Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Captain, HMS Douchecanoe

I had a half-assed plan about what I wanted to write about for each day most of this week, but today's plan went out the window, because it would have required me to be thoughtful and, you know, put words together coherently.

Today at work, every hour on the hour from nine through to six, I was listening to the CBC report breathlessly on the train wreck that is the mayor of my city, Rob Ford.  One of my colleagues was almost forty minutes late coming in from lunch, because the restaurant she went to had tuned in the local news, so everyone in the establishment was overdosing on the looped remarks from the mayor's office, the on-the-street impromptu interviews with city residents, the sniggering remarks from the media.  Jon Stewart went to town on him last night.

Most of it is funny.  It's the kind of funny that makes your jaw hurt a little when you laugh, because your face is tight.  And when I'm laughing, whether it's professional comedy like Jon or Jimmy Kimmel, or whether it's the friends on my FB feed posting pictures comparing him to the Heisenberg guy from Breaking Bad, or the Buzzfeed list of Rob Ford fan art, I also want to cry. 

Rob Ford has tarnished Toronto, all over the world.  

Rob Ford shouldn't symbolize the Toronto I live and work in, explore with my kids, thrill to the skyline of, rejoice in its multiculturalism and acceptance and Pride.

The Toronto I love.

Fuck you, Rob Ford.  Fuck you for making my Toronto, and those of us who live here, some of whom (not me) had the misfortune of believing you were the best choice for mayor, a laughingstock and a joke.  Fuck you for your lies, your belligerence, your "I'm sorry, I did crack cocaine" like you're a little kid who took a cookie when they weren't supposed to, and then thinks that the apology is sufficient.  Fuck you for thinking that we should wake up tomorrow morning and put it all behind us.

You are an embarrassment to the people who live here, who work and play here, who pay taxes here.  The tourists who visit here.  The international business and art communities who bring their events here.

I'm looking forward to telling my kids, "Absolutely, do drugs.  Lie about it for months.  Be belligerent and obnoxious to the people who elected you through the media.  Let everyone know how racist, homophobic and hateful you really are. Drag your family through the mud and blame everyone except yourself.  And then apologize and expect it all to go away. Adult achievement unlocked."

I sympathize with your addiction problems.  That's as far as it goes.  My experience with close family members who have addictions is that it has to start with you....you have to want to get better.  Addicts say, with a straight face, to the people they love best, it's okay, I'm cool, a little backsliding.  It won't happen again.  

With all due respect, you are pretty goddamn far from that point right now, and you should not be in a position of power and privilege, which could just as easily be your trigger for using.  

You need to stop grandstanding and start looking after yourself instead of insisting that you are going to stay in office and even that you plan to run again in the next election.  You are of no benefit to us, let alone to yourself, when you continue to ignore the fact that there is a gigantic elephant in the room with all of us, as long as you're the mayor.  Do you honestly think that anyone who remembers today will ever trust you again?

"For the sake of the taxpayers of this great city – for the sake of the taxpayers – we must get back to work immediately.  These mistakes will never, ever, ever happen again.” 

No.  Just...no.

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