Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Rob Ford = Tar Baby

Bless the Star. They are trying to make Hudork wear it.
It’s a four-letter F-word that Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak tries not to utter.


. . .

Finally, after six questions about Ford, Hudak reluctantly mentioned the mayor’s name.

“I know that mayor Ford and council are going through recommendations by the city manager, so the question is how can the province be of assistance,” he said.

While Hudak did use one of Ford’s trademark campaign lines — “we’ll end the war on the car” — he is clearly mindful that the Conservative mayor’s political coattails are not what they were when he swept to power last October.

It seems that Harper too is trying to stay away from the clutches of the Ford tar baby*.

Here's the 'hat-trick' video the Cons keep trying to get vanished.

*Note to politically correct: I look forward to your demonstration of how I'm being racist using that term.

Image source

1 comment:

Niles said...

I suppose you could use the word albatross, as in poetic Anglo-analogy "Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

Warning: about to veer off to related but definitely off-ford topic for a bit. Just to add historical context to ‘tar-baby’.

As a rural western Canadian long-time myth geek, when I was young, I had the privilege of not understanding why the 'tar-baby/briar patch' tale of the Trickster God personified as Brer Rabbit, was a Bad Thing. Although I read it as 'A: when idiotic, ignore your ego & stop repeating idiocy. B:when you've ignored 'A' you must now be fcking brilliant to outwit your own efforts.'

As I asked, I discovered (to my youthful wtf-seriously-adults?) the phrase 'tar baby' itself was abused sneeringly to refer to American slaves and descendants of slaves and then anyone who was dark skinned like them and the fashion to mock them further was to mock a regional dialect cant as primitive and proof such folks were lacking SMRTS. Talk about appropriating a culture's strengths and turning them into a dominant community negative!!

The culture abused so badly deserves far more attention. While Rabbit is a Trickster figure wherever rabbits/hares are to be found, Brer Rabbit and his mythic fellows hail from the Gullah African/slave culture centred in the south-eastern seaboard of the US. Nowadays, there is a growing body of Gullah culture resources online, including guides to the dialects, arts/crafts, history, mythic traditions and major present and past communities.

There's also deserved emphasis on how much the US owes to the labour and African know-how of these abducted and enslaved people forced to build the economic bases of the early United States. The Brer Rabbit myths of the Gullah are on standing with any cultural 'wise fool' story traditions around the world. It always seems the worst disservice to me to have that cultural power and wisdom reduced to the slave-owner appropriation of degrading language.

But then, I'm Euro-pale and I have the luxury of being a dominant culture outsider, never broken down by being the target of inculcated degradation -every day- for my skin hue.
To be mean-spirited, I can't help but look at the Fords and see in them the stereotype of the 'rotund, blustering, sweaty, VERY White, ignorant, self-centred, Euro-Descended Man sneeringly dismissing everything that isn't kowtowing to Him and His comfort this-new-york-second and dammit(janet) where's His RESPECT and gold-plated sandwich becuz He's the Real VictimTM here!!'

You know, the kind of person that personifies the villain Sheriff's role in some 'sweltering abuse of legal authority' theatrical film, or an animated sitcom lead -- or runs a Sheriff's department real life in Arizona.

Now that MegaToronto is apparently being run like the 'Dukes of Hazzard', I can't understand why this new face of Hep TO is such anathema to fellow Ontario travellers. -Someone- voted the Fords in (Metrosexual fans of Bo and Luke desiring the next fashion icons?).

Surely those Ontario voters will be all that's needed to take the province AND country further into Hazzard County. It seems to involve engaging the foreskin rather than the forebrain, but that's just an uninformed opinion.

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