Photo of the garbage bin at Queen and John by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.
The Toronto Star is repenting. On Tuesday, they published “Toronto making me mad as hell” by Vinay Menon, one of the most head-shakingly bad excuses for an article we’ve ever read in a major daily. To wit:
On Sunday, I returned home from a barbecue to an unpleasant discovery: A fiend had smashed into my locked shed and absconded with my lawn mower.
“Can you believe this?” I asked my wife, who seemed more concerned with the length of our grass than the actual theft. “Our Lawnhog was abducted in broad daylight. What is happening to this city?”
These days…everything about Toronto is making me mad: Construction, dirty parks, appalling customer service, endless fees, abysmal leadership, dysfunctional council, inept urban planning, potholes, expensive goods, dilapidated neighbourhoods, aggressive panhandlers, the ongoing futility of our hockey squad.
Toronto the Good has become Toronto the Enraging.
To which we must say, really?
The Star‘s star columnists have seemed to share our sentiments since: in the days after Menon’s article, the paper has been aggressively targeting and undermining just that kind of frustration (a frustration Star commenters unsurprisingly seem to share), with several articles devoted to telling everyone to basically chill the fuck out about the city workers’ strike.
From DiManno’s article on Wednesday:
…this is only Day Three of inconvenience and certainly Toronto should be able to stiffen up a bit, faced with such urban challenges as no garbage collection, no ferry service, no daycare at 57 city-run facilities and no permits for wedding photo snapping in the park.
Let’s try to relax.
The people on strike are our neighbours. They are not stupid and they are not evil. They are us.
My goodness. Get a hold on yourselves, people. If you can’t do without these workers for two days then maybe they should be making three times the salaries they now pull down.
“My goodness” is right. The strike is undoubtedly a massive inconvenience for many, just as the TTC strike last year was. But the Star‘s now on the right track: it’s not the end of the world, and won’t be in another week, or another month, if it lasts that long. The pickets might continue. The Islands might stay quiet. And the streets may well begin to stink. But right now, the city reeks far less of garbage than it does of hysteric self-importance.