The mathematics of Larryness

Hi, class! I'm Prof. Coyote. My image consultant tells me this mortarboard crampin' my ears makes me look erudite. These charts 'n graphs, too. I was gonna round it all off with some really thick rose-coloured glasses I found in the waste can behind City Hall, too, but an odd little bald dude yelling, "Preciousssss!" came running up and snatched 'em away from me at the last second. Hope ya appreciate the effort.

I see from our last pop quiz that some of you are baffled as to what the hell informs the mental processes of certain mayors. Today's lecture may enlighten you regarding hiz, uh, honor's, public relations strategy last week, during which first the Ontario Provincial Police charged him, and then his famed "zero means zero" tax-increase promise became, oh, FIVE PER CENT. Whether anything similar could enlighten the mental processes of Mayor Lex to hisself is a whole 'nother kettle of kryptonite. I digress, in an absent-minded professor kinda way. Okay, movin' on...

Taxes: After nailing down that long-expected tax increase, Lex declared it was at least as good as zero because the rose-coloured glasses are off, he's learned lessons, become a better person. Exactly how is unclear, not for the first time - nor likely the last. (Council said four-point-nine, but we statistical coyotes always round up wild guesses, 'specially ones based on imaginary fat cashflow from provinces that have already said they ain't payin'.) All it cost the citizens of Ottawa for a new, self-improved Larry was a few hundred thousand bucks. Bargoon! We should be grateful. And as the bar graph below shows, on Planet Larry we so are!
Criminal Code Charges: Stay or go? Hizzoner says he believes with every fibre of his being that he's innocent and eventually can prove it in court. Well then. It must be so, because he's proven himself so astute-like already. But then he promised to consult with citizens as to whether he should stay on while dealing with this (strictly personal) matter, blah, blah, blah. After spending a nanosecond polling family, good friends and close supporters, he announced he'd stay. Those people form a statistically-significant proportion of the city's population, do they not?

Well, really, lately, any politician who utters the ol' 'public consultation' gag in this city is telegraphing in technicolor that it's all about pretend. But geez. Does the guy not have the decency or attention span to properly pretend to pretend? Meantime, more exacting polls place 'go' and 'stay' in a statistical dead heat. Even with all of hizzoner's family, friends and supporters bulking up that latter category. Not quite a clear endorsement, but hey: the pie chart down there proves that family, friends and supporters are any well-grounded politician's most important constituents, outweighing all others. That's what democracy is all about.

Swagger: Ooh! Remember when he promised to make Ottawa 'a city with swagger?' Like it's a good thing? Never understood that myself, though other lecturers at Irregular University gave it a shot. Despite Marlen Cowpland's wardrobe, Ottawa remains pretty much a gray-flannel, button-down kinda place. Okay, possibly it actually dresses more eclectically than that these days, but it's still discretely self-effacing. Yet my Oxford Big Word Thingy, Canine Edition, defines 'swagger' as 'behaving with an air of superiority, in a blustering, insolent or defiant manner; now esp to walk or carry oneself as if among inferiors, with an obtrusively superior or insolent air...' I don't get it. That's not an image anyone 'cept maybe some kinda outta-touch narcissist would want. Uh, oh, wait...!
Now class: remember all of this. It's on the final exam, possibly in three years. But maybe sooner.


zoom said...

Brilliant post Coyote. This line cracked me up: Does the guy not have the decency or attention span to properly pretend to pretend?

coyote said...

Why, thank you, ma'am. Your praise makes me feel humble. Dramatically more humble, in fact....