The Rebel Mayor situation, the municipal election’s only fun gossip story so far, may have ended before it was spoken of outside of city hall. For the uninitiated, an anonymous tweeter known as Rebel Mayor has been poking fun at just about every public figure in Toronto since November 2009, with a particular emphasis on mayoral candidates. The identity of the musket-wielding, Scotch-swilling, Prius-driving, old English–spouting reincarnation of William Lyon Mackenzie (who chronicles the travails of his “team” as he campaigns to reclaim his place as Toronto’s mayor) has been the subject of much speculation, but it may have been inadvertently revealed earlier this week.
An astute Global news correspondent caught two identical tweets, one from the Rebel Mayor and one from city council candidate Himy Syed, who is running in ward 19. When questioned about it via e-mail, Syed responded in typical Rebel Mayor style: “‘Team’ has withdrawn BlackBerry privileges until further notice. xo.” The identical tweet was promptly removed from Syed’s Twitter feed.
To celebrate the Rebel’s (somewhat inconclusive) unmasking, we offer this retrospective of his best tweets, one-liners, jabs, digs and quips. Please provide your own montage music. We suggest Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2.”
On old-school social media:
November 16, 2009: We had Twitter back when I was the first mayor. We called it “brick with note tied to it.” Effective messaging.
On Sarah Thomson’s subway ambitions:
January 26, 2010: Crisis. We r thinking about quitting race. @ThomsonTO’s “subways to all neighbourhoods” an OMFG game changer. Crisis.
On George Smitherman’s fury:
November 17, 2009: Grrr grrr grrr just blew an hour pretending to be Furious Smitherman Travis Bickle in the mirror. YOU LOOKING AT MY ADULT DIAPER?
On inept bloggers:
January 15, 2010: Stupid blogs. Hard to threaten something w musket when it’s virtual.
On Joe Pantalone’s lack of social media savvy:
April 16, 2010: We were going 2 offer Joe Pantalone a guest tweet slot all day today but “team” thought a silent day would not be good.
On Rocco Rossi’s TTC and bike stances:
January 22, 2010: <hearts hearts> @roccothevoteTO! Since your speech on bikes/TTC yesterday nobody refers to me as the ancient candidate! Xoxo
On campaign security:
November 24, 2009: Somebody called “Zanta” just offered to head up my security detail. “Team” says hiring him would be my Altamont. Whatever that means.
On Giorgio Mammoliti’s penchant for tweeting in the third person:
January 24, 2010: New social media strategy: tweet like @Mammoliti4Mayor: “Rebelmayor like to be mayor one day” … “Rebelmayor say kick buttock of the lazy”
On Rob Ford’s intention to abolish Toronto’s tree bylaw:
April 9, 2010: We have been to Saskatchewan and liked it, so we support Rob Ford’s bid to let Torontonians clear-cut the city into a Great Plain.