just back from a stunningly dull talk about Toronto--a classic example of good intentions gone awry. the evening was called "Lost Toronto", built around the current "one book" theme of February's reading month in the city (we're all supposed to read the novel Consolation, by Michael Redhill. i'm fascinated by the suggestion to get a whole city reading a single book...will it work? i'm going to read the book on my flight tomorrow--assuming i can find a copy to buy at the aeroport--because it seems impossible to get ahold of in the public library system. which might mean people are really out there, reading it).
Tonight's talk had fascinating guests--ex-mayor Barbara Hall, Spacing editor Matthew Blackett, columnist Christopher Hume, & real estate tycoon-in-the-making Brad J. Lamb (you've seen him: the ad with his head on a lamb's body that was plastered all over the garbage bins last year).
i was curious about the idea that a city could be lost, and i was looking forward to exploring that idea. but Moderator Matt Galloway of CBC didn't really focus the conversation, or push anyone's buttons. what is Toronto's relationship to its heritage? who knows...based on the conversation tonight, we're still swamped by petty bickering about whether tall buildings belong, whether anyone should tear anything down, ever, and whether politicians know anything.
i'm going to focus instead on the best line of the night--Matthew Blackett's comment: "The City needs to have some chutzpah."
i think the city of Toronto has chutzpah...it just gets bogged down in anxiety. maybe it's all the slush.