Read a transcript of this Rex Murphy episode.
Toronto is under a curse.
The gentlemen in the clip you just saw is NOT the curse. Mayor Ford is the latest manifestation of its curious power to embarrass this city. Toronto the dour. Toronto the absurd. Toronto the madly incompetent.
The curse is real. When did it begin?
It might have been when the folks here decided they were going to be fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, under the mistaken impression the Leafs were a hockey team. It’s been greatly clarified by hundreds of heartbreaks since, a decades long-string of losses and excuses, that they are not. Badminton Clubs are now more popular in Toronto than the Leafs.
The biggest city in Canada has a team that wouldn’t recognize the Stanley Cup is they were ever to get close enough to look at it.
But the curse is even deeper than demonically inept hockey teams. Almost 14 years ago, there was a sprinkle of snow on Toronto’s sidewalks, and the then Mayor, Mel Lastman, called in the army and declared a state of emergency to dust off Bloor Street, and de-whiten the sidewalks of Yonge. In Yorkville some people saw the snow, in January, went indoors, never to come out ever again. Trauma of the mid-winter snow among the midtown yuppies. The sight of Audis skidding out of Second Cup, lattes staining the seat covers, brought much anguish to the city’s social conscience.
Now the current sad behemouth of a Mayor who through his own clumsiness and the guile of his municipal enemies has now been declared by a judge not to be Major at all. Rob Ford was told to get out Tuesday. Then he was told on Wednesday he would not be able to run in the by election for a new Mayor. It’s believed that by the weekend, won’t be allowed on public transit and will be set to scrubbing the city’s bike lanes, if there are any left.
Meantime, you may have heard the Toronto Argonauts actually won something, not just something, but the Grey Cup and brought the trophy to Toronto.
The city, alas, was too busy in the various plots and court cases to deprive itself of its own mayor. People did hear about the win, and liked seeing a trophy here – any trophy looks good when they think of the Leafs. But...the kindergarten follies of City Hall follies out-clowned the triumph.
It’s a curse I tell you. A curse. If it were not for the universal affection people outside of Toronto have for Toronto, I do not know how this city could bear it all.
Go Leafs Go.
For The National, I’m Rex Murphy.View / Post Comments