The End of Schadenfreude

I’ve obviously never been a great fan of Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

While he was running for office, I encouraged everyone I knew in Toronto to vote against him. I don’t personally live in the city, of course, but I nevertheless disliked his policies, and pundits at the time were speaking about him like he was the narrow end of a wedge of a Tea Party-style right wing politics in Canada*, so I opposed him on principle.

And when he was elected, I contented myself with the sickly solace of knowing that Toronto, in the end, would get exactly the mayor that they had voted for. And that Rob Ford was exactly the man that his critics said he was.

I admit, I have taken pleasure in watching the man make an ass of himself over and over and over again in the news over the past three years. And when news of this whole crack video broke, I assumed that it would just be more of the same.

But frankly, this situation has now gotten so bad that I can’t even extract schadenfreude from it anymore. Between his claim that he was blackout drunk at the time that he smoked crack, and the new video of him murderously ranting, I have actually reached the point where I pity Mayor Ford. The saturation coverage of his ongoing breakdown feels nothing short of voyeuristic; and I can’t partake in any of the attempts at humour anymore without feeling like I’m part of a mob making fun of a mentally ill person.

I don’t want this circus to continue; I am genuinely concerned about this man’s mental health. I think he needs to step down and get the help he needs. And, potentially, face legal consequences for his actions.


*Here I should note that if you really want to see Tea Party-style politics in Canada, you need look no further than some of the latest resolutions from the Conservative Party.

About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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9 Responses to The End of Schadenfreude

  1. ladyleahjane says:

    Considering that if he weren’t a white, powerful, well-known man, he would probably be in jail for possession of crack, my pity for him is in short supply. I do want to see him go to rehab and get the help he needs, but having the police chief say he was “disappointed” in Ford, when most anyone else in that position just gets arrested, my sympathy is limited.

  2. Pingback: Saturday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion | Clarissa's Blog

  3. I tend to see Bob Ford as a result of the forced amalgamation of Toronto under Mike Harris. Basically the suburbs can out vote the urban core, resulting in anti-urban, somewhat racist and deeply flawed mayors like Rob Ford.

  4. masqua says:

    Schadenfreude overdose is a sad state of affairs indeed… at that high level one does not need more to get the same high.

  5. To me, this is no longer about politics – this guy is walking down the same path as Chris Farley and John Belushi… I know there are the usual Ford haters that will not stop until he is out of office. I am not one of them, but do shake my head at some of the messes he gets himself into. As far as this goes, I hope he gets the help he needs.

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