23 October 2014

Sex and the Trudeaus: The Bachelor Canada



Sex and the Single Prime Minister
Michael Cowley
[Don Mills, ON]: Greywood, 1968


The Naked Prime Minister
Michael Cowley
[Don Mills, ON]: Greywood, 1969

Ezra Levant soiled himself last month. That in itself isn't noteworthy, except that this ended up being another of those times in which his employers had to come in for emergency clean-up.


What happened was this:  On 12 September, Justin Trudeau was meeting at the Markham Hilton when he came upon a wedding party. The groom asked if he'd agree to have photos taken with the bride and bridesmaids. Someone yelled out that Trudeau should give the bride a kiss on the cheek. The Liberal leader asked the newlyweds for their okay, then did just that.


“Look at the photo," Levant shrilled, "a young, beautiful bride half Trudeau’s age – he turns 43 this year. She’s dressed in white, it’s her special day – hers and her groom’s – and Trudeau kisses her. That’s what he does.”

For God's sake, Justin, she's dressed in white! C'mon, man.

"I suppose what you think of this photo depends in part on what you think of weddings and marriages and fidelity and faithfulness," said the twice-married Levant. "If they're no big deal to you, this photo is no big deal, right? The idea of the nobleman of the estate, riding through like in medieval times to deflower whatever maidens he wanted, that's still there in Trudeau."


Never mind that the medieval droit du seigneur is a myth – Levant isn't much good when it comes to history – the man is trying to make a point. The point is this: Justin Trudeau is a son of privilege. He is his father's son. He is his mother's son.

“Both Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau were promiscuous, and publicized how many conquests they had. They didn’t even pretend to keep their oaths to each other,” said Levant. Justin Trudeau's father "banged anything. He was a slut.” Mom "didn't wear panties."

Watching Levant rant, you'd think we're a land of looney eunuchs. We're not, nor are we nearly so puritanical as the pundit. I think most Canadians would agree that the media have no business in the bedrooms of the nation. Norm Spector will confirm. This is what makes Michael Cowley's Sex and the Single Prime Minister and The Naked Prime Minister so unusual.  The 'sixties had something to do with it, I suppose, as did the sudden elevation of a charismatic. single man to the office of prime minister. Images like this attract:


Barbra Streisand doesn't figure in either book, though The Naked Prime Minister does include a rather flattering photo of Her Majesty the Queen.

(cliquez pour agrandir)
I've written about this sort of thing before in reviewing I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, which was also published by Greywood. I noted then that the format owes something to Private Eye; I note now that the word balloons aren't quite so clever.

Here are seven more examples, beginning with a nice shot of the space now occupied by Stephen Harper, and ending with a botched reference to Stephen Vizinczey's In Praise of Older Women.


Ribald? You bet!

Trudeau, père, took Cowley's captions in stride, even going so far as to write the author a polite note of acknowledgement. Trudeau, fils, reacted to Levant's tirade in an entirely different way by boycotting Sun News.

It's perfectly understandable.

Levant has been trying to take down for Trudeau for years. That he's proved himself impotent must surely grate. Given the pundit's history, it comes as no surprise that he'd spread a lie or two about a man's family – or even a couple on their wedding day:
I’m pretty sure I can guess what her groom would say, or her groom’s family, or her own father and mother. Justin Trudeau thinks he’s in the movie Wedding Crashers, that sex comedy where slutty men go to weddings uninvited to bed the maids of honour, but even they had enough class to give the bride herself a pass. I’m not saying Trudeau got sexual with this bride. I’m just saying he invaded a personal intimate day.
Of course, Justin Trudeau did nothing of the kind. The person who invaded the couple's "personal intimate day" was Ezra Levant.

Covered in his own filth, the Sun News Network's loudest voice has yet to apologize to anyone... not even the young bride dressed in white.

Bonus:

Emperor Haute Couture, Margaret Sullivan, 2011
The naked prime minister (no sex).

Objects and Access: Surprisingly sturdy staple-bound books, 64 pages in length, I bought both last year from a London bookseller. Price: $3.00 each.

Several copies of Sex and the Single Prime Minister and The Naked Prime Minister are listed for sale online. They range in price from US$3.83 to US$29.95. Condition is not a factor.

As might be expected, few Canadian libraries hold copies. Sex and the Single Prime Minister can be found in the Parliamentary Library.

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