Please, please make him go away. And his brother too. Far far far far far far far away, forever.
If you want to laugh, there are a million parodies on the internet, including Jimmy Kimmel’s short instructive video “How to tell if your mayor is smoking crack,” both Jon Stewart and Colbert last night, and an editorial cartoon of the fat man lighting up the CN Tower like a crack pipe.
But to those of us who actually live here, it is not funny. Today, in the lounge of the Y, a group of women who’d never spoken before began to chat and were all in perfect agreement: it’s a hideous embarrassment, unbelievable that the man is still there, and nobody we know voted for him. It’s all Mike Harris’s fault.
But outrage and blame don’t help. He IS still there. Unbelievably. And the city staggers on.
An example of what is NOT happening, while this circus plays on: Today, as I often am, I was waiting in the drizzle for the 506 Carlton streetcar heading east. When it pulls up at Yonge, which is a subway stop, there’s always a huge crowd waiting to get on, and an equally huge crowd waiting to get off. But infuriatingly, most of the people inside get off at the front of the streetcar, which means that the people waiting in the rain to get ON stand and wait. It’s inefficient, it’s stupid, it shouldn’t happen. When the streetcar pulls up at a subway stop, people should be asked to get off at the back, so as they exit, others enter. Last year, I have even called the TTC about this, and the man said, Oh what a good idea, I’ll speak to our staff.
Today there was someone who looked like a supervisor on the car, so, ever the hopeful citizen activist, I spoke to him. Oh what a good idea, he said.
Isn’t it policy? I said. Is there no policy for efficiency analysis?
No, he said. The drivers have lots of ideas, but there’s no mechanism for head office to listen to them.
Imagine that. We have a vast transit system, but there’s no mechanism for head office to listen to the drivers – or to the passengers either. So one very small change, which would make the whole system more efficient, is not implemented. Let alone the hundred, the thousand other things that would make Toronto transit better. Let alone the thousand changes that would make the entire city work better.
In the meantime, to the joy of comedians worldwide, we endure this monstrous farce.
P.S. I did watch the documentary about Jimi Hendrix last night – marvellous, two hours long, where was I when he was making music in the late sixties? He was just too … psychedelic for me, I think, too wild, though of course I knew his music, his powerful American anthem at Woodstock. I didn’t know how ground-breaking it was that his original group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was him as lead singer backed by two scrawny white British musicians – the first band with white musicians fronted by a black man. It seems such a long time ago.
So – I just watched the Gillers on the internet. Lynn Coady who won is from Dartmouth! I grew up in Halifax, and I can tell you, in the old days, not much came of note from Dartmouth. Good for her. How brave they are, these writers, scribbling away, never knowing if they will find readers. And even, sometimes, a $50,000 prize.
More on my own lonely scribbles another time.