Let's All Hate Toronto
Every morning I check in on the most read news items at Yahoo! News. It gives you a good idea of what the masses are interested in, which is usually Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears. Today, however, the people are sharing a Reuters story about the centre of the universe.
TORONTO (Reuters) - The dislike of Canada's biggest city, Toronto, in the rest of the country runs so deep that a filmmaker has made a documentary about it.
"People in Toronto are soulless, one-eyed corporate zombies," Joey Keithley, of the Vancouver punk band D.O.A., says in the film, "Let's All Hate Toronto."
The 73-minute film, which premieres at Toronto's Hot Docs documentary festival next week, follows a character called Mister Toronto, who embarks on a cross-Canada trip brandishing a sign that reads "Toronto Appreciation Day" and steels himself for the onslaught.
His tour leads from Newfoundland on the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific city of Vancouver, where feelings against Toronto -- usually acknowledged as the country's financial center and the cultural capital of English Canada -- run deepest of all.
"There is something different (about hating Toronto). People are more passionate about it," filmmaker and co-director Albert Neremberghe said in an interview.
"People have a grudging respect for New York outside of the city, and have a grudging respect for London. But people outside of Toronto don't have that for Toronto, they really don't."
Neremberg, who is from Montreal, got the idea for the film from a 1956 publication with the same name as the movie.
He said collective dislike of a city is not unique to Canada, and said he might like to make similar films on other countries' love-hate relationships with major cities.
It's nice to see we evoke so much passion. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. The rest of Canada is anything but indifferent about Toronto, and I see that as a positive thing.
I like the Joey Keithley quote so much, I might make it the tag line for this blog. "Soulless, one-eyed corporate zombies" has a certain charm to it. As for Neremberghe's suggestion there is no grudging respect for Toronto from the rest of Canada, that's bullshit and everyone knows it. The hate for Toronto is clearly the result of deep seeded jealousy.
I don't blame the rest of Canada for hating us. There but for the grace of God go I.
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