strong enough to take the punches. She's learning: She doesn't do the male-bashing shows that Garth recalls above anymore. Isn't this what we want? Even if Oprah herself doesn't spot the pattern, isn't it possible that her many devoted viewers are figuring it out?... In Cosh's phrase, refining a "rule of taste"?

And again, perhaps no one but Rowling has done more for the book business in the last decade than Oprah. Props.


There's no biological difference between a baby the day before its born and the day after it's born.

In Canada you could wait for the fetus to emerge three-quarters of the way and then strange it to death while its legs are still inside - it's neither a human being nor a person yet under canadian law.

That's not a standard. That's three cases, all post 1982, creating a precedent in common law that's not much older than my little brother, all three of which deliberately and openly avoided any consideration of the biological status of a fetus at whatever stage of pregnancy (whether a late term fetus was developed enough to survive and grow normally outside the womb, for example).

They didn't blaze any trails there, Colby. They swept the issue under the rug.

As for Oprah - I think she does read the books. She just doesn't read very critically.

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

Nity, consider this.


It's obviously not your policy to respond more than once to dissenting comments. I don't begrude that; it is rather convenient for me with no personal stake in my statements to say what I like.

I also lack any formal education, though I do know how to use libraries and lately the internet. If I ever seem to echo anyone you can take it on faith that it's a cooincidence - I probably never read them.

I'm a firm believer in the power of the common man to, on his own and with some forethought, to customize his own experience.

Crid [cridcridatgmail]:

Dood- He's not aloof, he's busy. He does it for money, not jsut for fun


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