Humour

Translation from Bob-Speak into English of Selected Portions of Mayor Bratina's Live Chat with The Spectator

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 01, 2011

First of all, not to be nitpicky, the stadium was named after the famous Brian Timmis, not the northern Ontario town.

I'd rather nitpick the pronunciation of the amateur sport stadium we're eliminating to make room for parking next to the professional sport stadium we're building with money earmarked to promote amateur sport than address the real issue.

Certainly Mr. Young, whose family has contributed to Hamilton since their arrival in the 1800's is approachable on any community-building initiative.

When did your family arrive in Hamilton?

The fact that in 12 short days we resolved the problem and that we are now getting a completely new stadium has received excellent coverage in the national media, including my appearances on the FAN radio.

People who only care about professional sports approve of Hamilton sacrificing its objectives to subsidize a sports franchise with $150 million in taxpayer money that was intended to promote urban revitalization and community building.

The only damage seems to be occurring among a small group of dissident local residents.

We've always been at war with Eastasia.

The clean-up costs of West Harbour have been given as a range of between $3 million and $37 million dollars.

Because the preliminary estimate from two years ago sounds a lot more frightening than the more detailed estimate of $3 to $5 million that came months later on closer inspection.

I'm with you. Let's get the real numbers.

And by "real numbers" I mean numbers that make me sound like I'm making sense.

Public use of the land would be problematic because of the clean-up costs which a large commercial development could sustain, and provide the City with much-needed tax revenue.

Developers are lined up to buy this contaminated brownfield.

It hasn't been postponed for any definite length of time.

It has been postponed indefinitely.

The Connaught was a big stumbling block because it is integral with the design, as those who worked on the plan would know.

Clearly there is no possible way between now and 2015 that we can lay cobblestones on a street two blocks away.

Everyone has a right to their opinions, and some opinions are dissident when measured against the broad public expression.

People who agree with me are engaged citizens. People who disagree with me are dissidents.

I am always in the public and constantly hear positive endorsement of how we're making progress in the City.

At least that's how it feels during my chats with Bill Kelly.

(With apologies to John Gruber and Mark Pilgrim.)

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his essays have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. Ryan also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on twitter.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted September 01, 2011 at 23:12:06

I think we need tshirts that state "Dissident" in bold type writer font.

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By JM (registered) | Posted September 06, 2011 at 10:24:30 in reply to Comment 68930

just like the "Pinko's" in TO

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By Jeff Tessier (anonymous) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 00:54:17

The 'dissident' language is a bit frightening. I've always considered it a badge of honour, given that that apellation has historically been used to describe individuals who resist totalising forces in authoritarian regimes. It's a label to indicate that someone won't 'get with the programme'. His use of the term is an interesting twist in the ongoing questions of whether he's ignoring things like transparency, citizen engagement, and democratic process in his management of city business.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 08:15:15

Clearly there is no possible way between now and 2015 that we can lay cobblestones on a street two blocks away.

This one bugs me to no end. I knew as soon as those parking meters went in that we'd scrap the Gore Plan. After all, it's far more important to provide a parking spot right out front for business owners to use all day long than bring more business to the area. Mind you, the way businesses are closing down around there, parking revenue should be dropping nicely.

Dissident tee's are a great idea.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 08:17:03

This gem from Andrew Dreschel's opinion piece today titled "Bob, Sam and the velodrome food fight" seems quite fitting:

"By comparison, former mayors Bob Morrow, Bob Wade, Larry DiIanni and Fred Eisenberger never dodged one-on-one interviews or scrums after meetings, nor did they imperiously require an appointment.

Each knew he was mayor of Hamilton not czar of all the Russians. They understood both the expectations and obliations of their office. Hopefully, one day Bratina will come down to earth too."

http://www.thespec.com/opinion/article/5...

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 09:15:13

Surely there is someone on James St. that can print up Dissident t-shirts and market them at the upcoming Supercrawl? I will buy one (would appreciate a fit flattering to females and with a v-neck though - dissidents do not necessarily want to look wide and boxy).

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:04:35 in reply to Comment 68945

(would appreciate a fit flattering to females and with a v-neck though - dissidents do not necessarily want to look wide and boxy).

Thanks Zephyr! One of my major pet peeves of the t-shirt industry. ;)

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:57:01 in reply to Comment 68950

Ok, it doesn't have a v-neck...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 11:00:40 in reply to Comment 68964

NOW we're talking.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:25:34 in reply to Comment 68950

C'mon Highwater...who doesn't LOVE the wide and boxy look??

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 09:31:07

Buttons would work too.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 20:17:02 in reply to Comment 68946

Buttons! Good Idea!
No Dissident Boxy Look! Lols!
One size fits all, put it on your V neck, or put it on your turtle.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:06:01 in reply to Comment 68946

:) Something for Button Pushers.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted September 03, 2011 at 17:31:29 in reply to Comment 68951

Just happened to walk past buttonpushers this afternoon. Lovely thing it is.

http://thebuttonpushers.ca/

It is interesting how the streets with the least amount of municipal flappery seem to develop the most organically and pleasantly. Ottawa street was a pleasure this morning.

Comment edited by misterque on 2011-09-03 17:40:06

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 09:59:48

Great stuff, Ryan. We could use a little levity around here.

(With apologies to John Gruber and Mark Pilgrim.)

Also reminded me of this.

"...Each knew he was mayor of Hamilton not czar of all the Russians. They understood both the expectations and obliations of their office. Hopefully, one day Bratina will come down to earth too."

I think it goes deeper. It's not just a matter of understanding that the mayor needs to make him/herself accessible as part of his/her duty. Why would you run for mayor of a medium-sized city if you didn't like people and want to be open and accessible to citizens and their proxies? The relative openness of previous mayors has as much to do with their characters as their understanding of the job description. If Bratina's well-documented, venomous over-reactions to even the most polite questions and criticisms (typified by the hilarious 'dissident' moniker) are anything to go by, his secrecy and lack of accountability spring as much from a fundamental misanthropy as from an ignorance of the type of open governance expected of a 21st century municipal leader in a western democracy. In other words, don't get your hopes up Dreschel.

Comment edited by highwater on 2011-09-02 10:20:36

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By mmhamilton (anonymous) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:25:51

Shirt talk is heating up -

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 10:37:16

WANT.

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By Dissident #1 (anonymous) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 11:41:16

I am proud to be a dissident; there are probably other dissidents out there; let's hear it for dissidence because only through our dissidenciation can we make a difference.

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By Dissident #2 (anonymous) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 11:42:06

Count me in. Step up and be counted all you dissidents!!

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By Zephyr (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 12:09:00

I am dreaming of a sea of Dissident-tshirt-wearers at the SuperCrawl. (I used to dream of an entertainment district on the West Harbour, but will take what I can get at this point).

Let me edit my comment - how about a sea of "Dissident" t-shirts at the next council meeting?

Comment edited by Zephyr on 2011-09-02 12:19:32

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 12:43:35

Hmmmm......

I dare all of ya to show up at my next USW 1005 meeting wearing Dissident shirts! That's what people opposed to 'Rolfinburger' were labeled by him in the media.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 13:45:56 in reply to Comment 68972

Does Rolf get a bad rap due to be being a card carrying member of the communist party? I would assume that would be a requirement to run a Union.

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By Art Brut (anonymous) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 13:07:22

Another occasion to break out those tees, less than two weeks away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-aF5mPHrKQ

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By Jonathan Dalton (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 13:45:45

I want a west harbour shirt. Yellow just like the one Bob wore. We should do a run of those and wear them to council.

Comment edited by Jonathan Dalton on 2011-09-02 13:46:52

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 14:10:56

There is now a "Dissidents (Hamilton Chapter)" group on facebook with a nice photo of Bob in a yellow "dissident" tee.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 14:51:50 in reply to Comment 68979

Link??

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted September 02, 2011 at 15:09:12 in reply to Comment 68985

Sorry. Here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/186781248060815/?notif_t=group_r2j#!/groups/186781248060815/?id=186850271387246&notif_t=group_activity

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 15:43:37 in reply to Comment 68988

Signed up! Dissident T's for members? :)

dissident |ˈdisidənt| noun a person who opposes official policy, esp. that of an authoritarian state

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted September 02, 2011 at 14:52:37

I would enjoy wearing a Dissident t-shirt with one of the famous pinko commie cyclist buttons.

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By Parapet (anonymous) | Posted September 03, 2011 at 08:10:27

I think Bratina will rue the day he used two D words:

De-amalgamation (yes, it won for him but it will come back to haunt him)

And

Dissident.....sign me up.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted September 03, 2011 at 19:38:46

An article titled "In defence of Bob" is published here.

Note to Editor: Do feel free to re-publish this article on RTH, if you wish.

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By Dissident Addict (anonymous) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 10:07:13 in reply to Comment 69028

To conflate all urban infrastructure with "cakes" is way too simplistic. LRT is not a sports stadium. Further, to equate engaged citizens with addicts (or dissidents) is, to put it politely, a gross misunderstanding.

The facts are, time and time again, other cities have prioritized various infrastructure are a physical expression of the type of city they want to build. The central question is, What type of city do you want to be? In terms of the Pan Am stadium, it was always about leveraging that investment to do something else. It was never just a home for a football team. The Mayor has reduced it into a simple "cake" - only a stadium, void of its context and purpose. He has been appropriately called out for this, not as the target of heckling, but as the elected representative responsible.

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By Palindrome (anonymous) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 11:22:48

Mahesh Butani comes across as a psychophant in his defense of Bob. His most outrageous comment is that Bob is abandoning the Spec for other media...no he's not. Bob is controlling his message by almost only going on the Kelly show. Bill has prostituted his principles for this exclusivity. Bob talks out and doesn't have to answer questions.

The Spec, on the other hand, will ask questions and pursue themes...like, 'how come today's position isn't the same as yesterday's, Mr. Bratina?'

Bob can't stand those pesky reminders of changed positions and hence will petulantly avoid the journalists whose job is to seek consistency AND accountability from our politicos.

So, Mahesh. Don't let your own hatred of the Spec and Dreschel especially whom you have accused of racism in the past, now colour your take on issues. Because Bob hates Dreschel and so do you shouldn't mean that the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Bob did not treat you kindly in the past and won't in the future, despite your boot-licking.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 04, 2011 at 13:11:42 in reply to Comment 69035

Mahesh Butani comes across as a psychophant in his defense of Bob.

Um...is 'psychphant' the nasty, potentially dangerous cousin of the obsequious, toadying, brown-nosing 'sycophant'?

Oh, and I'm wondering what it is you're referring to when you state:

Bob did not treat you kindly in the past and won't in the future, despite your boot-licking.

For starters, you sound like you've got melodrama dripping from your chin...and how on earth does Good Mayor Bratina end up being equipped so dastardly by you? (During the meeting...and immediately after...he seemed like the Master of The Snit-fit. Not someone whom you'd warn others about. What do you know that the rest of us don't, pray tell...?)

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 13:42:36 in reply to Comment 69039

What do you know that the rest of us don't, pray tell...?

You're kidding, right? Who in this town doesn't have an 'Angry Bob' story? His poison pens (literal and figurative) are legendary.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 04, 2011 at 14:43:33 in reply to Comment 69041

You're kidding, right? Who in this town doesn't have an 'Angry Bob' story? His poison pens (literal and figurative) are legendary.

Huh?

I'm not talking about a 'poison pen' or him getting 'angry'. (And I suspect you know it.)

The commenter had imbued this 'runaway Mayor' (as in 'I'm running away to my chambers, watch me run!') with some kind of nefarious capabilities. Once again:

Bob did not treat you kindly in the past and won't in the future, despite your boot-licking.

So he's not going to treat Mahesh kindly in the future. Meaning what, exactly? He's going to have underlings set upon him with pea-shooters?

And for the record, that final bit about the 'boot-licking' was, at the very least, uncalled for. I don't agree with Mahesh's take on Mayor Bratina (as I said to him privately, I think he was overly generous with the Mayor's abilities, chalking everything up to 'cake'), but I didn't take any of the essay as 'boot-licking'. That bit just tells me that the poster doesn't know Mahesh at all...and probably had one bowl too many of Cranky Flakes.

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By Palindrome (anonymous) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 13:28:09

"Um...is 'psychphant' the nasty, potentially dangerous cousin of the obsequious, toadying, brown-nosing 'sycophant'?"

Spelling Schmelling...it's not as if I went to university...other than the hard knocks kind.

But I do follow the news and know a thing or two about Bob's two personalities...having lurked about CHML for many years...

And followed the last civic election and even wrote about it...so...yes...I stand by my statements...but above all...Mahesh's hatred for Dreschel and that is why he is vindicating Bratina.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 04, 2011 at 14:46:02 in reply to Comment 69040

Spelling Schmelling...it's not as if I went to university...other than the hard knocks kind.

So not just a 'school of hard-knocks'...but an institution of higher learning! Wow. (I got my papers via an ad at the back of a comic book.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-09-04 14:46:22

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 20:26:19 in reply to Comment 69043

And speaking of Comic Books, & spleen, MSC, what do you think of you new Liberal candidate, Mistah Ex & Former Editor?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 17:40:26 in reply to Comment 69276

And speaking of Comic Books, & spleen, MSC, what do you think of you new Liberal candidate, Mistah Ex & Former Editor?

What do I think of Mark Cripps? In what way? As an editor? As a Liberal candidate?

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 01:22:27 in reply to Comment 69320

"And speaking of Comic Books, & spleen, MSC, what do you think of your new Liberal candidate"?
As a Liberal Candidate.

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By It's All Good! (anonymous) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 19:34:40

Regarding Bob's assertion that the Ivor Wynne rebuild is a "non-issue" outside of a few dissidents, have a look at these:

CBC: If you build it they will come. Or perhaps not. Or maybe if you build it over here. Or maybe not. Or, hell, let's just start all over again - http://www.cbc.ca/sports/blogs/football/2011/09/cfls-mid-season-10-things-we-learned.html

Remember when no one wanted to build a new stadium in Hamilton on the Ivor Wynne site because there wasn't enough parking, and it wasn't as good a place for revitalization as, say, the port lands?

Finally they came right back to Balsam and Beechwood and decided to renovate the 1930 pile, home of the prettiest bathrooms in the league. Until, that is, a check of the stadium showed it can't be, you know, renovated.

So now, the city will work with the Tiger-Cats and the Pan Am 2015 folks to knock Ivor Wynne down, change the configuration from west-east to north-south, eliminate a nice little soccer stadium next door, increase parking, and do it for the same money.

Not to mention on time for the 2014 CFL season.

Some of the city councillors are a little confused. So are we.

New Hamilton Stadium Makes No Sense at All - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/830293-new-hamilton-stadium-makes-no-sense-at-all

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 04, 2011 at 20:11:26 in reply to Comment 69047

Thanks for that last link, raises some interesting questions and points.

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By Art Brut (anonymous) | Posted September 15, 2011 at 16:15:49

Doors in three hours...

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Pear+Jam+Dissident+Toronto

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