“Ford won several victories. Council voted to seek buyers for the Toronto Zoo and the city’s three government-owned theatres, to eliminate the Christmas Bureau that helps charities distribute gifts to needy children, to stop giving out four free garbage tags to homeowners, and, by a 44-1 vote, to end police paid-duty at construction sites.”
I am watching the documentary “In Memoriam New York City 9/11/01” on my PVR.
I have been waiting for some time when my husband George is not here to watch it.
He can’t do it.
I want to see it.
And I can’t tell you exactly why.
It is disturbing, heart breaking and shocking...with the most graphic photos and film footage I have ever seen on the day. At one point I had to pause it and go do something else for a while...I had forgotten...well, you never really forget a day like that.
Our mind takes things like that and softens them over time.
But I felt that I needed to watch it.
Let me take a moment to say I was not in NY when this happened and do not presume to have had a similar experience to anyone who was there.
I experienced that day as a member of the world.
Rudolf Guiliani, then the mayor of New York City, is a key figure in this documentary...and his entire team is included...all tell their story.
I am struck by Mr. Guiliani, as a narrator, interviewee, human and mayor.
He is a true leader...with heart, bravery and strength.
Okay, before everyone starts freaking out...I am NOT comparing the council meeting, any of the budget cuts or Toronto’s present situation to 9/11.
It was just timely to see such a wonderful, inspiring example of leadership.
As opposed to the person who is now mayor of Toronto.
Rob Ford seems to revel in getting his way and he does not care a WHIT that is at the expense of the welfare and happiness of others.
He seems to be the kid in the high-school hallway who can’t wait to trip the kid in glasses...and then not be punished.
He doesn’t know what it is like to be a homeless person in downtown Toronto (nor do I), he doesn’t know what it is to want to drive your bike to work...because you live downtown , he doesn’t care about the arty farty types...basically...and you can correct me if I am wrong...he doesn’t seem to give a flying fuck about anyone who doesn’t live life the way he does.
How gross is that?
That is the part that pisses me off the most.
If he even seem to care A LITTLE about the wants and needs of ALL Torontonians... (P.S. I always thought the MegaCity or the GTA was a crap idea...I am not politically inclined enough to guess that this would have been the specific outcome...but all of our needs are too different...Etobicoke and downtown Toronto are NOT the same.)...I would maybe not hate him so much.
I ALSO love that selling three theatres have been lumped in with getting four free garbage tags.
And the Zoo...the effing Zoo.
I don’t know what the exact ramifications of tonight’s vote are on the Zoo...what I do know is that they are looking for buyers....that can’t be good for the Zoo.
I am happy to be proved wrong.
On Canada Sings, I did not have the pleasure of working with the team from the Toronto Zoo, but I did have the pleasure of meeting them and seeing their dedication to their place of work. These are people who care deeply about the animals.
Watch these fabulous people here...
Lord, the theatres...they are going to sell the St. Lawrence Centre, home of Canadian Stage and the Harold Green Jewish Theatre...the Sony Centre, the theatre that was one of the first to house touring companies from all over the world of Opera, Musical Theatre, Ballet and other performing artists of all kinds...oh and the Sony Centre has just undergone a HUGE EXPENSIVE RENOVATION...and the Toronto Centre, that hosted the original company of Harold Prince’s Showboat, the fabulous run of Jersey Boys and the studio that has become a hub for independent theatre...I can only guess what might happen to all three of these fabulous theatres.
Remember the Diesel Theatre?
What a fabulous space...condos...it is now condos.
Who the eff is gonna buy these spaces?
I am also quite sure that if football was being played in any of these spaces, they would have been very safe, wouldn’t they, Mr. Ford.
(Egghhh....it was even hard to put "Mr." in front of his name.)
I know you don’t give a shit about theatre....but....
I was chatting with a young friend of mine today who is teaching Shakespeare workshops in high-schools.
I remembered when I first saw a traveling theatre company who came to my high-school...I loved it.
I was a young girl with no direction and in a single parent household...and that show, and those actors changed my life.
I wasn’t good at sports, math...well, good god...I was not very good at a lot of things...but I was good at theatre and being creative...and I feel that it changed my life for the better.
On a basic level, it helped me be social, learn to express myself, be independent, speak up for myself and on a bigger level it helped me dream big dreams...make grand plans...and it was a great deal better anything else I was being offered at the time by my guidance councilor.
Theatre has also taught me strength, taught me to open my mind and think outside of the box, it has taught me kindness, and it has taught me about human nature.
I saw Dreamgirls, La Cage Aux Folles, Song and Dance, numerous ballets and Bonnie Raitt at the Sony Centre.
I had the pleasure of being in the original revival company of Harold Prince’s Showboat at the Toronto Centre and did a number of cabarets in the studio theatre.
When I was 27 I had the honour of being in The House of Martin Guerre in the Bluma Appel Theatre and I have worked in the Jane Mallet a number of times...in the St. Lawrence Centre.
Theatre matters, Ford.
Theatre matters, Harper.
Theatre matters you two effing BBQ buddies.
(Didn’t that video make you sick? “What video?” you ask....well...this effing video....)
And we won’t go softly...as that Shakespearean dude says...we will fight.
Can you imagine if we had a leader in Toronto (or effing Ottawa) who inspired us...what great things we could accomplish?
The Canada we could grow?
And as a sidebar....because I am still in the mind set of this documentary...Do you believe that if we had a calamity of some kind in this city that Ford would be the kind of leader who would make us feel safe...and think of everyone?
It may seem like an overly dramatic question...but it really levels the playing field doesn’t it?
I am going to go and write all the city councilors now...as Eric Woolfe suggests...
Because I can’t support an arsehole who won’t give Christmas gifts to needy children....Jesus wept.