Rob Ford Dead at 46
March 22, 2016 8:20 AM   Subscribe

 
Make all the jokes you want, but this stands out:

"people are going to know that I had a few personal struggles"

We are with you on that note. We all have those struggles. Rest in some sort of peace.
posted by jbickers at 8:24 AM on March 22, 2016 [47 favorites]


He was a terrible mayor, but that's still a terrible way to go. No one deserves that.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:25 AM on March 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


Very few of us, though, have struggles that involve both crack cocaine and elected office.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:26 AM on March 22, 2016 [25 favorites]


His contributions to Toronto's batshit-ridiculous political circus aside, let's not forget that Ford was a father of young children, a husband, a part of a tight-knit extended family...we all contain multitudes.

.
posted by blerghamot at 8:28 AM on March 22, 2016 [18 favorites]


At the same time, he remains primarily a horrible warning from history that we are in the midst of ignoring in America.

(and if Boris Johnson corks it I'll suspect they are all merging together to make some kind of spirit-form Voltron.)
posted by Artw at 8:28 AM on March 22, 2016 [22 favorites]


Even the worst of us can be redeemed. I'm sorry that Ford won't get that chance.

.
posted by Etrigan at 8:30 AM on March 22, 2016 [13 favorites]


Make all the jokes you want

Or don't. Whatever I think of Ford, nobody should have to watch their dad die of cancer at 46.
posted by mhoye at 8:31 AM on March 22, 2016 [78 favorites]


Didn't think much of Rob Ford's policies, but articles about his pleomorphic liposarcoma were helpful last fall when a close friend was diagnosed. So.

.
posted by rewil at 8:32 AM on March 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


He was a terrible mayor, but that's still a terrible way to go. No one deserves that.

Yeah. If you've had to see anyone close to you go this way, you're very, very lucky.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:33 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


He certainly lived a life.

.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:33 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


let's not forget that Ford was a father of young children, a husband

There are police reports and documented personal testimony in existence that indicate that Rob Ford was physically and emotionally abusive towards his wife. I didn't wish Rob Ford dead or want him to suffer from cancer, but I'm not going to claim to feel any real sorrow or sense of loss over his death. May his wife and his children find peace, security, and happiness .
posted by orange swan at 8:36 AM on March 22, 2016 [101 favorites]


He will be remembered.
posted by JenThePro at 8:37 AM on March 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


While the people who fought tooth and nail against Rob are preaching patience and civility while his family and friends grieve, his brother and majordomo Doug is already tweeting about running for Rob's vacant seat.
posted by thecjm at 8:38 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sadness at the waste and anger of it all.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:40 AM on March 22, 2016


Rob Ford was sui generis, perhaps not in the way we like our elected officials to be, but I always appreciated the reminder he provided of life's essential absurdity. I leave, in tribute, my favorite article ever written about Rob Ford.
posted by Aubergine at 8:42 AM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Rob Ford was someone I thought of as being the Canadian Bill Clinton. That was purely from a "politician who can't get out of his own way" standpoint.

It seems like he was a very troubled person who was gifted enough to win elected office. My thoughts are with his family.
posted by reenum at 8:42 AM on March 22, 2016


Doug is already tweeting about running for Rob's vacant seat.

That's not Doug Ford's Twitter account. It's a parody account. Anyway, nephew Michael Ford (a pretty decent human being) previously ran for Ward 2 councillor and Doug would not run against him, let alone tweet at this time.
posted by maudlin at 8:43 AM on March 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


I didn't want him to die, I wanted him to live long enough to see the error of his ways, come to a full understanding of how badly he damaged Toronto and do what he could make amends. Of course, given his personality and the people he surrounded himself with that was highly unlikely, and now it's impossible.

As it is, his primary legacy as mayor is a transit system that he screwed up even worse than it already was for at least another generation or two, and a thoroughly poisoned well of public discourse on the transit and taxation files. That, and the circus.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:45 AM on March 22, 2016 [12 favorites]


maudlin - thank you for pointing that out.
posted by thecjm at 8:46 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Michael Ford is a school trustee, not a city councillor.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:46 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


As much as Ford was a difficult mayor for Toronto to have, he was also a man who struggled with many difficult, personal things publicly. I hope he and his family find some peace.

.
posted by nubs at 8:47 AM on March 22, 2016


Much of what we in Toronto blame Ford for can actually be laid at the feet of Mike Harris. Unfortunately, so can Ford's mayoralty.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:48 AM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


His contributions to Toronto's batshit-ridiculous political circus aside, let's not forget that Ford was a father of young children, a husband, a part of a tight-knit extended family...we all contain multitudes.

I feel very badly for his kids: Stephanie is 10. Doug is 8. And now they're going to grow up without their father.

Fuck cancer.

.
posted by zarq at 8:49 AM on March 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yes, Michael Ford is a trustee now, but he was running for the Ward 2 seat before Rob dropped out, and is likely to run in 2018.
posted by maudlin at 8:51 AM on March 22, 2016


I'm a cancer survivor and I fucking hate this:

Rob Ford, 46, seemed like an unstoppable political force, but the city councillor and former mayor could not beat cancer.

As if he just could have worked a little harder and taken it down. Cancer isn't a battle and people with cancer aren't warriors. You're a victim of a terrible disease that is almost always contracted through no fault of your own, and giving up your life to go through debilitating treatment is submission more than anything else. And even if you do everything right to get through it you can still die because science isn't good enough yet to figure out what the hell is going on inside our own bodies. So yeah, fuck cancer. Rob Ford sucked in a lot of ways but dying of cancer isn't part of his failure.
posted by something something at 8:52 AM on March 22, 2016 [206 favorites]


The best obit I've read so far from the National Post
posted by thecjm at 8:52 AM on March 22, 2016 [17 favorites]


Count me as someone who wasn't a fan of Ford, but dying of cancer at 46? That is way too young.
posted by Kitteh at 8:52 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


thecjm, that was excellent. Thanks for sharing it.
posted by zarq at 8:56 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


if I were writing a 20th-century-style Great Weird Boy novel, you know, in the Joyce-Pynchon-DFW tradition, and if it were about today, I'd have the opening sentence start with "On the morning the worst mayor died..."

The novel would not be about Toronto in any way, and Rob Ford would never be mentioned by name in the text (or, indeed, mentioned again at all). basically I'd just do it to mess with the hypothetical grad students of the future.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:56 AM on March 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


Rob Ford was someone I thought of as being the Canadian Bill Clinton.

Ouch. What did Canada ever do to you?
posted by benzenedream at 9:00 AM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Rob Ford's policies and actions contributed to and threatened killing people. Rob:

* Opposed social services at every turn, including AIDS prevention work
* Drove drunk, repeatedly
* Drove distracted (literally reading papers on the steering wheel), repeatedly
* Likely hired the goons who beat the owner of the infamous Crack Photo house with an iron pipe
* Contributed to the drug-related charges and gang killings of the Somali kids who smoked crack with Rob and took the video

And finally, if you take the average Canadian life expectancy as 81 years and the daily TTC+GOtrain ridership as 3 million, though superficial, callous, and utilitarian, delaying transit riders 3 minutes is the equivalent of wasting someone's entire life *every week*.

My heart bled for him when I heard Rob died.
posted by anthill at 9:02 AM on March 22, 2016 [26 favorites]


There goes a man as big as the Great White North. And about as snow-covered. Party on, you hoser.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:04 AM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Reading his obit on the ceeb, I'm reminded of how good a councillor he was, responding to constituents quickly, and always looking at costs. I've served on a few boards, and it's always good to have someone like that in the room -- they may be a pain to deal with, with their one-issue perspective, but it's an important consideration you always need to keep in mind. Whether or not you want that guy actually in charge is another question (probably not).

I don't know what happened to push RoFo upwards from that role he was good at and enjoyed. Maybe if he had stayed there, we wouldn't be having this conversation now. Who knows?

He was still a human being, and while I disagreed with him on pretty much everything, I wish him and his loved ones well. No-one deserves this.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:05 AM on March 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


Poor guy.

.
posted by MissySedai at 9:06 AM on March 22, 2016


Cancer is the worst but this guy was also the worst.
posted by tummy_rub at 9:08 AM on March 22, 2016 [13 favorites]


Make all the jokes you want
I wonder if he updated his Kindle in time?
posted by thelonius at 9:13 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


My feelings echo sentiments shared by others in this thread: I wish he had used his money, platform, and popularity for causes that would have actually benefited the city, and I regret that he'll never have the chance.

He crippled transit, slashed needed services, and demonized the idea of taxation being part of the social contract. He attacked the most helpless, never once recognizing that he was born into immense privilege that sheltered him
from all consequence. He attacked civil servants, despite never holding a private sector job that his daddy didn't provide. He reduced us to "taxpayers", instead of "citizens", implying our concerns should be selfish and entirely cost-based, instead of centered around the well-being of the city and those in it.

I feel for his family: I really do. Despite all the stories about his conduct at home I have no doubt they're hurt beyond belief and I hope they find strength in each other.

But he and his brother were so unbelievably toxic to the civic discourse in Toronto that I don't feel sad that he's gone before the next set of elections. I don't want to feel that, but I do.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 9:14 AM on March 22, 2016 [45 favorites]


I'm stunned that he was only 46. I'd always assumed 50s, possibly due to the hard living. This means Ford was younger than I am right now when he took office.

I don't think I'm nearly half wise enough, thoughtful enough, or knowledgeable enough to be the mayor of my mid-sized city, let alone Toronto.

I literally can't imagine what that would be like.

Maybe this speaks more to Ford's failings and hubris than anything, but I kind of understand more than I did how he was absolutely the worst mayor in the history of the city, possibly the province, and conceivably the nation.

Mel Lastman, if nobody else, owes him a profound debt.
posted by Shepherd at 9:16 AM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


.

condolences to his children.
posted by Theta States at 9:19 AM on March 22, 2016


Very, very sorry for his family.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:20 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

.
posted by Fizz at 9:23 AM on March 22, 2016


He was a bad man who did bad things in both his public and private lives, and it's a sickening shame that so many people could be goaded into voting for him in an act of deliberate sabotage against their own municipal government.

Nobody deserves to die from metastatic cancer, but I will not miss this awful doofus. Would that he had stuck to managing youth football where he would at least have stuck with retail-level harm to others.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:23 AM on March 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


Fizz: De mortuis nil nisi bonum

Fuck that. Live a life where people will say good things about you when you're gone.
posted by tummy_rub at 9:27 AM on March 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


Mel Lastman owes him a debt because Ford made him look like FDR by comparison. As I said many times, though, at least Lastman liked Toronto; Ford (and Harper) are great examples of why it's always a terrible idea to elect a politician who hates the city/state/province country they want to lead.

Ford should have stayed a city councilor; to the extent that it can be said that he was good at anything, he was good at answering the phone and solving constituents' problems on a one-on-one basis. Anything more complex than that was difficult for him. This was one of the defining moments of his mayoralty; he didn't understand what he was voting on, and what was worse was that he didn't care that he didn't understand.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:30 AM on March 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


While the people who fought tooth and nail against Rob are preaching patience and civility while his family and friends grieve, his brother and majordomo Doug is already tweeting about running for Rob's vacant seat.

fwiw, that appears to be yet another stupid, unfunny "satire" account.
posted by Crane Shot at 9:36 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can only imagine how much psychological pain he had to have been in in order to develop such wild, ill-considered, and personally destructive addictions. He could not have been a very happy man. An unhappy ending to an unhappy life; not something I would wish on anyone, political foe or otherwise.
posted by Hildegarde at 9:37 AM on March 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


fwiw, that appears to be yet another stupid, unfunny "satire" account.

I grok that now. When there aren't any jokes, and the vitriol contained therein match the tone of the person being parodied, it is hard to suss out the parody accounts sometimes.

That said, the city tends to appoint councillors instead of running byelections. Something Rob loved as a cost-cutting move, unless someone he didn't like was getting appointed then it was suddenly an affront to democracy. I really doubt the council is going to apoint Doug to Rob's ward. That means Doug has time to both run for federal conservative leadership as some sort of self-appointed northern Trump and then parachute into the next city council race when he fails at his leadership bid.
posted by thecjm at 9:44 AM on March 22, 2016


I think Ford was bullied, and scared. I think he came from this abusive place, and I think that he let that frightened trauma just leak everywhere. I don't think he realized that he was being made fun of. I think that he was manipulated and easily manipulable, and I think there was genuine pathos in his desire to be loved. I think that we treated him shamefully, and I think that part of that shame is related to the fact that he was a fat man who read as working class. He was a monster--I know all of the ways that he was a monster, but he was a monster perhaps not of his own making. He makes me sad.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:50 AM on March 22, 2016 [20 favorites]


I can only imagine how much psychological pain he had to have been in in order to develop such wild, ill-considered, and personally destructive addictions. He could not have been a very happy man. An unhappy ending to an unhappy life; not something I would wish on anyone, political foe or otherwise.

Perfectly said. My sympathy to those who loved him.
posted by sallybrown at 9:53 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm left feeling only sadness for Rob because all my contempt has shifted over to Doug.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:53 AM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


As if he just could have worked a little harder and taken it down. Cancer isn't a battle and people with cancer aren't warriors. You're a victim of a terrible disease that is almost always contracted through no fault of your own, and giving up your life to go through debilitating treatment is submission more than anything else.

I once heard someone on the radio make the same point. As a cancer sufferer, you're not a participant in the battle, he explained: you're the battleground.
posted by Paul Slade at 10:00 AM on March 22, 2016 [21 favorites]


The best obit I've read so far from the National Post

That's an excellent piece. Thank you for including it here, thecjm.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:05 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


To all those commenting that his children are growing up without a father: while I don't know what kind of father he was, I refuse to automatically assume that having no father is worse than having Rob Ford as a father. I will say that my sympathies are with those who are mourning his death.
posted by jferg at 10:08 AM on March 22, 2016 [13 favorites]


I literally thought the man was invincible.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:11 AM on March 22, 2016


I'm grateful to Rob Ford for forever disabusing me of the notion that Toronto is some multi cultural, post-racial paradise. If the city is forced to deal with the rampant segregation that it loves to pretend doesn't exist because of all the racists Ford brought out of the woodwork, he will have left a positive legacy on this city, though probably not the one he intended.

Best wishes to his wife and children.
posted by dry white toast at 10:24 AM on March 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


Rob Ford will be remembered for his personal relationship with the city (Edward Keenan):
He was perhaps the worst mayor Toronto has ever had, and the strangest and most compelling character in the history of Canadian politics, and today Rob Ford is gone and his loss feels like a crater has opened up in the city’s psyche. ...

He was born into modest wealth and moderate local political power, but Rob Ford was an underdog, a man who inspired sympathy in his guilelessness, his bumbling, sometimes childlike personality, his obvious difficulties. It was part of how he rose to power — a man whose poll numbers went up immediately after his mug shot appeared on the front page of the newspaper. The same elements were there later when he faced being thrown out of office by a judge for a football-charity related conflict of interest, and still later when he was repeating “Everything’s fine,” as his staff and city council allies abandoned him in the midst of the crack scandal.

And it was part of how this right-wing tax-cutter became an unlikely — and ultimately counter-productive — champion for those in the inner suburbs, some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city. Whatever else he was, Rob Ford was a man who would come and stand in the rain outside your house to hear your complaints about garbage pickup and try to help, a man who told his staff there was no priority in the city higher than returning the call of a constituent without water. People loved him, in all his contradictions, personally. And he loved them. ...
posted by maudlin at 10:31 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


> That means Doug has time to both run for federal conservative leadership as some sort of self-appointed northern Trump and then parachute into the next city council race when he fails at his leadership bid.

I'm not sure about that; he hated being a city councilor and most of the work he did involved riding on Rob's coattails and pretending that he was co-mayor.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:31 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Read the whole Keenan piece, folks -- the excerpt is great but the whole thing is just outstanding.
posted by Shepherd at 10:37 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am cautiously optimistic that Michael Ford could be an acceptable centrist councillor for Ward 2. I'd rather have Andray Domise, of course, and would support him if he ran again, but if that ward wants a Ford, better Michael than Doug.
posted by maudlin at 10:39 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you want to donate in memory of Rob Ford, you could give money to blacklivesmatterto@gmail.com (Interac e-transfer if you trust them) who have been protesting in front of TPS headquarters for the past 40+ hours in near-freezing drizzle.
posted by anthill at 10:49 AM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


I think Ford was bullied, and scared. I think he came from this abusive place, and I think that he let that frightened trauma just leak everywhere. I don't think he realized that he was being made fun of. I think that he was manipulated and easily manipulable, and I think there was genuine pathos in his desire to be loved

This is interesting -- is there some evidence of him having been bullied? I always sort of picked up a rich-kid alpha-male vibe off Ford but I don't know much about his background
posted by Hoopo at 10:53 AM on March 22, 2016


Perhaps I'm just a politically naive idealist, but I wonder if powerful people might pause just a bit longer before launching horribly destructive policies if they imagined that they'd be judged fairly, rather than having their legacy immediately white-washed because we can't bear to tell the truth about the dead. Politicians who spend their entire careers fighting to make the world a meaner, uglier, and less just place deserve our scorn, in death as in life.

It may not be their family's fault they were horrible. But, the world is full of grieving families of people who didn't go out of their way to cause human suffering. I'll save my dots for them.
posted by eotvos at 10:57 AM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


Rob Ford Died Before He Could Make Amends (Jeet Heer):
Forty-six is too young for anyone to die, but it is especially sad in Ford’s case because he had much to make amends for. Respect for the truth requires us to admit that he did much damage to his family and his city. The Toronto police repeatedly visited his home on domestic abuse calls. He once humiliated his wife during a press conference by boasting about performing oral sex on her. His children lived under the shadow of his addictions to drugs and alcohol, which made him an erratic and threatening man.

Beyond his family, he was a toxic figure in Toronto municipal politics. He won the mayoralty thanks to his belligerently ignorant populism, fueled by the genuine grievances of the working-class citizens of Toronto, who felt their concerns were being neglected. But in true demagogic fashion, Ford took these well-grounded complaints and refashioned them into a polarizing creed of contempt for cosmopolitan urbanites, reimagined as bicycle-riding downtown elites. Ford practiced a fantasy politics, promising subways that would never get built and wreaking havoc on the city’s budget. ...
posted by maudlin at 11:01 AM on March 22, 2016 [19 favorites]


.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:04 AM on March 22, 2016


A lot of people who were not wife-beaters and drug dealers died today. These are people who, unlike Ford, did not career through life wreaking destruction and chaos. They receive no commemoration from us.

I will not lionize this cad.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:09 AM on March 22, 2016 [17 favorites]


I wonder if powerful people might pause just a bit longer before launching horribly destructive policies if they imagined that they'd be judged fairly, rather than having their legacy immediately white-washed because we can't bear to tell the truth about the dead.

They don't think they're wrong but will be forgiven, they think they're right.
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Rob Ford was a politician whose policies were horrible. And not just in a "poor ROI" sense. His policies were morally undefensible and did long term damage to Toronto.

But awful people stay in office because they are responsive to constituents, return their calls, show up at community events, etc. It is actually very upsetting how much leeway voters will give you for being an awful person as long as you send them a birthday card.

I saw him as Canada's Marion Barry. By any objective measure viewed from the outside, awful, but for very many understandable reasons beloved and supoorted by his constituents.
posted by deanc at 11:15 AM on March 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


Perhaps I’m just a politically naive idealist, but I wonder if powerful people might pause just a bit longer before launching horribly destructive policies if they imagined that they’d be judged fairly, rather than having their legacy immediately white-washed because we can't bear to tell the truth about the dead.

Societal acknowledgement comes because he had an impact on society; judgment can be done out loud or in the silence of your heart. But to be judged fairly is a harsher penalty than any of us deserves.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:17 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I will not lionize this cad.

I don't think it lionizes someone to say that they lived a sad life and died a sad death and that is sad. Count me among those who wishes he had the chance to pull his life together and redeem himself with his family. Addiction and cancer are horrific things for anyone and any family to have to deal with and this is just sad all around.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:18 AM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


He was an awful man who was an awful mayor and he died an awful death.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 11:34 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


From Spacing: Rob Ford, 1969-2016: A legacy he never intended
posted by sincarne at 11:40 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


The only dots of memorialization and respect I'll give out are for his victims.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:41 AM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


From the National Post obit:
No one has ever effectively explained the hold drugs and alcohol had on the wealthy, upper-middle class Fords.
whut
posted by Sauce Trough at 11:57 AM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


He was a profoundly, proudly ignorant demagogue and a creature of pure id who never hesitated to indulge his every impulse. He was largely responsible for the toxic culture that poisons Toronto's politics to this day and that I partly blame for giving license to the driver who deliberately hit me on my bike last year. He spent his career denigrating, cheapening and coarsening public life. Many people who were less destructive and malicious will die today.

Despite all this, his was an awful way to die that I would not wish on anyone. I hope his family can find peace now that his demons and illnesses are tormenting neither him nor them.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:58 AM on March 22, 2016 [15 favorites]


is there some evidence of him having been bullied?

Rob was bullied terribly by Doug. If you listened to how they spoke to each other and of each other, it was awful to listen to sometimes. That weight loss contest they had at the beginning of Rob's mayoralty. That radio show they co-hosted on Sundays. The dynamic between them was sick. I remember I listened to them on the radio after Rob admitted to using crack. I thought that if I was teaching an addictions course I would get a transcript of the show and assign the class to go through it and identify all the examples of co-dependency and abuse and other unhealthy dynamics. It was just awful to listen to.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:27 PM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


He was younger than me? Egads he looked like he was in his early 60's.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:31 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


He was a waste of potential who squandered the one chance he had to do any kind of significant good. He treated his body less like a vessel and more like a dumpster. It's sad when you read an obituary and your first reaction is "I'm amazed he lasted this long." If his life amounts to at least a warning to others, especially his kids, that will be something at least.
posted by prepmonkey at 12:42 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


> Rob was bullied terribly by Doug.

The only time I actually felt sorry for Rob was during that "Cut The Waist" thing that was clearly Doug's idea. When Doug lost weight and Rob (in the long run) didn't, it seemed like Doug relished the opportunity to make fun of Rob in front of an audience.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:47 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Rob was bullied terribly by Doug. If you listened to how they spoke to each other and of each other, it was awful to listen to sometimes.

At some point, I have to have some amount of sympathy for Rob Ford because he was clearly troubled in ways he failed to understand or confront until it was too late. But not Doug. As far as I can tell, his primary motivator is the amusement he derives from making other people suffer, including his brother.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 12:47 PM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


I wonder what Toronto would be like today if Tory had decided to run in 2010 (with Ford supporting him). He's still be the same pompous, timid empty suit that he is today, but he stood a chance of winning against the centrist-to-liberal field. He wouldn't have needed to tack as far right as he did in 2014 because he wouldn't be competing with or following Ford. Thus, we might still be stuck with the so-called Gardiner hybrid, but SmartTrack might still be a smudge on a napkin, we'd have a new Scarborough LRT to Malvern completed by now, and maybe our taxes would be raised to actually pay for infrastructure, transit and housing.

But Tory followed Ford instead, and we're fucked.
posted by maudlin at 12:54 PM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


The man was still a councillor and likely intended to run for mayor again if his health allowed it. Hell, there was a good chance that if the cancer didn't make him drop out of the mayor's race last election he'd still be mayor. While it is unfortunate that he died so young and I'm sure his family and friends are devastated I can't help but be happy that he won't be around to hurt my city any more.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:09 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


He wasn't Toronto's first talk radio-certified mayor, but he was the purest distillation of the role.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 1:21 PM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Tory is just Ford without the crack.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:37 PM on March 22, 2016


.
posted by Cash4Lead at 2:09 PM on March 22, 2016


Nice of Trudeau to send his condolences, considering Ford called him a "fag" in one of his crack videos, I forget which one.
posted by chococat at 2:22 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


An alternative obituary, courtesy of Richard Feren.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 2:48 PM on March 22, 2016 [13 favorites]


He lived a life, we can only hate him about it.
posted by korpe4r at 3:03 PM on March 22, 2016


There goes a man as big as the Great White North.

I only just at this moment realized that he and his brother were literally 'Bob and Doug'. Just not funny like that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:13 PM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


From the National Post obit:
No one has ever effectively explained the hold drugs and alcohol had on the wealthy, upper-middle class Fords.


That is literally the one thing that makes sense to me about Rob Ford.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:19 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Let us hearken back to his appearance in Skrillex's car.
posted by rhizome at 3:24 PM on March 22, 2016


He once humiliated his wife during a press conference by boasting about performing oral sex on her.

To this day, every time this incident is raised I sit stunned, asking myself, did he really just say that? Could anyone, never mind a public official speaking in front of freaking TV cameras, really open their mouth and say what he just said?

The man was a boorish *ss. Nobody deserves cancer, but public humiliation? He deserved that in spades.
posted by Snowflake at 3:43 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Deadmau5, technically. Worth watching for the Tim Horton's drive-through order: 5 espressos in one cup.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:43 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


It should also be noted that he ran the City like a business. I'll just leave it at that.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 3:47 PM on March 22, 2016


That is literally the one thing that makes sense to me about Rob Ford.

Yeah, a good portion of my family are very similar to Ford's, in respect to class, addiction and abuse / dysfunction. It is not surprising in the least. I guess that's why Arrested Development resonates on so many levels with me.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:49 PM on March 22, 2016


Deadmau5, technically.

GAAAAH SORRY, that was really bad of me.
posted by rhizome at 3:49 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


he ran the City like a business

Ford ran the city like it was funded out of his adolescent allowance -- that is, complaining about having to spend money on anything he himself didn't happen to want, such as AIDS prevention programs, and blowing money on whatever foolish thing he did happen to want, such as the subway and hiring his unqualified friends for $100K a year.
posted by orange swan at 3:52 PM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


orange_swan: so like a family business, then...
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 4:19 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


On the death of Rob Ford and mourning abusive men by Meghan Murphy at Rabble.ca
posted by larrybob at 4:21 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


It should also be noted that he ran the City like a business.

He certainly said that a lot but, like a lot of things he said, it wasn't true.

Businesses don't try their best to cut their own revenue streams, slash the services they exist to deliver and alienate their clients along a wide variety of racial, gender and class divides while paying exorbitant salaries to deeply unqualified people they happen to know from the old days to run critical functions. They don't make a point of pride of knowing nothing about their most important projects, and tolerate executives who routinely show up for work at after lunch and drive home drunk at three thirty.
posted by mhoye at 4:27 PM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


To all those commenting that his children are growing up without a father: while I don't know what kind of father he was, I refuse to automatically assume that having no father is worse than having Rob Ford as a father.

My dad died at age 48. He was a terrible parent. My two kids are the same age as Ford's son.

Losing a parent to a fatal disease, especially at a young age, is a life-altering experience. No one is asking you to empathize. But having been through that loss, being a father myself, I certainly can.
posted by zarq at 4:43 PM on March 22, 2016 [11 favorites]


An alternative obituary, courtesy of Richard Feren:

So, I won’t begrudge the family and friends of Rob Ford their sincere remembrance of his life, but as a citizen of Toronto (and a prominent online satirist of Ford) I consider it my duty to provide, for the public sphere, an honest obituary of Rob Ford, who was not only a disastrous mayor, but also a liar, a bully, an abuser, and an all-around horrible person. He doesn’t deserve our compassion because he refused to ever learn from his wrongdoing, instead blaming everyone else, and because he showed so little compassion for anyone who didn’t belong to his small coterie of supporters. Everyone else was a target for his intolerant wrath: people who lived in the old city of Toronto, bicyclists (whom he blamed entirely for their own traffic fatalities), journalists, members of unions, homosexuals, civil servants, police chiefs… and all substance abusers other than himself. He once publicly proclaimed that crack smokers should be jailed, and even as his own drug-abuse scandal unfolded he railed against a proposal for safe-injection sites, which he claimed, without irony, would “set a bad example”.

Ten years ago, when he was a city councillor, a drunken Rob Ford caused such a disturbance at a Maple Leafs game that he had to be removed by security. A couple visiting from out of town received the brunt of his abuse, as he shrieked things like “How would you like your little wife to be raped and shot in Iran?” to them. While he could be forgiven for this misbehaviour (after all, he’s not the first person to be an obnoxious drunk at a sporting event), what he did next cannot be forgiven. Two days after the game, he was confronted by National Post reporters who’d gotten wind of this incident when they learned of a complaint filed by that visiting couple to the city clerk. Ford, presumably not drunk at the time, insisted to the media that it wasn’t him, he wasn’t even at that game, and that the couple must be lying. The following day, he reluctantly admitted the truth, but a pattern was established that he would repeatedly follow for the rest of his life: when caught doing something wrong, he would first deny it, and call his accusers liars, until his own lie could no longer be sustained, at which point he would begrudgingly own up to his own actions, while lashing out at anyone who mentioned it. This despicable modus operandi would be repeated on the 2010 campaign trail, when he denied that he’d ever been charged with drug possession in a 1999 Florida drunk-driving incident, and most famously when he denied for six whole months that he’d been caught on video smoking crack with violent street-gang members. For those six months, Ford continually accused reporters who’d seen the video of lying, until eventually when the police recovered the video, he finally admitted to smoking crack, and claimed that his six months of lying was the fault of reporters who “hadn’t asked the right question”.

One has to wonder: if the police hadn't ever found that video, would he have continued to lie about it, right to his deathbed?

Nor was Ford’s propensity to lie about anything and everything limited to his personal misconduct: he also routinely told whoppers about his policies and mayoral accomplishments. The most notable lie, repeated endlessly by him and his brother Doug during the 2014 municipal campaign, was that Ford, as mayor, had “saved the city a billion dollars”. That figure has been disputed by everyone other than the Fords, and the person best qualified to know the answer, former City Manager Joe Pennachetti asserted in a Toronto Life interview, “Unequivocally, he did not save tax dollars of a billion dollars.”

Rob Ford’s conduct was so egregious that he was served a libel notice after accusing a reporter of being a pedophile on a TV interview. At first, Rob stuck to his guns and wouldn’t retract his foul accusation, until the deadline of the libel notice was about to expire, then in a classic weaselly move, he had his lawyer issue a written retraction, but didn’t bother to publicly vocalize it. To this day, many of his supporters continue to parrot that accusation, seemingly unaware that Ford did in fact retract it. And Ford made no further effort to enlighten them on that point. Shakespeare wrote "the evil that men do lives after them", so we must not only remember Ford's words and deeds when he was alive, but also his poisonous effect on the city and its civic discourse. He deliberately pitted different factions and regions within the city against each other, emboldened his supporters to flaunt their bigotry and threaten others with violence (much as we now see occurring at Donald Trump rallies), and propagated so many falsehoods about everything from transit strategies to what's in the city budget, that even now it is difficult to have rational and informed discussions about these matters.


He leaves behind two children who had to watch their father die, horribly and painfully. That's awful. They also had to live in a horrible domestic situation which deserves a whole bunch more sympathy.


This was an early harbinger
:

Ford has also used the media to get out of sticky situations. After he was caught on tape suggesting to a fibromyalgia sufferer, “Why don’t you go on the street and score” some OxyContin, he and his handlers fed a story to the press saying he feared for his family’s safety and therefore was humouring the caller. In 2008, during a scrum following his now notorious domestic dispute, he used his daughter as armour. On the evening of March 26, the day of Renata’s 911 call, Ford stood holding Stepha­nie in the doorway of his mother’s home. A Star reporter asked if Renata was OK. “Yeah, everything’s fine. No problems here,” said Ford. His lawyer told the media that the previous night around 10:30 p.m., Ford himself had called 911 after walking in the door to “verbal abuse” from Renata. The lawyer added that Ford thought his wife’s behaviour was “irrational” and that he left for his mother’s house with the couple’s two children. Renata’s parents, Tadeusz and Henryka Brejniak, later told a reporter their daughter was seeing a doctor and “getting help.” When reporters wanted to talk to Renata, Henryka said, “There’s no way she can talk. She’s so upset.”

The Brazen 2 investigation unfolded, in part, the way it did because of the fact that Ron Taverner couldn't be relied upon to effectively investigate the mayor. It was handed over to homicide. That investigation was disrupted because of a domestic violence investigation at the Ford residence.

So, what's left? Maybe Renata will be allowed to leave this family with her kids.

In 2012, the police were called to Renata's parent's house, where she was found with "numerous physical injuries including scrapes, bruising and cuts" on her face and body (he [Rob Ford] was not charged in this circumstance either).

She can get out now.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:19 PM on March 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


A dead asshole is still an asshole.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:38 PM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


OMG. There is so much I had forgotten. He and his brother have been at war against civilized society.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:39 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


A lowlife like this managed to become mayor of the largest metropolitan center in Canada? One must wonder why.

. (for a fellow crackhead)
posted by telstar at 6:42 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


From the National Post obit:
No one has ever effectively explained the hold drugs and alcohol had on the wealthy, upper-middle class Fords.
whut


Being a junkie just isn't done in middle-class WASPy Canadian social circles.
posted by GuyZero at 6:43 PM on March 22, 2016


At least not in public.
posted by rhizome at 6:44 PM on March 22, 2016


Goldsbie — whose future writing career is guaranteed by his writing about Ford — wrote this surprisingly sweet piece about him today: What Rob Ford meant. Goldsbie also took this photo of the 2013 PFLAG event, which sums up everything about the Ford years with no words.

Rob Ford was almost exactly the same age as me. We're both never slim. I'm sad for his family, but I still wish he'd never been mayor.
posted by scruss at 6:51 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


OMG. There is so much I had forgotten. He and his brother have been at war against civilized society.

That's the thing. There's been SO MUCH.

The failing of the Fords - and I use that in plural - is not drug addiction. It's a thing that happens. I think Doug Ford being the threatener, the enabler, etc. is the real story. At some point using drugs is an attempt to kill emotional pain, right? So if Doug is, as he says, a teetotaler...what's his excuse for the way he behaves?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:04 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford was just a big baby. He was, in a way, innocent of his many crimes and blunders because he was just an pure infantile ego, lacking any adult sense of responsibility, and he reflected the petty sentiments of those suburban GTA voters who supported him as well as Mike Harris and Mel Lastman, and then get the crappy infrastructure that they deserve.
posted by ovvl at 7:09 PM on March 22, 2016


Rob Ford was just a big baby. He was, in a way, innocent of his many crimes and blunders because he was just an pure infantile ego, lacking any adult sense of responsibility, and he reflected the petty sentiments of those suburban GTA voters who supported him as well as Mike Harris and Mel Lastman, and then get the crappy infrastructure that they deserve.

That comes out in the Deadmau5 video above. "Oh, boo hoo...this is the only Tim Horton's drive through we can find...they're all so anti-car."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2016


It should also be noted that he ran the City like a business. I'll just leave it at that.

Heh. I always wonder what kind of jobs people who say that like its a good thing have.
posted by Artw at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2016


scruss, that Goldsbie photo is just the most heartbreaking thing in the world. I've always thought that was a photo of what it was like to *be* Rob Ford.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:17 PM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


There are also business people who would say "Look - if you want to issue debt to borrow money for major infrastructure projects the time is NOW. Do you know how historically low interest rates are now? Are you nuts NOT to borrow NOW? Yes you are!"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:18 PM on March 22, 2016


I don't know if any sentence I've read about Rob Ford captures him more than this one from the Goldsbie piece:
His dogged determination to persevere in the face of monumental obstacles — most of which he erected himself — was staggering in its consistency.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:19 PM on March 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


That Goldsbie piece is beautiful. I've been thinking a lot about him and Daniel Dale today. Ford really shaped their careers.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:28 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


scruss, that Goldsbie photo is just the most heartbreaking thing in the world. I've always thought that was a photo of what it was like to *be* Rob Ford.

Yeah, that's the thing too. It's been on his feed for years now. I'm torn between thinking it's a Ford who thinks "Yeah, I should be out there..." and Ford who was told just to go stand there and he doesn't know why. I forget the dateline on the photo, but it may align with one of the tracked escapades in the Brazen ITOs. Chances are, he didn't flop into bed early.

As much of a dumpster fire as Mel Lastman was, at least there was this: Former mayor Mel Lastman urges Ford to attend Pride.

Lastman - the salesman as he ever was - at least listened to advice. "Hey, do this. You'll look good." Turns out he had fun. I saw Lastman at Pride parades. He looked like he was actually enjoying it, and as much as I hated Lastman's mayoralty, I have to give him props for doing that. He eventually embraced it. As crappy a mayor as he was, he at least demonstrated leadership there, albeit with some prodding.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:28 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


One more thing about the Goldsbie piece: the video at the end, where Rob Ford is speaking to reporters about his former Toronto City Council seatmate and beloved NDP leader Jack Layton, is the one interview of his I can respect him for. His recollections of Layton are sincere, articulate, appropriate, and actually quite lovely. If only Ford could have been more like this more often.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:30 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


> scruss, that Goldsbie photo is just the most heartbreaking thing in the world.

It might be if you didn't know *why* Ford was at that particular gathering, with that particular body language and facial expression.

> That's the thing. There's been SO MUCH.

Yep. Check it out and see how much you forgot!
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:30 PM on March 22, 2016


From the National Post obit:
No one has ever effectively explained the hold drugs and alcohol had on the wealthy, upper-middle class Fords.
whut


The reference is to the family as soap opera.
You can just glance at the sister Kathy.

Shot in the face at the family home by some lover/drug dealer
Minor charges filed.
Death threats over drug debts etc.

Her son and Rob's nephew Michael Ford have been mentioned above.
Not mentioned was that his name was changed from Stirpe.
His addict dad shot and killed another one of Kathy's lovers.

Michael only saw his Dad at Kingston Pen.

Out on parole his father viciously stabbed a woman.
He won't be out for decades now

Kathy was shot in the face at the family home by another lover/dealer
minor charges filed.
Death threats over drug debts etc.

Randy Ford has numerous arrests including forcible confinement.

Drugs, booze, violence .
It's astounding.
---
Rob, as flawed as he was, did a good job as councillor.
He got t your potholes fixed. The stop sign installed etc.
If you lived in City housing he would get it sprayed for roaches, fix the locks , fix windows etc.
He would answer your calls and show up personally.
And he would raise holy hell on your behalf.
It was clearly something that appealed to his combative nature.
He did a damn good job at that.

You'd be invited to his BBQ.
Or he'd come to yours if you asked.

And when Rob later said " I need some help, would you take a bumper sticker ? "
These people said give me 5. One for everyone I know.
They would go out of their way for him.
He helped them when no else would.

These were not downtown tree huggers looking for yet another bike lane or no nuke zone.
Just working poor needing help with the ity
He did help.

He wouldn't have stood a chance for mayor, but Sun Media decided he gave great copy and gave him exposure you could not buy.

He was flawed, so are we all.

RIP
posted by yyz at 7:32 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yep. Check it out and see how much you forgot!

Ugh.

At first glance, that's not even exhaustive. I read the Brazen ITOs in their entirety. There's also...

Scott McIntyre

Ennio Stirpe
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:39 PM on March 22, 2016


Rob Ford was someone I thought of as being the Canadian Bill Clinton.

more like Donald Trump by way of Don Cherry with some Johnny Larue on the side. Though that's being hard on Larue who, at least, had the grace to not actually be a real person.

But seriously, what jbickers said at the top of the thread:

Rest in some sort of peace.
posted by philip-random at 8:00 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tory is just Ford without the crack.

Dumbest thing I've read all week. Tory at least deserves to be hated on his own merits. Not trying to joke or anything.
posted by beau jackson at 8:03 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


🎱
posted by clavdivs at 8:05 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think these Fords are the diminishing grandchildren of a Prohibition Era Boss. Failing mostly through of over-consumption of the family trade. It takes discipline to maintain a dynasty.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:10 PM on March 22, 2016


he was flawed

He was a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, lying bully and hypocrite. He was a nasty piece of work and while I take no particular joy in his death, I am going to neither mourn him nor participate in the revisionist hagiography that has taken over both Facebook and the local news. I will show him no respect in death because he deserved none in life.

Cancer is a terrible way to go though, and he didn't deserve that either.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:04 PM on March 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


For all the plaudits he's gotten as an effective councillor, he was no such thing. Sure, he'd raise hell and get your pothole fixed and get the credit, but in doing that, he was stealing that crew from filling the three potholes they were supposed to be doing more efficiently. He was an idiot savant who managed to become mayor without ever realizing that government and businesses serve different functions and should be thought of differently - even though you would think this would be apparent given their different names. He had more personal failings himself than a small fraternity could accumulate jointly, and could reasonably be argued to be the worst municipal level politician in Canada, certainly in my lifetime. The only positive thing he contributed was his being Goofus to Nenshi's Gallant, a wonderful antidote to Torontocentrism from here in Calgary.

My sympathies are with his wife and children; indeed, my sympathies have been with them for years.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:41 PM on March 22, 2016 [10 favorites]


For all the plaudits he's gotten as an effective councillor, he was no such thing. Sure, he'd raise hell and get your pothole fixed and get the credit, but in doing that, he was stealing that crew from filling the three potholes they were supposed to be doing more efficiently.

Bingo. And as mayor, it's like calling the CEO of my company to say "Hey - the printer's broken!"

Will it get serviced faster? Likely. Will it cost more in hours because the CEO is dealing with it? Definitely. This is the grand fiction of Ford.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:08 PM on March 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


The worst thing about Ford as a councilor, IMO, was that he'd harangue other councilors for wasting taxpayer money but he ran most of his office's budget out of his own pocket. I see how it appeals to some people but it's basically plutocracy. Hugely at odds with his "common guy" shtick. He was in no ways careful with taxpayers' money.
posted by GuyZero at 10:31 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


  I forget the dateline on the photo

It was the morning that Ford cancelled his weekly radio show, and two days after denying crack cocaine allegations and Gawker's Crackstarter.
posted by scruss at 4:16 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


> He was in no ways careful with taxpayers' money.

That's the thing. As mayor he'd crow about "saving" a few thousand bucks in office supplies, then toss $85 million in cancellation fees in the garbage by dumping Transit City. It's like that Joseph Stalin quote; "A single dollar is a waste. A million dollars is a statistic."
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:08 AM on March 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


> Tory is just Ford without the crack.

Dumbest thing I've read all week. Tory at least deserves to be hated on his own merits. Not trying to joke or anything.


Okay, admittedly that was harsh. But in a lot of fundamental ways, his policies aren't much different from Ford's; give the cops everything they want, blow billions on unnecessary subway projects, break the non-police city unions, etc.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:05 AM on March 23, 2016


My favourite memory of the Ford mess is related to his marital oral sex comment. Things has been building, building, building, with something new coming by the hour. And then there was that totally unpredicted, unprompted, bizarro-world comment, and holee shit, what was that?!?

A few minutes later, I was talking on the phone to Mother Renault, who was also totally sucked in by the Ford circus, and had she heard what he said? No, she hadn't. What did he say?

"Sorry, Mom, but there are just some things I cannot say to my mother. Nope."

She was giving me all kinds of motherly absolution to tell her what he said. Nope nope nope. No way, no how.

I didn't tell her. She had an appointment to take her car in for an oil change, and so she decided to ask the mechanics there if they had heard what Ford said, and if they could tell her what it was.

Yes, they had heard. Everyone had heard. But there was no way on God's green Earth that they were going to repeat what Rob Ford said to this little old lady customer of theirs. Nope nope nope. She gave them absolution, too. No dice. Sorry, lady.

After that, she went for tea at a friend's house. Her friend knew what Ford had said, but couldn't repeat it herself, as that was "locker room talk". Her husband took offence at that, saying that he had never heard that kind of talk in any locker room he was ever in. And he wouldn't tell Mom, either.

In the end, I think Mom gleaned it from the bleeped-out news reports, as she stopped asking me. But I held firm, which isn't an easy thing to do when Mom is putting on a full-guilt press for something.

So even in the total mess of the Rob Ford years, the waste and dysfunction and anger, there were some nice moments too, like when a group of random men absolutely refused to break the bonds of common decency despite a lady's pleadings.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:35 AM on March 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


Okay, admittedly that was harsh. But in a lot of fundamental ways, his policies aren't much different from Ford's; give the cops everything they want, blow billions on unnecessary subway projects, break the non-police city unions, etc.

And I could have been nicer. Sorry.
posted by beau jackson at 7:10 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Okay, admittedly that was harsh.

And I could have been nicer. Sorry.


The walls are already coming down.
posted by chococat at 9:14 AM on March 23, 2016


Capt. Renault: I don't know what happened to push RoFo upwards from that role he was good at and enjoyed.

Here's what happened to make him mayor: ego, absence of a rightwing standard-bearer in the mayoral race, and substantial support and guidance from the core of the formidable conservative election machine when they determined that he was mathematically electable.

I consider him a successful and useful city councillor - he did give voice to the little guy, and served as a reminder (if a loutish and unsophisticated one) that this is a city, not some utopian social experiment. He was a disastor as mayor and I will forever despise those who aided and facilitated his mayoral run and election.

This BBC piece Why Rob Ford was a typical Canadian is infuriating. To be clear... the typical Canadian is not a self-promoting morbidly-obese, substance-abusing, intolerant millionaire boor.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:17 AM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also Rob Ford didn't curl, probably his greatest flaw as a person. Sorry you never knew the pleasure of a sweet draw on the button Rob.
posted by GuyZero at 10:17 AM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


As a side note, the recent Joseph Heath FPP by russilwvong linked a really good three post series on Ford (and demagogues more generally, which is useful looking to the south right about now) from back in 2014 as he was collapsing:

Part one: If anything, what Ford reveals is the brutal effectiveness of message discipline. He proves that you can do pretty much everything else wrong (and it’s difficult to imagine how much more Ford could do wrong), and still win if you are able to be sufficiently relentless in your messaging.

Part two: What the interviewer was thinking, of course, when trying to reinterpret the photocopying remark, is that “no one could be that stupid.” That’s the premise that a lot of people bring to the table, when trying to figure out Ford. And so they wind up weaving more and more elaborate explanations of what he might have been thinking, or what he might have meant. At some point though, the simpler explanation begins to assert itself. This is the explanation that I am proposing: he has extremely limited capacity for abstract thought.

Part three: The fact that major candidates for elected office are usually vetted by parties means that when a columnist says “don’t vote for so-and-so” it usually just reflects a judgement of political ideology. So when you get a candidate who is completely and thoroughly unfit for office, absolutely beyond the pale, it’s difficult to communicate that. When a journalist says, “no seriously, you can’t possibly consider voting for this guy, it’s totally out of the question” people just assume it’s more political ideology (e.g. the Toronto Star is out to get him!), as opposed to say, the truth.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:27 AM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Daily XTRA Opinion: How Rob Ford renewed LGBT activism in Toronto. (Ads may be somewhat NSFW)
posted by larrybob at 10:38 AM on March 23, 2016


Rob Ford could lie in state at city hall ahead of funeral. Yet another honour this horrid man did nothing to deserve.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:17 PM on March 23, 2016


I was on the phone with Toronto clients and they all thought he was a good mayor with personal problems. For whatever that's worth, possibly nothing, given what's been said here.
posted by zutalors! at 2:21 PM on March 23, 2016


Heh, yeah. "Except for all the bad stuff, he was a pretty cool guy!"
posted by rhizome at 2:40 PM on March 23, 2016


Rob Ford could lie in state at city hall ahead of funeral.

My impression was that Rob Ford could lie anywhere…
posted by Going To Maine at 3:30 PM on March 23, 2016


My ass he was a good mayor. But behold the power of simplistic slogans and relentless one-note messaging.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:35 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've been one of the people saying that Ford won support by being an attentive councillor, but I was wrong. In addition to the good points made above re his inefficient use of resources every time he deigned to get a pothole filled, it's worth looking at stories like this one from Andray Domise: The Rob Ford legacy that many refuse to confront
In the fall of 2014, while campaigning against the Fords for councillor of Toronto’s Ward 2, I knocked on the door of a lady I’ll call Carmen. By this time the 2014 mayoral race had taken a turn for the bizarre, even by the standards of Rob Ford’s four years as mayor. For the first half of the campaign, Rob Ford’s nephew, Michael, was running for the seat until Rob was hospitalized in September with an abdominal tumour. Michael withdrew from the council race, and Rob subsequently withdrew from the mayoral track to campaign in Ward 2, the neighbourhood he'd represented for 12 years as a city councillor. In order to win the Ward 2 council race, I would have to defeat the mayor of Toronto.

At first Carmen refused to open the door, so I stood there in the hallway taking questions through a peep hole in patois-accented English about improving public housing. Eventually Carmen recognized my voice from a radio interview she’d heard, and invited me into her living room for a chat. I expected she was going tell me a story about meeting the ward’s longtime incumbent, Rob Ford, as many working-class Caribbean residents I’d spoken with in the area had. That’s precisely what she did, but her story was far from what I expected. ...
posted by maudlin at 4:41 PM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Artful Codger: This BBC piece Why Rob Ford was a typical Canadian is infuriating. To be clear... the typical Canadian is not a self-promoting morbidly-obese, substance-abusing, intolerant millionaire boor.

I totally agree. Man, that was a poorly written piece and it irritated the hell out of me. I mean, I understand what they were trying to get at; I am always annoyed by lazy stereotyping of Canadians (and sometimes we are the worst offenders ourselves) as friendly, polite, maple syrup loving, tolerant nice people. But it doesn't necessarily follow that BLOODY ROB FORD is a typical Canadian. Yes, definitely, we do have our share of racist, alcoholic wife abusers. But I'd no more say that's a typical Canadian than the opposite nicey-nice simpleton caricature either.

And what is up with this bit?
Canadians defy popular notions of all kinds. They are among the heaviest drinkers of alcohol and smokers of marijuana in the world; they rank with the most obese and dependent on antidepressants, and they kill nearly half a million seals every year for fur.
Uhhh...one of these things is not like the others. WTF does the seal industry have to do with drinking, smoking weed and being obese and depressed?

Shame on you, BBC.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:35 PM on March 23, 2016


OK, this piece by Ivor Tossell is fantastic: Rob Ford: The Honest Liar.
The man (and it always seems to be a man) who runs as the champion of the outsider gains a peculiar advantage: He gets to fail upwards. If you run as the enemy of the distrusted institutions of democracy — of the government, of the media — then the more you can do to confound their mores, to annoy their functionaries, to say the unsayable, the more that supporters who feel oppressed and ignored by these institutions will love you. Ford’s specialty for years had been outbursts, but every time newspapers incredulously compiled sidebars of his most bigoted statements, his support only grew.

And so it was that in the middle of his election campaign, Rob Ford was confronted about an old DUI in Florida; he denied it. It was only when a reporter produced undeniable proof that he admitted to it. His opponents watched with glee: Surely, this will shame him into quitting! They weren’t paying attention. A whip-smart campaign team taught Ford to contain his volatility, captured his straightforward views, and packaged them in two snappy slogans (“RESPECT FOR TAXPAYERS” always in caps, and “Stop the gravy train!” always punctuated). He rolled to a landslide victory. In the end, nothing ever shamed Rob Ford into quitting.

So began the mayoralty of Rob Ford. It was a disaster. ...
Bonus random great quote: " ... the city was stuck in an epistemological twilight zone, in which the very nature of truth started doing a rack focus zoom in and out on the mayor. "
posted by maudlin at 6:07 PM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Following the funeral, the Ford family will host a “celebration of Councillor Ford’s life” at the Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke starting at 6:30 p.m., where video clips, to be submitted by the public, will be played.

This seems like a dangerous idea. They're going to vet these videos firsts, right?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:12 PM on March 23, 2016


I totally agree. Man, that was a poorly written piece and it irritated the hell out of me.
Shame on you, BBC.


I don't know. I mean, I now assume that the typical Englishman has had his penis in the mouth of a pig at least once. And If I were the state broadcast agency of a nation of pigfuckers, I'd be desperate to point out the flaws of anyone else anywhere else.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 7:11 PM on March 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Rob Ford didn't really want to be a Politician, he only wanted to be a Football Coach.

He was an okay football coach I guess, but not a good one. His personal philosophy seemed to be: "Always push forward, no matter what." This doesn't work in complex games, sometimes you have to go sideways to get where you want to go. He wasn't a good enough coach to get a paying job at that, but that's what he really wanted in life. He was devoted to volunteer coaching for his High School team.

His first day as the Mayor he took a call on his cell from national CBC Radio to interview him. He told them that he was too busy volunteer coaching a High School football game to talk to them.

Rob Ford could have been a good mayor if he'd just said: "I'm taking every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon off to do my football, and I'm fully focused on my Mayor job every other day!" His schedule was erratic.

He actually wasn't an okay football coach, he was actually kinda crappy. When the football game that you are coaching degenerates into threats and dissent, and the game has to be called off early, well, that's not good coaching. For some reason that we don't understand there were not dressing rooms available for his team, what's up with that? He got on his cell and yelled at the Chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission, and they stopped 2 city buses full of grumpy suburban taxpayers on their way home on a rainy November afternoon rush hour and kicked them out into the pouring rain, so that he could divert those buses to ferry his HS football players back to their school.

The School Board told him that he couldn't keep coaching football, because accounts of his drug use and coarse language did not reflect well. He probably felt worse about this than anything having to do with politics. Like running a stupid North American Metropolis.
posted by ovvl at 7:23 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, superb piece of writing by Ivor Tossell. Insightful analysis, honest but empathetic, and beautifully told with great economy (and the oddly whimsical shout-out to Paul Simon?). He seemed, above all else, childlike, a teenager from the early ’80s transported into the mayoralty as if by body-swap.
posted by Flashman at 8:01 PM on March 23, 2016


He seemed, above all else, childlike, a teenager from the early ’80s transported into the mayoralty as if by body-swap.

Since he's around my age, I have certainly mused about which of my classmates he was most like.
posted by rhizome at 8:40 PM on March 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think its hard for non-Torontonians to understand the trauma and deep sense of shame this man caused to the communities within our city. He was an international disgrace, but he was our city's leader and he had a platform that allowed him to cause hurt every day he was in office.

Real hurt to real people. The list is too long to delve into in full.

Toronto has one of the largest Pride festivals in the world. This man tried to tear done the Rainbow Flag and see it banned.

Toronto is known for being a hotbed of multiculturalism, this man purposely played up racial, gender, sexual and class divides. He pandered to the extremely poor while working to benefit the extremely rich (of which he and his family are gleeful members).

He quarreled openly with the police and civil ethics authorities and flaunted their investigations into his criminality by refusing to answer even the most basic questions - as if that was something that was normal or excusable for a Canadian elected official.

Mayor Ford hurled slurs, tore down others in the media (including the media). He tore at the lining of trust the great social fabric that Toronto was famous for - and he seemingly took joy in it all. That, more than anything else, was what earned him the scorn of so many; his bullying and the distain he showed for so many who lived in the city he was in charge of running.

All of this occurred over and above his blatant infidelity, use of prostitutes, abuse of hard drugs, alcohol, public intoxication and occasional violence - all of which most found of his follow Torontonians somehow found in their big Canadian hearts to forgive in someone who was their representative to the country and the world.

Above all he will be remembered for building an ultra-conservative election machine within the City "Ford Nation", which - if it survives his death - will be capable of putting less vulgar (but no less harmful) ultra-conservative politicians into civic office.

All of liberal Toronto will no doubt share in a sense of grieving for his family, while at the same time hoping that this bring an end to the Ford story, in more ways than one.
posted by ComicsSleepRepeat at 10:21 PM on March 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


This article by Michael Bolen in the Guardian says what the BBC article wanted to say, but much better: "Canada Is Justin Trudeau, But It Is Also Rob Ford."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:15 PM on March 23, 2016


Lest we forget, the brothers Ford also tried to dismantle the Toronto Public Library. On a per capita basis, it's one of the largest library systems in the world. Over 70% of people in Toronto use it at least once a year.

Fortunately, because so many people use and access its services, the backlash caused them to largely give up on the fight.

But. Rob Ford still damaged it by appointing a board that sought to undermine its programs and services.

One Ford appointee to the board, Stephen Dulmage, was particularly gross:

Dulmage, a businessman and chartered accountant, quickly distinguished himself as the library board’s resident arch-conservative, sometimes outdoing even Ford’s executive committee members—three of whom are on the board—in his enthusiasm for budget cuts. (Once, during a cost-saving exercise, he publicly suggested closing 38 library branches.) He also had a tendency to behave oddly during meetings. In at least one instance, he spent the better part of a high-profile debate with his swivel chair spun around so that his back was facing the conference table. He appeared to be studying a map of Toronto that is mounted to the wall of the board room at the Toronto Reference Library.

So, for context - TPL offers many free programs and classes, which include:

Kids & Families
Teens
After School
Author Talks & Lectures
Book Clubs & Writers' Groups
Career & Job Search
Computer & Library Training
Culture, Arts & Entertainment
ESL & Newcomer Programs
Exhibits & Displays
Health & Wellness
History & Genealogy
Hobbies, Crafts & Games
Personal Finance Programs
Reading Programs & Storytimes
Science & Technology
Small Business Programs

Helping people learn about personal finances or starting a small business? Clearly a socialist plot.

Remember this?
Library cuts will happen 'in a heartbeat,' Doug Ford says:


Mr. Ford figures there are five or six library branches within a two-mile area near his ward, which includes what he described as a little-used location in an industrial area.

Asked if he would vote to close that branch he said, “Absolutely I would. In a heartbeat.

“And my constituents, it wouldn’t bother them because they have another library two miles one way and two miles the other way.”

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:42 AM on March 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yes, nations contain Fords (and Trumps) as well as Trudeaux.

What I will forever remember is that Rob Ford was already known to be a piece of work, prior to his mayoral run. And yet he received the backing and best efforts of the Canadian conservative establishment in that run, because any elected conservative is a good conservative to those guys. So happy we threw the bastards out, finally.

We're one riding south of Ford Nation, and I've met John Tory. No comparison.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:59 AM on March 24, 2016


Tory is no friend of the TPL, either. He's not trying to close any branches, but the deal being offered to the union is in some ways even worse than what Ford put on the table.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:04 AM on March 24, 2016




The Toronto flag is...not great.
posted by rhizome at 4:16 PM on March 29, 2016


Vexillogically, it's fucking awful. And bears little resemblance to our coat of arms, which annoys me.

Also, apparently someone is trying to get Centennial Park renamed in his memory.

Oh and a statue. Apparently since Jack Layton got one, so should Ford.

Something something you sir were no Jack Layton.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:46 PM on March 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


I also read someone's talking about marking his death day as Rob Ford Day.
posted by rhizome at 8:51 PM on March 29, 2016


“He could have become prime minister of Canada, but cancer said no.”

Uh huh. Anyway, I'd like to believe the Ford Circus is finally nearing its end with today's funeral, but Doug or his nephew Mike will surely announce that they will run for Rob's seat (or demand to be appointed by council), probably at the actual funeral.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:23 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm so excited to NEVER TALK ABOUT THEM AGAIN
posted by chococat at 8:06 AM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I particularly loved how people, like in the Guardian article I link to above, thought of him has a champion of the working class. The cognitive dissonance is incredible. Seriously, his biggest accomplishment is privatizing garbage pick up in one area because he hated unions so much. He wanted to disrupt public transit and close libraries. This guy was not a friend of the working class. Like Chococat, I'll be glad to never think of this jerk ever again.

Sadly, we'll still have to listen to his asshat brother... ever the classy guy.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:27 AM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Speaking of that piece of work, Royson James of The Star just tweeted: Rob Ford's brother Doug just told me: "you don't have anyone to beat up anymore. He's the white Obama, I tell you. White Obama."

To amend my previous comment, I'm aware that I will never fully get away from them, they will always be raised in one conversation or another for the rest of Toronto history. But it seemed like there was a while there where you could go weeks without hearing about Rob Ford until you'd catch a glimpse of him on the news, skulking around in that sweaty red tracksuit, smiling that yellow smile with his eyes closed, and you'd go "oh yeah, ew" and then forget about him again, and it was blissful. I hope we can get back to that.
This past week has been absolutely nauseating and combined with the Ghomeshi verdict last week it's made me want to tell a huge percentage of Toronto to fuck right off.
Okay going back to not talking about them anymore.
/vent steam.
posted by chococat at 8:55 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


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