INT. ALL FIRED UP IN THE BIG SMOKE OFFICES – FRIDAY
And it’s another installment of Meet A Mayoralty Candidate!
This week: Howard Jerome Gomberg For Mayor.
We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke have a confession to make. It is not uncommon for us to hang out with actors every now and then. In fact, a couple of us here were known to tread the boards ourselves back in the day. We like actors. Not all (I’m looking at you Ryan Reynolds) but some.
And we certainly don’t like actors-turned-politicians. They have a bad habit of entering stage right, if you know what we mean. Ronald Reagan. Fred Thompson. Fred Grandy aka “Gopher” Smith. Sonny Bono. (Not really an actor although he did appear on The Love Boat where he probably met Fred Grandy. Hmmm… The Love Boat, a crucible for right wing politics in the entertainment industry?)
Howard Jerome Gomberg appears to be a breed apart, however, more in the Al Franken vein. A star of stage and screen for over 40 years, he will be a familiar face to anyone who’s watched Canadian TV since the mid-80s or so. Acting under the name Howard Jerome (not to be confused with Jerome ‘Curly’ Howard of 3 Stooges fame), Mr. Gomberg has appeared in such iconic series as Adderley, Night Heat, Street Legal and Road to Avonlea as well as one movie classic, David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. So being in the spotlight will not be something that unnerves a neophyte candidate like Mr. Gomberg.
On the downside, his platform, such as it is, so far embraces the worst New Age-y excesses that one would come to expect from someone with his artsy-fartsy background. Dubbing it ‘The Wholey Campaign’, Mr. Gomberg explains it like this: This is a wholey campaign. The purpose of which is to recognize our whole-ness. Everything is interconnected, interrelated, interdependant, interesting. There is no them, there is no there; there’s only us, and we’re just here. There is no future, there is no past. Now is moving very fast. We must proclaim our unity, fulfil our destiny, and as far as I can see, it’s really up to you and me.
Oh, good lord. I mean, come on, Howie JG! What the hell are we supposed to do with that?! It’s an ugly race shaping up out there, man, led by bully boys like George Smitherman and Rob Ford who will eat Mr. Wholey alive. It’s all about dividing and conquering not embracing and fulfilling our destinies. I suppose you’ll want to teach the whole world to sing too while you’re at it.
As a multi-faceted performer, however, Old Man Improv (as Mr. Gomberg calls himself in his campaign kick off video), he won’t provide an easy target for his mayoral rivals to mock. With an ability to think on his feet and adapt to any given situation (a geneticist and Eskimo eating sushi at the Tivoli fountain in Rome), he will be the wildcard at any all-candidates debate that he’s allowed to attend. Unlike the other contenders straight-jacketed into staying on message, Mr. Gomberg will be free to fly, scriptless, like a political bird of prey.
In fact, Howard Gomberg considers himself to be the whole bird, as it were. Neither right wing nor left wing. “If you have one predominant wing,” he tweets, “you will go around in circles.” Yeah yeah, we know. Kind of corny and soft but there’s something refreshingly positive about it. This is a campaign of renewal and transformation in a race that’s been all about venom and bile.
When asked our equally corny question, If the present mayor would like his legacy to be that of the Transit Mayor, how would a Mayor Gomberg like to see his legacy written?, he told us his “contribution is the empowerment of the people to application of the NEW MIND in all our decisions.” If that does not resonate with us, we think it has more to do with our own cynicism than weak-mindedness on Howard Gomberg’s part. We’ve been trained to suspect warmth and gentleness in our politicians while respecting the scheming and ruthless. So we get the representation we deserve.
FADE TO BLACK.
— artfully submitted by Cityslikr