Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bowling For Canada II
You know, we're really kind of surprised to see Mayor Miller getting behind this.

If Toronto Mayor David Miller had his way, notorious rapper 50 Cent and his gun-glorifying values would not be allowed to influence Toronto fans in a Dec. 20 concert at Ricoh Coliseum.

50 Cent's music doesn't express the values that Miller sees as good for the city, which has been racked by gun violence all year.

"I've always seen music as an expression of what's happening in communities," the mayor said this afternoon when asked about the controversy by reporters.

"I think the sad thing is the expression of what's happening in communities, in particular some neighbourhoods in Toronto.

"And we don't want to see our have-not neighbourhoods become places where gun crimes are routine, where those kind of values are expressed in the music of the people."

Now, his actual quotes seem a little more nuanced than the first two graphs, so maybe there's hope yet. But how bizarre is it that Dalton McGuinty is looking like the most sensible voice in a debate about gangsta rap:

McGuinty said, "I wouldn't put too much stock" in the rapper's ability to influence gangs and said the cause of the gun violence in Toronto is "much more complex" than a rapper's lyrics and image.

Update. Toronto Star readers prove generally reasonable on the issue.

Update II. The Star has now changed the top of the above story. It now reads:

Toronto Mayor David Miller says it's up to the federal government to decide if notorious rapper 50 Cent should be allowed into Canada.

The entertainer is bringing his "Massacre Tour" to Toronto next month and while one MP, Liberal Dan McTeague, says he should be banned from the country, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty doesn't think censorship is the answer.

Miller didn't bite when he was asked about 50 Cent at an afternoon news conference today.

However, the mayor indicated that he didn't think 50 Cent's music expressed the values that Miller sees as good for the city, which has been racked by gun violence all year.

Nice. Basically, same quotes, completely different story. So did The Star change its mind? Something lost in translation? Or did someone from Miller's office complain?

This isn't quite a huge controversy, but it does seem the sort of thing Antonia Zerbisias could use her blog to explain.

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