What Went Wrong This Week For … Shutting Your Pie Hole

A photograph of the writer.

SCAACHI KOUL was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, BuzzFeed NewsThe HairpinThe Globe and Mail and J...

Welcome to Well, That Sucked, our weekly compendium of exactly what it sounds like. Thrown in this week’s garbage: keeping your big, stupid mouth shut for just one blissful second.

You may not realize it, but usually, I try to put at least a marginal amount of effort into this column. That said, “effort” in this context is often defined as me coming into the office around 11:15 and rolling my bare chest across my keyboard while yelling, “IF YOU FIRE ME, IT’S A HATE CRIME.”

I didn’t even have to do that much this week—this article virtually wrote itself. It’s like the universe’s Valentine’s Day gift to me, the worst holiday in the world, second only to Bastille Day. (It knows what it did.) No, this week, there was nary a public figure who could stop himself from opening his big wide face only to shove both feet inside and then tumble down a hill into the bog of fetid ignominy.

Take, for example, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who got in trouble when he tried to explain the company was scaling back certain employee benefits, claiming that two “distressed babies” cost the company one million dollars each, spoiling it for everyone else. Apparently the company would have saved a lot of money if these kids had been remotely considerate and just died already.

It was foolish enough to call out these two specific cases, but to blame them almost solely for cutting 401(K) benefits is downright hilarious: total revenue for AOL in 2013 was $2.3 billion. Armstrong himself earned $12.1 million in 2012—quadrupled from the year before. It was all made worse when the mother of one of these inconvenient babies came forward to tell her side of the story.

But I think I speak for all of us when I say: hey, lady, pipe down, okay? We’re all very busy browsing these Huffington Post slideshows of stock photos and not having AOL emails and ignoring Patch.

But that was just last weekend.

On Monday, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto said that drunk female victims are just as much to blame for their rapes as the drunk male perpetrators. He went so far as to compare it to when drunk drivers collide, since “one doesn’t determine fault on the basis of demographic details such as each driver’s sex.”

That would all make total sense if cars driven by women were forced to operate within the same social constructs as actual women. Like, for example, the fact that they’re conditioned to submit to cars driven by men, or that police sometimes don’t believe female drivers when they say they’ve crashed, or that the cars have to worry about retribution from other cars if they report an accident, or that some cars are physically stronger than other cars, or that an accident is an accident while raping someone takes actual expressed will. Has he ever even seen a car accident? Does he think that cars can have sex? Oh my god, what does he think Fast and the Furious is about??

The nice thing about this is that the next time the WSJ has to worry itself over layoffs, they know maybe one person who wouldn’t be such a big loss. If you can’t find him when that fateful day comes, check the parking garage where he will almost certainly be forcing his penis into the fuel tank of an old Honda Civic.

Finally, we return to Toronto, as we always seem to these days. Earlier this week, Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington welcomed Christian Right leader/impacted molar Charles McVety on his radio show to discuss everything from Rob Ford to the focus on sexual orientation at the Sochi Olympics.

The whole segment was an exercise in what happens to the human brain if you spend too much time huffing nail polish remover in an enclosed space. They compared homosexuality to pedophilia, asked if the Chechen flag would fly at City Hall after the Pride flag, and said that the gays were acting just like the Brownshirts.

This, combined with Toronto school board trustee Sam Sotiropoulos’ Twitter rant about Canada’s crisis of “homosexism”, it’s a banner week for straight white guys feeling like victims. I often wonder what it’s like to constantly feel like you’re both the majority and somehow also a victimized group. It probably feels a little unnatural, yet calming, like a hot stone massage, or eating clam chowder in the bath.

Ordinarily, I’d point out that Warmington is hardly a journalist and more of a turtle without a shell, while McVety is basically a peach-coloured balloon that’s liable to pop if a slight breeze comes its way. But today I’m feeling charitable. It’s Valentine’s Day, love is in the air, we’re halfway through February and March is just around the corner. I don’t want to fight! I like knowing that soulmates exist, even if those couplings comprised the worst of humanity.

So Joe, Charles, I say this from the bottom of the pig heart that unlicensed anesthesiologist used to keep me alive: you two really do deserve each other.

Well, That Sucked appears every Friday.

A photograph of the writer.

SCAACHI KOUL was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, BuzzFeed NewsThe HairpinThe Globe and Mail and Jezebel. She is the author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter.