Somebody Needs A Hug

guestcommentary

Call me Hackistan.

Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — without need of much money in my purse and nothing particularly to interest me Down South, I cut loose from a relatively stable — if not monotonous existence in deepest Southern Ontario.

My story is a little more nuanced than a paraphrase of two Moby Dick paragraphs, but I didn’t arrive in the state of mind called Hackistan by making it all about me.mobydick

This is all about here, and now, and the place we all find ourselves in. It is most assuredly not a state of mind. It is Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Earth.

So right now, that’s Toronto in my body (and probably yours), though my state of mind, infuriatingly, remains firmly in Hackistan. Come visit sometime. Set a spell. I’ll make tea.

This meat world of Toronto (the Good, to some) is a decidedly nasty place these days, what with the meanness, the skintiness, the OMFG can you believe what he did THIS time?, the Little Ginnies and the Subways Subways Subways and the Burning Rage of a 1,000 Nuziatas, and the…citybuildingwell, I could go on.

No one, not anyone in this town seems to be feeling the love, and that goes right from the top to the bottom.

On Thursday Royson James offered up a rather provocatively headlined piece to that effect — namely, that The Mayor Toronto Needs Will Start by Loving Us.

Despite the awesome headline, he never comes out and says what I think a lot of Torontonians feel — that our Mayor really doesn’t like this city very much, and if he had his way, he’d much rather be elsewhere.

“We are not ‘taxpayers’ only,” James writes. “Everything does not begin and end with the desire to reduce government and taxes…We love our cars but have not sold out our neighbourhoods to the insatiable appetite for more highways…It would be good if our mayor sees this, understands the delicate forces that sustain this incredible balance, and fight to preserve it.”

Royson clearly knows his way around Hackistan. He gives voice to what many feel, but spares himself the gears he’d inevitably have ground if he came out and said the Mayor doesn’t love Toronto. After 2.5 years of Ford Toronto, we can pretty confidently predict how that’d go.angryvoters

“How DARE you say the Mayor hates Toronto! You hate Toronto, you commie!”

Comment boards would light up, hashtags would trend after getting bombarded with angry denunciations and counter-denunciations. Pornbots would flood in, someone will inevitably accuse Royson and the Star of hating the Mayor, ‘Haters gotta hate’ will most certainly appear in the #topoli hashtag, Doug Ford would be dutifully removed from his hyperbaric chamber two days before his scheduled maintenance prior to his Sunday radio program to talk about how hurt his little brother’s feelings were, then make a cheap shot about Rob’s weight, and so on…

So snaps to Royson for saying it without actually saying it. Bigger snaps for helpfully suggesting people start thinking about what they’d like to see in a Mayor.

There’s good reason for folks to start doing so, above and beyond the fact that we’re closing in the campaign period. Simply put, he may hate us and lots of us may hate him, but the Mayor has a base, and more importantly a vision.

Granted, it’s a narrow, reductionist and often nasty vision, but it’s something for narrow, reductionist and often nasty people to hang their hats on. areyoukiddingmeIn the absence of a compelling alternative, others will hang their hats on it as well.

Loving this city is a good starting-off point. Putting forward ways to make the city we love even more loveable is better.

The rumblings have begun. Behind the scenes, the Mayoral jockeying is already underway, but the ideas need to start getting fleshed out in the sunlight, so that broad, expansive and nice people (and the people who love them) have a chance to see what those ideas are and who is putting them forward.

The incumbent is in perpetual campaign mode. He also has the advantage of incumbency. If articulating a broad, expansive and nice vision takes a back seat in October 2014 and the election becomes a mere Roberendum, then chalk up another advantage for the Mayor.

embracethelove

And that’s something even he would love.

lovingly submitted by Hackistan

11 Responses to Somebody Needs A Hug

  1. Patrick Smyth says:

    “No one, not anyone in this town seems to be feeling the love, and that goes right from the top to the bottom.”

    Keep talking like that and the 42% will stomp on you again.

  2. Sonny says:

    You are a hack because we’ve endured 12.3 years of Rob & we warned he would be a bad mayor! He can drive drunk with his kids, beat his wife & sexually harass Thomson and blame her deck…

    Rob vs a Tory OR Stintz puts his base that will vote for him no matter what truth; 35-36%
    From the Canseco number who isn’t qualified to run in CANADA the number is 31-32% will never vote for Rob

    So we’ll have to hug the 33% that will make the diff; if they bother to vote…

    • Patrick Smyth says:

      Ford is a terrible Mayor but this Council is the real culprit. Too much focus on one man is helping the other 44 ruin the show. You just have to look at some of the decisions and how they were made to see Council is a farce. Imagine what a Smitherman mayoralty would have been like with this Council! All the ass-kissers and phoneys would have had a field-day. It could just as easy been a whole lot worse than Ford’s. (Going by the $$billions GS blew away) Too many of Joey’s supporters held their noses and we got Ford. It need not have been a disaster but focusing and harping on about Ford is helping it be that way. I hope there won’t be any gay candidates next time if Ford is running again.

      • Steve says:

        So, regardless of your Non conclusive and mostly rhetoric rant, bottom line is you do not like Smitherman and will not vote for him because he is gay. In conclusion you indicate all gay people are not fit for public office, So you vote for Rob Ford out of spite,

  3. Patrick Smyth says:

    I think GS would have been a terrible Mayor. Even though JP supporters knew Ford would be terrible too they couldn’t hold their noses so Ford won. Whether somebody is gay or not has no bearing on how I vote. However, for Ford homophobia is a vote-rich gift. Thanks for allowing me to clarify my comment. Next time you don’t need to be impolite.

    • Steve says:

      let me see if I got you clarification right, gays should not run for public office because another candidate is homophobic.

      • glenn storey says:

        that’s not what he said at all. and he’s right, smitherman would have been a terrible mayor. not as bad as robby, probably, but still terrible.

  4. Sonny says:

    Patrick; This is typical Fordite shit to point the finger elsewhere. Ford doesn’t comply with an audit everyone else has to? even though it is 2 of the 45 that clearly…

    Smitherman had better policies than Ford and would have gotten more from the Province than Ford; who “wants to clean his house” before going to other levels of gov’t. While posing for photos last week for a Spadina subway funded by all 3 levels?!

    • Patrick Smyth says:

      Sonny, since I’m not a Fordite, I’d like to claim the shit as my own. GS was the man in charge of Provincial Departments that has cost us over $5billion. I’m glad the JP crowd didn’t hold their noses and voted for him. The harm inflicted on this city has been done by Councils since Amalgamation. It is the culture that has arisen over that time where you’d be better to focus. For example, in 2006 the Integrity Commissioner decided not to investigate a councillor who improperly used the influence of his office in the conduct of his personal affairs and misled a Committee of Council. That is still the policy of that Office. Ford is just another paid employee who milks the system at City Hall. It does need to be cleaned-up! As demonstrated since the last election, changing the Mayor is not enough. The culture on Council needs to be changed.

      • Sonny says:

        Yeah & you’re still changing the topic from the original blog…Ford has the least integrity

  5. Patrick Smyth says:

    I appreciate you expressing your opinion, Sonny. I’m sure you really don’t mind me doing the same. Cheers.

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