SUNDAY’S NEW YORK TIMES BIDS ‘FAREWELL’ TO MAYOR ROB FORD – SEPTEMBER 21/2014

Canadian writer and artist BRUCE McCALL has written a column in this week’s Sunday Review section of the New York Times about TORONTO’s ailing mayor, ROB FORD.

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“Farewell, Rob Ford” begins with a reference to a painting by American artist PAUL CADMUS exhibited at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1950. Then-mayor of TORONTO, the Honourable Hiram E. McCallum, was scandalized by “Sailors and Floozies”, which depicted seamen cavorting with strumpets in New York’s Riverside Park.  <In the early fifties TORONTO was a city of churches with “no Sunday shopping, no drinking, no movies, no sports – no nothing. The other six days were no jamboree either,” writes Bruce McCall. “By the third millennium, that stony bastion of Protestant piety lay as buried and forgotten as ancient Troy.”>

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Then came 2010 and the election of ROB FORD as mayor of the Queen City <painting above by SPUD – “Rob Ford’s engine pulling the gravy train”>

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But now, in the middle of his re-election campaign, MAYOR ROB FORD has been stricken with a rare form of malignant cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy at Mount Sinai Hospital. The outpouring of best wishes in his battle against the disease from friend and foe alike has been impressive.

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Mayor Ford has quit the mayoral race, but will run for city council in Ward 2 – illness permitting. And TORONTO will lose its “renegade Canadian churl who got and held the attention of millions of Americans who had always seen their northern neighbour as a nation of Dudley Do-rights.” – BRUCE MCCALL  Illustration – Mayor Rob Ford, Graham Roumieu – http://www.roumieu.com

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MAYOR ROB FORD’S ROAST ON ‘JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE’ – MONDAY, MARCH 3/2014

It took an American talk-show host to do it, but TORONTO’s mayor was raked over the coals last night on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.  KIMMEL did the job with a smile on his face: “our first guest tonight has tripped, bumped, danced, argued and smoked his way into our national consciousness.”  The host got down to business immediately, quoting one viewer who wrote that having Ford as a guest was “a slap to all Torontonians” and referred to his “domestic abuse, drunk driving, racism, homophobia and inability to tell the truth.”
Kimmel asked Ford if he was a homophobe. Ford laughed and replied, “No, I’m not homophobic, are you?”

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Moving on to a series of 5 or 6 embarassing Ford still photographs and videos, Kimmel asked who he wanted to kill in the infamous video of the mayor ranting, flapping about and screaming profanities.  The mayor said that he didn’t know who he was shouting about.
“You have no idea?” an incredulous Kimmel asked. “You have that many enemies that you don’t know which one this was?”

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After saying Ford “seems like a very nice guy” but suggesting he get some personal help, Kimmel zeroed in on the mayor’s crack smoking and drinking.  “If you are an alcoholic, drinking enough that he would try crack in his 40s and you don’t remember it, maybe that’s something you might want to think about, like talking to somebody.”  Ford replied, “I wasn’t elected to be perfect, Jimmy, I was elected to clean up the mess that I inherited, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”  Kimmel added that getting help is “nothing to be ashamed of” and a “good example for other people who might be in a similar situation.”  “Talk is cheap,” said Ford. “Action speaks louder than words. We’ll let the people decide on October 27. I’m just a normal average, hardworking politician that’s real.”

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Somewhere during the 20 minute interview, the mayor managed to squeak out what a great city TORONTO is, that there are 150 construction cranes on the skyline, that he’s just a normal average, hardworking politician that’s real, that he wants the world to see his crack video, and that he’d saved taxpayers over a billion dollars.  “You are not the average politician, my friend,” said Kimmel at the end of the segment. “You are the most wonderful mayor I’ve ever witnessed.”  After the show, Ford got out of town on the ‘red-eye’ bound for TORONTO.