Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Rob Ford...I give you the Trudeau Salute.

We remember.
When we are young and we watch how the leaders of our country, city, province conduct themselves...we remember.
They are authority figures.
They are examples to be followed, aren't they?
I remember seeing a picture of Pierre Trudeau giving the finger to a group of protesters while riding a train through Salmon Arm...that picture etched itself in my mind forever...I talked about that image when I was rehearsing with Louise Pitre, Andrea Martin, Paula Brancati and Mary Walsh for "Love, Loss and What I Wore"...the director and I were talking about a moment in the show when I had to show a physical reaction to Andrea...something angry and powerful...I suggested giving the finger...or the bird, if you will...and I told director, Karen Carpenter, "If it is good enough for the Prime Minister, it is good enough for us!".
And so, for a month, I gave Andrea Martin the finger...which she took very well.
If the Prime Minister did it...shouldn't it be okay?

Well, now I guess there is a wonderful legacy being created by one Rob Ford...one of the biggest bullies to ever grace the mayoral seat in Toronto...in my memory anyway.

He went on his radio show...I CANNOT believe he is on a radio show while holding the office of Mayor...WHERE does he find the time?...he went on his radio show yesterday and laughed and joked while he, his brother and  a real "catch-of-the-day" named David Menzies insulted everyone...people with diseases, people who are effeminate, people who are gay...I have said it before and I will say it again...Rob Ford and his cronies are bullies...grown up bullies...the worst kind...because they get away with everything.
Here are a couple of things that were said on the air...on the radio, people...

“I’ve been told the Star purposely assigned their most effeminate reporter”  -Menzies on Star Reporter Daniel Dale.

“Could you imagine if I was at that all-candidates meetings and I went to George Smitherman and I said, ‘You know what, George, being a practicing homosexual and the fact that you’ve been involved with all kinds of illicit drug use, how do we know you won’t engage in high-risk sex and drug use that will bring about HIV-leading-to-AIDS and you’ll die in office?’ I would be run out of town on a rail!”
-Menzies on George Smitherman 

And after all of this horror was spouted (and you COULD hear the Ford brothers laughing in the background) the mayor  said, "That's phenomenal."... Which, and I think you might agree with me...means that he agrees with or endorses Menzies comments...or else he would have stated or fought his case and NOT said "That's phenomenal."

The part that gets me most was the lambasting of Mary Walsh...who showed up in Rob Ford's driveway one morning and he called 911.
For the record, Mary Walsh has showed up in the drives, the doors, the cars, the hallways of MANY of Canada's more legitimate political leaders...Prime Ministers included...and she is always dressed in a Princess Warrior outfit.
Scary as hell, yes?
And she is VERY recognizable...unless you aren't in politics...or live under a rock. (But, of course, to a man who didn't know who MARGARET ATWOOD WAS...Doug Ford...jesus wept...)
What I have always loved about Mary, even before I had the enormous good fortune to work with her, is that she is not afraid to ask HARD questions, put herself in very uncomfortable positions to bring Canada's politicians closer to the public. To introduce them to those of us who don't want to pay close attention to politics...to infuse them with humour and make us sit up and, maybe,  get involved.
Mary Walsh is a Canadian treasure and a comic genius.
What Rob Ford and Menzies said about her was mean, small and hateful..and makes the people listening think it is okay to call people names and go for the lowest common denominator.
Now, Mary may not care about these slings and arrows... but I do.
She is one million times more important in Canadian history and politics than Rob Ford will ever be.

Now, people who listen to this and want to spout hate and/or be bullies are empowered by this...even people who are not either of these things might now not think twice about saying something negative about someone...because if the mayor of Toronto can say it...why not?
If the Mayor of Toronto doesn't want to speak for all the people who live in his city, ignoring the Gay Pride Event (one of the biggest in the world) two years running and not attending the Gay Right's Outreach Event that commemorates International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia that happens RIGHT OUTSIDE CITY HALL...what kind of message does that send?
If you don't agree with someone's lifestyle...how about setting a good example and practicing tolerance and acceptance ?
If the Mayor of Toronto would like to do a press conference for  World Freedom of The Press Week and NOT take Questions AND freeze out one of his cities BIGGEST newspapers because he doesn't like what they say about him...why should the rest of us be accountable?
There are so many things I could say about Rob Ford here...about things that he has said and done...I spent the last two hours combing the internet and marveling over his endless BOOBish (and sometimes just plain dangerous) exploits...I encourage you all to do the same...AND I could ALSO go for the lowest common denominator...but, instead, I will do my best to practice tolerance in face of such horrible behaviour...and hope that the young people can see past this blip in the history of Toronto.
I believe Ford will not be long remembered when he goes he way of the dodo...as I am sure we will all just want to forget it ever happened.
Though it might be gauche, I would love to let Pierre Trudeau's one finger salute say it all for me...

P.S. Congratulations Mary Walsh on your GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD. 

Yes....that is Mary beside RUSH.

1 comment:

Dizneeee (Lisa) said...

Oh. My. GAWD! What a douche canoe...