Mayoral candidates, their memes, monster truck ads and rock star dreams

David Soknacki, Olivia Chow and Sarah Thomson prove that you gotta have a gimmick to win it


Between the memes, monster truck-style ads and now a Karaoke remix, this mayoral race is proving the most entertaining yet.

Sarah Thomson today released her remix of the Serena Ryder hit “Stompa.”

While awkwardly dancing on the subway, Thomson’s dreaded-head bounces side to side as she sings her own lyrics over the instrumental to “Stompa.”

If you’ve ever really listened to the lyrics of almost any band from the Beatles to Coldplay to the Pixies, then you know that the lyrics don’t always make sense, nor do they have to, unless you’re hoping to make a political statement.

Thomson’s reimagined song starts strong by saying “gridlock takes your dreams away.”

But then something happens in the middle when she sings, “People screaming that they just won’t pay,” to which she asks people to “calm down and open up [their] stingy eyes.”

Maybe calling potential voters cheap isn’t the best way to win votes.

Then the auto-tuned rendition of her subway plan gets a little muddier, “When we can’t seem to build out all the subways we are wanting / Refusing to fund the transit that we need / All the time that we feel / I can prove is at the wheel / There’s just one thing we gotta do / Gotta go down, listen to me / Clappa your hands, stompa your feet.”

If I’m hearing her correctly, then it seems no one is driving and I should just clap my hands and dance and all our transit woes will disappear.

Regardless of whether it makes sense, it’s worth a watch, if only for the somewhat creepy smiling and sad, solitary subway dancing.

This “music video” is a step up from her subway infused rendition of Pitbull’s “Timber.”

Perhaps, as a future career option Thomson could start a new cover band called the Subway Underground, much like Macauly Culkin’s Pizza Underground, but worse.

One candidate who isn’t keeping anything underground is Olivia Chow. Earlier this week, Chow appealed to the lowest common denominator in a radio ad that makes Rob Ford’s return to City Hall Monday sound like the best show on Earth.

In a monster-truck announcer voice, the ad begins: “It’s back. The most distracting show on Earth is returning to Toronto. ROB FORD!”

Like an ad for an episode of Jersey Shore, the announcer mentions all the horrors Ford brings in his wake, including errors in judgment, billion-dollar budget lies, and the appeal of “watch[ing] him drag your city’s reputation through the mud.”

Then the attacks turn on John Tory, who in more than one Chow-approved ad she calls a flip-flopper.

So who started all this internet fun? None other than David Soknacki.

Let’s not forget his hilariously flat delivery of Kevin Bacon’s speech from Footloose about dancing that his team released in support of electronic dance music events at Exhibition Place.

You remember him, right? He’s the guy that Jimmy Kimmel hadn’t heard of either. The guy whose young, hip campaign team turned into a meme, almost before he even knew what one was.

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What he did know was that memes don’t last forever, but then neither do radio ads or remixes of Canadian pop hits.

What will last for at least four years is whichever candidate proves they have the policies, vision, integrity and wherewithal to repair the damage done by Rob Ford and move Toronto back up to the rank of a world class city.

For now, pop some popcorn and stay tuned because it’s going to be an entertaining ride to City Hall.

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