Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mayor Rob Ford at it again—this time he thinks he’s Jamaican

Toront’s Mayor Rob Ford is at it again, providing late-night talk show hosts material for their monologues and news media outlets something to say, mostly of the tut-tut variety. The mayor, apparently, had too much to drink and used his version of Jamaican patios—a very low, expletive-laden version I might add—to sound off about the police chief. All of which was caught on a video, which ended up on YouTube.

The whole Rob Ford affair has been rather tawdry, both from the point of view of his erratic and sometimes bizarre behaviour and that of some of the media coverage he has received. All in all, not Toronto’s finest moments.

Much of what I’ve read and heard in the past twelve hours has had more to do with Ford’s attempt to speak Jamaican patois than the words themselves. Some on the radio suggest it is somehow disrespectful to imitate the language of a minority group. I hope not, for I often try to speak with an Irish or a Scottish accent, and I certainly mean no disrespect.

On the other hand, Ford’s choice of words would offend many from Jamaica. At least many of the people I know from that island.

I notice the Toronto Sun singled out “bumbaclot” for special mention. Many in Canada, even some Jamaicans here, understand the word to mean roughly “used toilet paper,” though, it is often used in the same context as the more common word, “fuck,” which the mayor also uses. Actually, if you go back to the original meaning of “bumba” and “clot,” you find an even more offensive definition of the terms.

“Bumba” is a slang word for both “ass” and “vigina”—one discerns which by the context in which it is used. “Clot” or more often, “clart” means cloth in the context of the Jamaican slang expression, “blood clart,” meaning an early version of a female sanitary napkin. So saying “bumbaclot” would roughly be equivalent of saying, “tampon.”

Ford seems to slur his words quite a bit on the video, but I hear him using the ultimate of Jamaican “bad words” a couple of times—that being, “rass” and “rass clart,” an even more offensive synonym of “bumbaclot.”

As my wife remarked earlier today, Rob Ford has the perfect right to say whatever he wants to on his private time, and he obviously has the right to be mayor of Toronto, but he can’t do both at the same time. Using swear words has become common practice these days, even in what I think of as polite conversation. Surely, though, there is a point where this practice is so offensive it should be condemned. I think Rob Ford’s performance is at or beyond that point.

Here’s the video, decide for yourselves.


Rob Ford’s video performance


  1. The Rob Ford spectacle has gone too far. He needs to resign and also he needs to seak treatment as he has all the signs of someone with an addiction problem. The thought of Olivia Chow being mayor is one I shudder at but a polarizing figure like him just might allow that to happen much as Miller's policies is why Ford got elected in the first place. Karen Stintz, John Tory, and Denzil Minnan-Wong are fiscally conservative like Ford, but not buffoons.

  2. I think Rob Ford needs medical help. If his family can get behind him and have his friends help to get him the medical help that he needs.

  3. What I'm getting sick of is holier than thou "urinalists", and bloggers, (like this one and the insufferably self righteous and thin skinned "Bear's Rant") who apparently have never done ANYTHING wrong in their lives feeding like tapeworms off Rob Ford's every breath, and bodily function. Get a life assholes.

    1. What I'm getting sick of, Anon 3:07 PM, is commenters like you who make ad hominem attacks rather than counter-arguments and lack the basic decency to sign their own name when doing so. Pathetic!

      Yes, I've made mistakes in my life, but I don't get drunk, regularly, in public and rant loudly with obscene references, and keep making that same mistake time and time again despite making public pledges not to do so.

      Thanks for your comment.

    2. yeah, the public pledges is what does it for me. Who cares if he drinks? I care about the incessant lying. He lies about absolutely everything. Okay if he's working in a private company, not okay in an elected official.

    3. People make mistakes, but they also take responsibility as well as its one thing if its a one off case, its a totally different matter if it happens repeatedly. In BC Gordon Campbell had a DUI case and there was a good reason for him to resign, but at least he took responsibility and it was a one off, not a regular pattern. For Rob Ford, any one of those instances on their own can be forgiven, but if it happens repeatedly it cannot. Its much like at a job. Unless its really serious or you are in the prohibition period, you do not get fired usually for one mishap, but if the behavior that is causing concern happens repeatedly, one will get fired. Rob Ford appears to have a drinking problem and he needs help, but if he was a real leader he would admit this and seek treatment, not pretend its a non-issue or that he can quit without treatment (giving up alcohol as an alcoholic is quite tough).

  4. Yeah, and all he ever did was become Mayor of Toronto (what a loser eh?).

    "and keep making that same mistake time and time again despite making public pledges not to do so. "

    And yet for some reason he remains at 45% public opinion in the polls. (WITHOUT ASKING YOUR PERMISSION TO EXIST! - Imagine!

    I guess his drunken rants and obscene references aren't quite as important to many of the voters as it is to you. As I said get a life.

    1. Anon 7:19 PM, As to your comment, "I guess his drunken rants and obscene references aren't quite as important to many of the voters as it is to you. As I said get a life."

      You're obviously correct. It's a matter of personal values and standards, I guess. Some people seem to believe flaunting the law and using vulgar language in semi-public and public spaces is OK or even something of which to be proud. I don't.

      And, BTW, I do have a life, but thanks for caring.

  5. Anon 7:19 PM, Rob Ford's "some reason he remains at 45% public opinion" only goes to show an electorate who'll vote for anyone the like whether that person is best for the job. The Ontario Liberals have done a rotten job and are running the province's economy into the ground, yet Ontarians keep voting them in. Go figure.