Thursday, June 7, 2012


Explaining Rob Ford to Americans

Rob Ford is the mayor of Toronto.

Toronto is just like New York, but without all the stuff.

Rob Ford won the mayoral election like whoa.

Rob Ford has a brother! They have a radio show together.

Rob Ford’s brother doesn’t know who Margaret Atwood is.

Margaret Atwood rules.

Rob Ford hates comedians dressed like Xena, Warrior Princess.

Rob Ford weighs just over 300 pounds, and it matters so much.

Rob Ford weighs just over 300 pounds, and it doesn’t matter at all

Rob Ford wants other mayors to lose weight.

Rob Ford wants to lose weight as part of a public campaign.

Rob Ford doesn’t want to lose weight as a public campaign.

Rob Ford wants more subways.

Nobody wants more subways.

Rob Ford likes ballet.

Rob Ford hates cyclists.

Rob Ford hates (some) journalists.

Rob Ford always goes to his cottage for Canada Day.

The Pride Toronto parade is on Canada Day.

Is Rob Ford homophobic?

Rob Ford might not be homophobic. 

Rob Ford is like a character from an improbable sitcom.

Rob Ford will be mayor for another two years.

Haley Mlotek lives in Toronto. Ask her to explain Canada to you!

52 Comments / Post A Comment


I'm from Toronto. Rob Ford is just ... I'm just waiting for him to make his exit. Too many clownish, racist, classist, and down right boorish antics from a man we're supposed to take seriously as a leader.


Can you explain why I love Rookie Blue so much? I am so glad summer is here, so it's back on the air in the US.

Also: How does Rob Ford feel about police soap operas?


Rob Ford QOTD: "I represent 3 million people whereas councillors only represent 60,000 or so, I should get more votes."

3 million people did not vote for you Ford ol boy. Nice try though.


Oh, I love Rob Ford politics! More developments today: Rob Ford hates paying 5 cents for plastic bags, so he asked council to get rid of the bylaw that has stores charge for bags. Council did get rid of that bylaw... oh, and they also decided to just get rid of all plastic bags in Toronto. Of course, Rob Ford thinks the city will be sued. He also blamed the far left NDPers for the ban, even though it was one of his allies that came up with it.


@pallasathena I am curious as to how the bag ban is going to work. Can places just use paper bags again? (Is that better for the environment?) Or will we we forced to buy a $1.99 branded bag every time we forget to bring our own?


@phlox apparently going back to paper bags is one possible alternative. they are more expensive to produce though.


@pallasathena The first news article I saw today was this one, about the "left-wing" plastic bag haters, and I decided to retreat to the Hairpin for the day.
Never mind explaining Rob Ford to Americans, Canada is full of "WTF?" about this guy.

Chesty LaRue

@phlox Fort McMurray has been bag-free for a while, and they "lowered" their branded-bags to $1. I started getting really good at remembering to bring bags to the grocery store! Then I went to Shoppers and was like, shit, no bag for my tampons, huh? Guess I'll have to remember those here too... Then I went to Bootlegger (don't laugh, I was in Fort Mac) and was like, no bag for my new jeans, huh...
It can be a little disconcerting, but I got one of those foldy, smooshy, teeny-size ones - like the windbreakers that fold into fanny packs? - and kept it in my purse for just such an emergency. Also, remembering to put it back in my purse took a while, but it happened. Also, they live in my car, and now that I'm no longer in Fort Mac, I'm totes one of those organized people who always has reuseable bags.


@Chesty LaRue I carry a MASSIVE Harajuku lovers purse that has like... Mary Poppin bag properties.

Seriously. I crammed a party tray of sushi, 2 things of miso soup, a tub of mayo, a huge container of lysol wipes, hair dye, my kindle, my ds, my phone, headphones, my 'emergency' bag, my makeup bag, and whatever other assorted crap I carry in there yesterday.

People give me funny looks at grocery stores that turn into amazement as it disappears into the bag.

...And I hum the tetris music while I do it.

Anna Jayne@twitter

I heard on a Canadian podcast (Stop Podcasting Yourself) that Rob Ford once ate part of a tree because he thought it was a marshmallow. Is this true?


@Anna Jayne@twitter All the thumbs up for SPY!!!

Hiroine Protagonist

@Anna Jayne@twitter Worlds are colliding! A friend does that podcast!

Anna Jayne@twitter

@Hiroine Protagonist it's my favorite!!

Millie the Scientist

Before he got elected, I honestly thought Rob Ford was a piece of performance art. I mean, no-one could be suuuuuuch a caricature of a political figure, right? Right??? Alas, I fear his Rob Ford-ness is genuine.

Also, Margaret Atwood is indeed awesome.


There was Rob Ford: the Opera back in January, and it was brilliant.

ETA: there are clips on youtube!

Marquis of Hartington

@phlox Word on the street is they're planning a sequel...

Millie the Scientist

@phlox OMG AMAZING. The poorly transcripted subtitles! The lack of houseplants! "No-one ever asks me to birthday parties!" *dies laughing*


Rob Ford excretes a black substance in order to form a cocoon.

Rob Ford unhinges his jaws to consume his prey whole.

Rob Ford releases a vengeful ghost when slain under a yellow moon.

Rob Ford is an undying space-god come to earth to give laser guns to the Mayans.

Rob Ford sacrifices living prey to appease the queen hivemind of the elder gods.

Rob Ford houses pillars of wasp eggs in his lower abdomen.

Rob Ford becomes a necromancer who emits an aura of death once a month.

Rob Ford scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions. scorpions.


@frigwiggin I am reminded of this excellent column discussing how David Cameron is, in fact, a lizard.


@frigwiggin Rob Ford is actually a colossal pillar of wasp eggs.


@Verity That is indeed an excellent column. I wish I could take credit for my own comment, but alas, the text is simply taken from Tumblr with "Rob Ford" subbed in for "real women." The concept is solid for both, though, so I feel confident in my substituted claims.


Margaret Atwood retweeted my blog this week, SHE DOES IN FACT RULE.
Also she appreciated one of my terrible twitter jokes once.
Also I wish she really were the mayor.
You forgot to put that Rob Ford hates libraries!


@Megano! There is no election in which I would not vote for Margaret Atwood.


@chnellociraptor Fantasy parliament! Margaret would be there, as would Rick Mercer. Based on her hilarious stint on RM Report, Measha Brueggergosman should be there too. I think I'd like to claim that Ernie Coombs was a past Governor-General.


@dale Fun fact: I met Measha Brueggergosman at Junofest, where I was volunteeing, and had never heard of her. But she was majorly nice and then I found out who she was like three days later and felt a little embarrassed.

More fantasy parliament! Peter Mansbridge, absolutely. Leonard Cohen -- remember that Facebook initiative to get him appointed as the new Governor General? And I think Ryan Gosling has done enough life-saving and general good deed-ery to win an election. (Also, his face.)


@chnellociraptor Good calls! Hanomansing as well as Mansbridge though. And maybe Jian Ghomeshi? And OMG, how could I miss MARY WALSH?! <3
I think we need to get Kiefer back up here to carry on his grandfather's legacy.


@chnellociraptor Leonard Cohen is too strange and vaguely-assholey to be GG, but he should be poet laureate FO.SHO.


@dale Timothy Findley's ghost is obvs a member.


@Megano! I hope the ghost is skyping into parliamentary sessions!


@dale @Megano! @gobblegirl I like to think that Sir John A Macdonald, Pierre Trudeau and Jack Layton are kicking it in the afterlife, watching over us all and drinking limitless whiskey. And Layton is working with Sir John A on his racism.

Kate Kane

@Megano! I like Margaret Atwood, but there's always that moment when she's mentioned that I assume she's dead. I'm so sorry, Margaret Atwood/Margaret Atwood's ghost which is on Twitter!


@Megano! weird question for anyone and everyone. was there ever a Babysitter's Club (yeaaaah!) book where Mary-Ann meets some sort of author who may or may not be Margaret Atwood? Google is not helping me on this one but then again, I could be hallucinating


Rob Ford's very existence makes me appreciate Ottawa's mayor a bajillion times more. Jim Watson is well-versed in the Internets, goes to EVERYTHING in a city where local culture is vastly underappreciated, and is all around cuddly and moderate. Granted, I am terrible at following municipal politics in my adopted city, but Watson is at least smart and not half as reactionary as Rob Ford. Also he went to my university and retweets my stuff sometimes, so I'm biased in his favour.

Rob Ford though. As a recent journalism school grad and a major media apologist, his beef with the Toronto Star drives me absolutely insane. I'm not totally up to date on the situation -- my knowledge is limited to his ban on Star reporters from his press conferences and then his attack on the journalist he thought was stalking him. But, I mean, what else do you need to know? Even if he's rectified the situation, what a ridiculous stance for a mayor to take in the first place.


@chnellociraptor The guy before Watson was almost as bad as Ford. I can't remember his name though. Just that he is totally bald.


@Megano! Larry O'Brien. I moved to the city at the end of his term, but in my social circles he is mostly notable for cutting pretty much ALL cultural funding. He had the same pedigree as Ford -- business background, promising to save the city tons of money -- but I think lacks a bit of the crazy. Also, as far as I know, he doesn't have a brother who likes the taste of his foot.


@chnellociraptor No it's true, he was not crazy, but yeah, he cut all the things. And also looks like a supervillain.


@Megano! Total supervillian. I like to think that he has permanently retreated to some sort of underground lair.


Rob Ford also has a DUI and allegations of domestic violence (charges were dropped, but still sketchy as fuck).



I wiped out on streetcar tracks while riding my bike to work this morning. And it's all Rob Ford's fault for his refusal to create more bike lanes and take away the ones that already exist! I'm shaking my fist at you Rob Ford! Shaking my fist, I say!


Adam Vaughan for Mayor in 2014!

rianne marie

@mbeth damn, I almost said something witty and then realized Adam Vaughan was not the guy who was running for mayor until it came out that he slept with someone inappropriate. Who on earth is Adam Vaughan?


@rianne marie OMG that would kind of rule. Adam Vaughan is a Toronto city councillor who is kind of the opposite of Ford: he's level-headed, smart, and into things like evidence-based governance, not being a buffoon, and whatnot. I'm worried if he ran that he'd be regarded as a fringe candidate, since he's perceived as a lefty for all the reasonable stuff I just mentioned. But he'd get my vote for sure (unless my homie Gord Perks was running, then there'd be a showdown.)

(Gord Perks is the city councillor for my ward, and also perceived as a lefty for not being an outspoken buffoon.)

(I think Adam Giambrone is the guy you were thinking of. He coulda been a good mayor..)


@planforamiracle heaven forbid: Adam Giambrone is the opposite of Rob Ford, but in the world where the opposite of an a$$hole is still an a$$hole, just a different type, and just as bad a mayor, but in a different way. And Adam Vaughan is way too smart for me to criticize. Just ask him.


I have a friend who describes Rob Ford (to people not familiar) as "if Cartman grew up and then became mayor of Toronto".


@girlandtonic HAHAHAHAHA


@girlandtonic This is so much truth.


Haley, will you explain everything from now on?



Does Rob Ford not look EXACTLY like the one bad guy in captain planet??? I think his name was Hog something?


So... is Rob Ford basically, like, Chris Christie?


yes, I thought Australian politicians were bad and then I moved to Toronto and met Rob Ford. I also saw him reading a newspaper while driving. Proudest TO moment; seeing my quote on that in The Grid.


is anyone else from toronto slightly horrified that we are telling the americans about our rob ford problem? i thought we were going to keep this within the family :(

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