Wednesday, November 06, 2013

How Do You Burn a Fireproof Effigy? 

The last laugh is on the City of Toronto. Image via the Grid
“All non-Rob Ford related news is dead to me”

At approximately noon Tuesday, November 5th, 2013, Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto, Ontario, North America's fourth largest city admitted that he had smoked crack cocaine, perhaps a year ago during a drunken stupor (his words). This comes after months of denial and days after the Toronto Police Chief, Bill Blair revealed that the police do have a video which appears to be the same one described months earlier. For months both Fords, Rob and Doug have denied there was such a video and that the “Media” were a “bunch of maggots” who were in some kind of out-of-control feeding frenzy. Even hours before the mayor's admission, Doug Ford had accused Chief Blair of a conflict of interest and that he should be the one to step aside rather than Rob.

From this moment on, all non-Rob Ford related news was dead to me. In fact, everything else was dead to me. Which is why, as of now, dear friends, I am stepping aside and devoting my full attention to this ludicrous, lubricous, and lurid tale of libations.

This isn't about an elected official using illicit drugs, or drinking and driving or the spurious $1 billion savings or any of the myriad of other incidents (see The Rob Ford Incident File) but of lies and deceptions and possible actions by those in the Mayor's office who may have threatened, harassed or tried to steal evidence in a police investigation. It's about a mayor who is often missing, drunk in public or associating with known gang members and drug dealers.

So how do you expect me to get a single scrap, one iota, one tiny indivisible particle of work completed? I am more enthralled by this than by anything in recent memory. The fall of the Berlin Wall? It was okay. The death of Diana? It was unseemly and morbid. The recent Royal Wedding of Will and Kate? I slept the whole day. The Senate Scandal? It's been good but now the details are getting pretty boring (oh, there was a second cheque? Yawn). But this? This is fantastic. This is like watching some idiot get a football in the crotch, in slow-motion. How can I not watch? Thus, how can I be expected to do anything else? Watching a spoiled, wealthy, whining, bullying drunkard getting his comeuppance – good God, it's like the hackneyed studio ending to The Magnificent Ambersons.

Yet he really isn't getting his comeuppance is he? How can a man without shame be shamed out of office? He won't resign despite all that he's admitted. Both Rob and Doug Ford are international embarrassments to the city of Toronto and there's not a thing we can do about it. Except moan about it via Twitter. Well, at least Twitter is good for something.

Remember, remember the fifth of November. How can I forget it? I wish I could. I'd burn an effigy of Mayor Ford if my back wasn't bothering me, and if it wasn't so damn cold and dark. Do not be mistaken, these are dark times. It as Douglas Adams once wrote, the long dark tea-time of the soul. Toronto is having an existential moment. A long, slow, painful moment.

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