If you’ve been paying attention to Toronto media, you’re aware that mayor Rob Ford has announced that he has lost his war on his own weight. A public battle he waged upon his his waist as a symbol for his battle against the supposed wasteful spending of Toronto city hall. He blamed the media frenzy surrounding his failure to lose weight. He made this quite clear when speaking on his own radio show on Newstalk.
“The media just have a frenzy. I think it benefits the media and anyone, they just sit there and wait for you Monday like piranhas… I said ‘Enough is enough,’ this is becoming a circus.”
One should have very little sympathy for him for the supposedly overwhelming media attention he’s been getting for the weight loss challenge he set out for himself. After all, he’s the one who made his weight the centre of attention, linking his weight loss goal with cutting “the waste” in municipal spending. He weekly showed up for and promoted these weigh-ins. He made this a part of his public relations campaign.
I thought to myself what a tough task it is losing weight. A great deal of people have and are struggling with it on a daily basis. Its aggravating to hear someone with the class position and the income of Rob Ford complaining how hard it is. (Especially when he deliberately brings it upon himself.) I wonder how hard it would be for him if he didn’t have a mayor’s salary to deal with? If he had to live a working class minimum wage job like the rest of us, how hard it would be to lose weight? What if he was a single parent who was barely getting by and couldn’t afford the freshest and healthiest food, or find the time to go out and get it. Like all the people he’s hurting and saying they don’t work enough to have what they have. Losing weight must be so hard on him. The circus he’s created around himself over it, he might begin to see was a mistake.
This was a very bourgeois media stunt he pulled. An attempt to make it appear as though he too would be losing as the rest of the city would be losing. The idea here was that he was going to cut back the excess as the municipal public was going to be doing so as well. I imagine this was his attempt at unifying himself with the people by taking on a shared struggle a shared hardship and loss.
It is in this outlook that we can see the real mentality of the ruling class. Even its petty bourgeois in the government, exemplified most striking in this display by Ford. He actually equates not stuffing his face with fast food and as being on the same level as losing access to public libraries. He actually sees and perpetuates the notion that not eating too much candy is the same as outsourcing sanitation worker jobs so that they make less money. Maybe even the same thing as cutting school lunch programs. These are the same things in his mind and those who “believe” in him and his so-called waste reduction plan.
This is how anti-materialist their thinking is, how anti-materialist their world out look is. The suffering of not being able to engage in over indulgence is the same as cutting back on and losing some of the most important services of the city. The same as driving down the wages of those who do the day-to-day work that actually keeps the city of Toronto going. To actually compare a decline in wages and growing poverty to eating less fattening food, shows what kind of mentality they possess living on a pedestal so much higher than us, being in a class so much higher than our own. To him, this loss of junk food really is an act of sacrifice. One he couldn’t even keep up. He couldn’t even keep up the illusion of sacrifice.
All of this was intended as hollow propaganda. The idea here (along with a pathetic attempt to bond with the exploited voter) was to continually paint the picture that these necessities of human life were all just excess. Good paying jobs are excess, access to libraries is nothing more than waste, not polluting the environment with plastic bags is a luxury. They’re trying to associate access to reading materials to having a superfluous benefit. They even go so far as to portray trying to prevent homeless people from dying in the street as a privilege. Think about that, not dying is a privilege. This is the image they are trying to get the public to see and go along with. This is the world outlook that the bourgeoisie, the ruling class has. This is the shear sociopathic nature of capitalism and is defenders upon which it stands.
In a real materialist outlook we can see the terrible disconnect from reality in their world view. They can see the equating between losing the needs of human life and the loss of over indulgence. This is way of thinking that is pervasive in capitalism and what this system is all about. Its all it can ever be. That is why this system must be abolished not amended or reformed. We must strive forward for revolution.