Oh Robbie, not again

As I’ve written before, I’m glad I don’t live in Toronto and have Rob Ford as mayor.  The mayor where I live is so low-key I’m not even sure of his name.

There are reports on both the CBC News site and the Toronto Star news site this morning that Mayor Robbie was asked to leave a gala event called The Garrison Ball on February 23 because he was intoxicated.  The Star article also mentioned that on Saint Patrick’s day hizzoner was asked to leave an establishment because he was also intoxicated.  And the Star article also mentions there are photos on Twitter of Robbie leaving liquor stores with mickeys of vodka.

Apparently it has been an open secret around city hall that Robbie has trouble with drinking and a couple of attempts to get him help, or into rehab, were rebuffed by Robbie.  Even some of his strongest allies are commenting on his problems with alcohol, pointing to such events as his DUI conviction in Florida in 1999 and an occasion at a hockey game where he drunkenly berated a couple in the stands. He at first denied both the DUI and the hockey game incident, but “remembered” when the press turned up his Florida mug shot; and he later apologized to the couple he had harassed.    In the Garrison Ball incident, his brother, Councillor Doug, claims his brother wasn’t intoxicated.  Strangely neither Robbie nor Doug are available for comment, which would seem to belie the “not drunk” claim.

The Garrison Ball ejection came two weeks before what the Toronto media are referring to as “Assgate”, where Robbie was accused by a woman of groping her while they posed for a photo.  She also claimed he appeared to be under the influence of something.

This man has been a disaster as mayor.  His record is filled with leaving council meetings early to coach highschool football; avoiding 99% of events involving the LGBT community, although Pride Week brings in millions in tourist dollars; using his cellphone while driving (against the law in Ontario) and on at least one occasion, reading while driving at 45 miles per hour on an expressway (his excuse was “I’m a busy man”) and at least two court cases, one of which could have cost him his job.  And just this past Sunday, he called a radio show to make what have been called “prehistoric” comments on a case that at the time was before the courts.  The case is now in the hands of the jury.  And perhaps one of the lowest blows of all, on a trade mission to Chicago, the American press called him “obnoxious”.  Americans unfortunately suffer from the “ugly American” stereotype when they venture beyond their borders, so how bad was Robbie that Americans consider him obnoxious?

Robbie is talking of running for a second term as mayor in, I think, 2015 and could actually win. And that would be disastrous for the city.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Rushing things

Canadian Thanksgiving is about two weeks away on the weekend of October 6 -8 this year.  Yes, we celebrate the way Americans do, with too much food and football on the tube.

Hallowe-en is about a month away.

The proximity of these two holidays makes for some interesting sights in stores right now here in Canada.  The paperboard cutouts of turkeys and the fake autumn leaves are fighting for space with the paperboard cutouts of black cats and the plastic skeletons on the shelves.

What is it about some retail outlets that they rush the seasons?  I haven’t seen it myself, but I did hear a news commentator saying that he’d seen Hallowe’en stuff on store shelves before Labour Day.  I mean, c’mon.  They’re still pushing the “back to school” stuff and they’ve already got the Hallowe’en stuff out?  This is something I just don’t understand.  If you’re a parent, you know there is no point in buying your child a costume before Labour Day because the kid’s going to change their mind at least five times between early September and the end of October.  Same thing with buying the goodies to hand out.  They’ll be stale by Hallowe’en if you buy them now, that is if they don’t get eaten in the meantime.

And, if this is a typical year, many stores, once they remove the Thanksgiving displays, will replace them with Christmas stuff. Definitely right after Hallowe’en if not immediately. My personal view, especially with Christmas, is that since people are inundated with Christmas advertising for at least six weeks, once Christmas actually arrives, people have become insulated against  what should be a joyous time of year.

Am I the only one who feels merchants push things too much; that they rush to get the next season’s or occasion’s products on display?  I know from past observation that shortly after  New Year’s, they will have the Valentine’s Day displays up; and about February 16 will have the paper shamrocks out for St Patrick’s Day.  It may help boost the bottom line for the merchants, but do their patrons end up suffering from festive overload and just don’t care when the day actually arrives?

Of course, if you believe the stories surrounding the Mayan long calendar, there won’t be a Christmas anyway.  But I’m am optimist.  All that will happen is the calendar will start over, just as does ours every January 1.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.