Even though they have been the subject of many of my Facebook rants over the past 18 months or so, I have tried to avoid talking about the Tweedle Brothers (Rob and Doug Ford) on my blog for as long as possible.
Well, it all ends here.
There is no doubt in anyone's mind that Rob Ford is a councillor of and for "the people" - or, at least, tries to be. If you have a tree with roots growing into your basement from city land and you want it cut down, call Rob. If you have a parking issue on your street, call Rob. That is all well and good when that's all he needs to do with his day.
But he's the mayor now. That's not the same thing as being a councillor, for better or worse. And it's that "next level" that Mayor Rob just doesn't seem to grasp.
On the day that council finally started to show some backbone and act like, well, an actual council by voting for Karen Stintz' plan to put transit money into LRTs and not "subways, subways, subways", Ford responded by saying that city council was "irrelevant". The unfortunate reality - at least if you're one of Ford's inner circle - is that the mayor himself is actually the one becoming more and more "irrelevant". But it's not sinking in, not if his most recent "Radio Pathetique" show this past Sunday is any indication.
At one point Rob said that the 29-12 vote against his plan to contract out the city's cleaning jobs was equally irrelevant. “We’re contracting out. They just delayed it; they slowed it down a little bit,” Ford told listeners. In other words, Ford doesn't have to listen to anyone else no matter how crushing his defeats become; in his rosy-sky world everything is sunshine and lollipops and there will be monorails and giant malls....and casinos.
Ah, yes, the casinos. That's a whole other matter.
"We're here to talk about some ching-ching coming to our city, as I would call it," began Hizzoner on Sunday's show. And it went downhill from there.
"We’re talking (about) bringing the big boys in, the Wynns, the MGMs, the Caesars Palace — we’re talking about the major, major players coming in," gushed Tweedle-Doug, the mayor's brother, his sidekick, his "Barney Fife". Oddly, everything Doug says makes him sound like he is mobbed-up in some way; at the very least, it sounds like he dreams more vividly than Walter Mitty. Yes, by all means let's allow the Vegas big-boys to have full access to Toronto's waterfront. There's no way for that to end badly, is there?
But as low as my opinion is of the Brothers Grim [sic], Giorgio Mammoliti plumbs depths rarely if ever explored in the legends of local mindlessness. Here is his comment on casinos, presented via phone on Sunday's show:
"Imagine how many single mothers we can actually train, perhaps if they want, to become dealers."
Yup. He said that. I really think there's a chance he might have suffered brain damage at some point in his life. And that's just the latest in a long and glorious history of stupid remarks. Even just on Sunday, he said, "Imagine Celine Dion coming to Toronto, imagine how many people would want to go and watch this." Again, I say "sigh".
There was also the usual crap such as the Mayor again giving out his taxpayer-funded work number to people who want to sign up for his personal summer football teams (apparently he didn't understand what he did wrong two weeks ago); Tweedle-Doug whining, "When people say, 'Where’s the mayor?' the mayor’s out there working his ass off talking to residents and fixing the problems," even though this really is no longer his direct job; and the very same brotherly minion saying, "I’d love to challenge these [nutcases in the media], follow us around for one week [to see what it's like]". To which virtually every "nutcase in the media" said "challenge accepted!" (This includes the Sun's own Don Peat who tweeted, "Last year I asked the mayor's press secretary (who now works at the Sun) if we could follow him around for 1 day. The answer was no.") Since the two brothers are men of their words and never go back on a challenge, that should be a very interesting week indeed. Right?
Anyhow, most of that last paragraph could be considered quite pedestrian for this "administration". Even the giving out of the mayor's number a second time despite already being taken to task for doing it once barely causes anyone to raise an eyebrow any more.
But then, isn't that the real problem? As I said in my title: Stupidity is Insipid.