Haha…. LOADED like a baked potato this blog promises to be. (Complete apparently with Yoda style sentences). For those that don’t know me personally, or are new enough to the blog, I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I couldn’t be happier about that, especially on Canada Day. Happy Canada Day by the way, to all Canadians reading this, and Happy early Independence Day for all of my American readers, as I won’t blog again until after that is over. It’s like 2 friends having birthdays 3 days apart. We should really celebrate together, but each of us wants our shine. Oh well.
This past weekend, Toronto has been host to Pride Toronto which is an annual event for the Gay and Lesbian community. I’ve never taken part, but I’m really happy for those who do, and I’m proud to live in a city that’s open-minded enough to throw a kick-ass party every year for this group. My stance on Gay/Lesbian rights is the same as my stance on human rights. They are human, therefore, they should have the same rights as other humans. It’s pretty cut and dry as far as I’m concerned. Even when I was young and didn’t have the same level of perspective as I do now, I never had a problem with Gay people. I always thought that it meant more women for me! I find it fascinating that Homophobia even exists. As a heterosexual man growing up, I was way too concerned with chasing women to even care whether everyone else was or not. What goes on in your house is your business. So I’ve always had this theory that Homophobes are possibly Gay also, but haven’t liberated themselves by being honest about it. Just a theory! If you dig deeper it makes a lot of sense. Who in their right mind would really be angry enough at the world to try to stop other people from being happy? Misery loves company, so the answer is people who are unhappy, although I’m sure it’s not that simple. I think as long as you can’t be yourself, you will probably be unhappy. Therefore we should live in a world where everyone is welcome to be themselves free from prejudice, and just see how that plays. It’s probably better, but what do I know?
I do have another theory involving Pride, Toronto, and Politics. Our Mayor is under a lot of fire, and has been for various things over his entire term. People from outside Toronto will have probably heard about the ‘crack-smoking’ video, but if you’re from around here you know that this guy can’t move 5 feet without stepping in shit, and the crack video is at least the 10th stupid thing he’s done. He thinks that the left-wing media is out to get him. The thing is he’s absolutely right. The media IS out to get him. Now that’s not to say that he’s not a complete embarrassment as a mayor. He is, but what came first? The chicken or the egg? I think he started to suck really badly right off the bat, and that’s why they’re out to get him, but make no mistake… they ARE out to get him. I’m a little amazed that they haven’t got him already.
Mayor Rob Ford’s first massive blunder in my opinion (and I said this to anyone who would listen at the time) was blowing off Pride Week the first year he was in office. He wanted to go up to the cottage, which he says is a family tradition dating back to god knows when. While part of me respected his commitment to family (although a friend of a friend of a source’s brother’s nephew said that these are a bunch of business associates from the family business, and it’s relatively formal and catered…. not just cooking franks on a BBQ and throwing the frisbee around, but I don’t know the source, or his brother’s nephew so take with a grain of salt), this guy had to understand what he was turning down. This is one of the hugest events in the city that he’s mayor of in the entire year. Not to mention it’s an event that celebrates diversity in a city that’s renowned for having lots of it. You don’t want to snub this group (many of whom, I’m sure are ‘Left Wing Media’ during the day) during their proudest moment of the year! It’s the wrong thing to do, both politically and in real life. You’re the mayor, you could come down to a couple of events and say a few uplifting things about supporting the struggle for equal rights, and how proud you are that so many of your voters have risen through such adversity. Nobody’s asking you to wear leather chaps and run up and down Church St. with a water gun. Just show up at a couple of places and say a couple of things. Supportive things that don’t sound like they were written by a speech writer, but that came from your heart!
Now if he had done that in his first year, I’m not suggesting that the whole crack smoking thing just ‘goes away’, but that was the first chance for a right-wing politician to really make a good impression with a lot of left-wing voters, and he screwed it up. Who knows how different things could have been for him if he just had the foresight to make some friends in the early going. I think if he could have put his best foot forward in that situation, there may have been some more people out there who would have been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on some things. These are the moments you can’t get back though.
July 2nd, 2013 at 6:10 am
“It’s like 2 friends having birthdays 3 days apart” – uh huh 😉 (but we generally do celebrate it together)
I liked your thoughts on homophobia. It might very well be Mayor Ford’s problem: he attended the opening ceremony for Pride Week (at Nathan Phillips Square, I think) and apparently looked very uncomfortable. You are right – he could certainly make an appearance and avoid all of the negative press.
July 2nd, 2013 at 12:16 pm
That wasn’t a dig at you, but as I was typing it, I did think about you 🙂
I saw that too this year. I should have included it, but I think that particular speaking engagement was to try and compensate for mistakes of the past. Too little too late too uncomfortable. It had to happen year 1 for it to mean anything.
July 2nd, 2013 at 6:22 am
P.S. Brent found this game called “Stay Mayor” on http://www.extraextragames.com – you must check it out, it’s hilarious. It would be even better if members of the Pride Parade were also chasing down the Mayor.
July 2nd, 2013 at 5:04 pm
Naheed Nenshi is THE Mayor. The way he has handled the flooding crisis in Calgary has been phenomenal. Not even the PM has had as much grace, dignity and pride as this guy. Rob Ford needs to take lessons…or Toronto should try to recruit Nenshi as it’s mayor. He rocks…
July 5th, 2013 at 2:26 am
Happy Canada Day to you TRJP,
Why is the easy road the road less traveled. Put on a show, shake some hands and avoid a life of youtube and twitter. Nice work brother.
July 5th, 2013 at 2:37 am
Indeed! Happy 4th of July to you sir!