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.
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.
MELISSA HARRIS-LACEWELL: And so, to pretend that we can somehow take [race and gender] out of the conversation when a white woman runs against a black man, when she tears up at being sort of beat up by him, when her husband can come in and rally around her and suggest that we need to sort of support her because she’s having difficulties, while Barack Obama is getting death threats, basically lynching threats on him and his family…
I’ve been meaning to put this up for a while. It’s still an excellent debate with some good points to ponder… Is there still a race now anyway?
The above link will take you to an excellent debate on DemocracyNOW concerning the impact of Barack Obama and the implications of an Obama presidency on black people.
I especially like this quote from Glen Ford:
We’re in this era of firsts, and the ultimate first, a first—possibly a first black president. But we already had two firsts. Colin Powell was one of them, and Condoleezza Rice, his successor as secretary of state [was another]. How did that redound to the benefit of black people for the United States to have a black – put a black face on imperialism, on aggressive war, on violations of international law? How does that make black people look better in the world? Is that the kind of burden that black people want to carry around?
Again, a problem is that Obama, through no fault of his own, has to carry a burden for ‘black people’. And this is whether he wants to or not. Just ask Tiger Woods for his opinion on this. I believe that Obama does deploy his blackness strategically, and so the criticisms are warranted. But as Ford points out, a black-face (I mean this in both senses of the term) on imperialism is not something to hope for.
A friend sent me a link to this wonderful speech by Steve Jobs. The best graduation speech you might ever hear. Particularly inspiring is his thoughts on death, “life’s greatest invention.” Reminds me of M. Scott Peck’s words in “The road less traveled” that “it is death that provides life with all its meaning.” Quite true. Thought I would share it here: