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Our Guests Say The Darnedest Things: Quotes From The Red Chair
July 19, 2013
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One of the best things about working on a show like this is the great minds and fascinating people who turn up in the red chair.

From artists to thinkers to activists to businesspeople to authors, our guests are some of the most interesting people out there - and when they sit down and open up, some perceptive, surprising, thought-provoking ideas come out.

Here's a round-up of a few great quotes from the last few weeks of our guests in the red chair.

Joy Kogawa Talks About Leaving Behind The Identity Of The Victim

joy-kogawa-web-clip.jpgThe author of 'Obasan', a novel that tells the story of the Japanese Canadian experience during the Second World War through the eyes of a child, Joy Kogawa was in the red chair.

George asked her about the apology that then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney delivered to Japanese Canadians on September 22, 1988 for their treatment during the war, and what it meant to her.

Her response is a profound exploration of what it means to be a victim - and to heal.

Joy Kogawa: What that means, that day, September 22, 1988, what that means to me is - there's a point in your life where you come to the crossover point, and you have to cross over at that point.

If you stay stuck in the identity of the victim, and if you therefore stay focused on how hurt you are, then you can do incredibly bad things to other people because then you're not aware of their suffering, you're only aware of yours. When you're a victim, that's what you are: you're aware of your own suffering.

So, recognizing that moment of crossover, and saying okay, I'm over here now - I mean, sometimes you get thrown back over here - but, it's so important. That's the moment of crossing over that matters.

That's why events like that are important, when there's an acknowledgement, when you are seen, when you know that you are seen.

Check out Joy's full interview here.

Dan Savage: "People are murdered every day for being LGBT."

dan-savage-web-clip-thumb.jpgGeorge sat down with sex columnist, author, and creator of the 'It Gets Better' campaign Dan Savage, and asked him whether LGBT people have a responsibility to tell other people about their sexual orientation.

Here's what he said:

Dan Savage: You have a responsibility to be out. You have a moral responsibility to be out. It means not being out is a moral failing but no one can compel you. If you don't want to be out you should own that as a moral failing. We all of us in our life are guilty of moral failings. It's not like because you have the moral failing you should be dragged out behind the barn and shot. But you have to own it, you have to eat it.

GS: But it's pretty heavy to hear that isn't it?

DS: It should be heavy, people are dying. People are murdered every day for being LGBT. And nothing lessens the chances of people being harmed for being LGBT then other people knowing people that are queer.

Check out Dan's full interview here.

Conrad Black: "I won my battle with that evil system"

conrad-black-web-clip-1.jpgConrad Black, the one-time owner of The London Telegraph, The Jerusalem Post, and here at home, The National Post, has spent time in prison on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice.

But to this day, he doesn't accept his guilt, as he told George and our audience in no uncertain terms:

Conrad Black: I no more committed crimes than anyone in this room. The chance of my committing those crimes are less than zero. And as far as I'm concerned I won my battle with that evil system that grinds 99% of people to powder and extracts confessions of guilt in almost Stalinist fashion from all kinds of people who aren't guilty.

Check out Conrad's full interview right here.

Naomi Wolf: "Men are bonding with the porn"

naomi-wolf-web-clip.jpgThe author of 'The Beauty Myth' and 'Vagina: A New Biography', Naomi Wolf, told George about her theory that online pornography is "rewiring" the male brain.

Naomi Wolf: What happens when men masturbate to online pornography, which they can click a lot and get more and more extreme, is that the male brain - and to some extent the female brain - habituate to the imagery, so very quickly you need more and more extreme imagery to get the same level of arousal.

And what's also happening neurochemically is that men are bonding with the porn, so they're less and less able to feel aroused by their human partners, and more and more compulsive about this, and losing sensation.

Check out Naomi talking about pornography and sex education here.

David Sedaris: "That's the number one rule for landlords: rent to the gay man."

david-sedaris-web-clip.jpgWhen author, broadcaster and humourist David was in the red chair, he talked about his belief that landlords will always, always pick the gay tenant.

David Sedaris: As a gay man, as much as you might be discriminated against in other ways, in housing, you always go. Because that's the number one rule for landlords: rent to the gay man.

Because they're gonna say, "all they're gonna do is make improvements." And all they're gonna do is once they're finished with the inside of the house, they're gonna move outside, and they're gonna put in shrubs and stuff.

Even the most ardent homophobe, if given the choice between two 19-year-old co-eds and a mincing, prancing homosexual with a purse over his arm, he will rent to the homosexual.

Check out David's full interview.

Related:

INTERVIEW: Joy Kogawa

PHOTO: David Sedaris And George Take A Walk To The Red Chairs

PHOTO: Naomi Wolf Backstage

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