Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm not dead

Is any body out there?

If there is a blog post equivalent to pulling a blog out of storage and blowing dust off of it, this is what this post is. However, it's also the post equivalent of looking at that blog, reminiscing wistfully about the time I spent caring for it, then tearfully cramming back into a box, under some vintage pornography and some back issues of X-Men before bagging some old sweaters to take to the Goodwill.

Well, now that I've beaten that metaphor nearly to death...Hello there!

I'm not back, but I'm not dead, either.

I just thought I'd let you know.

The truth is, I've been busy writing elsewhere--and getting a couple dollars here and there in return. While this is certainly a pretty good thing for me, it's not a great thing for this ol' blog. You see, tossing my hat into the "freelance writing" ring--however haphazardly--has given me occasion to reflect on the nature, and usefulness, of personal blogs, and it's led to me giving serious second thought to the time and effort required to maintain a blog of any real quality and the complete lack of returns it provides.

What I mean is that, yes, writing is in and of itself a rewarding endeavor and certainly this blog has provided me an excellent forum to rant on all manner of subjects that I wouldn't otherwise have enjoyed (and, inexplicably, people seem to have listened--people who know me in real life frequently ask me what ever happened to this blog and thanks to search engines, the site apparently still gets a couple hundred hits a day), but I've started to feel that freely contributing to the plethora of shit that's already out there on the internet mostly just leads to further devaluing all that shit--and in turn, one's own writing.

Artists (and I apologize for lumping a blog about Rob Ford, beer, farts, and poop in with "art") should get paid for their work. That we've entered a time where people are expected to contribute many hours of their time, invest in blogging tools, and pour themselves out to the world in exchange for maybe some jackass clicking "like' when we share that work on facebook should be troubling to anyone who wants their writing/photography/pornography to be taken seriously.

While I appreciate the internet's value for providing emerging artists with exposure, it makes it exceedingly difficult to place a monetary value on your work when you've shown you're willing to give it away for free. A tired analogy about a cow and milk comes to mind.

Having said all that, it just might be that I'm entirely too fucking lazy to write here anymore. Factor in a full time job, writing gigs elsewhere, and a troubling and growing dependence on bourbon, and it becomes increasingly difficult to make time to work up enough rage to rant like the ol' Real Johnson used to.

Anyway, I apologize for a blog about blogging--the "I'm sorry I've been neglecting my blog" genre of blog post is possibly my least favourite genre of post (though the "I'm back!" posts are a close second...)--but I was feeling nostalgic for The Real Johnson and thought I'd take a look through the old archives and leave a little something for the couple hundred folks who happen by every day.

I hope you are all doing well and that your rash finally cleared up.

Welp, off to the Goodwill.

See you later?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Just fucking resign: An open letter to Rob Ford

Dear Mayor Ford,

I know it's presumptuous to think you'll actually read this--indeed, it's probably presumptuous to think you read anything other than tersely-worded statements about taxes, the columns of Sue Ann Levy, flyers announcing specials at KFC, and perhaps the odd high school football newsletter--but I felt the need to come out of semi-retirement to write you anyway.

Because it's time for you to resign.

I'm not going to get into the details of the latest scandal because they're essentially available in every media outlet imaginable and, quite frankly, by the time I've finished writing this, I'm sure that new details will emerge in what has become quite possibly the most ridiculous spectacle in the history of municipal politics .

Suffice it to say, it all started with crack cocaine, but, regardless of whether or not you actually smoked crack, it's time to face the fact that you've been exposed for what you are: a gutless, clueless, bully; a homophobe, an embarrassment, and an inept buffoon.

You've been accused of smoking crack cocaine, uttering homophobic slurs, and possibly slandering the high school football team about which you claim to care so deeply--all on video.

In response you've said virtually nothing.

These are not the actions of a man who stands falsely accused.

If any other person in the world were falsely accused of smoking crack, here's how the exchange would happen:

"I saw this dude smoke crack."
"Hey, fuck you! No you didn't."

Here's how it went with you:

"I saw this dude smoke crack."
[Seven days of silence pass while the media froths at the mouth, hounds you for a response, and spreads the story that you smoke crack all over the world before you issue a brief, dismissive statement and pretend that things are "business as usual" while your world collapses around you]

To your credit, I'm willing to admit that maybe (maybe) whatever you were smoking wasn't crack (though I'm hard pressed to think of substances one smokes by lighting the bottom of a pipe's bowl), but it's clearly a load of bullshit every time someone tries to suggest that a video never existed or that the story is a fabrication.

And here's why: three reporters have seen the video.


Three of them.

Three people whose job it is to give factual accounts of things that they see. Three people whose factual accounts of the things that they see get written down in papers (and websites) to become what we call "news."

Reporters (much more than mayors it would seem) base their careers and their livelihood on their reputation--something that, regardless of political leanings, few would throw out the window to invent a story about an already apocalyptic failure of a mayor smoking crack cocaine.

You may not like the way they say things, but most reporters can be counted on to truthfully report things they see themselves (with their eyes).

So it seems quite clear then that they're not lying, and you are.

Which means that, at the very least, you smoked something, and while doing so you referred to the leader of Canada's Liberal party as a "fag," and you dismissed your own treasured Don Bosco Eagles as "a bunch of minorities."

A smarter, more level-headed person would at the very least address the charges directly and swiftly and most sane people would want to get the fuck out of public office immediately if such allegations arose and three reporters were the source.

Instead, despite the alleged recommendations of your now-fired chief of staff that you seek help immediately, --a route that is likely to have seen even your staunchest foes react sympathetically--you stupidly circled the wagons and denied everything, essentially telling the world's media to "bring it on" and as a result you have made an international spectacle of a great city.

What's more, as your staff continues to abandon you in shame (or, more likely, out of fear of being sucked into the impending supernova that has become your career), you've increased your reliance on an entourage of goons who seem as though they might be better suited to wearing brown shirts and starting brawls in the streets of 1930s Berlin than they are to providing political advice.

Now don't get me wrong, I can appreciate your loyalty. The people around you now are your bros. Your crew. These are the guys you played football with and crushed beers with and (I imagine) sniffed glue with in the parking lot before you started fights during school dances. In short, they've got your back. You listen to them and they listen to you. I get that. However, the problem is this: These people you're listening to know nothing about the requirements of running the fourth largest city in North America and are almost as dumb, arrogant, and hard-headed as you are.

Your goon of a brother was recently accused of being a drug dealer in the 1980s so he opted to dispel the allegations by making the rounds of a few media outlets in an open-collared dress shirt with his gold chain showing--essentially donning a look that could best be described as "drug dealer in the 1980s."

Speculation mounts about the true nature of the role David Price plays in your staff and while his role is technically related to "logistics" it's becoming increasingly obvious he's just some sort of hired crony meant to shove media "maggots" out of your way as you shuffle to your ridiculous car--and as more and more information comes to light about shootings and other nefarious activity, I wouldn't be all that surprised to learn that Mr. Price's duties involved things far more sinister.

What I'm trying to say is that, while these people are close to you, they're not the ones to whom you should be listening. Instead, pick up a newspaper (any fucking newspaper) and check out how the entire world outside your office is chronicling your downfall with a mix of bemusement and pity.

Distance yourself from the slimy white trash that's telling you to repeatedly double down on your bullshit and seriously consider the benefits of staying on as the mayor of Toronto.

This isn't what you signed up for, so why not just get the fuck out?

I get that you liked being mayor. It's fun! You get to get out with the folks, press the flesh, fight to lower taxes, exchange barbs with the lefty media--you're a big deal and with a long career in city council and your "take no guff" attitude, this a job you feel well-suited to. When you first ran, the voters who live in the suburbs surrounding Toronto agreed with you.

But here's the thing: The job you are well suited to no longer exists.

The days of liking your job are gone.

Instead, until you resign, your job will be a constant uphill battle against a media landscape that is now hellbent to get to the bottom of a story that all of us know deep down has at least some kernel of truth.

Your never going to get back to being the chubby blue collar underdog from Etobicoke, fighting the good fight and thumbing your nose at the elitists at city hall.

Instead, you're a big fucking target. No one's going to forget this story, and you're never going to be able to effectively return to the level of attention you previousy gave to being the mayor of Toronto--no matter how many inane policy tweets your new communications people spew from your stupid twitter account.

Every single day that you remain the mayor of Toronto is going to suck for you, and every day that you remain our mayor is going to suck for the people of Toronto, so just do everyone, including yourself, a big favour and just fucking resign already.

photo credit cbc.ca

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bye Bye Rob Ford!

"I declare the seat of the respondent, Robert Ford, on Toronto City Council, vacant." 
                         ~Justice Charles Hackland

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's About The People

People seem to be making quite a fuss over the fact that it appears the TTC rerouted two city buses recently in order to accommodate Mayor Rob Ford.

While reports produced in The Star and elsewhere do seem to indicate that the events were somewhat shady, I did some digging and it turns out that the circumstances and procedures actually weren't outside the purview of the TTC's mandate. Take, for example, this recent job posting for new drivers I found on the TTC's website:

Friday, October 26, 2012

This is Why There is The Internet: Women Shotgunning Beers

In my humble quest to read the entire internet, I've once again stumbled upon a gem that I must share with the world.

I present to you "Women Shotgunning Beers," a tumblr so site magnificent  I can't believe someone hadn't thought of it sooner.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Can we please stop talking about dirty buttholes on TV?

I'm not sure what glue-sniffing advertising executive thought it might be a good angle to start advertising toilet paper based on the idea that it sticks to your shitty asshole less than the competition, but that person needs to be fucking fired.

This idea--one that I'll admit I'd never bothered to think about before--has, of course, spawned the ridiculous and disgusting (you'll notice I didn't say "cute") Charmin Bears, a family of cartoon characters who take gleeful pleasure in pointing out that, whereas they used to have toilet paper clinging to their dirty buttholes, they're now sparkling clean. Sparkling!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Charting Mayor Rob Ford

Sometimes it's difficult, confronted with a wall of text or even a bulleted list of all his shortcomings, to visualize just how shitty Rob Ford, that guy the suburbs elected to be mayor of Toronto, has been since he took office.

So in order to help you understand why the prospect of having the Toronto Star hating, football loving, Escalade-driving turd removed from office over a conflict of interest is so exciting, here are a few visual aids for your Monday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rob Ford the Movie?

The other day I was thinking about Rob Ford, as I sadly find myself doing often, and I realized that, if he did somehow manages to turn things around for himself, it might make a great movie someday.

Think about it.

A socially and emotionally immature man who works peripherally in a business that his father began manages to get by for years by not doing much while occasionally committing the odd embarrassing gaffe.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Random Shit from The Internet

Given my recent return to the interwebs, I thought I might resurrect an old time-wasting favourite for the morning after your Thanksgiving long weekend. Also, it helps me justify my aimless web surfing as "research." Here's a collection of juicy links to help you fill the unbearable countdown until you can crack your first beer tonight.

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