Wednesday, 14 September 2011

It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to

This morning I was listening to CBC Toronto's local radio show. Naturally, the talk is all about the cuts to city services. The show's producers managed to find someone who would admit to being a Rob Ford supporter and speak on the radio.

His name is Jerry Sheehan, described as an accountant from Scarborough and long-time supporter of Mayor Ford.

Matt Galloway points out that the cuts under discussion will affect the 'most vulnerable people' and asks: 'Is that fair?'

Sheehan waffles about the appropriate level of government to provide such services, asserting it's not the city.

First clue: he calls subsidized daycare an entitlement.

Galloway says all levels of government are strapped and it is the city that is providing those services at the moment. He asks: What do you say to people who rely on those services now?

Sheehan goes all sympathetic then says that folks are going to have to be creative, maybe work from home. He calls these programs 'entitlements' again.

Second clue. Sheehan says he doesn't go to the Zoo, doesn't use daycare, implication being, sure, go ahead, cut things I don't use.

Galloway winds up with Ford's guarantee not to cut services and asks: Did he lie or was he unaware of the deficit? Are you troubled?

Sheehan produces faff about Ford's being unaware, reality setting in, etc.

OK. Sheehan is just a guy -- I assume he's not a political operator -- but he is absolutely typical of the douchebag suburbanites who are ruining Toronto.

When he said poor folks have to be creative, I wanted to reach for his collar and slap him silly.

Anecdote time!

I have a friend who has been running a struggling small manufacturing/artsy-craftsy biz for decades. About 15 years ago, things started to look up. She was getting bigger orders from the kind of retailers she wanted. She got a big (for her) pre-Xmas order from a customer she'd been chasing for years. While it was much more upscale than Wal-Mart, the delivery schedule was just as demanding.

If she fucked it up, she was probably out of business.

She needed hands. I wasn't doing much and said I'd work for her for a couple of weeks.

She was grateful but embarrassed that she couldn't offer me much more than minimum wage. It was more, about 25% more, but still.

And her workplace was in Mississauga.

So, for two weeks, I took a streetcar to the subway, rode subway to end of line, got Mississauga Transit (separate fare), then walked about ten minutes. At least an hour and a half on a good day.

Then manual labour, standing, for eight hours. Repeat journey home. (Sometimes pal would drive me to subway -- big time and cost savings.)

I get motion sickness if I try to read, so I obsessed thought during my travels. I calculated what I was making per week, guessed at something for withholding, got a figure for take-home.

Next, I deducted transit. Two fares each way, remember. There would have been savings with a Metro Pass and whatever the Mississauga Transit version is, but I figured I'd have to save up for those, so used regular fares for my cyphering.

Next, deduct rent. I've lived under rent control for a long time, so my one-bedroom apartment is very reasonable. For downtown Toronto, that is. And the deposit was already taken of.

Next, deduct hydro and phone. I've never had cable and if I had Internet then, it would have been dial-up, under $10 a month.

Next, shock.

What was left was pitiable. I could eat, but not very well. Clothes would have to be carefully budgeted for. Personal care items would have to be of a generic type. Dental visits would have to be reduced to once a year, if that.

Off my horizon altogether: meals out, books, magazines, newspapers, movies, haircuts, cigarettes, booze, vacations.

Also off my horizon would be savings of any kind. The most minor emergency expense would send me to my friends for a loan. And how would I pay that off?

I worked these figures over and over. I kept remembering stuff I'd forgotten. Laundry! Glasses! Prescriptions!

And then there was time. I was exhausted. I could barely feed myself dinner and take a bath before falling into bed. Before it started all over again.

So. I had my own experiment of being Nickel and Dimed. For a whole two bruising weeks.

In fuckwad Jerry Sheehan's world, if transit fares went up, or service was cut making my day even longer, I would just get creative I guess.

Hitch-hike? Find a roomie? Use food banks? Cancel the phone? Give up on shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant?

People like Jerry have no fucking clue. But maybe some are getting a hint of one.

ERM: I was taken to task on Twitter for using the phrase 'suburban douchebags'. To clarify: Not all suburbanites hate the city. Some love it and participate in events and probably did not vote for Rob Ford and gang. I meant the people who USE the city and don't give a shit about it other than its roads, traffic, and parking. Those suburban douchebags who voted for Ford and gang.


Anonymous said...

Toronto needs a candidate for mayor that like Ford, acts like an idiot and wants to cut all sorts of critical services. Except it's the services that the suburban douchebags use, the ones that in their worldview are absolutely necessary, things that they feel it would be insane to be without.

When it's their services under attack they might see things differently... or they might just return to their class war and vote Ford again. Ferris wheels on the waterfront are absolutely critical, you know.

Mark said...

Remember David Tsubouchi and his comments about welfare recipients searching for dented cans of tuna? Well they cost more now and so does the T.T.C.

fern hill said...

I remembered the tuna, forgot the guy's name. Looky here. He was considered to be among the more progressive of the Harrisites???????????????????

Now that says A LOT.

Pseudz said...

At trial, one witness was asked to comment on the credibility of another. The response: "Your Honour, Mr. Smith couldn't have an honest dream."

I wonder whether the Fords actually have a dream for Toronto that pictures the consequences of what they're doing. I couldn't have imagined better symbols of venal suburban consumerism . . . this is a failing on my part. I should have realized that as the end of unbridled consumerism comes into view there would be a politically exploitable reaction in some portions of the electorate.

These overfed bullhorns (the Fords) are expressing the anger and dismay of a large pool of credulous citizenry that wants their Red Lobster lives to go on forever. It ain't gonna happen. The Ford broz are on the wrong side of history.

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