Schadenford: The Giddy Piling-On of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford


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I’m as guilty as anyone.

Over the past year the material Rob Ford has given the world is vast, and more often than not myself and others have seized the opportunity to take another shot at the planet’s most cartoon-like mayor.

So when the revelations materialized spotlighting Ford’s substance intake, in video form no less, the reaction was both predictable and universal. It’s difficult to imagine what it is like to sit and listen to the world stop for a moment with the sole purpose of relentlessly ridiculing you, especially if you still aren’t sure anything is your fault. That’s the crux of this sordid municipal clusterfuck; Ford is a man in denial. As such, he feels if he takes a leave or resigns he will therefore be admitting he has a serious problem. He will be saying to his detractors and critics they were right about him since day one.

But from a civilian’s perspective, a demographic not inclined to humanize politicians, the punchline of each Rob Ford joke serve as validation for their long held beliefs he mayor was a train wreck waiting to happen. Well, the train wreck happened. Big time. And while wanting Ford to resign is a perfectly legit if not absolutely correct opinion, chanting those unlettered, god-awful slogans and exhibiting the worst of Schadenfreude is not a good look for anyone. Critics should feel vindicated and hopeful our next mayor is competent, but instead we’re all looking for knee-slappy Internet memes and hoping a sex tape emerges.

You heard that right. Despite the assumed consensus that, if given the choice, we would probably not want to watch a Rob Ford sex tape, the underbelly of taking glee in Ford’s misfortunes means we quietly-yet-really-excitedly hope we all do one day. It’s this phase of the scandal – when morbid curiosity turns into blatant rubber-necking – that full fledged Schadenford takes hold. But if his most fierce critics – and I certainly am one of them – takes a step back and reexamines their original motivation: to remove an incompetent politician from power, then the 24/7 joke cycle needs to die, even when more fodder becomes public…and it almost certainly will.

So every day outside City Hall, those lefty ideologues gather and chant slogans about Rob Ford. Now they need to go home. Their presence and their motivations are no longer succinct, and it’s starting to feel very, very wrong.

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