Under Rug Swept

You said it, Linus.

Here I was hoping for a quiet day…

Well, that didn’t happen.  And, I have to admit, I didn’t get all that much accomplished over the course of the day, glued as I was to the various news feeds (especially the Twitter- #inadrunkenstupor and #TOpoli in particular) and laughing literally out loud to some of the bon mots that clever people were posting.  @chrisknightfilm wins with:  ‘Rob Ford and Alex Trebek- 2 Canadians obsessed with just how you phrase your questions’.  IMHO.

The laughter was short-lived and little more than a relief of tension.

Like the rest of the City, I waited with anticipation- although without much hope for a respectable and respectful outcome- for the second press conference of the day.

Sucks to be proven right sometimes.

Stopping on the way home to get some errands run, I thought that some of the anger might have dissipated by the time I hit the couch to get some work done.  No such luck.

We remain a laughing stock.  ALL around the world now.

He is the CHIEF MAGISTRATE of Toronto.

I veryvery much believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions- be they informed by experience or concerted investigation.


For the first time ever I find that I really can’t see my way through to entertaining an exchange of ideas with someone who thinks that Rob Ford should still be- at the end of this day- the Mayor of Toronto.

Per usual, the comments I have seen lauding him for ‘standing his ground’ are doling out the same old sound bites that he, his inner circle and big bro keep dragging out over and over and over.  That many of these missives are ungrammatical and poorly spelled is also something that I’ve come to expect.

But I just can’t.

I cannot see how anyone can continue to defend this man and his character and policies.

I just can’t.

And by ending his ‘apology’ with some campaigning for re-election, he is demonstrating the reality that people are expected to have the attention spans of carp (a fish with a very poor memory span- although I’m really not sure how that was discovered…) and vote for him again.

Saddest part?  They will.  Likely in droves.

Because pandering and throwing barbeques seems to be a political tactic that encourages forgiveness for any-and-everything.

I was ragingly angry earlier.  Now I’m just sad.  For this City that I love.  For those who rely on City services and public transportation.  And for those who are relying on sustainable and responsible external investment in the City to produce employment opportunities and economic stability.

And that’s before even acknowledging the continuing demonstration that the public is CHOOSING to willfully support those who deserve no such thing.  Why?  Because buying into an easy line of chattered slogans that fits with their personal wish lists and specific way of looking at the world, rather than actually looking for the betterment, integrity and ethical grounding of the population as a whole, requires no examination or analysis of a sort that may tax one’s supposed intellect or take time away from the assorted infotainment, reality programming and shows about zombies that are seemingly much more important than looking for answers and potential responses to corruption and the seeking of power for its own sake.

It’s about more than Ford (and his brother- the things HE had to say about Chief Blair today completely beggar understanding).  It’s about systemic lapses in values like honesty and accountability.  The Senate scandal is another all-too-real-and-present example of this reality.

I’m done for the day.  The internet and the 24-hour news stations are getting shut down for the night.  I’m at such a loss that and so drained of understanding that I don’t even know how to begin to shape an adequate response to this latest demonstration of our willful idiocy.

Fair warning, though, to those I see over the next while.  If you’re part of that particular ‘Nation’, I’d suggest you’d better have something other than a platitude about saved taxes or a rant about the media invading his privacy or the citation of a biblical passage about stones being tossed if you want to engage with me in anything resembling a dialogue.  And if you didn’t vote at all 3 years ago?  Yeah, then I’m not really inclined to listen to anything you have to say on the subject right now.

It’s all too raw.

Some will likely suggest that I’m taking it all ‘too personally’.  I HAVE to take it personally.  We- human beings– are better than this.  We HAVE to- in spite of ‘reasons’ that are ‘justified’ by regressive ideologies or determined small-mindedness- elect leaders with a broader vision than that which serves only our immediate interests.  Expediency- political or personal- is beneath the best of us.

Lately I have thrown around a number of criticisms of political leaders and their inclinations to throw others in front of the bus to save their own skins or to distract us from one issue by focusing on another.

Although the ploy, in this case, didn’t work, as Harper changed his tack and cut all connections with his Senators… 

As I said yesterday, while our political leaders are presenting a picture of a tidy, economically prosperous house, the undersides of the country’s carpets are becoming irreparably dust-laden.

If we do have to put up with the continuation of the lack of ethics, extraordinary dishonesty and completely self-interested hubris we have seen evinced (seemingly daily) until the next election(s), I can only hope that the voting population will remember that Ford is a PROVEN LIAR when it comes time to go to the polls yet again.

Otherwise Alanis’ story of an inappropriate and dysfunctional relationship could well be Toronto’s continuing story.  I, for one, am sick of being in this co-dependent situation with a pathological, bullying and duplicitous individual who betrays no evidence of anything resembling impulse control.

Just saying.

‘Ooh, this could get messy
But you don’t seem to mind
Ooh, don’t go telling everybody
And overlook this supposed crime

We’ll fast forward to a few years later and
No one knows except the both of us
And I have honored your request for silence
And you’ve washed your hands clean of this

What part of our history’s reinvented and under rug swept?
What part of your memory is selective and tends to forget?’

Yes, I just played the ‘Alanis card’.  She’s CanCon, writes some great lyrics AND the video stars Chris Sarandon.  Let her words act as a cautionary tale.

18 comments on “Under Rug Swept

  1. I recently spent a week in your city, and for what it’s worth, I think Toronto is bigger than Ford and his “nation.” Surely many who voted for him last time won’t do so again after everything that has just been revealed. Some may see him as a fellow flawed human being, but will they really want a mayor given to drunken stupors and consequent bad decisions?

    • colemining says:

      Oh Audrey, I so wish that was the case. Even with all the revelations of the past few days (to say nothing of his non-performance in matters of real policy and implementation of beneficial projects and city improvements) his approval rating continues to grow. His ‘Nation’ is unwilling to separate his ‘personal issues’ from his political persona- and the meaningless slogans he is so adept at spouting.

      Toronto IS a wonderful place (did you enjoy your visit?), but I’m not terribly confident that the suburban voters will see/remember/address the realities of Ford and his cronies in the next election (assuming we need to wait until then to be rid of his plague).

      We made both John Stewart AND Stephen Colbert again tonight. I have a pretty self-effacing sense of humour, but being called ‘enablers’ of such an ethical train wreck is more than a little tiresome.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. bethbyrnes says:

    This is exactly the way I feel about our “Tea Party”. I feel they have humiliated the US by sheer stupidity and selfishness and even done worse by threatening the economic stability of the whole world. I watched Ford yesterday – he seems a bit immature but somehow by comparison to the evil-doers we have here, his is a problem I would rather have than the one we are saddled with. It’s all relative, I guess.

    • colemining says:

      Beth- I agree that he is not ‘evil’ (and I have some major issues with that particular term and its use anyway), but this latest is just one more thing in a long political (and personal) life that indicates a distressing level of arrogance and entitlement without any regard for actual results that his ‘followers’ continue to laud.

      The man has done nothing of substance and is a proud buffoon- continually talking about his accessibility to the ‘common people’, while riding to political halls of power by virtue of his family money. Which has also historically been used to buy the way out of trouble (for him AND his siblings). I’m sick of people supporting him and defending his actions because of his spurious ‘down-to-earthiness’.

      The situation very much reminds me of that woman that Tina Fay is so good as satirizing- with her appeals to the ‘Joe Sixpacks’ and the like. Ford is all about that sort of nonsense- and his public believes that he would ‘be a nice/fun guy to have a beer/smoke crack with’.

      That public ‘apology’ yesterday held no real remorse and does nothing to mitigate the racist, homophobic and anti-intellectual ideals of this man who is being allowed to drag the 4th largest city in North America down to his level. You should watch one of our televised City council meetings sometime- the man is a dangerous bully who will stoop to anything to hold onto his power- including the engaging of known criminals to do his dirty work while feeling certain that, once again, his illegal actions will not have consequences. For him, at least.

      I’m not a conspiracy theorist, yet I remain quite convinced that there is more serious information yet to be heard- although who knows if it will garner any kind of change. And his base keeps on riding the Ford train…

      But I agree with you that it is a matter of scale. You certainly seem to have more of these unstable political characters to deal with than we do- and there is danger in the pack mentality.

      Sorry for the rant. I love my hometown, and he is making me reconsider my decision to move back. And wonder at the state of humanity in general. ‘Stupidity’ and ‘selfishness’ are certainly the right words to describe this man- and his continuing actions. And he is constantly threatening the economic stability of Toronto- which affects the province and the country. Not to mention the issues of safety and integrity of the infrastructure that are remaining neglected as this sort of nonsense puts everything on hold…


      Thanks for reading.

      • bethbyrnes says:

        I absolutely understand and completely agree. Ford is an example of what we are dealing with here to. When I use the term ‘evil-doers’, it is because that is what Ms. Palin and her ilk say about the rest of us, the sane and moderate people of America. She is projecting. I do think what they are doing is diabolical and have little trouble casting them in this light, so destructive is their behavior. That said, it isn’t easy for me to sit here and see the US painted as a bunch over religious, flat-earth, anti-science, anti-compassion, isolationist corporate slaves. It has made me seriously consider moving to Vancouver!

      • colemining says:

        Beth- I did get that you weren’t using ‘evil’ in the traditional sense of externalising the negative propensities of humanity and blaming some supernatural entity for the fact that we won’t take responsibility for our actions (I’ve written about that little beef of mine numerous times)- I’m just so freakin’ frustrated at the moment. I feel the same way- being painted as a citizen of a GREAT city that has some self-aggrandizing good ol’boy who thinks he can break the law with impunity and gloss over major ethical breaches under the guise of something as ludicrous as recurring ‘drunken stupors’ physically PAINS me.

        Vancouver might be an option. I can’t support Toronto as a refuge right now, sad to say.

  3. Generally speaking, I am a big ball of overly serious, hypersensitive empathy who has learned over the years to admonish my own inner self to “just lighten up” when I’m feeling this very sense of . . . frustration doesn’t begin to describe it.

    From your very first sentence here, I knew what you are feeling, not that that helps at all. I wish I had some words of comfort or wisdom. All I have is: I feel it, too (try being a person who values integrity working in Washington DC — we are Stewart and Colbert’s bread and butter). If there are two of us, then there are more and there is hope that some day ethics, self-restraint, and integrity will come back into fashion.

    “Willful idiocy” and your reference to reality tv and zombie shows — imagine a standing ovation on this end.

    Not long ago someone suggested I would “enjoy” the movie Idiocracy because of a similar crisis in faith I was having. I watched it and, while I appreciated the humor, in some ways it made me even more despondent.

    Glad you played the Alanis card. I needed something to get that fox song out of my head.

    • colemining says:

      HC- I am also a rather overly empathic myself, and if the guy is willing to take the steps to actually address what may or not be serious addiction issues (assuming it’s anything more than his sense of entitlement and seeming assurance that he will get away with whatever ridiculous acts he commits) I will be as understanding as the next guy. But he’s not addressing such things- just saying they will ‘never never never happen again’.

      I don’t know when it came into vogue to be disdainful of education, critical thinking skills and the ability to clearly articulate actual ideas (rather than sound bites), but I’m sick of it. Ford is only the latest (and loudest) example, but I’ve had enough.

      I love John and Stephen and their cohorts. Truly, I do. I love my town more. And it deserves better than this.

      Alanis has her place. Glad she helped usurp the foxes…

      Thanks for reading.

      • I miscommunicated that point on empathy. It started down a long path and I know eyes glaze over when I do that. I meant my empathy is toward you. Translated to sound-bite for the masses: “I feel your pain.” 🙂

        And now I feel bad about smiling at your pain. See?!?

        I’ve been sitting on a rant about how close we are to Huxley’s Brave New World for a long time. Animal Farm is referenced often, but . . . well. . . it’s interesting that his name happens to be Ford. Have a groovy day, Cole.

      • colemining says:

        HC- I think I’m the one who leapt to that conclusion- likely because I’m hearing so much ‘sympathy’ for the poor, beleaguered addict who is having his personal life so unfairly exposed to the light of day. Give me a break.

        Thank you for feeling my pain. I think there is a whole lot of pain being felt in both our countries at the moment. Likeminded peeps are what keep me going. Empathy coming right back at ya! And best wishes for a good day to you also.

        Unfortunately there are too many similarities with both those works. Although I shudder to think about how few people might actually see the connections, at this juncture. Literary allusions not being the strong suit of political types like our current Chief Magistrate…

  4. bethbyrnes says:

    “too”, not “to” …

  5. lostandfoundbooksandfoundbooks says:

    I appreciate your rant!! Watching here from Ottawa, where the RCMP is at the door of our PMO and the senate is imploding, I am deeply saddened to see yet more bad behaviour by our leaders. I agree there is more to this — I mean the guy hangs out with criminals and has a criminal record. Even without all that, what kind of message does this send to our kids?? On the news last night it was reported that one 9-year-old kid asked his dad “what does drunken stupor mean.” Enough said.

    • colemining says:

      Between events in my hometown (and current place of residence) and my most recent former place of residence (Ottawa), I’m at a loss to figure out just what the hell is going on in our home and native land.

      In what world are (serial) ‘drunken stupors’ a justifiable excuse for drug use? Unfortunately it seems to be sending the message that a stock, insincere and repeatedly-offered apology is enough to erase continuing bad (often illegal) behaviours. Great message for the children of this country.

      The one positive (if you can call it that) in this Toronto thing is that the media has a huge investment in digging up anything that might be discoverable on this guy- and (despite my lack of appreciation for some of the tactics they may use) I have every confidence that there are things left to be exposed.

      To quote Charlie Brown: ‘I can’t stand it!’

      Thanks for reading. Us rational, concerned, thoughtful Canucks have to stick together!

      • lostandfoundbooksandfoundbooks says:

        Agreed. My concern is that so many folks (including one older lady I spoke to last night) are confusing support for the supposed “little guy” with support for a dysfunctional/ill/hateful/confused man. So many people seem to think he stands for the average working joe. But he does not. Most working Joes and Joesephines are hard-working, caring, ethical, non criminal, non drug using people. Sad to say, but Rob Ford is not one of those people. I know his fans will be bitterly disappointed when Ford is exposed as a true fraud. I sort of feel sorry for these well meaning, but misguided folks. (p.s. this is one of my favourite charlie brown cartoons!)

      • colemining says:

        Yes, there is a lot of that sort of confusion. Which I’m not sure I understand, given the fact that he is- and always has been- supported by family money. I can empathize with the well-meaning masses, but it’s time to actually pay a little bit more attention to more than the sloganeering. IMHO.

        Thank goodness for Peanuts. Both Linus and Charlie Brown can express my sentiments far more succinctly and coherently than I seem able to manage lately.

  6. bethbyrnes says:

    The drunken stupors excuse struck us too, as we watched Ford’s pressers yesterday. As if it is any better to say, ‘I can’t be held accountable, because I am always getting toasted’. You shouldn’t be in public office if you cannot control your addictions, imho.

    • colemining says:

      Exactly. In what universe is that a legitimate response? Especially given the fact that he said to the press scrum something along the lines of ‘I’m not sure exactly when it might have happened- that’s why I want to see the video’ and ‘You know how I get sometimes’. As if this is the norm and should be accepted and expected.

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