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Entries Tagged 'Canada' ↓

Can’t have it both ways. Sorry.

Stephen Marche of the Weekend Post got off on the wrong foot apparently. He’s pissed at Greg Gutfeld’s remarks about Canada on a late night Fox TV show. You can watch the offending video above.

In a nutshell Gutfeld essentially calls the Canadian army “soft” in response to the announcement that the Canuck troops are “at the limit” and need to take a year off “to restore [their] full fighting capability.”

But does Mr. Marche go a bit too far in macho protestations?

Canadians are one of the rudest peoples on Earth. Outsiders simply don’t understand that “sorry” means “go screw yourself.”

Well. I have to really rethink my entire five years in this country now. All this time I felt when someone bumped into me by accident on the bus, and they turned and said “sorry” they actually meant “sorry.” Here it was they were really telling me to “go screw myself.” I’ll have to keep that in mind and wear a nice scowl on my face when I hear it again, cause now I know what they really mean.

Although, the converse to that is also true, cause when I accidentally bump into a Canadian, I will really enjoy saying “sorry” now. Ha ha. Nice to finally figure out the language. Thanks Mr. Marche.

But wait. There’s more.

If you took the Canadians out of American comedy, it would be like taking African-Americans out of the NBA: still the same game but you wouldn’t recognize it and you wouldn’t want to watch it.

There is a lot of lunacy in that statement. Yes, Canadians have produced a lot of great comedians. Jim Carrey, ironically now a US citizen, comes to mind. But he ignores the point that like the NBA, American comedy is also dominated by blacks. What would happen if you took all of the black people out of American comedy Mr. Marche? Would you like to watch that? No Bill Cosby, Sinbad, Eddie Murphy, Bernie Mac, Chris Rock, Katt Williams et al?

The crowning nut on the fruit cake though has to be the equation of Canadian comics, all of the ones he names are white, to black athletes. Maybe Mr. Marche really has bought into Canadian multiculturalism and is so color blind that he doesn’t see the inappropriateness of his own comparisons.

Even if you put that aside, he’s still off. Yeah, I’ll say it, Canadians are not as important to American comedy as black athletes are to the NBA. Bad analogy.

What amazes me though is how Canada gets its knickers in a collective twist whenever its ‘macho-ness’ is called into question. Look here Canada (and you too Mr. Marche). You can’t have it both ways; you can’t be perceived as the nice guy on the block, Mr. Humanitarian, Mr. International Do-gooder, and be the macho Terminator at the same time. It just doesn’t work like that.

Sorry.

Signs of the Times

Since it is the capital of Canada, Ottawa has a lot of Museums. I have visited none of them. However, their signs do lend themselves to humor once you take them out of context.

With that in mind, enjoy the following:

To Civilization!
Memo from Canada to the third world: This way please.

under construction
Just one catch…

Meh seh War!
Do you think we can we get rid of this one in 2009?

Looking in the Mirror

Who am I? Bahamians are a sensitive lot when it comes to identity. I am one of the foremost sufferers from this anxiety of being. This comes from my mulatto / mangra / light brown skin.

As it stands the Bahamian identity is constructed as black, ghetto and male. This construction ignores, deliberately I believe, the 20 percent or so of the country that happen to be white. I have inadvertently asked a few white Bahamians “so, where are you from?” It’s polite conversation with a tourist but it’s the surest, most direct way to insult a native.

To be called white in the Bahamas is another way to say that you do not belong. Those who don’t belong are tourists. Visitors. Just passing through. Seaweed. Driftwood. In Nassau the quickest insult is usually to call me “white boy”. Hit a shot on the basketball court and I will hear “buhy! You let white-boy-archah score on you” or something to that effect. They know that I’m not white, but my skin-color places me in a liminal space. I’m not white, but to their minds I’m not black enough.

This color line is tricky. It’s no where near as rigid as the “one drop” rule that governs blackness in the United States. The Bahamian black/white line is a fluid boundary that varies in different islands and even in different settlements / villages on the same island. For example on the same island of Eleuthera, I am read as black in Tarpum Bay and white in Lower Bogue.

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Bob Kinnear = Bullshitter

TheStar.com | GTA | Rumours blamed for killing TTC deal: “”

Kinnear, who originally promised Torontonians that they’d have 48 hours’ notice of any TTC strike, called Saturday’s surprise strike with just over an hour’s notice.

That, he said, was to keep angry transit users from assaulting drivers and other TTC staff.

One word is necessary to summarize the above: Bullshit.

Maybe that’s two words. But please Mr. Kinnear, spare us the condescension. You put your union members in more danger of being assaulted with your rash decision and broken promise. Why not let the TTC end its operation normally at 2:30? Why not just give Torontonians the 48 hours notice that you said they would get? Your problem wasn’t with the city, it was an internal issue that seems to deal with poor communication between you and your union members. Absolutely unbelievable.

(If the above tirade confuses you, please visit the Toronto Star’s coverage of the surprise TTC strike that paralyzed Toronto over the weekend)

Obay Phase Two Revealed

EN_TSA_Aspirations_TSR_1.jpg

Torontoist: Obay Phase Two Revealed

Well, the secret is out. I was fascinated with the Obay ads as well as everyone else. They were brilliantly done. It’s just that now we know who was behind them, it’s… anti-climactic. I just wish they were promoting something more… um… interesting. Somehow “Ontario Colleges” as the punch line for some thing this cool underwhelms… Oh well.

But, that being said, I was having this very argument with a friend of mine over coffee: University isn’t for everyone. In fact it’s probably a colossal waste of time for a lot of the people there. Academia has become a business though and higher and higher numbers of recruits are needed to keep the profits coming…

And here is the big question for me: If I knew then what I know now, would I have gone to University? I’m still trying to answer that one.

Pimping Black History Month

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Pimping Black History Month

Was led to this link and just had to share it. Now that I think about it haven’t seen much about Black history at all so far up north…

Racist graffiti at York University

CityNews: York University Students March After Racist Graffiti Attack:

Hundreds of angry students at York University gave their president the boot from a meeting to talk about racist graffiti found on school grounds.

The “N” word, along with “Go Back To Africa”, were scrawled on the door of the Black Student’s Alliance (BSA) on Tuesday.

Even more upsetting for the students was the University’s lack of response. E-mails and calls to York Administration went unanswered, and when the school’s president showed up to the rally, he was asked to leave.

And this at my alma mater. sigh. The conversations written on the washroom walls and cubicles around York has been dredging this territory for a few years now, so I’m not surprised. (Yes, I do read that stuff) However, for someone to write it on the Black Student Association’s (BSA) front door after Martin Luther King day is, as they say, taking it to a whole ‘nother level.

However, the BSA’s decision to shut out Mr. Mamdouh Shoukri, the new university president, from their awareness event seems shortsighted. First, it wasn’t him who put up the racist graffiti. Second, the man was born in Egypt. Last I heard, that was still in Africa; so the graffiti is as much against him as it is to any of the students in the BSA. Third, the time between the incident and his response was a reasonable 24 hours. Yes, it is a very short response, but the “its too late” rhetoric is way too melodramatic and OTT. Reparations are also ‘too late’, but we’d still take ‘em; why not this little olive branch? And fourth, if they were as interested in getting his response as they claim, they would have let him talk at the event. Seems like a lot of unnecessary grandstanding going on. Maybe they thought that he was trying to steal some of their thunder and the publicity that they drummed up. Fair enough. But haven’t we come far enough to be just a little open-minded? Hear another side, maybe?

What I’m really curious about is a counter-factual. Imagine if the female and white Lorna Marsden, – outgoing York president – was still in office, what would the official York reaction have been? Would she have gotten the statement out sooner than Mr. Shoukri? Would she have even attempted to walk into that gathering? On both counts I’m pretty sure the answer would be NO. And would the BSA members have been so strident in their disrespect had it been her instead of Mr. Shoukri? Again, I think not. Why? I’ll let you think about that one and tell me what you come up with…

But BSA histrionics aside and back to the main point: Anti-Black Racism is still here in the 21st Century. Even in multi-cultural Canada. Shock of shocks.