Trist And Zara

Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are — an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.

To Make A Dadist Poem


Dada – I’ll let Wikipedia explain it if you aren’t already familiar with the concept, Wikipedia lifting a snippet on the topic from a book by Dona Budd, The Language of Art Knowledge – “… was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I … Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition.”

I thought of Dada as I sat watching the mayor and his councillor-brother perform at yesterday’s launch to the 2014 city budget. Definitely a rejection of reason and logic. Lots of irrationality and nonsense.

Their whole scatter-shot outrage seemed created, Dada-style, campaign slogans and rhetoric, picked out randomly from different pockets and blown out through a megaphone. dadaGravy Train! Tax and Spend! Respect For Taxpayers! For Gravy! Taxpayers Spend Tax! Train and Respect!

None of it has to make any sense. It just has to be loud and repeated, repeatedly. Add any context and almost everything that came out of the two brothers’ mouths was little more than monkey babble.

As was quickly pointed out by the media, the 2.5% (oh, I’m sorry) the 2.52% staff proposed property tax increase that the mayor/brother cited as proof that the tax-and-spend floodgates had opened wide without his/their oversight that council stripped away last week is almost exactly the same as the 2.5% property tax increase the mayor himself oversaw and approved just two budgets ago.

Let me write that out in capital letters so no one misses the glaring inconsistency and blatant hypocrisy in the fast one Mayor Ford is trying to pull off.


The math hasn’t changed. Each number in the equation has the same value in 2014 as it did in 2012. dada2Team Ford was for a 2.5% property tax increase before they were against it.

On top of which, this year’s 2.5% comes with money for the Scarborough subway the mayor so vigorously championed and was so quick to claim credit for when city council approved it last summer. So, in effect, the 2012 Mayor Ford was the kind of gravy loving tax and spender the 2014 Mayor Ford is off railing about and campaigning against.

But consistency is not your goal when you’re simply pulling ideas from your pockets, hat or ass. Or, at least, consistency of thought isn’t. To give him credit, the mayor has maintained his consistency of performance for the past 3 years. Always the outsider. Always looking out for the little guy. Always angry.

And always, always wrong.

One thing that seems to go largely unnoticed during these budget debates is that residents of the city of Toronto (as of this year’s proposed budget) pay nearly $1100 less in property taxes [page 14]  than the GTA average. dada3Yes, there are matters of mill rates and property values. Property taxes aren’t the only funds we hand over to live in the city. But to stagger around, beating your chest and bellow how over-taxed we taxpayers of Toronto are displays a certain detachment from reality.

(I hesitate to present further data that might not give all the salient factors but graph two here would suggest that even compared to 7 other Canadian jurisdictions, Toronto has not been in the grips of crazed tax lovers intent on picking every last nickel from our pockets.)

Especially if you take a look at the admittedly hard to make out picture on page 34 of the city manager’s Strengthening Toronto’s Fiscal Health, Investing for the Future report and see what we get in return for the taxes and fees we give to the city. You’d just have to hate the very notion of government, of a collective sense that some things are worth paying for and are cheaper to pay for if we all chip in, to look at the picture and not conclude that we’re getting pretty good bang for the buck here in Toronto. There’s nothing rational or logical in thinking otherwise.

That’s what makes the Fords and their followers political Dadaists. They react negatively to what they see as the horrors of government and the murderous demands others make upon them. Unable to combat such expectations with sound reasoning and thoughtful opinion, they resort to utter nonsense and incoherent gibberish.


It doesn’t have to make sense. Just noise. Incomprehensible, disordered, absurd noise.

artfully submitted by Cityslikr

3 thoughts on “Trist And Zara

  1. You know what our problem is? We’re preaching to the converted. You and I can agree on this until the miniseries comes out, but we also know that facts, logic and evidence don’t matter to what’s left of Ford Nation. If you have any ideas on how to reach them, I’m all ears.

    Otherwise, might be better for us to change the channel. If we let the conversation become all about how nonsensical the Fordist narrative is, over and over again, then we crowd out other conversations that urgently need to happen.

  2. Ford gave the cops an 11.5% raise over 4 years but that is OK because Ford supporters are pro cop, even law and order conservatives until…
    Ford in May said “I don’t not smoke crack cocaine” which turned out to be a lie yet 30% of Forum pollers think Rob and Doug are credible even though they have zero credibility…

  3. Slogans work everytime everyday. From now on, my counter argument for every Ford (sometimes a great) Notioner is: “Ford refuses to pay for Scarborough subway”…

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