Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Alexander Wood is a stiff

The problem with all this second-hand pride people are supposed to be celebrating these days is that you never know what you're going to end up finding yourself proud of. Patchen Barss, spokesman for Toronto's Mayor David Miller, offers this gem of historical revisionism in defending $100,000 in public funds on a bronze statue of Alexander Wood at the corner of Alexander and Church Streets in the city:

[A]s a city, we should celebrate Alexander Wood for his association with gay rights, for the way he supported Toronto’s tradition of respect for diversity, and also for his cheekiness and sense of humour.
All correct, of course, except that:
  1. his cheekiness and sense of humour are fabrications of Barss' own flack imagination;
  2. his early 19th understanding of the term diversity would have entirely uninformed by late 20th popular culture-manufacturing definitions;
  3. and, the concept of exclusive group rights, particularly gay rights, would likely have astonished his pre-postmodern mind if he had been able to grasp it at all.
It makes me wonder — was the context for this remark provided by the cheerfully politically-rectifying de-critical ejaculation demanded of PR people, the post hoc presence of a rather flamboyant monument mandated for gay tourism marketing, or the lobby group documents contained in the application process for advocacy funding?

So, what may be supposed to be known without strenuous efforts at historical interpretation?
In 1810, Wood caused a scandal when he investigated a rape case. The woman who filed the claim testified that she had scratched her assailant's penis during the attack, and Wood personally inspected the suspects' genitals for injury.
So, what it's supposed to mean? $100,000 worth of public special interest self-gratification and exhibitionism.

2 comments:

Pietr said...

Maybe the communicator thinks that all gays do is inspect each other's penises.
Some of these liberals are unusually naive.

Dimus said...

Hey Londoners, why don't you stick to crying over your own city's overspending and leave Torontonians to worry about theirs!
What you find irrelevant, maybe, in fact, believe it or not, relevant to many other people...shocking concept i know, but it is indeed true!
Did we complain to you? um...NO!