Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Gayboy's Revenge

When's the last time you attended a good, old-time public shaming?

Jeff Douglas, longtime co-host of CBC Radio's evening news show As It Happens retired on Friday. I'll miss his velvety, sexy voice and wacky sense of humor.

What I won't miss:

  • His hammy, over-the-top acting.
  • His truly bad French accent.
  • His twee affection for naughty words like “pooh.”
  • His affected and condescending insistence on attempting to pronounce Third World names like a native. (Why, Jeff, does Carrrrracas get a rolled R, but not Madrid, or Rome?)
  • His unthinking straightboy arrogance.

Well, we've had our revenge. Some months back, one of CBC's day presenters hosted an “Ask Anything” live interview with Jeff Douglas and his AIH co-host Carol Off. I could tell that something was afoot from the very beginning.

“To those of you listening on radio, I want to tell you that the very first thing that you notice about Jeff Douglas is how handsome he is,” he started, with over-the-top gayboy effusiveness.

This was a little much. Douglas is cute, but “handsome” is overkill. He's also one of those straightboys who's not nearly as cute as he seems to think that he is.

Poor Jeff. Over the airwaves, you could feel him cringe.

“I want to tell you the story of how we met,” says the presenter. (Now you can practically feel the squirming.) “The first time I saw him, I said to him: 'Jeff Douglas! You're so handsome, you should be on TV!'” (Gayboys always give way too many points for looks.) “And then Jeff said to me: 'And you are...?'”

Nervous laughter from the in-house audience. You can feel Jeff Douglas wanting to sink through the studio floor.

“Let them say what they will, Jeff, they can't take that away from us,” the interviewer concludes.

Homophobia takes many forms. Blowing off the gay guy that expresses attraction is one.

Well, the mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.

Hail and farewell, Jeff Douglas, and best of luck in the future.

I hope you've learned your lesson.











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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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