Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Role of "The Mayor" in Modern Society

In the wake of the mayor of Toronto's scandalous crack-gate scandal, we shall be looking at what the role of "The Mayor" should be in a modern society.

Many Many Years Ago...

...It was different. Etymologically speaking, the word "Mayor" derives from the french term of "Maire" (or phonetically off the french term "meilleur" which means "better"). In regards to the intended use it is closer to the term "maegester/maestro/maitre/meister" which means "having control or authority" according to Online Etymology Dictionary.

In the old days Europe was administered by what was referred to as "seigneuries" or the "feudal system" as you'd see it referred to in Sid Meier's Civilization series. Basically anyone who sucked-up to the king or won some sort of merit on the battlefield or in political office was awarded land by the king. Anything who lived on that land was considered property of the land-owner whether those things were cows, sheep, bugs, or human people.

The people would refer to the landowner as "master" and had to give this person a portion of any grain, milk, etc. they produced (we'd call this a "tax" today). This situation wasn't ideal and many peasants revolted against the landowners (obviously).

In order to minimize revolts against the corrupted and badly thought-out system, they had to figure out a way to justify it to the peasants. The tool they used was religion, they convinced the peasants (who were not the brightest people) that the King was ordained by God himself to rule on earth and anyone appointed by the King was thus a representative of God as well. They started to call the taxes "tithes" and they would be given directly to the church. So, thanks to some good old-fashioned religion, the feudal system took roots. Peasants were now happy to be in eternal servitude because they thought they were doing "God's" work.

They started calling their landowner's "Seigneurs" now...which means "Lord" in English and it is obviously a more religious term than the previous one. Through religion the paesants went from being angry at their servitude to some moron...to being happy about it.

So, even today we refer to officials as a passed down term for "Master" and it is directly linked to the feudal system. Obviously officials are no longer appointed by a king to live off the people's "taxes" (well, unless you're in the Canadian senate...I guess).

Modern Times

Remnants of the feudal system are becoming fewer and fewer every decade. Soon enough it might be totally wiped out. Is a "Master" or a "Mayor" in today's society regarded as a divine Angel sent from "God" to rule over his subjects? No.

Then what is the role of a Mayor in today's society? I don't know...

Alleged Crack-Head (left)
In the wake of Rob Ford's Crack-Gate...I think I have figured it out.

People are talking about Toronto all over the place. I've seen this talked about at length on Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmell, and other well-watched programs. Do you know what is said about publicity? That's right...

"No Publicity is Bad Publicity..." -Ancient Business-Man Proverb

This is basically just publicity for the city of Toronto which is healthy for their economy. Toronto is on people's minds now...their brand is growing because they have a crack-head mayor. I still remember Marion Berry's name for instance and that he was the mayor of Washington (and that he was a big crack-head) and that's like over a decade ago now. Marion just drew attention to his region, that's all he really did.

It gives business-men traveling to Toronto for business meetings an opening joke before their power-point presentations. Before delving into their quarterly reports...they can open at the commerce center of Toronto with a nice topical joke about their crack head mayor...for ensured laughter.

Maybe the role of a Mayor is for publicity and entertainment purposes.

Hmmm...

I think I've always known this. I've never really taken politics and voting seriously. Way back in 2001, when I turned 18 there was a vote going on and I was excited to do my first vote. It was a vote for the mayor of Montreal. The choices were some old dudes and a cool guy who went by the monicker of "Super Cochon" (Super Pig). Super Pig wore a pink wrestling singlet, a turquoise bandana with eye-holes over his eyes, and a great big "C" on his chest. I knew who I was going to vote for...and it wasn't the old dudes.

I got my voting shoes on and went down to the polling station. I was surprised to see that Super Cochon wasn't even on the ballot and that I could only vote for my specific region's official. I wanted to vote for Super Pig for mayor but since he wasn't affiliated with a party...he wasn't on the ballot in my region. I didn't know what to do, the Marijuana party was on my ballot but voting for them is for hippies so I didn't vote for them (I'm not a hippie.). In the end I voted on the back for an old Expos outfielder and that's what I've done since.

4th place. Close but no cigar.
I wanted Super Cochon to be mayor for the publicity. It would make a lot of press and make people all around the world talk about it. Historically, a pseudo-super-hero named Super Pig wouldn't have even been the most comedic election result.



Top 20 Satire Candidates: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Top/satirical_candidates

Yes, a foot powder once won an election in Ecuador. Yeah, that's never going to be forgotten...ever. That's achieved legendary comedic status.
All Hail Mayor Pulvapies !

I don't vote in a mayor election to let some old man waste or steal my tax dollars. I vote for a mayor to get on historical comedy lists. To each is own, you know?

Super Cochon received 8000 some-odd votes in that election but not enough to get elected and make it onto historical satirical candidate lists. Shame.

Looking back at the election results of the 2001 Montreal mayor election, the winners of the regions are names no one's heard of or will remember (a lot of former federal Quebec politicians and a handful of Total Goombahs!). They are boring people doomed to be forgotten in a sea of extreme lameness. But If Super Cochon won...you think anyone would have forgotten that? No, it would have been a great victory for comedy and would have gotten a story in just about every single newspaper possibly worldwide.

Conclusion

In a modern society where people can't be coerced into caring about their Seigneurs/Lords by religious means...are politicians no more than jesters? Is the value of a politician in their inherent entertainment and publicity generating value? It would seem so.

If all publicity is good publicity...is having a crack-head mayor a blessing in disguise?

Hey, riddle me one more question my smart people...

Can a foot powder steal your money? Don't think so...

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