Toronto Rocks. Back and Forth.

NOTE: This here is the post I ARRRGHed about last week. Somehow last week it was disappeared forever, and today, I find it in my drafts. Right on. So: although nobody asked for it, here’s the thing. Wherever it says “this week”, read “last week”. Wherever it says today, read, “a few days ago”. Wherever it says anything stupid, read something clever.

This week Toronto voted down a new tax proposal. It would have cost more to buy a house and own a car, so our illustrious city counselors said no. “Miller’s tax” is dead. Long live extra spending money.

Now the city faces large cuts to a system already ailing. Failing. Less transit is a possibility, which I find hard to imagine – I regularly let three subway trains go by before I find one I can bear to squeeze myself into, and the whole system is pretty beat up. Parks and recreational programs – already bare bones and largely fee-for-service – are looking grim. Even the po-po need to cut something from their budget, and they have guns! (I recommend cutting back on mirrored shades: bullet proof vests and jackboots are seriously already scary enough.)

Of course, what do the papers say this morning? “Miller’s cuts” are coming. “Miller’s Axe” is going to fall. “Miller’s soul”, I’m imagining, is turning to dust – mine would be, anyway. That guy – a well-intentioned, smart, practical, well-spoken and progressive mayor – has not been able to get shit done since he came in, not even a no-brainer like usable bike lanes. And every time, it’s because some self-centred, short-sighted bastard cries “not from my wallet!” I feel for Miller, I really do. If I were him I would be sickly sad. Hell, if I were him, I’d have quit already. Thank god he isn’t me.

I have a very similar feeling to the dull ache I felt when Mike Harris was elected in 1995 (as premier of the province): I had a recurrent impulse to go to Speaker’s Corner and scold the province. Instead, I got very bitter and tried to ignore politics (and the world) until he was gone. Took eight or so years, and we’re still reeling from the screwing he gave us. I want to scream and yell at nobody in particular – except maybe those lousy career politicians who make up (the majority of, apparently) our city council. I feel winded. I take things too seriously.

But on that note, still taking things too seriously, here’s my idea: David Miller ought to quit. He should raise his hands to heaven and say, Fine, fuck you guys, I’m gone. THEN he ought to start a new federal political party, call it the City Party, and run with a promise of giving the cities of this country a fair deal (ie. give cities the money – our money – needed to be an unshitty city). The majority of Canadians live in cities. We’d win. It would be awesome to win. It would be awesome to have bike lanes, hospitals, water and subways that worked well.

I have no ending for this rant, really. I’m feeling very torn. My intention is to try and get my zen on, but I don’t know whether that will look like activism or blinder-wearing. This world makes me tired, more than half the time, and really mad on days like these. What songs for that? Hmmmm.

Beauty On – Martin Tielli. I think this song a lot on the subway during rush hour. Any song that starts with “I hate you all” and contains the lines “Are you with me Cincinatti? Are you ready to rawk?!” is okay by me.

Fuck This Shit – Belle and Sebastian. Exactly right: belligerent title, melancholy guts.

and Andy Kaufman losing his mind on TV. The sound quality bites, but Andy’s unbridled rage is one of the sweeter things in life.

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1 Response to “Toronto Rocks. Back and Forth.”


  1. 1 sandrar September 10, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.


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