The Gonzo Life of Canada's Mayor McCrack
by John Avlon, The Daily Beast, November 9, 2013
The crack-smoking, binge-drinking mayor of Toronto seems to think his drug use is purely a personal problem. What is he smoking?
Gather round, children, and you will hear the strange true tale of Mayor McCrack. Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford seemed simply obese, unwise, and shady until earlier this week, when he confessed to smoking crack cocaine in what he casually described as “one of my drunken stupors”. Ford seemed surprised when this outburst of honesty after months of denials did not result in a healing reset with the media. Instead, the admission opened international attention to the serial embarrassment lurking inside Toronto’s City Hall.
Yes, this most mild-mannered of cities – clean, polite, and cosmopolitan – has apparently elected an ill-tempered Chris Farley impersonator to lead it into the broad uplands of international respectability. Bad move. When he was first elected in 2010, Ford’s blunt-talking suburban conservative pushback against latte liberal impotence seemed refreshing, but by now it is clear that the plus-sized politico is wrestling with outsized demons in public. Ford’s exploits would make a crazed frat-boy blush and a mob boss rush to confession. In addition to police being in possession of a long-rumored video of the mayor smoking crack with local drug dealers -– one of whom had since mysteriously fallen to his death from an apartment building – a bevy of videos soon emerged with Ford in a variety of compromising positions.
There was Rob Ford bobbing and weaving drunkenly through the city streets during festivals. There was the Mayor indulging in a bit of mid-day public urination before disposing of liquor bottles from his car. And perhaps most damaging, there was Hizzoner amped up on something illicit and angrily punching the air as he bellowed, “No holds barred, brother. He dies or I die, brother. … When he’s down, I’ll rip his f–– throat out. I’ll poke his eyes out.”
Mayor McCrack has a problem and so does the city he nominally leads – because there is no clear way to ditch this rolling disaster. So far, Ford has declined to resign despite the understandable public pressure to do so. The most serious repercussion to date – beyond the indelible damage to his reputation – has been the loss of his weekly radio show. His brother and radio-co-host, city councilman Doug Ford, has suggested the possibility of a few weeks vacation to get his head together; his lawyer floated the possibility of a wee retreat to rehab. His sister defended Ford against accusations of addiction in an off-kilter damage-control interview, insisting that “if you want to consider binge drinking once every three months and you get totally plastered, which he just makes a fool out of himself…fine.” In the same interview, Ford’s mother insisted that his most urgent issue was his “huge weight problem” and a puppy-like propensity to wander into trouble – you see, he’s “a little too human.”
This Oprah-fication of the Mayor’s thuggish behavior is clearly most palatable to Ford himself, because it seems to leave open the door to some kind of popular comeback. “Give me some personal time this afternoon," he told reporters in City Hall on Friday afternoon. "I'm dealing with a very serious personal issue right now." “Ford’s exploits would make a crazed frat-boy blush and a mob boss rush to confession.” Time for a reality check: this isn’t a personal issue any more. His problems stopped being purely personal the day Ford took the oath of office. For a mayor, what’s personal is public, especially when it involves serial disregard for the law and threatening to kill people.
In the long, sordid history of incompetent scumbags leading major cities – from one-time Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry’s own bust while doing crack to the recent 28-year prison sentence of Detroit’s Kwame Kilpatrick for serial corruption, racketeering and extortion that helped propel his city toward bankruptcy – it is hard to find a clear parallel to the Gonzo exploits of Toronto’s Mayor McCrack. This is a man whose commitment to hard-living far exceeded his sense of civic responsibility and the consequent shame-spiral has implications beyond his bloated bad health.
There is a troubling tip-of-the-iceberg aura around Ford’s exploits, incidents that reek not just of self-abuse, but abuse of power. Thanks to the indelible digital evidence of the Internet era, Ford’s past denials can be exposed as the attempted fraud they are. But as more evidence piles up, as it inevitably will, we might see something sinister beneath the hard partying in Toronto’s City Hall. After all, incompetence in an executive is usually exploited to mask more serious corruption.
Veterans boo/refuse shake mayor's hand, National Post, Nov 12, 2013
Canada 12-years in Afghanistan/158 dead (last Remembrance Day in Afghanistan), National Post, Nov 11, 2013
Afghan heroin soars under UN troops, November 11, 2013. Go to IN AFGHAN FIELDS & 35.Big Brother's Brotherhood
The Gonzo Life of Canada Mayor McCrack, The Daily Beast, Nov 9, 2013
Canada Finance Minister close friend of crack-smoking Mayor, Canadian Press, Nov 7, 2013
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was visibly upset this morning when asked about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack cocaine. Flaherty, a longtime family friend, seemed to choke up when asked at a Toronto event whether the mayor should seek help. The minister paused before answering that at the end of the day, it's up to Ford to decide to get help. Flaherty says the mayor's family is helping him and wishing him well. Ford is ignoring calls from even staunch allies to take a leave of absence in the wake of his admission earlier this week that he smoked crack cocaine, likely in one of his "drunken stupors" about a year ago. His admission came after police said they had a video of the mayor that was consistent with media reports that it appeared to show Ford smoking crack...
Crack cocaine. Alcohol. Criminal connections: The real story behind the notorious video, The Fifth Estate, CBC TV, Nov 8, 2013
CANADA PM SHIPS COCAINE (... An underwater camera is credited with what's described as the fluke discovery of an attempt to smuggle millions of dollars in cocaine on a cargo ship named after the Prime Minister's wife and operated by the company he once controlled. Authorities suggest organized crime is behind an attempt to transport cocaine using the Sheila Ann, a ship operated by Canada Steamship Lines, the company Prime Minister Paul Martin transferred control of to his three sons last year.... The Prime Minister's Office would not discuss the drug bust yesterday, saying it was "a point of recusal"... No charges are expected against the crew or the shipping company. The vessel was allowed to leave Sydney....)
IN AFGHAN FIELDS (...Tell the truth about our foe, that everyone who cares will know, the heroin they allow to thrive, is almost all that's left alive...)
DRUG WAR IS PEACE
22.Doublethink (...Even the names of the four Ministries by which Oceania is governed are a deliberate reversal of facts: The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with War; the Ministry of Truth with Lies; the Ministry of Love with Torture; and the Ministry of Plenty with Starvation. These contradictions are not accidental. They are a deliberate exercise of doublethink. If the High are to keep their places permanently - then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity....)
35.Big Brother's Brotherhood (...Members of the Brotherhood are prepared to: give one's life; commit murder; commit acts of sabotage; betray one's country to foreign powers; cheat, forge, and blackmail; corrupt the minds of children; distribute habit-forming drugs; encourage prostitution; disseminate venereal diseases; do anything which is likely to cause demoralization of society....)
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