You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

A caveat to this video: I am not posting it for any sort of politically partisan reasons whatsoever. As a visiting journalist in Canada, I have no pony in the Toronto mayoral race. I am simply posting it to further debunk the long held myth, among my country-folk, that Canadians are categorically demure and retiring — “Sweet” was the word Tucker Carlson used once. (He also used the words “retarded cousin” but that’s another matter.) Carlson, of course, is perfectly situated to perpetuate myths. His opinions reach millions of living rooms through the magic of television. At the advent of television news, Edward R. Murrow described the technology as a powerful instrument for truth. These days it’s more often a powerful instrument for broadly disseminating whatever pops into your head.

For example, at the end of an interview with then-candidate Barack Obama’s foreign policy adviser, Susan Rice, Tucker asked her about “Canada-gate.” This was the micro-scandal in which the campaign allegedly told Stephen Harper’s administration something like, “I mean we said we were gonna maybe take another look at NAFTA and maybe dismantle it but but we’re not, I mean not really. Don’t worry.” Rice played down the incident — saying it was a low-level staffer in the campaign talking to a low-level staffer in the Harper camp. The Canadian government is investigating the matter, she said.

“Yeah,” said Tucker, “And when Canadians investigate… look out!”

They both laughed.

If there’s no other point of agreement for partisan foes in America, at least they can mock Canada together.

Anyhow, the clip below was not, to my knowledge, broadcast widely in America. It’s from a documentary by Min Sook Lee called “Hogtown: The Politics of Policing.” (Hogtown is just a nickname for Toronto.) The “fat fuck” in question is Rob Ford. He’s the big, blond one standing in the distance as the clip begins. Ford is a long-time city councilor here in Toronto and, currently, a very viable and controversial candidate for mayor. He’s famously anti-bicycle, or at least anti-bike-lane. He’s spoken out against having homeless shelters in his ward, which is in the western suburb of Etobicoke. So his constituency as a candidate is largely suburban as well.

The speaker of the words “fat fuck” (or… “mouther” of the words, I guess, because he never actually says them out loud) is John Barber, a stalwart political columnist for the Globe and Mail who now writes for the books section of the paper — though I don’t think this incident had anything to do with the reassignment.

I should also say this was shot after a particularly late council meeting, and long before the current mayoral race. The documentary came out in 2005. But lots of folks up here have been forwarding it around as election day gets closer, posting it to their Facebook pages, etc., (and yes for very partisan reasons).

Enjoy.


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4 Responses to You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

  1. Russell says:

    What scares me is that, if he doesn’t get elected mayor he’ll become the Glenn Beck of Sun Media’s proposed “Fox News North.”

    It’s not much of a stretch is it?

  2. Sean says:

    I’m not sure he has the performance chops of Mr. Beck, but you might be right, Russell. Still, opining about Toronto is one thing. Running it is a whole other.

  3. Rodez says:

    July 3, 2012 2:22 am by For someone who raelry watches television – timing is everything – a reason for everything. Full believer in that. With only about a minute to spare, walk back in the door to see television commercial about your efforts/website on a channel I may not have watched again for weeks or ever. Regardless. You are to be more than commended for what you are doing and I wish to extend a HUGE thank you on behalf of all girls and women. With my own 13 year old daughter and someone who has experienced a lot of not so pleasant treatment as a now woman who grew up in Canada, I myself am a massive women’s rights advocate as well as strongly encouraging girls to be strongly independent, respectful of themselves, willing, able and capable of standing up for oneself with pride, unafraid to stand up for rights and freedoms as well as a positive contributor to society and the world. I totally believe that world governments need a lot of women at the top. The nurturing intelligence that could literally change the world. Your efforts have saved me sooooooooooooo much work it is unbelieveable. I have got to get my daughter going through this website and if not one in our local area (still need to find out), to start a girls’ group. She would LOVE this !!! I hope when things slow down in my life that I can possibly be a positive contributor to what you are doing. THANK YOU again for what you are doing. Your efforts are VERY welcomed and appreciated.

  4. It’s imperative that more people make this exact point.

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