Perhaps it was the absence of The National Hockey League.
Without hockey I’ve never been entirely sure what Canada really is. Sure, sure, I’m not a raving lunatic who believes that Canada can be defined by CBC’s Saturday night programing or that Don Cherry really is the greatest Canadian. But yes, Hockey springs to mind when I think “Canada” .
Of course, these days, when I think “United States ” biased cable news networks spewing nonsense spring to mind, just ahead of ‘Obesity’. It could be because I’ve developed a taste for subjecting my dignity to their constant barrage of conservative vs. liberal shouting matches. Maybe it’s the insanely popular episode of CNN’s Crossfire with John Stewart.
But’s it’s probably because I’ve been fully introduced to Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter is a “conservative pundit”, which means she goes around to news programs to hawk her latest books such as, Slander! and Treason! and smears anyone who disagrees with her far right wing ideals. Sometime last year, I heard her refer to Joseph McCarthy as “an American hero” on CNN. No joke.
Miss Coulter was featured, with the insufferable Tucker “John Stewart called me a dick” Carlson, in a video montage of news reports from Fox News and CNN covering President Bush’s visit to our Canada. They bashed the freaking poutine out of the Canadian people. It was aggravating, maddening, and eventually absurd. (Here’s the link, show it to everyone you know: http://mediamatters.org/items/200412010011). As I watched I was worked up in a salivating fury that, up until now, I had only felt towards the Philedelphia Flyers. Again, maybe it was the lack of Hockey, but that night, with my head filled with dancing visions of the CNN news ticker and my chest heavy with nationalism, I dreamt. These are my best attempts at recollection. (Oh: My dream was hosted by Bill O’ Reilly, a Fox News Host. He claims he’s balanced and unbiased…ha! Also: Quotes imply their actual words.)
Commercial Break ends.
O’Reilly: TODAY! Bush’s visit to Canada. Mission of Diplomatic Pity? or secret recoinassance mission before we bring democracy to them just like we brought it to the Iraqis? We’ll hear from our panel of loudmouths, and from a meek Canadian who poses no threats to any of our egos. Oh by the way, are you a conservative or liberal?
Tucker Carlson: We need to know so we can doctor the questions appropriately. And did you know that the “Democrat Party used to be run by grouchy feminists with moustaches. And it still is.”?
Me: Great but what about Canada?
Carlson: How can you answer a question with a question?
Me: Uh, that’s what you just did…
Carlson: Did I? (*Tucker begins to grin like a moron*)
Me: Yes! You just did it again!
O’ Reilly: No he didn’t. Now, here are your fellow Canadians. Look at you all protesting like filthy animals. Did you know “Canada” is basically “a socialist nation where they tax you at 80%” up there.
Me: Hey isn’t that a loop? You’ve been playing 2 hours of a five minute clip of protesting…
Coulter: “Conservatives, as a general matter, take the position that you should not punish your friends and reward your enemies. And Canada has become trouble recently.”
Chad: Well, so has ev-
Coulter: Also, “It’s always worst Americans who end up going there. The Tories after the Revolutionary War, the Vietnam draft dodgers after Vietnam. And now after this election, you have the blue-state people moving up there.”
Carlson (*Finishes spinning his bow tie*): And do you notice that “Canadians with ambition generally, move to the United States…that says something not very good about Canada, and it makes Canadians feel bad about themselves.”
Me: Listen, The Winnipeg Jets aren’t even an issue anymore, yes it hurt but-
Reilly: Shut up! Let me make this clear to you “”I got nothing against the Canadian people, but in the last few years you’ve swung dramatically to the left. And we in America have some questions about that.”
Me: But why do you all care so much?: Because “when you’re allowed to exist on the same continent of the United States of America…you’re polite and you support us.”
Carlson: “Without the US Canada is essentially Honduras except colder and a lot less interesting”
Coulter: “We could have taken Canada over so easily”.
Me: What is going on here? What about “Fair and Balanced” Bill? Why am I having such a depressing dream? I wish hockey was back on…(Sigh)… Look, if you all are so set in your ways, why don’t you do something about it. Get into politics. Or better yet get public officials in here and ask them real questions instead of make sure your ideologies match up so you can suck their-
O’Reilly: Cause we are the public officials. We’re the filter between the person you elected and you. We’re better looking and much more entertaining as well. And we’re un-biased. Unlike CBC, run by your lefty government that spews “anti-American propaganda” and “controls the flow of information”. But now it’s time for commerical break, so let’s make some friendly banter to give a civil appearance.
Commercial break…Rupert Murdoch, C.E.O. Of FOX NEWS gives everyone big wads of cash. Except me, I get a sneer, and a CHENEY-RUMSFIELD IN 2008 pin.
And so I woke up…
Maybe it’s okay that some of us Canadians can’t define ourselves without hockey. Maybe it’s okay that wildly popular news stations and “pundits” can reduce us to caricatures. And maybe it is okay that most Americans think we walk around in snowshoes.
As long as we’re not one of them, we’re ourselves.