Barbara Amiel

Sex, Love, Marriage

I met Helen Hayes, stayed several times in her house in Cuernavaca and she was kind enough to let me interview her for The Toronto Sun. Her husband had been dead for many years when Helen told me: "I could no more have remarried than I could have been unfaithful." Helen was just one of many public figures who spoke to me about love, marriage and sex.
Photo by Bhaskar Dutta via Getty Images

The Top Five Most Outrageous Canadian Editorials of 2013

Calling an editorial "offensive" simply implies hurt feelings, which implies cruel motive, which demands censorship. Not a string of conclusions I'm eager to draw in a society with constitutionally-protected freedom of expression. No, the following five editorials are merely "outrageous," in the sense they got a great many folks riled up, shocked, annoyed, or befuddled. That's not always a bad thing.
Getty Images

For Barbara Amiel, Sex Crimes Are "Minor Vices"

It's impossible to muster any emotion beyond gape-mouthed revulsion at Barbara Amiel's latest Maclean's column, a seething, meandering rant against anyone who dares affect "prune-faced horror" at innocent partakers of "a few minor vices." The minor vices in question, incidentally, are sexual harassment, rape, and child porn. Herein lies the central irony of Amiel's essay: it's an appallingly immoral call for morality, an anti-elitist argument that reads like an offering from Monty Python's Upper-Class Twit of the Year competition.

Watching the Watchdog: Maclean's Misses the Mark

You'd have thought Maclean's would have blazoned the death of Section 13 all over its front cover. With a massive headline along the lines of "SCREW YOU, CENSORS!!!" Or "WE WON!!!" Instead, the cover featured a generic picture of an innocuous youngish woman and an innocuous youngish man grinning maniacally and the silly headline: "The majority of us are singles. So why do we still live in a couples world?"