Category Archives: You Stupid Dick
So my take on this
First of all, let’s be clear that he’s a public figure. Public! His job is to be accessible to the public as a representative of politics and policy. It was one of his campaign trivia facts that he called *everyone* back (let’s not even try to figure out how long that would actually take). And he loves inviting a ton of people over to his mom’s house for a BBQ and fireworks. We can all agree on this point, right?
Meanwhile, we also know that Rob Ford and his administration is not very forthcoming with his professional public appearances. They’re either very staged or awkward or both (see his graffiti hullabaloo) and, they’re far and few between. His redacted campaign promise of transparency is one of the reasons why he’s the second worst mayor in Canada.
So when a TV show that is known for ambushing politicians and playfully trying to get them to talk on tape, shows up on your door, you could do no worse than play along. He claims he had no clue who Marg Delahunty was – to which I cry bullshit. If you are a political figure of any kind, you hope and PRAY that Marg shows up at your door because while she may say some off colour comments regarding your performance, she puts your face out there. And TV/YouTube face time a good thing for any politician. There’s also the fact that This Hour Has 22 Minutes has put all sides of politicians out there, Right, Centrists or Lefty, so if you claim you didn’t know her and you work in politics, you’re admitting to not knowing your boss and should be fired from your job.
So let’s all agree that he got flustered. And ran into the house. This is fact. It’s on tape. What he said to the 911 dispatch will not be gospel until the tapes are released. Which the police say the mayor can allow and the mayor says the police can allow. Can someone please FOI that bit of audio? Until then I can’t comment on what went down, but for amusement, take a look at the #RobFord911 hashtag. It’s a barrel of fun!
But in seriousness, Rob Ford’s actions makes me think that he’s probably getting a lot of death threats. He’s gone on tv and admitted as much.
Yet I have no surprise or sympathy about it. His bullying tactics in his political and public career will generate this kind of backlash towards him. You live an angry life, you get an angry life. I was going to say “you live by the sword…” but it sounded too much like a death threat, which it isn’t, just an old biblical times proverb, really.
I see that Rogers is getting into the home security business.
This fills me with such dread I can barely contain myself. Thank god I have a blog.
Information is the currency of the internet. The more you have, the more power you wield. And who wields the most information in Canada? Righto, my tin foil hat followers – Rogers! Okay I’m not going to go conspiracy theory on you but I will speculate something here: Imagine a large corporation collecting data on what time you came home, when you usually took vacation, when your kids were online, when you take breaks at the office to check up on your house. Basically all your “down time” collected in a nice pie graph so that they knew when you could be reached for…ads?
Would that not be the greatest thing Rogers could sell to their own marketing people? Or third party ad agencies for a delicious price? Why else get into the home monitoring business? It’s such a innocuous vertical that it baffled me at first – why not update their dinosaur like On Demand channels or improve their digital media streaming infrastructures and make millions like iTunes?
Because right now the money is being made online is knowing where you will be, what you will do and how best to market to you. Rogers has never done anything out of the goodness of their corporate heart and I see this “protecting your family” garbage is the warm piss flying into your face while they take note of when’s the best time to hit you for an iPhone upsell.
Then again, reading through all their online crap about the service makes me think they’re just bumbling their way through another product launch, and that wiring up your home with crap wifi and web cams is a cheap way for them to make a buck. I could be 1000% wrong.
2:30am and the cats leap off the bed simultaneously, waking me instantly, wondering when the first wave of the apocalyptic earthquake will start. It doesn’t come. Instead I hear banging and footsteps just outside my window.
Someone was on the roof of the building next to our apartment.
Long time readers will know that we’ve had troubles with the next door roof for some time:
…And we’ve been good this year. Not once did we have to chase any kind of exploratory idiot off the roof during the hot summer months.
Until last night, of course.
As I wake up, I flick on some lights to give the roof dwellers fore-knowledge that someone is around watching what they’re doing. I’m not stupid enough to run right out there and start confronting some titwad who might be dangerous. Our neighbourhood may border on some of the most expensive homes in Toronto, but just south, west and east of our house is some of downtown Toronto’s worst.
I put on my clothes and exit the back door to the fire escape. Why our landlord can’t install a one-way door or a down-ladder only system is beyond me. Oh that’s right, he’s cheap. He’s taken last summer’s water and electricity hike personally and blamed us for the near doubling of his bill. Especially when I take 2-3 showers a week at the gym.
Two buildings over, across the rooftops, I can see two guys unsteadily shuffling down a slanted roof, leading to our neighbour’s back patio. They jump one after the other, landing on what sounds like the hood of a car. After a moment they come around the fence of the patio next to our house and I hear “Oh man… there’s someone watching us!”
I can smell them before they come over. Drunk. Immediately my past doorman training kicks in. I stand, hands at my side, blank look on my face.
They side up to the fire escape where I’m standing. One leans over and looks at the roof structure that juts out directly from our back door. It covers a storage area for the store beneath us.
“Hhhh–heeeyyy-y,” the Greeting Guy says to me, unsure if I’m going to be mad or be, like, a dude and be real happy they’re up on our property at 2:30am doing stupid shit.
The Leaner Guy sizes up the storage roof next to us and says “Think we can make it?”
“You ever hear of Parkour?” Greeter Guy says to me.
Time stops for me right there. They’re considering jumping onto a roof that is less than 2/3″ thick plywood. They would have gone through it like a fist through a seasoned bottom at a sex club. For the briefest of moments, I consider encouraging them to jump (or keeping silent) and letting them fly the 15ft across the divide onto the flimsy roof which would have resulted in a broken bone somewhere on their bodies. That would teach them something. But then I’d be a villain and I’m sure a 911 call would have to be made as well as a call to the owner of the store to come get two broken drunk assholes out of his ruined storage locker.
“You. Better. Go.” I say slowly, calmly and clearly.
They get the hint. They leave.
I go back to sleep dreaming of the “what-ifs”
Yesterday was perfect for the Scotiabank AIDS walk: not a cloud in the sky, warm enough that I didn’t sweat buckets and everyone smiling, working it for a great cause. I managed to crest $2500 in donations – mostly because of you people who come to read and mostly because I did it entirely by social media (aaaand a few donations from family, of course). If I haven’t thanked you personally, I apologize and thank you now. I thank all of you.
As expected, hundreds of pictures were taken and I made a bit of a splash in the pool of corporate teams that filled the walk. But know that I had to justify my presence a couple times.
Googley eyed woman: Why you a robot?
Me: I’m a Stormtrooper.
Googley eyed woman: Not a robot?
Me: No. I’m from the movie Star Wars?
Googley eyed woman: (to friends) Take my picture!
And so it went. One woman hesitantly asked me for a picture, “Because I find you scary.”
“I’m just me!” I say, obviously forgetting what I have on – the symbol of poor aim and jack-booted fear throughout the galaxy.
“I’m afraid because I want your gun in my mouth.” she said. Smiling.
At one point I took off the helmet to hydrate and a young woman ran up to me for a picture. She was wearing a metallic, bright Arabic scarf, thick horn rimmed glasses, tousled hair, and cut off shorts just at the knee. “Why are you in costume?”
“I’m bringing some nerd cred to the Walk. You should know, right?”
“I’m not a nerd!” Woops. Okay. Whatever.
Inside the suit you literally can’t see down. If you hold one flattened palm over your eyebrows and the other on the upper part of your cheek, that’s the range of vision I had, not to mention I wasn’t wearing my glasses. At one point I could hear a woman asking me for a picture and I kept turning around. And around. Until I heard “Down here!”. She was in a wheel chair and I nearly fell into her lap trying to find her.
The Walk itself was ok. I stumbled twice over some pylons down at Queen and Church, very embarrassing, but for the most part I made it OK. Two blisters and a dry mouth. Sharkboy says I was stumbling on the way home due to exhaustion/dehydration but I think it was an inner ear infection.
At home we sat through the news about how “Word On The Street” over in Queens Park was such a success despite the oncoming threat of the printed word by eReaders. This particular story got a full 2+ minutes with lots of cut away talking heads about how great books are. Then, after a ton of world news, the AIDS Walk got a full 20 second spot with a mere mention of why and a scattering of video of people walking. Granted, I was watching to see if I made it on the news but the shocking lack of news coverage depressed me.
I’m kind of bummed that HIV/AIDS is being relegated to the back burner even though it’s not gone away. It sickens me that big pharma has not released any significant 3rd generation drug patents into the wild for cheaper development, researcah and most importantly: distribution. The average cost of a monthly prescription for anti-retroviral medication runs from $900 to $1300 with insurance companies picking up a good portion of that tab (if the patient is lucky enough). Doing the math, that means at the low end of the cost for meds times all the HIV positive people in Canada adds up to roughly $230 million a year in meds alone.
I’m generalizing. But the fact can’t be ignored that HIV treatment is big money.
Over the last decade, HIV has been placed on the same public consciousness shelf as diabetes in terms of “manageable diseases” (did you know those glucose monitoring machines are literally given away for free, but the blood test strips run up to $1.50 each? Test your blood three times a day for a month and that adds up!). The fact that “cures” are dangled in front of our faces ever so often (that ultimately don’t pan out) makes it real hard for me not to put on my tin foil had and think that if they wanted to cure this disease, they could have years ago, but it’s now a profitable industry that can hardly be stopped overnight with a “Eureka!” discovery that halts AIDS in it’s tracks.
I know. I’m crazy. But after being on this planet for 46 years I know that money is the greatest motivator and when it’s flowing in at such an alarming, constant (gardener) rate, then turning off the stream is nearly impossible.
Now if you excuse me I have 9-11 EVP files to listen to.
I’m in the Porter lounge, waiting for our flight to NYC. I’m bored and taking “arty” shots for Instagram. Things like the skyline, poop trucks, stuff.
Suddenly the most bored security guard sidled up to me. I knew what was coming…
“Excuse me sir…”
“Yes?” I have my cell phone out, prepared to delete photos to shut him up.
“I am from Billy Bishop airport security-”
“Apparently,” I say quickly, scanning his well worn uniform.
“-And we’d ask that you stop taking pictures. You’re on video.”
I don’t want to get into it. “Sure thing. I’ll stop.”
He trundles off, satisfied he’s carried out his orders from central command, not completely understanding why.
SharkBoy, BobaDoug and I trotted off to the Church Street Village Fair on Sunday, which use to be called The Church Street Fetish Fair, which is now called Leather to Lace but way back in the day was called The Church Street Fetish Fair, created as competition for Folsom Fair North (or FFN when they lost the right to use “Folsom”) but now is called something else and will probably be in direct competition with Folsom Street Fair on September 25, but not in Toronto.
Confused? Not as confused as the crap we saw on Sunday afternoon!
Gone was the public demos of S&M which I am told by the rumor mill was pre-requisite if the Church Street BIA wanted to get licensing from City Hall. Instead an outside company of carnival like “rides” were inserted to keep the tops and bottoms on their toes. This is Rob Ford’s new Toronto, I guess. We can be gay but just don’t show it.
I could have taken pictures of the ferris wheel or the mechanical bull or the surf board bouncy play thing but I had forgotten to put my freshly charged battery in my camera, which in hindsight was a good thing… there wasn’t much I wanted to take a picture of, compared to the previous years. The Leather and Lace site has photos but metaphorically the gallery is broken and doesn’t work in Firefox.
We walked up and down the street twice and witnessed a few proud individuals displaying their fetishes, but in terms of it being a “fair”, I would say it was more like a funeral. Oh sure there were the trans, the rubbers, the plushies and the leathers, but they didn’t seem to have a place to congregate and the crowds weren’t “sticking” to one place. I saw more hopeful photographers (including the creepy boobie photographer guy from Pride – no, not Councilor Mammoliti) than actual participants in the Fair. When we arrived there was a leather “flash mob” as it were: a large group of people in full S&M gear walked through the crowd but quickly dissipated when they did two circuits of the Fair.
The Lettuce and Lace Fair was the perfect example of “design by committee” ever to come to life.