David Miller and the politics of YouTube
David Miller has taken his campaign for a Canada-wide handgun ban to YouTube. He is asking people from across Canada to sign a petition that he will personally deliver to Parliament Hill. It’s a fine and worthy objective. It’s also nice to see someone other than John Tory take the lead on the issue of gun violence in the city. Still, I can’t help but notice that our mayor is full of bold initiatives for governments other than his own.
According to Miller, Ottawa should ban handguns and give cities a share of the GST. Queen’s Park should upload social-service costs and give his office more power. And he is never more vocal and more public than when it comes to other governments’ affairs. It’s too bad he hadn’t discovered the power of YouTube back during the land transfer tax debate, when he spent many months hiding under a rock.
In any event, YouTube strikes me as a curious choice for a political forum, given that it’s essentially a pop-culture clearing house that prizes whimsy and goofiness over earnest pleas. Politically speaking, its best clips are of politicians not being politicians. Miller’s own best YouTube clip is probably his turn as a mariachi singer, or maybe his convincing dramatic performance as a biker—because those are the kinds of moments we expect YouTube to deliver. As far as Toronto’s top all-time YouTube moments, neither can hold a candle to a belligerent Ashlee Simpson at McDonald’s or even to Vesa Toskala’s fumble on Long Island, which—Holy Mackinaw!—has been posted over and over again by Leafs-obsessed YouTubers.
So here’s what I suggest: go sign the mayor’s petition if you are so moved, then come back here and send me a comment telling me your favourite Toronto YouTube clip. It can be about Toronto or merely filmed in Toronto, even if Toronto is standing in for Baltimore.