Emoji Major, Emoji Mayor

The drugs! The beer! The football! The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto! This one-man show of an elected official--whether cast as the old baldie, the angry red face, or the pig--is so suited to emojification that I made him a title page. If only emoji had audio and a Canadian accent.

March 2012

On St. Patrick's Day last year, Rob Ford stumbles into City Hall wasted. He's carrying a bottle of brandy (no emoji booze of the snifter kind, beer will have to stand in), sweating profusely on many accounts, and generally having trouble walking. The angry red face rants at a security guard that 'they' had stolen his car. More sweat! (Sake, too, another emoji alcohol body double.) The security guard reminds the mayor that he had not arrived by car and kindly calls him a cab.

August 2013

In a video dated back to summer and released shortly after the fall crack scandal broke, Ford stumbles and flails around a room making violent threats and railing against an unknown subject: "When he's down I'll rip his f***ing throat out, I'll poke his eyes out...that little prick is a racist f***!" Nobody knows what excellent friend (or brother) of his sat there filming the dark episode, but the emoji have their suspicions. Top of list: the mischievous devil dreaming about how much money he would make eventually selling the tape to the Toronto Star. One pol's crack-smoking downfall is another guy with a video cam's windfall.

November 13, 2013

Ford is brought to task, asked the hard question: "Have you bought illegal drugs in the last two years?" Ford stands silently for a full eight seconds--this is a long time in emoji faces, three sweaty rows--before answering "yes." A later, more in-depth admission to smoking crack went probably approximately like this: "It was probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago. All I can do now is apologize and move on." OK. Cool.

November 13, 2013 (later)

Following Ford's crack admission, the City Council votes 37-4 for the mayor to take a leave of absence. The indignant pig refuses.

November 14, 2013

The next day, at a press conference (which pols usually use to try to set things right), here's Ford: "Olivia Gondek says that I wanted to eat her p****y. I've never said that in my life to her. I would never do that. I'm happily married I have more than enough to eat at home." Sincere apologies to the emoji kitties...

November 18, 2013

Ford charges across the City Council chamber to help his brother--who was in an altercation with a heckler--and in the process, bulldozes over a lady Councillor. Oopsie daisy. This little piggy has gone to something or another. To be continued, surely.

Co.Design

Emoji Major No. 15: Emoji Major, Emoji Mayor Rob Ford

This week, Zoe Mendelson offers yet another revelation about The Crack Smoking Mayor Of Toronto: He is an emoji.

You can’t write this stuff. You really can’t. Rob Ford, now affectionately known as The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto, link-bait incarnate, is a gift to journalists, comics, Canada-mockers, and to the whole Internet, really.

In case you missed it, the elected official recently:

Got busted smoking crack on video. Denied smoking crack. Admitted to smoking crack because he was in “one of [his] drunken stupors.” Stumbled around trashed, violently, and incoherently ranting about killing an unknown person--on video. Consorted with prostitutes. Possibly did lines of coke in a restaurant. Gave an extremely sexually explicit press conference. Said he was sorry. Refused to take a leave of absence. Signed bobble head dolls of himself. AND has a “Hockey Night with Mayor Rob Ford” playlist on Songza featuring AC/DC, Kiss, and David Bowie.

Here's what perhaps hasn't yet come forth: Rob Ford, The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto, is an emoji. To begin with, he looks like an emoji: He has no neck, little hair, and his face is a circle and often red. This guy as the angry red face is one of the most accurate emoji castings conceivable.

And then there’s the fact that he’s not only a ridiculous person, but also a huge, pink sweaty person with a broad face and a round nose, which makes him all the more cartoonish and tempting to cast as a pig.

Plus, so many opportunities for symbolic expletive replacements! And so many incredible quotes! This guys is a well of quips that make you go:




If only he were so uncensored when tweeting, I'd have included him in last week's emoji Twitter column. Luckily someone made @shitrobfordsays for when you just need to feel a little better about yourself.

Another reason I’m after Rob Ford, The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto this week: I wanted to try out a one-man show. I recently did an experiment where I traced Hamlet's emotional state throughout the play in a line of emoji:


I almost always go for ensemble emoji pieces for the fun of the casting process, but this warmed me up to the one-character narrative. And where Rob Ford, The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto, may not have Hamlet’s ability to wax existential, he’s plenty dramatic. His epic, crazed drunken rant video could easily be a scene out of (sad) Shakespeare:

"I'm going to kill that [expletive] guy. I’m telling you it's first-degree murder...he dies or I die, brother!... When he’s down, I’ll rip his (expletive) throat out" and "I'll poke his eyes out" and "I’ll make sure that [expletive] is dead."

See the slideshow above for a tormented 21st-century character who confirms that if anyone were ever to be or not to be an emoji, this guy is it.

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