sabotabby: (doom doom doom)
 [livejournal.com profile] resonant  put me in mind of an important point, which is how closely the Cheeto Benito parallels our own Honourable Wifebeater, Rob Ford. Which had me thinking about timelines. There is a fundamental difference between a competent reactionary and a wildly out-of-control narcissist, and I really believe that the Tangerine Rapeclown falls into the latter category.

So here is my projected timeline for the major phases of the Trump Administration, written here with all of the scientific rigour and accuracy of a Nate Silver poll.

Year One: Trump is allowed to rampage unmolested*. He sells off what is left of America's public assets to the lowest bidder—well, maybe the highest, depending on how closely he is related to them. The media cannot respond, because they have no framework for this. Any genuinely populist moves are blocked by the party apparatus, whereas reactionary legislation, particularly if it targets women, people of colour, trans people, or poor people, gets rubber-stamped. Towards the end of the first year, rumours of a scandal—a really serious one, more serious than Russia or golden showers or raping teenagers—is uncovered, mainly by the non-serious press.**

Year Two: The Year of the Breakdown. Trump's further actions are stalled by a hostile party establishment, and Mike Pence takes over as the de facto president. Expect at least one hospitalization or arrest, though charges are not laid. You will almost certainly see Trump's dick by the end of the year, either via still photography or, more likely, video.

🍆 you're 🍆 welcome đźŤ† sweet đźŤ† dreams đźŤ†

Year Three: I expect that he will die. Not, I should note, as the result of foul play or revolution, but these big loud guys tend to not live very long. Heart failure, exacerbated by the stresses of the job and the staggering quantities of Colombia's finest going up his nose. Pence is sworn in as president. Tearful eulogies, in which his good points are stressed at the expense of all actual reality.

Year Four, and thereafter: Get ready for the era of Trumpism Without Trump. Understand that the sole purpose of allowing a creature like this to be elected is to allow the next guy, who looks less like a clown and has policy objectives, to look reasonable by comparison. You will not get your country back. You never had your country.

Sorry about this but I'm probably right.


* Unlike all the women in his life, amirite?
** Think Buzzfeed or, before Peter Thiel showed his commitment to FREEZED PEACH, Gawker
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (death is coming)
They RELEASED THE KRAKEN CRACK VIDEO!

You can watch it here.

Now, you'll be disappointed, like most of the city, because it:

a) Doesn't show us anything we didn't already know or guess
b) Comes far too late to destroy the Ex-Honourable Wife-Beater's political career
c) Will not tarnish the reputation of Brother Doug or any of their various political enablers; even Sandro Lisi got off on a peace bond
d) Isn't even all that funny

But Americans, take note: This can happen to you. Yes, being the mayor of a large city is different than being President of 'Murica, but not as different as you think. The Laughable Bumblefuck represents a sharp break from conventional politics, where politicians at least had to have the pretense of being—if not competent themselves—the puppet of competent advisors. And a scandal like smoking crack was generally enough to sink most. Not anymore.

Meanwhile, the real story is John Tory, walking Dad Joke, continuing Fordism by a different name: Bullshitting on a subway that's never gonna happen and was never meant to happen, breaking his half-assed pledge to reduce poverty in an increasingly divided city, refusing to engage honestly with Black Lives Matter, but since his very presence is a cure for insomnia, no one's paying that close attention. At least with Ford, people paid attention to some of the dumb shit he did.

But this—I would argue, were I of a more conspiratorial mindset—is by design, not accident. That's what you do, if you're playing the long political game that the far right is currently playing. You get someone ridiculous and over-the-top and populist to bust open the door, someone who courts Nazis or uses the n-word or smokes crack, someone so clownish that it's impossible to envision them ever being elected until they do, and then you let them self-immolate. And by then, they've shifted the Overton Window so far towards overt fascism that all you need is another, more soft-spoken and well-dressed far-right ideologue to slither in there, look like a reasonable moderate, and repackage Asshole Boy's ideas as his own, and everyone swallows it.



Unrelated to any of the above, enjoy this story about a dog that found a giant dildo and wouldn't put it down.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
You guys, you should just see what's going on in Toronto. It's amazing. The entire mainstream press and political establishment appears to have forgotten that Ford was a wife-beating, drunk-driving, racist, misogynist, homophobic turdblossom and is just lionizing him like he never ordered a hit on a 21-year-old drug dealer or had a guy severely beaten in prison.

Of course there is a discussion of which park should be named after him and where the statue should go. I think this Torontoist post makes some good points as to why there shouldn't be a statue, but come on. You secretly want a statue, don't you? I do. It would be the greatest tourist attraction since we built that giant middle finger to America.

Think of the potential with statues:

  • They can be peed upon.

  • They can be slathered in gravy.

  • You can put traffic cones on their heads.

  • Birds shit on them.

  • They can be painted in various amusing ways.

  • You can put signs in their hands advocating, say, sodomy or socialism.

  • You can decorate them with Christmas lights.

  • By "Christmas lights," I mean "crack pipes." You knew that, right?

So many possibilities!

I think the best place to put a statue of the Honourable Wife-Beater is in the big pit where the Scarborough subway will never get built.

But it doesn't end there. No, not when the city is in throes of wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments. There is politics to be done, people.

Which is why the pinnacle of decorum himself, Mr. Doug Ford, is using his brother's visitation to campaign, inviting supporters to take selfies with him, presumably in front of the creepy-ass dead body. That's some Game of Thrones-level squick and I am truly impressed.

Still, if his corpse is not embalmed in wax and put on permanent display in Nathan Phillips Square, this whole carnival has simply just not gone far enough.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
The Laughable Bumblefuck is no more. Were I a Proper Journalist, like the ones currently tripping over their own feet in a pathetic attempt to say something nice about the man, and not a half-assed commie blogger spewing occasional sweary political commentary, I'd already have a eulogy written up. We knew this was coming. I'd play up his virtues, paltry though they were, and lament his terrible death at the hands of a foe even more ravenous and unrestrained than the man himself. I'd remind my readers that it is impolite to speak ill of the dead, etc.

Let's be honest, though. That's not who I am.

For four years, I devoted considerable pixels to documenting Mayor Ford's disastrous reign over the city I love. He was the Richard Nixon to my Hunter S. Thompson, if I were a better writer and he had his finger on the Big Red Button. I have a lot of feelings. I don't believe that death confers sainthood. I believe this makes me more respectful and empathetic towards my enemies than those who suddenly retract all of their negativity and criticism. When I someday die, if the right declares me to have been balanced and open to compromise and possessed of some latent conservative virtues, they had better watch out for my wrathful zombie revenge. Fuck that. I was everything Ford hated, and he was everything I despise.

I'm not exactly going to dance on his grave, but that's mainly because he died of cancer—and no one should have to die of cancer*—rather than of acute lead poisoning, as is the correct mode of death for reactionaries. And literally, that's the only reason. If you are, like most today, inclined towards grief or sympathy, remember, whilst voting against $1.5 million in AIDS prevention spending, that this is the man who argued—despite being a drug user himself—that "if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn't get AIDS probably." Or said, regarding the deaths of cyclists, increased by his pro-car politicies, "My heart bleeds for them when someone gets killed. But it’s their own fault at the end of the day." He would not feel sympathy for you if you died. I doubt any of the Important People eulogizing him today will spare a thought for Anthony Smith, a troubled young man whose death Ford may have directly or indirectly hastened.

Ford the man doesn't matter. His family, once they get over their grief, is likely well rid of him, though I understand that the death of an abusive spouse or parent is emotionally fraught and complex. Not for nothing did I dub him the Honourable Wife Beater. I'm sure that Toronto's Finest are relieved to not have to answer any more domestic disturbance calls. But even if he'd been the loving family man the press is longing to claim he was, private sadness is not what I'm interested in.

Ford the politician, conversely, represented all that is reprehensible and destructive in modern politics. He exemplified the new paradigm where (assuming you are rich, and white, and male), scandal does not affect you, and the way to address allegations of illegal or immoral activity is just to push past them and insult those who would hold you accountable. He was the prototypical blustering showman, shouting over the opposition instead of engaging them in a fact-based debate, a bully who dragged the level of discourse to the lowest common denominator. He was a white millionaire who claimed to be an everyman you could have a beer with, showing up at TCHC buildings that he fought to defund and demolish and pretending to fix the broken lightbulbs. He hurled racial epithets at the people who supported him the most passionately, stoking the economic masochism of the underclass he despised. Despite a rampantly ideological agenda of austerity, he contributed, more than any other political figure I can name, to the depoliticization of the discourse, taking the neoconservative line as basic fact and reducing the political spectrum to mere identity politics.

He was a politician who hated politicians, and whatever you can say about politicians as a whole, the only thing that's worse than a politician is a fucking CEO. Ford would replace the Citizen with the Consumer, replace the living, breathing, thriving, shitting, dancing organism of the city to a prosaic transaction. Cut here, trim there, until all that remains is a hollowed out shell where the taxpayer gets in his SUV, drives in traffic to a job that doesn't pay enough, goes home, and experiences nothing of community, of urbanity, of interdependence.

He was the scion of a political dynasty, and if there's one thing I loathe, it's a political dynasty. You shouldn't get to be ushered into office because your father was, because your name has brand recognition. It's indecent.

He was a misogynist, a racist, and a homophobe. This got lost, because he was also a drug addict, but it's far more important than the fact that he was a drug addict. Dress it up how you like, excuse it away by claiming that he was damaged, but the truth is that he had every privilege handed to him on a silver platter and used it to shit on those lower down the ladder. He may have come off as an entertaining clown to the rest of the world, but to Toronto, he ruined real lives and there's nothing funny about it.

So good fucking riddance. We're spared the further damage a living, physically healthy Rob Ford might have inflicted on our collective lives. I didn't get my wish to see him go down in flames, at last convicted of the many crimes that would have brought him down had he not been a rich white guy, and I'm a little disappointed that I never got to hear a resignation speech that was simply, "THE ARISTOCRATS!" But if there's any justice, they'll name an LRT out to Scarborough after him, or the new Bloor bike lanes, and the city can breathe a sigh of relief, and once again become a place worth living in.

P.S. Cops attacked the Black Lives Matter camp last night, set up to protest the lack of charges in the police murder of Andrew Loku, a mentally ill black man. If you actually care about what goes on in Toronto, you can donate to Black Lives Matter - Toronto through Interac at blm.to.solidarity@gmail.com (question: what chapter answer: toronto). They also need donations of blankets, cardboard boxes, hot drinks, gloves, hand warmers, and "anything to keep protestors warm."

* Except that Doug Ford used to hold press conferences at Princess Margaret, disrupting the lives and treatments of other people suffering from cancer, so it's not like having cancer made him less repulsive or anything.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Mistgeburt)
Is Rob Ford Still Mayor?

(Spoiler: No.)

Unfortunately, the guy we got is a whole lot worse. As I said in the Other Place: Things are going to be so much better under Tory! He's so different than Ford, such a moderate, and will really unite the city and listen to all voices...oh wait.

The Fords have successfully moved the municipal discourse so far to the right that Tory can now step in and act like there is not only no alternative, but there has never been an alternative. Congratulations, Toronto.

In other news, I need a new tag for writing about Toronto municipal politics, since I can no longer use "honourable wife-beating mayor" and "Gravydämmerung." I'm thinking "I Hate It Here," in honour of Transmetropolitan's Beast-to-Smiler trajectory, but I'm open to other suggestions.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (hellraiser kitty)
It's official. As usual, the rhetoric is "optimistic" but we're all grownups who can see through the soundbites. The Honourable Wife-Beater is probably doomed. (Liposarcoma has a pretty decent 5-year survival rate, but other factors suggest that he is not long for the world.)

It's almost poetic. The guy, against all probability, wins an election to the mayoralty of Canada's largest city despite an impressive lack of qualifications or functioning frontal lobe, proceeds to take the most spectacular dump over municipal politics the world has ever seen, keeps on keepin' on through a fucking crack scandal, and may very well die before he ceases to be mayor. I couldn't make this shit up, people. Only in Toronto.

My earlier comments stand, but here are some helpful pointers to get through the next few days:

• Just because someone is going to die horribly doesn't mean they suddenly become a good person. Remember what Ford said about AIDS victims. Remember that he beat his wife. Remember that he doesn't care if he kills pedestrians. Remember Anthony Smith.

• No fat jokes. Fat jokes are never okay.

• Tasteless jokes are okay though. Even if it's someone nice, which he isn't.

• For the most part, cancer doesn't care whether you lead a healthy lifestyle or not.

• Cancer is neither a journey, a battle, or God's test of how strong you are. It's a bunch of cells mutating. That's it.

• Cancer does not care how hard you fight or how much you pray. Whether you wish the HWB well or not, he will live or die according to biology, medical science, and chance.

• There is, nor will there ever be, a restriction on speaking ill of the dead on this LJ. That goes for the dying too.

That's it. What a day it's been.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (screw you)
One hopes one's enemies meet their demise courtesy of a bullet to the head on the firing squad, not from cancer.

I don't wish the Honourable Wife-Beater all the best—I don't possess that sort of grace or capacity for forgiveness, nor do wishes do any good—but I am not enjoying this development, nor do I look forward to the inevitable armchair commentary on positive thinking, speculation on whether it was caused by his many poor lifestyle choices or not, or any manner of football metaphors as applied to the medical process of cancer treatment.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
Um. Ooops. The Honourable Wife-Beater has leaked his SUBWAYS! SUBWAYS! SUBWAYS! plan, and to no one's surprise, it makes no fucking sense.

I don't usually have nice things to say about the National Socialist Post or people who write for it, but the article is pretty dryly humourous. "Ford’s math appears to err on the side of optimism at every turn." Um yeah you just noticed that now? Actual numbers are for those downtown egghead elitists; we don't need none of that fancy book larnin'. Have another hamburger.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (bat country)
Transit, speaking from a purely utilitarian perspective, has to be the strangest possible public service to politicize. In Toronto, we've had massive debates about transit for years; the system was designed and mostly built in the 60s and 70s and has been underfunded since. At the moment, the municipal race being in full swing, the debate is between building an expensive subway with a few stops that is impossible to finish in most of our working lifetimes, and an LRT, which is cheaper and can serve a larger geographic area. Even people in wards already served by the existing subway, like the one in which I've been canvassing, frame candidates' positions as "subway or LRT?" with "subway" being code for Ford's far-right lunatics and "LRT" code for Chow's centre-left.*

Some friends of mine who aren't from Toronto expressed disbelief that subways are even a political issue, and they are absolutely right to find it bizarre. But it speaks to a theory I've developed about the Canadian right.

Other countries have a right wing that is unified by something. In the UK, it's class; in America, it's racial hatred and the legacy of slavery plus religious zealotry and a fear of communism. In Canada, it's not like we don't have class stratification or racism or religion or anti-communism (we have considerable and comparable amounts of the former two and some of the latter two) but for various historical reasons, none can function as a unifying current. Instead, we must resort to the basest, most rudimentary form of conservatism: I don't wanna pay for stuff. It is the politics of a cranky toddler, so it's not surprising that in Toronto, we're currently at least nominally governed by one.

The thing is, one can argue with, say, health care (something else that ought not to be politicized), that there is someone who benefits by keeping their money out of the system. In America, the insurance companies are the biggest winners, but conceivably rich people get something out of it too. From their perspective, it's fine if poor people die, and they can afford private health care. It's an inefficient system, which is why rich people ought to also support universal health care (after all, it's not like they overall get better care than rich people in the civilized world), but the upper class benefits from lower taxes and is able to mitigate the crueller implications of privatization. Same with schools; it's inefficient as all hell, but the rich can elect to have their children privately educated.

There is no such escape valve with transit, though. I was in Seattle last week, after not having visited for a few years, and was shocked at the traffic. It took at least twice as long to get anywhere. Otherwise, the city was thriving in a way that I haven't seen in any North American city since the economy tanked; everywhere was booming, everyone was high on legal weed, it was great. But apparently the booming economy led to a massive influx of people, and it was unexpected, and the transit infrastructure can't support it. Of civic problems to have, it's not the worst one, and certainly the gridlock was better than Toronto's. But it was still quite dramatic.

The North American conservative's alternative to the public welfare is private everything. The mass of humanity gets sub-par hospitals and schools; the elite get nice clean ones. So it makes sense, by conservative logic, to not pay for mass transit.

Except! What happens when there's no transit infrastructure? The roads get jammed up, and rich people use those roads and get stuck in traffic like the plebes. So it benefits the rich, even Rob Ford, who does not live in drunken-stumbling distance from his place of work, to invest in transit. Building more roads isn't even an option, because that's expensive, and people amazingly enough do not love privatized roads. Transit is a question for which the conservative has no answer, for which there is no answer beyond the collectivist one. You can, in theory, argue about whether a subway or an LRT is better**, but one is necessary no matter how much you loathe the smelly sheeple who commute to work without their own cars, and neither can fit easily within the austerity logic of the North American right.


* It's important to note that the Honourable Wife-Beater is not in any way in favour of building an actual subway. His famous refrain of "subways, subways, subways," is an attempt to stall so that nothing at all ever gets built. It is easier to stall on a subway than on an LRT.

** The LRT. Everyone knows this.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fighting the man)
So the Fords held a completely illegal propaganda fest—sorry, a barbecue in which they bribed poor people with free food to score votes, during a municipal campaign, which is in no way political—last night. There's a sentence in that article about a skirmish between queer activists who came out to remind people that the Honourable Wife-Beater is a homophobic douchecanoe. Ford Nation people—who had nothing to do with the official campaign, of course, or the Laughable Bumblefuck's sustained attacks against queer people in this city—attacked the demonstrators, grabbed their signs, stomped on them, and even choked a guy:



While, you know, the immediate Ford family did not engage in personally bashing any queers, I checked the Star just now to see if there was any kind of statement disapproving of the actions of their supporters, and—nada. One can only conclude that they approve.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
On a more upbeat political note, who would like to hear about the Honourable Wife-Beater's latest? Today, in Laughable Bumblefuck news, hizzoner's sobriety coach kicked a protester who was calling for his resignation. The protester was shirtless, of course, in tribute to local hero Joe Killoran:



(A pause, dear friends, so that I can, as usual shake my head and mutter, "how are these things happening in my once-boring city"?)

Meanwhile, surprisingly enough, Ford actually was in rehab. He was just a complete shit about it. According to the Star:






“Ford broke things, got into fights with other residents,” said one source with knowledge of the mayor’s time in rehab at the resort-turned-drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Muskoka.

...

Just a few days into his time there, according to sources, addiction counsellors were shaking their heads.

“We are not paid enough to deal with this guy,” one counsellor remarked during a conversation with another counsellor.

“Rob Ford literally had the run of the place. There were no rules around Rob Ford,” said another source.





So, that's a thing that happened. Also, he is claiming that he's tied in the polls with Olivia. Which is almost certainly not true, but hilarious.

This guy is like the King Midas of douchebaggery. And seeing someone take a massive, liquidy shit all over your city is never a pleasant thing to witness. The thing is, I've known a lot of people with addiction problems and I've seen how hard it is to get decent treatment and support and not have the very structures designed to protect you do what they're supposed to. Watching someone with every privilege and every opportunity, with the sympathy of every decent citizen (I mean, present company excepted; I have no sympathy for the fucker) willing to forgive him and to accommodate his supposed recovery—that's just rage-inducing, you know? Fuck him. Seriously.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (racist!)
Do you know what racism is? Did you know that everything you think you know about racism is wrong?

Well, here is a rich white guy to mansplain to you a thing. Dougie Ford, ladies, gentlemen, and folks who do not fall into the gender binary, is here to set the record straight:


"Racism isn't just about religion and colour and race. It's about going after someone relentlessly on a daily basis."

"You can be racist against people that eat little red apples, you can be racist against people that have a drinking problem, you can be racist against people that are too fat."


Thanks, yeah, apparently I was wrong about how racism is the systematic repression of marginalized people based on unscientific categorizations of race when it is actually defined as "pointing out that the millionaire white mayor of a major city, who is known for making incredibly racist remarks, is in fact a racist." Thanks for correcting me. Fuck off.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)

Did you miss the Honourable Wife-Beater? I gotta say, I missed the Honourable Wife-Beater a little. When we have a competent mayor actually putting some effort into straightening out our transit nightmare, we can look back with fondness and slight embarrassment about that time Justin Bieber tried to score crack off the mayor.

Anyway, he's been in "rehab getting sober" (if by "rehab," you mean "his cottage" and by "getting sober" you mean "giving the keys to his SUV to his new lady friend so that she can go on a beer run"). Despite a noble attempt to change the locks while he was away, he returned after two months, triumphant, yesterday to give an apology, by which we mean a campaign speech to a hand-picked group of reporters. Naturally, he did not allow questions, and tried to turn the focus once again to his fucking diet that no one cares about.

Lest you suspect that hizzoner is a changed man, feast your eyes upon today's glorious spectacle, in which a shirtless jogger confronts the Laughable Bumblefuck on his racism, homophobia, and corruption during a Canada Day parade.

Best quote: "I'm out for a jog buddy, do I look like I'm on a campaign?" Eh, I'd vote for that dude. He seems cool.

Welcome back, douchecanoe! I look forward to four more months of relentless amusement before Olivia takes over and my poor city can reclaim its sanity.

I think there must be something akin to the KĂĽbler-Ross model of grieving for politics. The first stage is idealistic enthusiasm, followed by uncomfortable compromises, followed by disillusionment, then hatred, then despair, then more hatred, and finally maniacal, endless laughter.

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
The Honourable Wife-Beater is stepping down to "seek help for substance abuse." Speculation is that it might have something to do with how he wants to "fucking jam" rival Karen Stintz or maybe because there's a new drug video.

rob ford smoking crack photo Ford-WEB-VisualLede_zpsb0903fe8.jpg
Nice angle. Really good composition.

The question is always that of what bigger scandal he's trying to avoid by doing this. Though personally, I suspect that the various Tory interests pulling his strings have realized that their puppet is toxic and want him out of the way so that Tory—John, that is—has a chance.

Anyway! I think this means that the Honourable Wife-Beater is no longer mayor of Toronto! Best day ever!

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
The Honourable Wife-Beater's latest kerfuffle is an example of why I think more emphasis needs to be placed on his disastrous politics instead of on his little crack hobby or weight.

To summarize the story briefly: Toronto Community Housing Corporation is the body in charge of public housing in Toronto. While frequently unresponsive and even abusive to poor, marginalized tenants—resulting, at least in one case, in the death of an elderly tenant evicted in 2013 under sketchy circumstances—its officials make six-figure incomes and are about as corrupt as you'd imagine. In part of his efforts to stop the gravy train, Ford forced the resignation of its entire board. The current CEO, Gene Jones, is an American who, up until recently, made $271,000 a year and a bunch of really interesting decisions involving hiring and firing, including hiring one of his buddies, creating a position for her, and then immediately raising her salary $30,000. Needless to say, the penny-pinching fiscal conservative Ford just loooooves this guy.

Anyway, the city's ombudsman, Fiona Crean, just released a scathing 111-page report on Jones that would cause the immediate resignation of anyone with an ounce of decency. OMG, did civic oversight just work? There was much rejoicing. I knew we had an ombudsman but didn't actually know anything about her, but this lady is my hero right now.

The Honourable Wife-Beater's response? He called for her head.

This right here—not the crack, not the drunkenness, not the public urination—this is why Ford is a shitbag. Because it's the pattern, not just with him, but with every conservative at every level of government. Preach austerity, hire cronies to waste money, and then try to muzzle anyone—journalists, scientists, ombudsmen—who point out the hypocrisy.

On a related, though less serious note, John Tory's latest is also pretty good. He's going to plant 3.8 million trees, presumably with magical money farted out by unicorns, because he cares sooooo much about the environment, but wants to cancel the proposed Eglinton bike lanes. (I try to have nothing to do with that part of the city, but I do really like the Eglinton Connects plan; it seems completely sensible and even pretty.) So, you know, anyone who votes for him should be aware that we would just be getting Ford, policy-wise, with fewer funny things that get us featured on American talk shows.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (bat country)
Meet the Honourable Wife-Beater's latest addition to the campaign team: a dude from Trailer Park Boys and Ben Johnson, disgraced Olympic athlete.

He is really courting the stoner vote, isn't he? I'd respect that a bit more if he approved of safe injection sites. Stoners be warned: This guy is not actually on your side. There is one law for most drug users, and another for Ford.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
Part of why I'm working on refusing people who ask me to do unpaid work for them is that the municipal elections here are starting to heat up, and that's where my volunteer efforts are best directed. Specifically Paul's campaign for city councillor (check out all the new content! Also, follow him on Twitter and Facebook), but I'm also enthused at how Olivia continues to be practical and level-headed and full of energy and confidence, in stark contrast to continued revelations about the Honourable Wife-Beater's criminal activities.

Meanwhile, Sarah Thompson, unable to stay out of the spotlight for even a minute, declared her candidacy for mayor by riding in to City Hall on a horse-drawn wagon.

Toronto politics. Gotta love 'em. It's a long time until October, but right now we have the incumbent bashing into journalists and embroiled in scandal, a bunch of "sensible" conservatives who won't decide amongst themselves who's best for the job, and an experienced, left-leaning, smart person leading the polls. I'm happy, you guys.

(I mean, I'm exhausted, because activism happens around my continually expanding work hours, but after almost four years of absurdist dystopia, my beloved city might get fixed. And this directly relates to my continually expanding work hours, because I have to stay late almost every night these days and then commute anywhere between an hour to two hours home on transit, in Mars-like weather, and had it not been for Ford, I'd have a much shorter commute by now. But. I'm also optimistic for the first time about where Toronto is going.)
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (pinko pie)
As you know, Bob, there is some sort of minor sporting event being held in an increasingly fascist country that has just passed some draconian anti-gay legislation. Our fine city has elected to—in a minor show of solidarity with the persecuted queer folks in Russia whose declining civil liberties and right to existence are being trampled so that pampered athletes can move very quickly and put balls in holes, and foreign journalists can complain about having to throw toilet paper in the wastebasket*—fly the rainbow flag over City Hall.

Okay, great! You'd have to be a real douchecanoe to object to that.

You don't even need to click to see what this link is about, do you?

Our paragon of upstanding morality and virtue states: “This about the Olympics, this about being patriotic to your country." Naturally, his handful of supporters leapt to declare him Not Homophobic despite his many, many homophobic statements and the fact that he's still not planning on attending World Pride when it arrives this summer to shower upon our fair city a shit-ton of money, tourists, and TD Bank-branded condoms**.

As always, the money quotes go to Brother Doug, who objects to the presence of buck-naked middle-aged men with potbellies (the fact that he clearly never looks in a mirror explains a lot, actually) and:

“He’s not homophobic, he has friends that are gay, he just chooses not to go.


I bet he has a lot of black fri—oh wait.

I for one would like to thank all of the potbellied, buck-naked middle-aged men out there for keeping these two bigoted wankers and their scumtastic drug-addled family away from World Pride. Pride should be classy, dammit.

In other news, rumour had it that late yesterday afternoon, two cops were seen entering Ford's office from the back door,† but I can find no confirmation of this online. Investigations into his myriad criminal activities are ongoing.

* Seriously? Travel to Not North America sometime. Though I did like the "dangerous face water" tweet.

** Look, a free condom is a free condom.

† Not a euphemism!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (pinko pie)
I DEMAND that his last act as mayor be to whip out a hat and a cane and yell "The Aristocrats!" — [livejournal.com profile] culpster
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
It's been a fun few days in Canadian (and in particular, Torontonian) politics.

By now, you may have heard that the Honourable Wife-Beating Mayor was filmed in a restaurant, three sheets to the wind, ranting in faux Jamaican patois. Included among the Laughable Bumblefuck's utterances were the words “bumbaclot” and “rassclot,” which has the local media in a frenzy as white people try to translate. It's pretty funny, actually.

I imagine this will do good things for his polling numbers, because let's face it, “bumbaclot” is a hilarious word.

It speaks to one of the fundamental contradictions about the HWB, though. I mean, the guy is racist. He says racist things, but more to the point, his policies are racist and cause disproportionate harm to racialized Torontonians. It's pretty racist for a white guy to mock patois. And yet. One of his strongest bases of support is in the inner suburbs populated by these same racialized Torontonians (including, by the way, the owner of the restaurant, who was on CBC this morning defending his regular customer and claiming that the outburst was in no way racist). The easy answer is that for all his flaws, and they are many, the Laughable Bumblefuck makes an effort to physically visit communities in the inner suburbs, whereas I see very few downtown left-wing politicians in Scarborough. But I don't think it's the whole answer.

If you were waiting for Ministry's legendary Al Jourgensen to comment on the political situation in Toronto (I know I was), you'll be pleased to know that he's finally weighed in. His official statement:
You do realize Torontonians he is making yer city a punch line to every fucking joke in existence .....I wanna meet this guy....uncle Al will set him straight...I'm like 6 years older than him...always respect yer elders !

Thanks for that, Uncle Al.

MEANWHILE IN ISRAEL, OMG STEPHEN HARPER!

Much has been made of our Chief Devourer of Kittens' recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, wherein he has been attempting to prove himself, and by extension, the whole country (yeah, thanks for that, asshole) more Zionist than the Israelis. And wow. He brought 208 people, which is about twice the size of the Knesset, including a member of the terrorist-sorry-"controversial" Jewish Defense League. Who are not at all the same as the group that even the US government considers a terrorist organization despite the fact that they have the same name and the same goals. And they in no way pall around with the EDL. Right.

So! Highlights include Mr. Harper serenading Netanyahu. You know how sometimes satire goes around on FB and people report it as news because internet? This is not one of those cases. By the way, it's okay to read the comments on that link.

Even Jonathan Kay, militant proponent of Palestinian self-determination and human rights that he is (that was sarcasm in case you've never read his column) has written that Harper's gone too far and even Zionists ought to find it creepy. Dude, when Jonathan Kay is pointing out that you support Netanyahu more than most Israelis do, you've clearly got a problem.

Alas, this will probably do for Harper's numbers what shouting "bumbaclot" will do for Ford's, as if there's one thing that can be guaranteed in Canadian politics, it's people voting against their own interests because they think they'll save 50 cents in tax breaks.

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