Man on a white horse

Yes, still here motherfuckers. Just because there’s no updates for a time doesn’t mean that anyone’s been sleeping on shit so recognize.

Ah leaders. We are supposed to love leaders in Quebec, because although we have a civic life and associational tendency that is virtually unparalleled on this continent, we are still governed and shaped by a merry little band of rich people who like one-stop shopping when wielding influence and seeking public congratulations for their accomplishments. Lucky for us that they’re a rickety and second-rate ruling class, and always have been; the failed scions of Scotland gave way to the self-congratulatory “self-made” types from the sticks and the successive generations of preening overambitious sons of Outremont that Stanislas and Brébeuf cough up like clockwork.

Today, La Presse is unhappy with the mayor but it can’t figure out why. So it builds a shockingly incoherent article, critical of his lack of take-charge leadership, around last year’s sneering public smackdown offered by Tremblay’s former friend Charles Lapointe the professional tout, who is bitter that his economic sideshow is not universally regarded as the three-ring circus of servility he believes that it should be. Tout aux touristes.

Dans son discours, il a rappelé la réflexion de Simon Anholt, un expert de l’image, lorsqu’il est arrivé à Montréal et qu’il a vu l’état lamentable des routes entre l’aéroport et le centre-ville : « Je pensais que j’avais atterri au Kazakhstan. »

No sum is too great to make sure that someone has a nice cab ride from the airport to downtown. Regardless of what role the 20 and Cote-de-Liesse have in the economy — as places where we build airplane engines and turbines that are sold around the world, for instance — they must be showpieces at any price. An “image expert” (a consultant who is paid to make cities worried about their image, and then hire him to buff that image and reassure them that yes, an important foreigner in a nice blazer gazes out of his taxi window and feels at peace) came here and apparently immediately shitted on his hosts — hi, tourism chief, your city looks like where Borat is from — and we are supposed to worry. Instead of calling him rude and asking him to rephrase his comment constructively and watch his bitchy little mouth when he’s a guest somewhere. Remember, this is part of Lapointe’s (and others’) strategy: make you feel nervous about yourself in the eyes of your betters.

So what’s Tremblay been doing, when not busily getting fucked by his political allies?

La Ville rafistole les tuyaux, bouche des trous, retape le boulevard Saint-Laurent. Une administration en rase-mottes. Il y a peu de grandes réalisations, mais beaucoup d’intendance. Et de mots.

Doesn’t maintenance suck? When people let things fall apart and then new people come in and fix those things? Isn’t that, well, disruptive? And when an administration focuses on the little details about which angry shopkeepers get so worked up, instead of swingingly wildly for the fences with another batch of white elephants, isn’t that such a lack of vision? You’re filling potholes, but where’s your vision?

Depuis mars 2006, la Ville a pondu quatre politiques (sur l’approvisionnement, l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes…) et six plans (plan d’action corporatif pour préserver le climat, plan d’action 2007 d’accessibilité universelle…). Zzz…

Isn’t it boring when municipal governments start droning on about their vision? I mean, what is this shit: gender equality, climate change, accessibility for the disabled — what a yawn. And who needs a procurement policy? Just go out and, you know buy stuff.

Le maire était sagement assis avec le public, sur le premier banc en avant. Comme un petit garçon. Il n’a pas soufflé mot et il n’est pas monté sur l’estrade. À se demander qui est maire de la ville.

Swagger, where’s the swagger? Building consensus, not being a ridiculous asshole in public, letting members of your team make major announcements in your second term, being perhaps justifiably afraid of having your fellow-hacks stab you in the back at public events — all of that’s for pussies and little boys. La Presse wants a real man at the helm. Maybe even a man in a helmet. And this time around he doesn’t even have to make the trains run on time, he just has to be concerned that they’re nice looking trains and that the view from the window synchronizes seamlessly with other people’s expectations.

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