Will the Real Larry Please Stand Up?

By Mahesh P. Butani
Published May 31, 2010

this blog entry has been updated

It is being reported by the friendly local urban printing press that the new immigrants needed to grow the population and the economy are leaving Hamilton, and a disproportionate number of refugees are replacing them. This reports ends with a timid call for: "a need to move it up some notches and be a more welcome community".

Meanwhile, the politically astute suburban printing press is calling all weed smokers to run for Mayor.

The author of this 'open casting call' was once upon a time the chair of the 'The Hamilton Media Advisory Council' - an organization created with much hope to be on the bleeding edge of social reform. He is now relegated to writing "tales from the crypt". Hence his deep cynicism wrapped in sugary humor, to mask any lapse caused by his lack of curiosity for the new, a malaise that could have made the media advisory council of any other city cringe in horror!

What is highlighted in both of these calls is a new reality that is slowly but surely changing the political landscape of an embattled city that eats its own to fuel its growth: Something most definitely needs to be done.

Is it an earnest call for a new strong leadership to stem the tide that seems to be washing away all hopes of progress in our city? Or is it just a jaded call attempting a public buy-in of the freshly re-branded old leadership?

Will we ever know the intent? Are we even supposed to know the intent?

In such times, when an incumbent is being goaded and bullied in broad daylight into submission by the very keepers of the community conscience - and tired old acts are being re-branded as the tough savior of the community - it is imperative that such "tough guy acts" who are the beneficiary of this coronation by media-fiat show moral courage to step forward and directly engage with the community on critical issues that are effecting their lives.

The beauty of coronation by media-fiat is that it gives the one who is coronated a protective screen of silence, from behind which the "tough guy act" can project a shadow puppet show of growth and possibilities to enthrall the masses.

So, the call here to the coronated is to step out from behind the gossamer skirt of our friendly local printing press and begin to directly engage with the people in the market place - or be held guilty of silently watching our republic lose its gravitas.

Some down here in the marketplace call this the true measure of the notion: testing the waters.

So, will the real Larry step up please, and opine on:

These don't add up to ten tough questions. They are only a small beginning towards trying to verify the real experience behind the 'tough guy act' that has being projected to the masses by the friendly printing press.

The soon-to-come real ten tough questions will be about deeper community concerns such as:

The printing press usually shies away from such utterly nonsensical questions. This is quite understandable given the cost of ink in our times - and as affirmed eloquently in question four by the politically astute suburban printing press:

The media is a reflection of the public appetite for information. If we didn't present information in a way that matched the public's desires, we wouldn't be in business.

The last time the public desire in Hamilton was polled by the printing press, the public indeed asked for a circus and not an opera.

However even an authentic "tough guy act" grapples with issues of experience, honour and means adopted to bring prosperity to the city - and would never let any frivolous questions go unanswered. Or will it?

Note: This article is filed by the other Mahesh P. Butani, a boutique developer and blogger. The real Mahesh P. Butani is a declared candidate for the mayoral election, and his political platform will be showcased on his soon-to-be-launched campaign website, in a fairly concise manner, which hopefully matches the public's real desires. In the meanwhile, readers here are earnestly requested not to turn the above questions back onto the other Butani, who is just a blogger.

Update - edit for spelling. Thanks to this commenter for pointing out the error. Mea culpa - Ed.

Mahesh P. Butani is a non-architect, and a developer by default. He is involved in re-developing properties in downtown Hamilton; and has an MA in Arts Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, NYC (1986), and bachelors in Architecture from Bombay, India (1982). Currently he is not an architect in Ontario on account of not having enough Canadian Experience; and does not qualify to teach as he carries too much baggage to fit into the Canadian education system. He refuses to be re-trained to fit in, on a matter of principle, and is a passionate disbeliever of icons and self-regulation of professions in Canada - but still maintains his belief in collective self-organizing behavior; and feels that the large swath of intellectual brownfields across Ontario are far more harmful to the economy than the brownfields left over from deindustrialization - and in response has set up a social network called Metropolitan Hamilton.


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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted May 31, 2010 at 09:12:17

OK I think I get it now. Maheshes candidacy is consciousness raising political theater! Well played sir.

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted May 31, 2010 at 13:46:18

Maheshes candidacy is consciousness raising political theater!

Maybe its like Lost, in the real world Mahesh is a blogger, but flash-sideways Mahesh is the mayoral candidate.

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By Lorem ipsum (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2010 at 16:43:44

I feel like I've just smoked a bowl every time I try to read any of this guy's writing.

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By Ape (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2010 at 23:14:17

Hey Hashesh Butane for Mayor I say. Better a semi literate blogger than the illiterate bugger we have now or the titilliterate would-be wanna-be Larry2!

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By michaelcumming (registered) - website | Posted June 02, 2010 at 19:21:28

Mahesh, who happens to be a friend of mine, is not semi-literate by any stretch of the imagination. Despite his sometimes baroque phrasings (which I usually find endearing) the man has solid urban design and development ideas and experience.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted June 03, 2010 at 05:41:37

I have to agree on this quote:
"The author of this 'open casting call' was once upon a time the chair of the 'The Hamilton Media Advisory Council' - an organization created with much hope to be on the bleeding edge of social reform. He is now relegated to writing "tales from the crypt"."

We call it "Tales From the Crapt".

And no big surprise.. :{ He seems to be supporting Larry -Again. (Even though he has not declared his candidacy.)

I think Mahesh pretty much nailed it here.

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