OK SO I DIDN’T POST YESTERDAY. I wrote this yesterday, but not at a computer, and I did post twice on Monday, so I don’t think I’ve failed at my self-imposed challenge yet.
Anyway! Like I said in my last post, I went briefly to the Executive Committee meeting on Monday. My observations:
– Wow, was it ever hot in there.
– Two minutes is not really enough time say much of anything. And unless you’re an experienced performer or public speaker, it’s barely enough time to get started. Cutting the time to 2 minutes pretty much shut out anyone who wasn’t young, quick-witted, and very well-prepared. (Normally you get 5 minutes to speak.) While I was there, one older lady who was on the board of a small museum got her notes out of order and didn’t start on her main point until after a minute had elapsed. They cut her off. Apparently after I left, there was a speaker who had some kind of speech impairment who was also cruelly cut off after exactly two minutes. So if you’re a bit old or a bit forgetful or god forbid have a disability, the City of Toronto invites you to go fuck yourself.
– As I said on Monday, Rob Ford looks ill. I’m not saying that because he’s fat – Doug Ford is also fat and looks just fine. I’m saying that because he’s red-faced, sweaty, and has a perpetually blank affect. He has the air of a man trapped in a horrible nightmare. Seriously, he looks like he’s about to drop dead. Go to the doctor, Rob! I know it’s not manly to get check-ups, but women live longer than men! Maybe that’s why!
– I stared directly at our old friend Giorgio Mammoliti for about 10 minutes. He became visibly uncomfortable and left the room, causing the council to lose quorum and whichever speaker was on to have to wait until he came back. I don’t know if it was me or if he just had to go to the bathroom, but I like to think I did my part. I was also wearing my bright red Little Red Riding Hood jacket (sadly, my belly has grown another inch or two in the past two days and it’s really too tight now), so maybe he thought I was some kind of living embodiment of Communism. The revolution, it is about to be born!
– Oh, and Mammoliti’s great moment:
Deputant 174: [awesome speech]
Mammoliti: I’m sorry, what union are you from?
174: I’m not from a union. I’m not a communist, either!
Wild cheering, some singing.
Mammoliti: [threatens to clear room]
– I missed them, but apparently some anti-fluoridation people showed up and had their say. Some of their documents were included in the 300-page support material package…but most of them were completely black. You be the judge – photocopying error, or CONSPIRACY????
– I sat next to a dude for a while whose deputation was described by Jonathan Goldsbie on Twitter thus: “And now a graphic description of the last public execution performed in France, in 1757. Or something like that.” Uh, thanks? What do you even say to that?
– Another thing about Mammoliti: He had a habit of asking questions (for which there was a 1-minute time limit) in the following format:
0-25 seconds: Mammoliti asks a rambling, somewhat revelant question
25-45 seconds: Deputant answers, degree of success varies
45-55 seconds: Mammoliti gives pithy not-really-a-question follow-up question
55-60 seconds: Deputant attempts to answer
60 seconds: Rob Ford yells “TIME!”
Anything to get the last word!
In short, this was a travesty and kind of a waste of time. It was a show of public consultation which removed most of the public’s ability to speak and actively discriminated against the elderly and people with disabilities. I think I’ll go to the next one dressed as a widow, and if anyone asks say I’m mourning democracy and good government.