xoxo jian

I wonder how the owner of the property know previously as Hugh’s Room feels since it is still for sale, the abandoned former performance space that hosted substantial mojo building nights with Odetta, Jane Siberry and David Bromberg. Are they pleased with the suave business move of raising the rent, like discovering a beautiful bird sharing your space then locking the windows. The doors now covered in graffiti, the upper window smashed in and where the street side marquee previously informed you when John Sebastian was returning it now looks like a warning that Vincent Price will be playing forever after. The signs outside don’t read power of sale but for sale, which means someone has been losing a lot of money since before Covid. .Like a lot of nightclubs, the Bagel, Kelekis, the Blue Calf Cafe, Hugh’s Room had a wall of autographed glossy black and white photos of who had played there with the usual thanks and love notes to Richard the owner or the booker or bar staff, signed from so and so holding their guitar or mandolin and trying be sexy or dramatic or funny. The bathrooms were downstairs where you had to pass many of these photographs up close and many times a plan went through my mind that filled me with excitement because one photo was particularly triggering. Long before his public trial I was allergic to Jian Ghomeshi and proud of it but he was so loved by the bulk of listeners one couldn’t expose a bias like mine without a lot of knee jerk defense of him. It’s funny how that works when someone is very famous they try to control the narrative, often successfully. It was on display so clearly when the news first broke about his dismissal from CBC and some people ran to his defence as though the issue was CBC unfairly judging his sex life. Even a couple years earlier a woman wrote a great piece about what a fucked up piece of shit he was and people punished her for the nerve of insinuating Jian could be something different than the image he advertised. I didn’t know anything about his sex life but some people have “Gaydar” and some people have “Jewdar” and I have “piece of shitdar” and I could never handle seeing him on tv or the radio. So, when I walked past his glossy photo at Hugh’s Room I often thought how good it would be to remove, take home, rewrite and covertly return it and see if anyone noticed the new improved text “is there a bigger asshole on this wall?  xoxo Jian”.

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