What Excel can teach us about Jian Ghomeshi and his accusers

By now, even starving children in Cambodia have heard some of the sordid details about CBC Radio's Jian Ghomeshi's sex life. But for those needing a quick primer: Ottawa's version of "Bad Date Carla" published a tale of woe about a bad date with a guy who in retrospect could only be Ghomeshi, back in June 2013. About the same time, Ezra Levant and SUN media were hearing about sexual harassment issues at MotherCorp which earned them a (undeserved, it now seems) rebuke by CBC head Hubert Lacroix. Fast forward to this month: Jian Ghomeshi's father dies, and soon after the host (understandably) is given some personal time. Two days later, CBC surprisingly released Ghomeshi in an extremely odd (even at the time) press release. Later that day, Ghomeshi posted an extraordinary Facebook post putting forth his reason for the termination of their contract. He also hired a public relations firm and announced he was suing the Canadian taxpayer for $50M. The next morning, pointing out that the cat was now out of the bag, the Toronto Star started publishing allegations from reports they'd been collecting over several months from women claiming Ghomeshi sexually and physically assaulted them. Since then, a virtual tsunami of accounts have started coming forward, from CBC staffers he wants to "hate-fuck" to a non-anonymous account from Lucy from Trailer Park Boys. There are now 8 published accounts of 'inappropriate' behaviour floating around the news-world.

Of course, one of the key questions is what is inappropriate. As per Ghomeshi's Facebook post, he's into the famed "BDSM" lifestyle. [the author of this blogpost, for the record, is not. -ed] This means that the sort of things that people in normal relationships would consider abnormal and inappropraite behaviour is in this context entirely normal. Hair pulling, face slaps, puncturing skin, even emotional attacks such as demeaning names, phrases, and commands are perfectly cool and normal for people engaging in BDSM. For other people, not so much. Also key is whether or not the girls were as into the BDSM scene as Ghomeshi was: and whether they were cool with the actions they are accusing him of before or while they were happening.

Ultimately l'affaire Moxy Fruvous is a potential rabbit hole full of pitfalls and considerations and conditional clauses. Which brings us to Microsoft Excel.

If you've spent any time with Excel using it for more than just a giant two-dimensional poster board to change the colours of (don't ask), you're aware of nested IF statements.

The IF() function in Excel allows you to evaluate a situation which has two possible outcomes (e.g. sales are greater than $1000) and calculate a different value for each outcome. However, sometimes you need to work with situations where there are more than two possible outcomes. That's where multiple, or nested, IF functions come in handy.
Nested IF statements are ultimately what we need to evaluate if we're going to make any sort of sense of this entire affair.

IF Ghomeshi is telling the truth about the girl from his Facebook post just trying to smear him, she's a bitch.

IF Carla Ciccone is telling the truth about Ghomeshi, he's a creepy non-faggy asshole. But then again, she did let him basically fondle the hell out of her.

IF the CBC employee who Ghomeshi fondled at work is lying, she's the only female CBC employee ever that most of the country doesn't want to hate-fuck.

IF Ghomeshi did the things the three five seven eight some number larger than 7 women talked about to the Toronto Star, he's a serial abuser.

IF Ghomeshi did the things that these women claim but they consented to it at the time (either implied or explicit), then they are a bunch of lying bitches.

IF Ghomeshi did to Lucy from Trailer Park Boys what Lucy from Trailer Park Boys said, he's guilty of violently roughing her up

IF Ghomeshi did that, but then she still went on dates with him afterwards, she has nobody to blame but herself.

IF more women come forward with their stories, we'll have what Ghomeshi promised in his Facebook post we would see: a pattern of behaviour.

IF the women exhibit their own "pattern of behaviour" of having no problem Ghomeshi's slaps and gropes at the time, but then change their mind after the fact, the bitches should rot to death in a jail cell.

Let's all remember the key bit of persepctive here: I didn't like Jian Ghomeshi three weeks ago. He's the classic pretentious far-left radio host. He has that holier-than-though sneer in his voice that pretty much defines what NPR hosts are supposed to sound like (and, not surprisingly, Q is circulated on NPR). He's totally cool with Omar Khadr, Neil Young, and Ellen Page. He's less cool on Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ted Byfield, or Ezra Levant. His politics are disgusting, his sexuality is disgusting, we've known for ages he's an ugly figure in the Canadian media landscape. Unlike his longtime defenders now turning on him, I never was his defender. If this leaves another progressive like him off the airwaves, so much the better.

But before we chastize him for his 'crimes' against these women, let's remember the nested IF statements: the danger of the BDSM lifestyle is that if a woman decides after-the-fact that she wants to withdraw consent, the physical bruises and other pieces of evidence are still there. Women pull this sort of shit all the time: they're devious critters that absolutely are capable of stooping so low as to want to humiliate an ex: possibly even one who behaved badly during parts of their relationship. These women are totally capable of making up, fabricating, or falsely remembering things that happened between them and Ghomeshi. Ghomeshi is too, of course, and the mathematics start going against him as the number of accusers adds up. He's on his way to becoming Canada's Chris Brown, and he's being vilified by many as his own friends succumb to the "never trust a man" feminist nonsense. There's a reason "bros before hos" took off as a saying.

Of course, sometimes there really is a badly behaving bro.