Badge of Shame

A few weeks ago a reporter from the Montreal Gazette contacted me. She was doing a story about how layoffs affect men, which she theorized was different that how they affect women. Someone had told her about me and my sudden job loss last May, and she thought I might have something useful to add to the article.

We spoke on the phone for a few minutes, and I suppose it was useful because she called back to say she’d like to send a photographer to get a shot of me to illustrate the article. I agreed, and the next day we did a quick photo shoot in a café near my (new) job.

That weekend the article was published in the Gazette. Nobody online seems to have seen it, but a lot of my analog friends did, along with people at work. Being part of the conglomerate, the Gazette circulated the article to many of the other papers in its network.

Last Saturday it surfaced at The National Post, this time bearing the unfortunate headline “A badge of shame.”

That headline is bad enough, but look how it was used in conjunction with an enormous photo of yours truly! Jeebuz H. Christ, what will the neighbours think? Thanks a bunch, National Post; you make me look like a kitten killer or a home wrecker! “Badge of shame?” WTF?


For the record, as you can read in the original Montreal Gazette version (titled “Men, Money, Anxiety”), I didn’t say anything about shame. Two of the other people interviewed (both unnamed) used that word, but I talked about fear. Unfortunately, I’m the only person in the article who ponied up my real name, and volunteered to be photographed, so someone at The National Post apparently thinks I wouldn’t mind having “A badge of shame” writ large under a photograph of me. (Update: The Gazette still has the annoying habit of removing stories after a certain amount of time has passed. Fortunately, the article is still available from the National Post, but without the original headline.)

(It should be noted that the author of the article, Lynn Moore, does not pick the headlines for syndicated versions of the article.)

Update: The Province, a Canwest ( tabloid in British Columbia, cuts to the chase. It snipped off the entire top three-quarters of the article and just published the part about me, under the headline “Man gets new job fast.” Ha!

16 thoughts on “Badge of Shame

  1. Blork you should have that laminated and wear it on your lapel with a clip. Then it really would be a badge of shame! :)

  2. So, the rags would have us believe you’re an unemployed Regular Joe (ooh…w/ Cape Breton background of “modest circumstances”) who slurps plain, old coffee while reading the Help Wanted section from a “low tech” newspaper at a local greasy spoon.

    Say it ain’t so Blork!

    Best you hide all your gadgets and that man-purse of yours; kick your Twittering addiction and fondness for cappuccino at Caffè Art Java between meals at Europa and Au Pied de Cochon before people stop believing what they read.


    PS – Do you remember Don Shebib’s 1970 movie movie, Goin’ Down the Road”? Newfs and Capers trying to make it big in Upper Canada.

  3. Can you write to the National Post and let them know what you think?? :P

  4. Harry, I sure do remember that movie. I have it on DVD!

    I was thinking about writing to the National Post, but then I figured I’d rather get my revenge via this blog.

  5. Yeah, it’s weird though because my fingers look like pudgy sausages. My hands don’t normally look like that!

    He also took some outdoors, of me walking along Jean-Talon with my collar up against the wind. Very James Dean. Kinda wish they had used one of those!

    (But hey, if ever needs a file photo of me, they can use it then.)

  6. Just a bad angle on the hand. I think they went with the paper and coffee pic for obvious reasons. Goes better with the guy looking for a job story.

  7. True enough. Although it’s pretty silly when you consider I’m the guy in the story who GOT a new job, and quickly. (Check my update at the bottom of the post. Hee hee!) …and I never even looked at a newspaper!

  8. @vieuxbandit: You should hear all the “badge of shame” jokes we’ve been coming up with!

    And yeah, it’s a good photo of Ed, except for the pudgy hand.

  9. If I had that picture and headline I’d frame it and hang it in the guest bathroom. Things like that are food for conversation when visitors use the facilities.

  10. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG. I’m sorry. Excuse me while I LMAO. Poor you! The saving grace of course is that it’s a great photo. And that you have a new job.

    I like the idea of framing the picture / headline & hanging it in the bathroom.

  11. You need to “shop” in nicotine stains on those sausage fingers and a hand-rolled tucked behind the ear…

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