Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where's the Next Mayor of Toronto?

So I decide to check out the Mayoral Debate because the theme this time is the Arts (and who will support it) but they sure don’t make it easy. First they advance the time by one hour at the last minute and then they do it in a space way too small to accommodate the “stakeholders”, a room at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I get there in time, line up with everybody outside and make my way in. They won’t let me in with my bottle of premium juice  - my first taste of Arthur’s juice, apparently the only one that has any fiber left in it. So I chug that down and follow the crowd right across to the back of the gallery only to be told that I need a ticket. I make my way back to the front of the building to the ticket distribution table only to be told there are no more tickets. Then a friend who’s working there says they’re running a live feed at the Ontario College of Art & Design right around the corner. Well, in for a dime, in for a dollar – four dollars, actually, because I’ve already paid for parking.

I make my way into the OCAD and there in the lobby is a whole group of (mostly) students sitting in front of a large flat-screen TV and the debate has apparently begun but it’s hard to tell because it’s stopping and starting like watching YouTube on a slow connection. People are starting to bale, but I hang in there and they finally get it stabilized. John Tory was supposed to be the moderator but I guess he couldn’t make it because he was replaced by an elderly gentleman with a great radio voice but quite laughable as a moderator. It was like listening to a radio DJ who keeps apologizing for their incompetence. I stay till the bitter end but I don’t feel any more enlightened about who would make the best mayor. The man most agree would make the worst mayor for the arts community, Rob Ford, is the most forthright of the bunch saying “No...if you want money for the arts get it from the private sector”. The only thing everybody agrees on is to re-institute the Mayor’s Arts Ball – a big-ticket event for wealthy patrons of the arts that was probably eliminated as part of the previous administration’s cutbacks.

I make my way out to the street to watch a mime who looked a bit like the statue of Liberty and some break dancers over to one side and then there was a ballet dancer doing her thang. A demented street person shouting at the top of of his lungs followed Rob Ford as he made his way to his car (to get to another debate in North York). Could we just ask Miller to hang in a little longer until a real leader surfaces?

Music on at the moment – The new Ronnie Earl album – dreamy.

Food on at the moment – Ontario strawberries and yogurt (even though I’ve got some fabulous Baskin & Robbins ice cream in the freezer – I’m a little congested and big recording session coming up so I don’t want to add any mucus to my lungs). Almost broke a nail opening the strawberry container. Nobody makes it easy.