Anyone from Toronto?

Today when you tell someone you’ve lived in Toronto since you were born they keep wanting to know where you’re from. I can’t recall when asking where you’re really from started; when I was growing up everyone seemed to be Torontonian except my grandparents, one of whom told me she’d emigrated from Italy when her family got tired of rebuilding their house. What I do recall is my surprise at the persistence of the questioning about my origins. I think that it must have begun about when I started finding myself befriending people who were not from Canada. Until then it was natural to make friends with anyone of my age who lived within walking distance of my house, most, maybe all appeared to have been born in Toronto; none had sir names that sounded European like mine. Today it looks like everyone’s from somewhere else and still travelling, maybe back where they originated or on the way to destinations unknown. I sometimes feel that if I were growing up in this “where are you from era” I’d be like the kid I’ve seen riding a skate board past my house over the past 5 years never with a friend even though there’ve been a lot of kids his age on our block, though probably with origins outside Canada. In fact I’ve heard it said that today more than half the population of this city, now part of the GTA are from outside Canada, and that Canadians born in countries other than Canada are needing help from the Canadian government back in their native lands. So I guess my assumptions about what a Canadian is are really naïve. Even Tim Horton’s whose name still evokes the image of the Toronto Maple Leaf defenceman who started that coffee and donuts franchise is now owned by M3 capital down in Brazil, South America.

This morning I heard that they had to close the CNE a couple of hours early because of over-crowding and a group of patrons rampaging down the midway, and  false rumours of  gunshots. I know that when I was growing up in Toronto was then, when no one ever heard gunshots; unlike now when hearing gunshots seems to be mushrooming throughout the GTA and beyond. That false report of gunshots preceding the early closing of the CNE reminds me of the gun shots I used to think only I heard almost weekly when I was living near the corner of Yonge and Bloor about 20 years ago and that helped me decide that Toronto was no longer what I used to think it was.

Mind Shaping Media Topics

Media topics become public issues especially as characterizations of people and predictions about political outcomes. These media hammered topics about race, colour, gender, education and sometimes religious affiliation are repeated as though they are what truly concerns its readers and video viewers, sometimes provoking “social media”  reactions to its hammering these topics as though they were all that could possibly interest anyone within media’s range.

What does concern everyone of any race, colour, gender, age, education or religious persuasion is their own and their family’s existence, and what they are forced to do to maintain that existence.

But typical of media  we read from the on Saturday August 27, 2016

“Donald Trump’s legacy threatens to be return of race politics to the mainstream”

And in Time online

“Donald Trump Still Has a Big Problem With Millennials”

But scarcely any news outlet with its professional staff of collegial journalists would say anything about the plight of the expanding mass of real people of all genders and all races who care desperately about their own economic survival and not whether politicians or political parties favour their colour, nationality, education  or gender;  for the 99 percenters, the “have nots” comprise all classifiable groups, all identifiable cultures.

Categorizing Voters

I read an online article yesterday (August 22, 2016) that suggested that though Mr. Trump’s supporters have been identified as men who have lost jobs to current free trade arrangements, he is better received in areas where people are still working and have benefited from an improving economy. Those who one might have expected to be among Mr. Trump’s devotees, those whose jobs have gone to places like Mexico or even as far off as India favour Mrs. Clinton and her Democrats.

That article reminds me of a Migration News review of the 2012 election that characterizes voters according to skin tone and racial background. Their analysis indicates that “Obama won the majority of votes from every subgroup of voters except white men and the elderly.” by which we can assume that white men and the elderly voted for Republican Romney. And Mr. Obama won 80% of the non white vote. These results seem to confirm that Mr. Trump’s followers may be those who still have jobs and are pleased with their prospects simply because it’s difficult to imagine that the non white voters 80% of whom voted for Obama, and many of whom are likely immigrants are better employed than their white counterparts. Now of course I am biased, perhaps because for years I’ve been reading that Republicans favour the rich, and because I believe that the elderly are better off than the young of whatever race, gender or colour.

Consequently I’d recommend that more accurate assessments of election results should be based on incomes  and not race, skin colour, or even gender. I think Mr. Powel’s Republican  affiliation may be illustrative, for in the 2008 election he supported Mr. Obama the Democrat, but seemed to be less supportive of him before the 2012 election when he said that he favoured Obama in 2008 because of the historic aspect of Obama’s candidacy, a motive he suggested that had ceased to be relevant in 2012.

Donald Trump must be stopped. That’s what socialist Sanders says and to make certain that he’s stopped all Sanders supporters must vote for Mrs. Clinton. An independent candidate for president also says that Trump must be stopped. Most American and online British media organizations say he must be stopped. For some time U.S. media headers have encouraged Mr. Trump to do the inevitable and withdraw, some suggest a negotiated withdrawal allowing Mrs. Clinton to be president without an election I take it.

But I don’t recall anyone saying that Clinton should be stopped or withdraw; though I did see one article suggesting that voting for Clinton as a lesser of 2 evils is still voting for evil.

So what is it that has Republicans, Democrats and others wanting to push Trump and his supporters out the door? Here I have to remind that getting Trump to not try to get elected in November means nullifying the wishes of his supporters who made him the Republican presidential candidate for 2016. Perhaps their wishes didn’t really count because they, the poorly educated, did not know the real Trump as Mr. Brooks implied in his article about Trump the deceiver.

I followed much of what was written about the 2008, and 2012 election for U.S. president, but don’t recall efforts to stop anyone. So what is it about Trump who is characterized as the cause and inevitable cause of every local and international horror that can be thought of? Is it his big mouth, his hyperbole, his arbitrary unscripted ironies, his hair, his tiny hands, his KFC etiquette, his not publishing his income tax statement. Maybe it’s his surprisingly un victorian, unfree trade pronouncements: the loss of investment opportunities that might result; or the loss of media business for actors, directors, writers and technicians.




Hearing the Tone of Words

The most difficult element of rhetorical style to characterize is tone.

I’ve seen funny movies that are satirical in that they mock social habits and conventions through irony; yet reviewers write about plot and comic effectiveness, scarcely noting the object of the humour.

Sarcasm another use of ironic tone says one thing but means another.

Mathematical and news media statements arrive toneless.

Even a question, an interogative statement may end in a period but those sensitive to tone know that what textually looks like an assertion may be a question.

What’s a socialist?

When I read that Dominic Straus Kahn, head of the world bank and likely president of France before his facing charges of sexual impropriety, and Mr. Sanders having purchased his 3’rd house was among the top 4% of America’s income earners were both socialists I had to give my head a real shake even though I’d begun getting suspicious of socialists well before that NDP convention when a former Liberal P.Q. cabinet minister became Canada’s socialist leader. I guess we can attribute my having to learn that a socialist was nothing like the image of a socialist I’d grown up with in a working class family. To me that old socialist characterization was probably based on the persona of Tommy Douglas the mythical leader of the apparent socialist CCF that became the NDP.

Today Livy’s reflecting on the end of the republican Roman constitution and the beginnings of the imperial, one man dictatorship grows in relevance, “..; nowhere have thrift and plain living been for so long held in such high esteem. Indeed, poverty, with us, went hand in hand with contentment. Of late years wealth has made us greedy, and self-indulgence has brought us, through every form of sensual excess, to be, if I may so put it, in love with death both individual and collective.”(Livy 59 BC.-17 AD.)