Politics in Toronto: Not broken, maybe bent, but certainly cracked
Quite a few people in the Twitterverse and beyond were shocked today by the transit video we released.
It was created by our publisher (and tireless transit advocate) Sarah Thomson who took to Facebook last night to announce that Women’s Post had “the video” and it would be appearing on Women’s Post’s website today at noon.
Supporters of transit initiatives in Toronto and those who see Sarah tick by in their Facebook and Twitter feeds regularly were familiar with the video she was talking about – a video where she sings a cover of Pink’s Just Give Me a Reason with lyrics re-written to showcase Toronto’s issues with securing reliable transit for the city and asking Torontonians to do what they can to support the Big Move.
A little bit silly? Of course. A conversation we need to be having? Definitely.
The video opens with a smoke filled room and a character holding a pipe before a segue into shots of Toronto’s congested streets and regular people holding cards asking for help in relieving transit stresses and commuter problems in our fair city. The message is clear: we need to move past the haze of drug scandals that have Toronto politics in a vice grip and get back to reality. Our city and the people in it are stuck immobile by distraction after distraction and are suffering the consequences of inaction on a daily basis.
What happened next couldn’t have driven the point home any better. Overnight Toronto’s hashtags and feeds jumped to the collective conclusion that the video going up today was of Rob Ford smoking crack.
Their shock came when the video turned out to be a song about transit.
My shock came in the immediate aftermath of the video going live. The message left in our comments, on Twitter, and on YouTube was that this was a waste of time, we need to get back to “real” issues about Rob Ford’s reckless personal life.
My shock was that a scandal plagued mayor has so thoroughly damaged the civic and political landscape of Toronto to the point where the people of Toronto can’t even clearly see that the most pressing issue to us right now, to our children, and to our future as a viable world-class city isn’t what people at City Hall have in their pipes, it is what their circus of distraction is preventing us from becoming.
This week boring machines began working on the largest transit project Toronto has seen in half a century. Unfortunately, the number of people tuned into stories about the Eglinton LRT pales in comparison to the number of people tuning in daily to see an elected official deny, dodge, and destroy politics at City Hall.
My suggestion to my fellow Torontonians is to take a cue from Sarah’s video. Wave the smoke out of your face and move on. Focus on what is important, do everything you can to make City Hall, Queen’s Park, and Parliament Hill work for you by speaking out about transit, urban development, bike lanes, the Gardiner, and everything else that is currently being ignored by the Mayor’s office. While we can waste time arguing over what kind of dust coats the Mayor’s desk it is quite clear that it isn’t being used at all for the municipal issues that need to be addressed.
Taking a stand on the problems faced by Torontonians instead of the demons faced by Toronto’s mayor is the only way we can step forward into the future.
The politics of Toronto aren’t broken, perhaps bent, but certainly cracked. What we need to do now is fill that crack with our voices. Our next big move as a city shouldn’t be into the depths of crack houses, it should be into the communities that need accessible transit, stitching together the tapestry of our city with busses, light rail, subways, proper highways, and bike lanes.
Together we can make it work.
You can follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.
LISTEN: We love the new Miley and so do you
We are in love with the new Miley Cyrus track We Can’t Stop. WE can’t stop — listening to this tune!
It sounds like Miley is borrowing a bit of Kanye a vibe from the backing synth, and the breakdown in the middle sounds like something taken directly from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. She had some amazing dance tracks on her last album, Can’t Be Tamed, and hopefully the trend continues in her latest effort with the synth-pop.
Wait, does she say she’s ‘trying to get a line in the bathroom’ at 1:53? Uh oh. Oh well, child stars gotta rebel sometime.
In the meantime it looks like we have at least one new song to add to our patio playlist this summer.
Follow Women’s Post on Twitter for all the latest in Miley Cyrus obsession @WomensPost.
Monday blues? Here’s a baby skunk to cheer you up
Mondays can be rough, but nothing is cheerier than seeing a baby pet skunk desperate for some love from his adopted mom.
The little guy, Jasper, can’t get enough of him mom’s toes as he whines to be picked up.
Jasper even has his own Facebook page, written in the first person of course, where he details his adventures as a house-skunk. Check out more videos of Jasper on S Decker‘s YouTube channel.
Follow Women’s Post on Twitter for all the latest news in adorable animals. @WomensPost
Hillary Clinton announces support for same-sex marriage
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Monday that she is a supporter of same-sex marriage. The 2008 Democratic nominee contender and possible Obama successor came out as a supporter Monday morning in a YouTube video for the Human Rights Campaign organisation, adding that “human rights are gay rights.”
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage. That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law,” said Clinton.
In the video Clinton also touts her record as Secretary of State where she defended the rights of LGBT people abroad and engaged in conversations with various world leaders about protecting and promoting the rights of these individuals in other nations.
Clinton joins President Obama, who declared his support for same-sex marriage last May, as another top level Democrat who believes in marriage equity in the United States.
The issue, long since put to bed in Canada, is still hotly contested in the United States and has been a major divisive issue in past presidential elections. In recent years the opinions of American people have warmed to the idea somewhat, with gay marriage being practiced in the states of Washington, Vermont, Maryland, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and the District of Columbia.
Watch the full six minute video below and join the conversation with us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know, do you think Hillary is going to make another run for the American presidency in 2016? Would you vote for her if you had the chance?
Botched Mila Kunis interview goes viral
Anyone who has been on the handling side of a microphone or notepad can tell you that meeting big names can be very intimidating.
When this inexperienced BBC Radio interviewer sits down with Mila Kunis to talk about her new movie he manages to derail the interview so badly that it turns into amazing comedy.
The young man ends up describing the debaucherous activities of his mates and making not so hidden attempts to ask the actress out on a date.
By the end Kunis seems to be enjoying learning about the pub and football lifestyle of this young Brit and declares the messy interview to be her favourite of the day.
Some guys have all the luck.