By Brian D. Johnson - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 0 Comments
Cheating moves from today’s headlines into tomorrow’s plots on the big screen
If David Petraeus is seeking to escape his marital woes at the multiplex this month, he’ll have to choose carefully. Best to steer clear of Anna Karenina. It’s the season’s most exquisite costume drama, and Keira Knightley has never looked lovelier, but it’s still the story of an affair that turns into a train wreck. Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director over an extramarital romance, may also want to avoid Hyde Park on Hudson. This light confection about president Franklin Delano Roosevelt entertaining British royalty may seem harmless, but FDR’s knack for blithely cheating on his wife without missing a beat would make a modern philanderer envious. If Petraeus hopes to soothe his soul with a cathartic blast of Beethoven, A Late Quartet may look like just the ticket. But not so fast: it’s about a famous string quartet that becomes unstrung by one member’s affair and another’s adulterous fling. Even 18th-century Copenhagen is not a safe escape. In A Royal Affair, Denmark’s queen betrays her king with his doctor, a heroic civil servant whose free-thinking behaviour costs him his head.
The holiday movie season is awash with sobering tales of adultery in high places. In each of these four films, sexual betrayal results in someone getting hurt, if not killed, but the cheating lovers are portrayed with glowing empathy and affection. Even if they’ve doomed themselves by following their desires, they seem nobler for it—true to their passion, if not to their mates. Continue…
By Anne Kingston - Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 10:45 AM - 5 Comments
Women all over the world are fighting back against sleazy men, no matter how powerful they are
On May 17, the same day the Los Angeles Times broke the story that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a long-time employee, his estranged wife Maria Shriver was in Chicago, taping the penultimate episode of Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. As the audience cheered, she took the stage to thank Winfrey for her friendship while making a not-so-subtle dig at her husband’s stunning duplicity: “You’ve given me love, support, wisdom, and most of all…the truth.” Winfrey clasped Shriver’s hand, thrust it in the air and cried, “Here’s to the truth!”
It was a classic Oprah moment, perfectly calibrated to the trend of rich and powerful philanderers getting their comeuppance. If Shriver had plotted to orchestrate a public up-yours toward her husband of 25 years, she couldn’t have chosen a more ideal platform. Days later the allegation arrived that she had done just that: TMZ.com reported Shriver herself had leaked the Schwarzenegger story to the Times—a historic moment for a woman born into the Kennedy family, a political dynasty where wives appear hard-wired to ignore infidelities.
For years, Shriver followed that script as rumours swirled about Schwarzenegger’s cheating and sexual assaults. A 2001 Premiere magazine exposé, “Arnold the Barbarian,” claimed the action hero routinely grabbed women’s breasts in some sort of Neanderthal greeting, and repeatedly forced unwanted physical contact. In 2003, on the eve of the California gubernatorial election, six women came forward in the L.A. Times alleging that Schwarzenegger had engaged in sexual bullying and assault dating back decades. Shriver rose to his defence publicly, discrediting his accusers and calling her husband an “A-plus human being,” a validation credited with securing his first landslide victory.
By Ken MacQueen - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 46 Comments
Some 16 groups take sides on polygamy in a landmark case
The British Columbia government’s decision to test the legality of Canada’s 120-year-old polygamy law led to a shocking revelation for Karen and her two male partners. The 37-year-old Winnipeg-area mother, her husband of 15 years and a second male partner concede their arrangement is unconventional. She calls it a plural union based on equality, not religious ideas of male dominance. What she didn’t realize, until the B.C. court reference drew attention to the issue, was that they’re breaking the law by sharing a home. “This has been a real learning experience,” she says.
Karen, who doesn’t want her surname used in order to protect her children, is part of a constituency of polyamorists, one of many groups seeking standing in the B.C. Supreme Court. The case will determine if the polygamy law—Section 293 of the Criminal Code—is constitutional. It was triggered by the province’s failure to prosecute two polygamous bishops in the fundamentalist Mormon community of Bountiful, B.C., but its outcome could affect the rights of thousands.
Some 16 groups have submitted affidavits seeking permission to argue for or against 293 when a trial date is set—proving, if nothing else, that polygamy creates strange bedfellows. Some groups see the polygamy law as the foundation of the traditional family and a defence against the exploitation of girls forced into multiple marriage, as the province alleged happened in Bountiful. Others argue the law is unenforceable, does nothing to help the women of Bountiful, and that it imposes a moral code out of step with Canada’s modern, multicultural society.
By Colby Cosh - Friday, December 11, 2009 at 4:06 PM - 23 Comments
The Toronto Transit Commission has turned down the opportunity to earn $250,000 in ad revenue from the adultery-facilitation website AshleyMadison.com. I’m a believer in religious and particularly irreligious freedom, but I suppose the TTC’s refusal is all right with me: one can find a secular justification in the observation that it is contrary to public policy to encourage the breaching of contracts. So my future promotional plans for CovetThyNeighboursAss.com are probably still good to go.
I really think the Star has buried the lede here though.
[TTC spokesman Brad] Ross said the TTC has advertising standards to adhere to and that it would take only five complaints from the public to pull any ad off its vehicles.
A policy like that seems an invitation to mischief, and possibly even extortion, that I don’t know if I could resist if I lived in Toronto…