Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Toronto The Tawdry

Clearly, the worship of celebrity represents a human frailty. Celebrity owes little to performing acts of grace and courage, of dedicating one's self to the well-being of humanity, even at the local level, within one's geographic sphere. The celebrity culture of the day is one consumed with avid fascination and admiration mostly for entertainers. And the more outrageously anti-social their actions, the greater their iconic status.

Defiance of societal mores is right up there in leading to public fascination and esteem.

Center of attention: Rob Ford appears on Jimmy Kimmel live on Monday night.
Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube   Center of attention: Rob Ford appears on Jimmy Kimmel live on Monday night.
That great metropolis of Toronto has gained notoriety, diminishing its status as a great multilingual, pluralist gathering place for people from a multitude of other countries, cultures, religions and heritage, through the misfortune of the population somehow having thrown in their political fortunes with the sad and silly antics of a man professing to love the city, but unable to care for it through every fault of his own.

Screenshot     Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford appear on The Today Show with Matt Lauer.
And Mayor Rob Ford too is consumed with celebrity, envious of those who gain it, and hold it, and deserve that status now tarnished by adoring all those who manage to offend fundamental values of good taste and decency.

Despite the obvious exceptions by exceptional people who do offer themselves still as templates of human excellence, the vast majority of those who cling to their sordid celebrity function as living examples of what people aspiring to a life of good relations with others, obeying the law and contributing meaningfully to the society in which they live, living a satisfying lifestyle supported by friends and relatives, somehow manage to still clamour for ever more indications of human beings' propensity to shame themselves.

And Rob Ford is no different. And why should he be? He adores, and fixates on celebrity. And he has discovered his own. Manoeuvring himself skilfully into just such a position himself, and not by intention but by default. Defaulting to what comes naturally to a man who embodies all the elements of an oafish thug, but who manages regardless to convince people of his sincerity, probity and usefulness to them. As mayor of Canada's largest city.

He is so wedded to his celebrity that he will go to any means, inclusive of breaking the law, of offending the most basic morals, of challenging ethics and replacing them with his own of questionable heritage, for the payback it offers him. Attention. Lots and lots of attention. Not merely by outraged citizens of Toronto who cannot fathom where his popularity arises from among those who support him still, but internationally.

What other mayor's disgraced behaviour regularly pops up in international news, but his?

Causing him to primp and prance as much as someone of elephantine proportions can. True, his entertainment quotient both to those who abhor the man and those who admire him, cannot be denied, although it does all too often stretch the patience of even those who manage a grimace of amusement that someone could possibly land himself time after time in an aura of common-sense carnage. Renata Ford just another political pawn. Like other political spouses, Toronto mayor's wife was used to help redeem her disgraced politician husband

Some theatre wag once said there is no such thing as bad publicity; all publicity has its value, for with it comes attention and those who are emotionally fixated on themselves crave attention. That in itself may go a long way to explaining actors' famous self-absorption expressed in an inability to see themselves in the round other than as thespians of entitled fame.

Rob Ford is a thespian of unentitled fame, unless consorting with underworld characters, exposing the public to exhibitions of alcohol-fuelled misbehaviour, surreptitiously acquiring illegal street drugs and using them with people of ill-repute identifies him as 'entitled' to his celebrity.

Toronto would do well to gift their mayor with a tight little island, say on the St.Lawrence, all of his own, and invite him to remove himself to that island, giving him also the means by which he can videotape himself endlessly performing all the little tricks and treats he so yearns toward. As long as he removes himself from public office and spares the city from any more needless embarrassment.

Now, what an ill-humoured, bad-mouthing tract this is...!

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