Saturday, May 3, 2008

Our Mayor in the Dark

Okay - it's old news now. In politics it's positively ancient history. But still, it bears repeating often and deserves to live on in the infinite pass-along world of Internet searches.

The date was March 29, 2008. Specifically it was 8 pm.

Earth Hour - a cult-like ceremony of national hypocrisy when we feel better about our year-round Kultur of incredible excess and wastefulness by turning off our lights. We were led in this exercise by the city's high priest of hypocrisy, the Mayor.

The Mayor even posted an Earth Hour video on YouTube, where he sits by a flickering gas fireplace, wearing an earth-friendly brown suit and tie, and says:

“On March 29, at 8 p.m. for one hour, I encourage you to switch off all non-essential lighting, and watch as other cities around the globe power down as well. Just one hour of your time to help people around the world realize the difference each of us can make and what we can accomplish when we work together. Switch off for Earth Hour and see the world in a whole new light. The issue is real. Your actions will count. So join me in the dark.”

At 8 p.m. he stood on the stage in front of City Hall with Jagoda Pike, publisher of the Toronto Star, and pulled a ceremonial switch to plunge City Hall into actual and not just intellectual darkness.

“I want to ask you all to do one thing tonight,” His Worship told the crowd. “Be a leader.”

Curiously, "Leader" is defined in the dictionary as both: "a person or thing that leads" but also "a duct for conveying warm air from a hot-air furnace to a register or stack".

What happened next was reported the next day by a journalist who dared follow the Mayor off the stage. As NP writer Peter Kuitenbrouwer reported:

"At 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, Mayor David Miller got in a car and drove from City Hall to a Shoppers Drug Mart on Eglinton Avenue West. He bought a card for the bar mitzvah of a family friend. Then he got back in the car, driven by his press secretary, Don Wanagas, and went to the bar mitzvah."

Questions about this amazing display of hypocrisy where rejected by press secretary, Don Wanagas as "petty", who said there was nothing wrong with the Mayor's actions, which are after all, just "symbolic".

One question then - why haven't we been able to find the YouTube video posted by the Mayor's office? It hasn't been pulled by them, has it? Like a gun used in a hold-up thrown in the river?

If anyone can find it, let me know, and I'll post a link.