A girl I knew once logged onto Facebook the morning after a party to untag herself from pictures of her getting friendly with someone who was not her boyfriend.
That kind of paranoia sticks in the memory. It is thus striking that Justin Trudeau, presumably the first Canadian prime minister to get caught in a blackface scandal, says he did not remember dressing up as Aladdin. Assuming he was being honest, clearly it was no big deal.
This is backed up by the fact pictures of three different incidents of Trudeau doing black or brown cosplay have so far emerged. The events themselves left so little impression on the prime minister that he can’t confirm that more occasions won’t be published.
The scandal is delicious hypocrisy for Canada’s social justice PM, who once told a woman to say “peoplekind” rather than “mankind”. Some critics label this virtue signalling, but I think it more likely Trudeau is a sincere cretin who believes the crap he spouts.
Even so, such blasphemous behaviour against the social justice rules on fancy dress does raise questions about the man.
There is an archetype of a hypocritical preacher who demands piety from his flock and castigates sinners, all the while craving what is forbidden. The American evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, for instance, was found to have taken crystal meth with his rentboy despite his opposition to gay marriage.
These stories might well be an over reported anomaly. But there are those whose zeal for certain moral rules is fuelled by their own temptation to dabble.
It would be satisfying for Trudeau to be buried in a social justice scandal, but it would be more useful for everyone if the disjoint between his political objectives and his politically incorrect behaviour was widely noted.
That is to say: I don’t know what Trudeau got out of blacking up, but it’s hard to believe he’s racist. And it didn’t stop him having a diverse cabinet and talking up social justice nostrums at every opportunity.
Even if you grant this is hypocritical, perhaps songs hypocrisy is for the better.