Dean Del Mastro, the former close-to-Harper Conservative MP has gone to jail for electioneering violations. He was also Harper’s Ethics secretary (which makes fitting sense, don’t you think?). Dean Del Mastro, from all accounts was also a bully, an ambitious, take-no-prisoners, bull-headed imbecile riding a wave of power he probably never expected and certainly never deserved. And he wielded his power without compassion or even consideration for any others but himself. He was a political thug. He was a man who simply was not worthy of the position he achieved. And he kept good company in that regard.
As readers know, I am not a fan of any of the so-called Conservatives. I think they are fascists-by-another-name. I really should be happy about Dean’s fall from on high and, to a large extent, I am. The Harper regime has to go and whether it goes down in pieces or all at once is not important. It just has to go.
So why did I not take any pleasure at seeing Deano paraded in leg-irons and handcuffs? Why was that scene hard to watch? Wasn’t his humiliation satisfying?
No. No it was not. Deano was his own worst enemy to be sure, a miserable, pathetic Canadian fool sacrificed up in that scene for our viewing pleasure. We were supposed to enjoy his tragedy like the crowd at the Coliseum that watched the lions and the Christians. But, because of that, I did not. It was ugly. Shame and humiliation, it seems, affects the viewer almost as much as it does the subject. It was a form of blood sport to me. It was embarrassing to watch him duck-waddle towards the paddy wagon. His shame diminished me. As a viewer, I felt complicit in his humiliation. It was not a good feeling.
Stephen Harper should feel guilt writ large when seeing that.
Because, more to the point about Harper, I was only watching the beginning of Del Mastro’s epic fail. The jail term is just the first act in his likely life-long tragedy. Up until the day he was sentenced, Dean Del Mastro just didn’t get it. He didn’t see it coming. He was a Harper stooge masquerading as a capo in the Conservative mafia. The conviction was a shock, the sentencing a surprise and the prospect of never attaining his former heights again has yet to even be absorbed. He’s alone. Very, very alone. And that is just sinking in. A month in jail might do it. A year in purgatory will. Dean will probably never recover. In effect, we are watching a slow execution where the prisoner is just beginning to feel the pain.
I predict reading about Dean Del Mastro several more times over the next decade or so. In much the same way as one reads about Steve Fonyo. It will be a serial spiral of self destruction enshrouded in a cloud of self-delusion. It will be pathetic and sad.
Of course, we all have faults but some of them result in colossal life consequences. And the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Ask Jian Ghomeshi. Being human ain’t easy and being a successful one comes with a bulls-eye on the forehead, it seems. If you are going to rise to the top, you’d better be cleaner than clean. It’s hard up there. But it is also true that some of the slime still manage to rise to the surface and stay there so disgrace is not inevitable. If it was, no one would be bad. Basically, we just catch the stupid ones.
That is why I call Del Mastro a stooge. A sacrifice, really. He was just another stupid one in Harper’s army. We’ll likely get Duffy too, maybe Wallin. We’ve already had Sona and Brazeau, Harb, Ford and Redford. I am sure the list will grow. And when they all fall………? Will happiness reign? I doubt it. We’ll likely just tune in for another four year episode of As the World Turns and a new cast of clowns will stumble and fall for our viewing pleasure.
I pity us poor fools.
Is it our hubris that slows us to watch the train wreck or the fall from grace? Your blog reminds us of our flawed selves. Schadenfreuden is the daily delight of some observers but it hurts us all. In the world of politics we see the bitter mocking and belittling those who hold contrasting views. Trudeau would remove the six F18s currently bombing ISIS in Iraq but from the howling of politicians this future aspirational gives ISIS ‘Carte Blanche.’ As we have seen the stirring up of emotions has led to many unanticipated consequences.
I think it is the common bond that makes us look. “There, but for the grace of God….” When I look at Dal Mastro, I see myself (we are both kinda round) and I can imagine the headiness of power and the pain of disgrace. Not much of a leap of empathy, really. I have often said, “It’s a good thing God didn’t make me rich or handsome. I am flawed enough as it is. If I had any kind of power, I would have been even more obnoxious than I am already.”
It is a blessing to be born poor and ugly. I pity the supermodel and the uber-rich.