It’s like watching a train wreck (speaking of…)
The disgraced mayor of Toronto has admitted, albeit in vague terms, that he has smoked crack cocaine and estimates it occurred roughly a year ago. He maintains he is not an addict and that he did it in “one of my drunken stupors.”
No, I’m not making this up.
It’s Tuesday, November 5th 2013 and the news out of Canada (and circling the globe) is that the mayor of the nation’s largest city and economic capital has publicly admitted to using crack cocaine. He is not planning on stepping down as of this writing.
And for Rob Ford, this is where he wants to put the focus. His problems. His poor judgement. His sincere* apology. How he’s not going to do it ever again and he’s starting tomorrow like a brand new day.
Rob Ford is the spawn of every god damned self-help book and juvenile ‘find your inner truth with my bullshit secret’ motivational speaker nonsense that’s been making fuck-ups feel good about themselves ever since they started writing ‘careful, hot beverage’ on the sides of coffee cups. I believe him when he says, as he did today to a group of journalists, that he wasn’t lying when asked about crack cocaine use in the past. The mayor insinuated that the journalists ‘had not asked their questions correctly.’ Mr. Ford isn’t lying. Mr. Ford is a living, breathing lie.
Corruptus in Extremis – the motto of the mayor of Springfield. Mr. Ford isn’t a mayor, he’s evolved into the realm of TV cartoon jackasses and plot foils.
I’ve never had the desire to savagely beat another human being to a bloody pulp, I find such violence offensive. And yet, after I heard those words, I knew a wrath I’ve never known before.
This is not a repeat of the Claude Charron incident. That case was youthful disillusionment that manifested itself as a kind of bizarre political suicide. Mr. Ford’s political immolation is the inferno of ineptitude. Suffice it to say I’m looking forward to watching the fireworks and explosions. We’re in for something of a ride I gather.
But that depends on one key issue. We cannot lose sight of the straight-up hand’s-down slam-dunk criminal aspects of this case by getting bogged down debating ‘how bad is crack really’ and ‘haven’t you ever done something you’re not proud of’ spiel. Let’s save that shit for the talk-show and gossiping classes. Mr. Ford’s obscene, loutish behaviour and thuggish temperament have lost my sympathies and doubtless the sympathy of many a Torontonian. He deserves what’s heading his way. For this part I’ll be succinct.
1. This is only the latest, and arguably gravest offence committed by the mayor over the last few years. By this estimate, there are 113 separate questionable acts committed by the mayor since he became an adult, starting with an assault charge after a fight in a hockey game when he was 18. Some would argue this shows a pattern of narcissistic, aggressive and anti-social behaviour. There are about a hundred incidents in the last three years alone (yeah, it’s clear some people really do hate Rob Ford. Are they without reason?)
2. Ford’s former chief of staff Mark Towhey has said he tipped-off police when someone called the mayor’s office a few days after the story first broke alleging that the murder of Anthony Smith, a known drug dealer seen in a photograph with the mayor, was related to the purported video. Mr. Towhey was fired a week after the video’s existence came to light. The man who took the fall for the shooting, Nisar Hashimi, was originally charged with first degree murder, though this was dropped to manslaughter in a rare and suspect plea deal with the Crown.
3. The chief of the Toronto Police Service has, in its possession, the alleged video. They so far have not made it public and the mayor’s brother, the slow-witted Doug Ford, is calling for Bill Blair to take a leave of absence as the mayor’s brother alleges (once again over his favourite medium, the always stimulating arena of talk radio) that the chief is gunning for the mayor, using colourful language such as ‘bullet between the eyes’. As a result of tripping over his own words, police chief Bill Blair acknowledged that two videos featuring Ford are in police hands.
4. Vice is now reporting Rob Ford’s office hired a hacker to destroy the tapes and they have email logs to prove it. If this is true, the mayor’s office used public funds in an attempt to destroy evidence wanted in connection with a murder investigation.
And that’s a whole heap of shit right there.
Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t a case of Folie à deux. Two people (in this case the Brothers Ford) with a very strong emotional bond can succumb to a bizarre shared psychosis in which both may experience and share persecutory delusions that can escalate up to and including acts of violence. Given the stress these men are currently under (and by all measure have been under for some time) and their predilection to believe their own bullshit (not to mention the appropriately Zeppelin-esque inflated ego) it’s entirely possible we’re watching the mother of all breakdowns. I just wonder how many bodies will be used to cushion the mayor’s fall.
In any event I digress.
Rob Ford is in a lot of trouble, and I sincerely feel this is going to get worse before it gets better. It is profoundly unfair that the City of Toronto, and the great people who live there, have to contend with this kind of distasteful public spectacle. They deserve better than the black eye Rob Ford has given the city, and by extension the nation. It seems to me that when Canada makes international headlines these days, it’s either because we’re losing a major corporation or because our politicians are discovered to be lying, thieving, despicable, fraudulent and/or utterly corrupt.
Don’t forget, the Senate today voted to suspend Senators Wallin, Brazeau and Duffy – all Tories appointed by Stephen Harper – for two years without pay for ‘gross negligence’.
What a fitting term to apply to the monumental clusterfuck in Toronto city hall right now.
To all the journalists who have brought all this and other lurid tales of extreme political incompetence, ineptitude, excess, waste, fraud, negligence and outright criminality to light, please, please keep it up. You’re doing a great job and all of this needs to be exposed.
After all these disappointing elections, we’re left scratching our heads wondering ‘what will it take to shake the people out of their complacence?”
I’m not entirely sure, but perhaps scandal of this magnitude may do it. Who knows how far this goes. Who knows how many people are implicated. I’ll tell you this though, if Ford’s problems come anything close to the Prime Minister’s, we’re in for one hell of a show.
If only it weren’t real, it would be fucking hilarious.