I have to maybe slow down my drinking. I don't know what else to say.
Rob Ford, 64th Mayor of Toronto, Ontario--the 4th largest city in North America
Yes, that might be an option well worth exploring, Mr. Mayor.
First there was the video of His Honor, Mr. Ford firing up a glass pipe and smoking crack. Now there is a second video of him in some anonymous room yelling, "I'm going to kill that fucking guy. No holds barred brother, he dies or I die." There were other things--you know--details about how long it would take him to kill the unidentified, "other guy" but hey, you get the gist of the message.
It took Mr. Ford a while to admit he had smoked crack. In fact he denied he'd done it right up until the moment the Toronto police chief revealed his department had a copy of the video in their possession. It was only then Ford went to the media and admitted he'd taken a toke, or two, or three, but at the same time he assured everyone present it was only because he was in a "drunken stupor."
Yes, that makes perfect sense and excuses everything. In fact it makes you wonder what all the fuss is about.
After the second video, which played on the Toronto Star web site, the mayor sang much the same tune. "Obviously I was extremely, extremely inebriated," he said. According to MSN, the emergence of the second video moved Toronto city council member, James Pasternak to urge the mayor to make a "dignified exit."
I'm sorry Councilman, but we're way beyond that now. Many words can be used to describe Mr. Ford, who has a disturbing resemblance in both appearance and demeanor to the late, Chris Farley, but dignified simply isn't one of them.
On the other hand, as Hunter Thompson used to say, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." The CBC reports that despite a lengthy history of crazed behavior, Ford remains eminently re-electable. In fact, one poll they cited shows that after the crack confession, his approval rating went up by five points. Those are numbers even former Washington D.C. mayor Marion Barry would envy and he was re-elected in the district after doing six months of time for the same sort of drug addled behavior.
Indeed, you have to admire a man with staying power. According to Wikipedia, Ford was elected to the Toronto city council in 2000. That would be the year after he was busted for DUI and marijuana possession down in Miami. In 2006, the same year he won a third term on the council, he was chucked out of a Maple Leaf's hockey game for being drunkenly belligerent to a couple sitting behind him. That was the moment he began setting the precedent for what was to come later. When confronted with the allegations he initially claimed he wasn't even at the game. He finally fessed up and in 2010 he was elected mayor.
It is reported he admitted on a radio show last Sunday he was, "hammered" at a street festival in August and last St. Patrick's Day he went so completely out of control he ended up wandering the corridors of city hall in the middle of the night while sucking on a half empty bottle of brandy.
His older brother, Doug is on the city council and during all this madness he went on the attack. After Toronto police chief Bill Blair told the media his department had the crack video in hand, Ford, the elder, was quoted as calling him, "The most political police chief we've ever had." He then demanded Blair resign immediately.
Obviously family is family and the best defense is a good offense. Some rules are the same everywhere on this blue ball. After all, when Jimmy Carter was president he had to deal with his half mad, red neck, brother Billie, who, between beers, was forced to register as a paid agent of the Libyan government.
Yes, strange shit happens.
The best that can be said about the current situation is that Ford at least seems human, which can't be said about the savage rube from Alberta, Ted Cruz.
Ultimately, while many chuckle away at all this manical nonsense, those of us who survived the sixties and seventies know we are watching a tragedy in the making. It is painfully obvious unless Mayor Ford actually comes through on his promise to, "slow down my drinking" he will soon be just as dead as Chris Farley, John Belushi and untold others. Deep down he knows it too. You can see it in his desperate eyes as he sweats out a killer hangover while making excuses for his behavior to the press and public. You can even see it in the rants and wild gestures he displays when he is totally whacked.
The awful truth is, for all these years, Rob Ford has been raging against himself and the inevitable night that is coming for him.
In the end, he loathes them both, but he can't stop either.
sic vita est