I will not be reading Crazy Town.
No disrespect intended to the book’s author, Robyn Doolittle, a Toronto Star City Hall reporter. Everything I’ve heard so far about it has been very positive. Her appearance last night on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart was dynamite. She ably and entertainingly encapsulated the last four years and the Rob Ford phenomenon in about seven minutes.
So kudos to her, and the newspaper that stood by her (and all its reporters) when things got ugly with their coverage of the mayor’s time in office.
But I’ve grown weary of this story and the man and his family and his hangers-on filling it out. For me, the novelty has hit its best before date. It’s stale. We’re caught in this blooper loop where the only thing that ever changes is the antic or pratfall that the mayor gets caught up in.
A sitcom that hasn’t been funny since the first few electric episodes. What If, this week, Mayor Ford goes out ice fishing and winds up falling in the water after his attempts at free-basing go awry!
No longer interested in actually trying to govern the city he was elected to lead, the mayor is out on the campaign trail, looking to re-capture the elusive lightning in a bottle that was so successful in 2010. So instead of attempting to broaden his base of support beyond his winning margin last time out, he’s embracing tighter the themes that made him mayor. Frugality. Customer service. Seething anger and outrage at those in power.
Except, it’s difficult if almost impossible to recreate the conditions which made those ideas resonate. Especially since, you know, as much as he’s trying to portray himself as an outsider again, he sat, until this past November, in the seat of power. This presents a dilemma for him. If he goes around complaining that he didn’t accomplish all the things he promised he would because of a recalcitrant and out-to-get him council, he’s opening himself up to the charge of not being a very effective mayor.
Does not play well with others.
If you like your mayors rogue, re-elect rogue mayor Rob Ford in 2014.
At this point, the mayor seems singularly uninterested in engaging with anybody who doesn’t share his exact world view. At Wednesday’s first official mayoral debate out at U of T’s Scarborough campus, he dropped any pretense of his aversion to the annual gay Pride celebrations being nothing more than bad timing with family commitments. I ams what I ams, he told the audience, channelling his inner Popeye, and I’m not going to change.
Racial profiling by the police in their carding system? Not council’s problem, shrugged Mayor Ford. Bring it up with the police. Who he supports, by the way, 100% except for those still conducting an investigation into his ties with certain criminal elements.
Did you hear that? No? Well then, the mayor wasn’t talking to you. It was the high pitched signal to his base that the battle was back at hand. Us versus them, folks. Us versus them.
Of course, Mayor Ford hasn’t kicked fully into relentless campaign mode yet. So far since he registered to run on January 2nd, there’s really been a whole lot of nothing from his camp. Visits to private apartment buildings and fast food joints. Part time appearances at work, if at all. A personal jaunt to Vancouver that blew up into another sad spectacle.
Pretty much, the same ol’, same ol’.
Time to turn the page.
However, not in Ms. Doolittle’s book for me. I just can’t wallow any further in this sad, sordid tale of civic dereliction.
Rob Ford is a terrible mayor and a man of dubious personal character.
And he himself said he’s not changing his ways.
What more do we need to know?
— fed uply submitted by Cityslikr