with Harding Young

Mayor Rob Ford vs. Ben Jonson

20140413-153709.jpgYou’ve heard the news. His Worship, Mayor Rob Ford, defamed and clinging to what’s left of his self-proclaimed dignity, has teamed up with another disgraced drug user, Ben Johnson. This should not come as a surprise — it would seem their careers were meant to collide. Both enjoyed transcendent victories, celebrated with wild, violent fervor, and then watched it all burn when their illicit drug use was revealed. For Johnson, it was the power-enhancing steroid that gave him that extra burst of speed and propelled him past the finish line while a nation cheered. Ford’s drug isn’t quite as empowering, though one could argue it stirs in him a similar strength of girth and barbarism.

What can Ben Johnson offer the Ford campaign? It’s hard to tell, though no doubt Johnson could probably help Ford keep the reporters off his driveway. And, you will recall, Jonson knows no shame, having admitted freely in a television commercial that he “Cheetah’s all the time”!

So what can the other suitors for the Mayoral office do to counter such a dynamic duo? Well, I would offer this. John Tory, Olivia Chow… listen up. Either of you could use a Ben Jonson of your own.

20140413-155123.jpgThis Ben Jonson.

Yes, do away with the “h” and you’ve got a Ben Jonson to end all Ben Jonsons. You have THE Ben Jonson.

Do away with campaign slogans like, “I never knowingly took steroids,” and replace with “Drink to me only with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kiss but in the cup And I’ll not look for wine.” The 17th Century poet was a “cultured man of the English Renaissance”. Such eloquence is certainly missing from our municipal political theatre, and don’t we all just want a little more tongue?

While Mayor Ford has plenty to eat at home, Ben Jonson would suggest that, “True happiness consists not in the multitude of [pussy], but in the worth and choice.” (Yes, I’m paraphrasing). And, as His Fatness contends, ad nauseam, that he’s saved the city a billion dollars… well… Ben Jonson would say, “Success produces confidence; confidence relaxes industry, and negligence ruins the reputation which accuracy had raised.” While I’m not really sure it’s a great counterargument, I am very sure it’ll confuse the Mayor to high hell.

This is free advice I’m giving. Mr. Tory, I’m talking to you. I never thought I’d say this, but you may be our only hope. You may feel that you cannot compete with such a scarlet tongued wit as Ben Johnson. But with your own Ben Jonson, you will know…

Apes are apes, though clothed in scarlet.

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