…former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page, performing at a CP24 live election show, let his feelings slip on Twitter with a now-infamous, wounded howl of “Fuck this fucking city.”
I have friends who’ve worked for Greenpeace and PEN, on Atom Egoyan films, even at Spacing. I once used a Toronto Arts Council grant to try and finish a novel. I’ve shot albums for jazz artists, punk groups and Gordon Lightfoot, had my work published in Toronto Life, the Village Voice and the New York Times, and write about urban issues for blogTO. Hell, I spent 12 years working at NOW magazine! And I love lattes.
And last week, I happily cast my vote for Rob Ford, clear in my own mind that I wasn’t voting against George Smitherman as much as for someone whose agenda was – rare for a politician – painfully explicit. And I know that many people reading these words will consider them the epitome of baffling cognitive dissonance.
Seven years ago, I ran a short-lived blog during the election that made David Miller mayor. I voted for Miller, but with at least one qualification: “If I see Miller preside over the opening of one more precious parkette, like the Yo-Yo Ma musical shrub farm at Harbourfront, carved out of a bit of public space in front of a wall of condos, I’ll utterly regret my vote.”
There have, unfortunately, been a lot of shrub farms during David Miller’s mayoralty, and Toronto has been run in headlong pursuit of something that I once just glimpsed, and now know with certainty – a near-fatal excess of vision.