Christopher Dafoe - That Civil ManTuesday, October 11, 2016
On Friday morning, that morning when Trump’s recording on a bus first emerged onto the media I noticed that words like bi--- (female dog), pu—sy ( not vagina as reported but accurately vulva) and other words were bleeped. By the afternoon they were not.
My friend Paul Leisz sent me this link to a Bill Maher video
At age 74 I am still shocked when someone on TV (even if it is supposed to be funny) uses that four-letter word. My hero MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow only goes as far as saying “frigging”.
Since I am from the generation that grew up with WalterCronkite I abhor what the 21st century has done to transform and demean journalism. Perhaps it has to do with journalism now really being journalism/entertainment.
Could we say it began in the United States with Lenny Bruce and then taken over by George Carlin? A Houston friend took me to a performance by Carlin in the mid 80s. I was not impressed.
All this reminds me of a man with whom I worked for some years when he was the arts correspondent for the Globe& Mail. He is my friend Christopher Dafoe who knew in what direction journalism was headed so he quit the business and became a highfalutin lawyer for a Vancouver law firm.
In the years that I worked with him when I would set up my photo equipment and lights while he interviewed celebrities of all kinds (he kindly permitted me to be present so that I could get an idea on my subject’s movements and gestures) I noticed that he hardly ever spoke and the persons he faced seemed to be comfortable and told all. He was never nasty nor pushy. His demeanour was a sort of “aw shucks I am just a lowly journalist in a one-horse town”.
Dafoe was the sort of man that would invite novelist Elmore Leonard for a hamburger and interview him over fries.
Now as a lawyer I call him every once in a while to check if something I might have written in a blog can pass the libel test. Or I call him for his take on some arts scene situation in our city. He is invariably kind in his remarks. In person when I run into him at the theatre he is the very man I remember him to be.
What ever happened to civility?