“Arthur in Toronto” by Toronto Guy Cody is a comedic video that hits home for many Toronto Mandem because of the creator’s impressive ability to nail the stereotypical Toronto accent. What is seldom spoken of is Toronto Guy Cody’s innate ability to turn a one-minute long video into a poetic gem that is unmatched in its class. Let us analyze how a simple Youtube video challenges societal norms and forces us to look at them from a critical lens.
Buster: Yo Shorty, Mans can’t holla the whip isn’t up rn but fawad.
What an introductory line. This stares the issues of modern day society right in the face and asks, “what the fuck?” This literal reliance on one’s “whip” to acquire a date goes deeper than surface level, it illustrates the reliance of consumer products in basic human interactions and how the industry has corrupted us into believing we need more physical items to handle basic everyday society.
Francine: Honestly yer best friend treats me better than you.
Arthur: What? Okay, so yer gonna dash the pancake mix in my face when I called you 4 times.
Pancake mix is clearly a metaphor for failure. This shows how relationships are often not what they seem and that sometimes the little things you do go unnoticed. In reality, Arthur was probably less well-endowed than his best friend, meaning that the four phone calls he offered were just not enough.
Francine: Don’t let me go or else I’m gonna have to let my big cousin handle dat.
Arthur: Nize that, mans don’t even have the strength to hold you up.
We handle the constant societal pressure to keep up with the physical norms that exist, and this has reflected just that. Arthur knows he lacks the “strength,” and yet society keeps pressuring him into being the ideal male figure; no one in their right mind would want to deal with a “big cousin handl[ing] dat.” What we need to do here is take inspiration from Arthur’s “nize that” and recognize that we don’t have to conform to any social expectations.
Binky: Yo you see how I scrolled the backwoods, look at dat, look at dat that’s a neater roll, you see what I’m sayin’, you see what I’m sayin’? Yo imma put that back before you mans tryna steal my tingz (kisses teet).
Here lies a commentary on the glorification of drugs in popular culture. Having Binky brag about the “neater roll” that he “scrolled,” and by clearly indicating his concern for his own safety as he’s not interested in having “mans tryna steal [his] tingz,” the creator shows how much society cares for and encourages the use of drugs in this day and age.
Arthur: Yo I seen the footage from the jam my shorty dance with ten mans doggy, ten manz.
Buster: Leave that.
Arthur: Yo family but I Love the ting.
Buster: Yo but you said she gave ten mans the works dat shorty doesn’t love you fam, yo lets go play some soccer fawad fam it will refresh yer brain.
We see here an imitation of societal pressure to suppress one’s emotions. Obviously, Arthur feels hurt that his lover “gave ten mans the works,” and yet his friends are encouraging him to refresh by ignoring the problems in front of him, and instead exhaust himself with physical activities. What he should be doing is embracing his emotional turmoil; the creator makes it clear in this hyperbolic situation that we should do the same in our everyday lives.
Francine: Yer bag, Yer well beat, and yer not sweet.
The unfortunate reality of genetic expectations. It is hardly mentioned that the physical attractiveness of a human is not up to them but up to the luck of genetics. This is scraping societal expectations down to its core and looking at how we aim to look a certain way and aim for others to look a certain way even though they are characteristics of one’s self that are hardly up to their control.
Bangz chick: Ayy I have a question.
Buster: What are you sayin’?
Bangz: Was that yer side piece at Yorkdale?
Ratburn: Doggy use yer brain out here before I push you down the ting.
Fern: Yo the principle the folded that man, the mans a wasteyute he gets no ratings in the school.
Francine: He’s a good yute but I could cheat on him.
What an amazing synopsis of the rest of the poem. Throughout this piece of art we see Arthur suffer time and time again from the social expectations that exist for him, and this summarizes it all up into a clean, clear, and concise viewpoint on what we consider to be the ideal human being.
Some may laugh at the absurdity that is this video but stripped down to it’s core we see the underlying issues that exist within society. Whether it be the glorification of drugs, or the unrealistic expectation of society to look a certain way, no matter what way you look at this masterpiece, there’s no denying that the creator knew exactly how to investigate our biggest insecurities as a society.