A Collective Madness

There was a fleeting moment during the Shit Show Spectacle that was this week in Toronto politics.

dougfordA shot of the mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, as he watched the police chief’s press conference that confirmed the existence of the video as described in the media purporting to show the mayor smoking what seemed to be crack, uttering racist and homophobic slurs. The proverbial smoking gun, now up against this administration’s head.

Despite my views of Councillor Ford as a detestable politician and, by extension, probably a disagreeable person, I assumed there must be some human feelings contained within. This couldn’t be easy. From a political angle, everything he’d been working for, any future he might be contemplating, now in jeopardy, under dark, dark clouds. Personally? Confirmation that his little brother was battling serious demons.

Fuck it. It made me just want to hug the guy. awkwardhugSorry man. This must really, really suck.

But the sympathetic feeling passed at about the time Mayor Ford emerged from his office, brother Doug at his left shoulder, to announce that there was no reason he knew of why he should resign. Everything’s fine. Anything else?

Then Friday morning brother Doug took to the airwaves to challenge the police chief to produce the video and back their lawyer’s earlier assertion that the police chief ought to be the one to resign since he was the one that stepped over the line, talking about the video and, I guess, having put the mayor under surveillance and revealing him to be spending a lot of time with an accused drug dealer and extortionist.

“Like we all have, Johnny over the years,” the councillor told talk radio show host John Oakley, “we use bad judgement sometimes and yes, Rob’s probably used bad judgement sometimes. attitudeproblemI’m just concerned politics are playing a big part in this.”

Rob’s “probably used bad judgement sometimes”? You think? The mayor’s apparently smoking crack and cavorting with known criminals but his brother’s real concern is about the politics ‘playing a big part in this’?

Sure, my brother is prone to bad judgement that leads to bad decisions but, dammit, stop playing politics with it! This isn’t about Rob. It’s about you.

A shocking refusal to accept any sort of responsibility. It’s always somebody else’s fault. notmyproblem1This is probably why the mayor is so obviously sloppy in his public displays of questionable behaviour. He never gets called onto the carpet for it, never faces a reprimand or consequences for his actions.

Especially galling considering the Fords’ usual pro-law and order, never hug a thug stance toward anyone else but themselves or their close associates. For them it’s all about the police stepping over the line, playing politics, acting like judge and jury. Of all the things to be concerned about that came to light over the past few days, the thing Councillor Ford was most concerned about were the police chief’s comments.

This isn’t just about a white hot glowing hypocrisy or double standard. No, no. We’re talking about a complete and utter lack of conscience. There is no ability or requirement to distinguish between right and wrong. Caught with your hand in the cookie jar? Hey. webofliesYou don’t want your cookies stolen, don’t leave them within reaching distance.

“I know one thing, Rob is an honest man,” Councillor Ford told Oakley, “I think that anyone who knows him, knows he is an honest man.” Rob, meaning the mayor, the councillor’s brother, the guy who flatly denied in May there was any video showing him smoking crack, this same video that the councillor was now demanding be released to the public, is an honest man. One of the most honest politicians in the country, Councillor Ford claimed a few days before the truth of the video surfaced.

There’s an untetheredness to reality in these people who lack any conscience. Theirs is an untruthful truth. If they claim someone is honest, it means they’re honest, all the blatant lying aside.

Alice Through the Looking-Glass bordering on the delusional. A shared madness perpetuated by fellow believers that assist in stitching together a collective alternative reality. Witness the Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington’s Mad Hatter act (ironically without his trademark fedora) in defense of the mayor.

“Listen, you’re not going to fool me,” the tough as nails, seen it all journo states. madhatter1“This is a political script to take down the mayor. That’s all this is. There are people who are friends with the chief of police that are using him as a political tool to get their people in.”

Sure, Joe. Whatever. If it’s easier to believe that a police chief is being used as a puppet by some nefarious entities to subvert democracy than it is to imagine a guy with significant substance abuse problems veering out of control (with ample proof to back that view up), have at it. No one can tell you otherwise.

It’s not just crank Toronto Sun columnists. Listen to Ford Nation resident Joy Green stand by her man, believing what she wants to believe and ignoring anything that might undermine that belief. “My support is based on service to this city,” she tells the CBC’s Rick MacInnes-Rae. “I’m sad that this video does exist,” Ms. Green says, “I don’t necessarily believe that anyone can prove that he was foolish enough to partake in something like crack but…”

I accept there is a video of Mayor Ford doing something I don’t believe he’s foolish enough to be doing.

Later on in the interview MacInnes-Rae suggests that we now know why Mayor Ford doesn’t provide a daily schedule to the public. “Because somedays he’s not at the office,” he points out. “He’s out driving around, or has been, with Sandro Lisi. Seems to me, some might argue, that might affect the way you do your job.” seenoevil1“I’m sure some might argue that. You’re correct,” Ms. Green responds. “And you?” MacInnes-Rae asks. “No,” Ms. Green states. “Because?” “Because I don’t know that’s a fact.”

What the mayor and Sandro Lisi were doing during all that time they spent together, in the SUV, at soccer games, convenience stores, in empty parking lots, on the telephone, is, at this point, purely conjecture. You can make a pretty educated conjecture but it would only be that. Conjecture.

What you can’t dispute is that Mayor Ford and Sandro Lisi spent a lot of time together, driving around, hanging out, talking on the telephone. There are pictures and surveillance data to prove it.

Belief, like beauty I guess, is now in the eye of the beholder.

Lying, reality denying politicians like the Fords have salted the earth around them, killing any possibility of a serious, honest debate about all aspects of governance in this city. burntbridgeThose pitching their tents on that ground, political allies and supporters alike, who remain defiant in the face of even the most incontrovertible truth from the most reliable of sources – their eyes and ears – are nothing less than disablers of democracy. This is now about right and wrong not you said, I said. Forget poor judgement or bad decisions, we’re talking a complete lack of ethics and morals.

To refuse to accept or see that makes you not only someone of questionable character but a bad citizen with a destructive bent to inflict irreparable damage on the city you call home.

sick and tiredly submitted by Cityslikr

13 thoughts on “A Collective Madness

  1. I’d be more concerned if my doctor, dentist or other health professional was smoking crack as it can direct affect me.

    I’ve been in the same part of the city for 20 years and the garbage still gets picked up, the toilets flush, the TTC still runs, EMS comes when called, etc. All these things have continued regardless of the person in the mayor’s chair.

  2. Rob and Doug has a percentage of cheerleaders and apologists who believe the Fords are just like them. An indictment of the Fords is an indictment of them. I was stunned when Rob was elected mayor….what comes next is a shitstorm like Canada has never seen.

    Doug says “politics is a bloodsport”……get in the ring Doug…65% of the population and every media outlet in this country want a piece of ya….

  3. You know, I’m trying. I’m really trying to resist the temptation to dismiss Ford supporters as cranially challenged throwbacks who simply can’t be reasoned with. Was having a good discussion with someone who convinced me to dial back some of my criticism, arguing that it was just helping Ford perpetuate his zero-sum game that sets one group against the other and ramps up the resentment and hostility.

    But how? How do we deal patiently and civilly with people who persist in not embracing fact, who insist on believing things that are demonstrably not true? Who continue to engage, in the face of all the evidence, in wilful self-delusion? Is there a word for this that isn’t “stupidity?”

  4. Having endured all two hours of The Amazing Ford Freak Show on Talk1010 today, I think the Fords have made a huge strategic blunder. Defining Rob’s “mistakes” as one too many pops in public, with a wee bit of distracted driving thrown in, like anyone’s goofy uncle might do, will satisfy so few people that it leaves Rob open to a rising tide of anger and actions next week.

    If that lame ‘apology’ was meant to win back Ford Nation, then how will they react when the rest of the rumoured poop hits the fan?

    It was also evident that neither of them understand the concept of ‘enabling’ – Doug was so anxious to say that he doesn’t sit around drinking with his brother, oh no, I’m not the one topping up his purple jesus, Rob goes off and does his drinking without me. I just cannot figure out what’s in this for Doug – he’s lost his provincial gig almost certainly, but why is he so desperate to keep shoving his befuddled brother towards an even more horrible fate?

  5. I believe the apology didn’t go far enough and didn’t outline steps he would take to fix things however I think Blair involved himself in politics and has tainted himself I still hope nobody from the old Miller crowd runs because we will be back where we started.The question is not about Ford but how did we get to Ford .Both sides need to stop insulting each other Even though village idiot that I am I have a degree from University of Toronto and voted for Ford based on the bullying in TCHC.
    Moving forward we need new blood and somebody who can get past all this partisan hatred.I drink Tim hortons and you drink lattes can’t we get along in this city

  6. We were in a position of not caring I have pics from TCHC that would make you sick we are not in a better position but should start looking for somebody who can fix these problems and not a faux progressive who will blow a fortune on empowerment and other crap while people are rotting in these dumps That’s where we started from and I want to move on to something better

  7. Having Christopher Hume dismiss most of the “suburbs” of the city with sweeping generalities will do wonders for building consensus.

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