If you’re in the public eye and suddenly one day you decide to do something that will turn people against you, then you should really go all the way. No half-assed efforts allowed in this day and age. Go big or go home.
And look no further that one of the best villains of all time; Die Hard‘s Hans Gruber.
Hans Gruber was a ruthless, yet classy son-of-a-bitch who had little or no regard for human life. He was ready to kill 40 people in a roof-top explosion just to get away with tons of cash. Hans was so cold-blooded that when Bruce Willis’ character begged him to stop firing missiles at an LAPD tank, he responded matter-of-factually “Thank you, I’ll take that under advisement” and then proceeded to fire again.
Now that’s a bad-ass.
Adam Gimabrone was a screw-up. When he suddenly did what in the wrestling world is refereed to as a “heel turn” (going from being a good-guy to a bad guy) he couldn’t even do that right. As we all know by now, after announcing he would run for mayor, it was exposed that he had cheated on his girlfriend with undergrad Kristin Lewis. This of course all on the heels of being an inept Toronto Transit Commission chairman. All fodder for becoming classic a villain and telling the world to suck it. This was suddenly his chance to step up to the plate, stop being an incompetent , clueless person and grab the city by the balls. (Metaphorically, of course.)
But no. That didn’t happen. Instead, during a press conference where he expressed his sorrow for his actions in a performance that even Mandy Moore would roll her eyes at, he hung his head in shame. That was it. He blew his chance to give a middle finger to the world and say “You never took me seriously, so now you can all ride my rocket!” Or something like that. (I offer my services as script-writer to anyone interested.)
My only guess is he decided to bow out and hope that people forget about what he did. But that won’t happen, now will it? The damage is done, so you might as well own the moment and ride it out for a long as you can.
On the other hand, Rob Ford is going down to Gruber-Town these days with his “you never go against the family” approach. Firing TTC boss Gary Webster because he didn’t agree or side with him. Now THAT’S how you turn heel. All that’s missing now is a great catch-phrase, an evil laugh and maybe a cape.