Sunday, January 22, 2012

O Canada: An Essay on the American G.O.P. Race, eh

Am I a crazy Canuck or what? I’m busking on the corner of 15th Avenue and Smith Street, right across from the Fireside Bistro, and along comes a leonine consumer named Richard (pun intended; take your pick of Richard the Lion-hearted or The Lion in Winter). I’ve roared with Richard many times previous because it seems, we have the same topical and political interests, though not, necessarily, the same views.

This sidewalk chat began with Jay Leno’s joke on The Tonight Show, at the expense of the Canadian Military.

Did you hear about the naval officer up in Canada being charged with espionage? Apparently he was providing a foreign government with military secrets, stated Jay. He went on to joke that, I didn’t know they had military secrets up in Canada! to the delight of the audience who laughed and gave resounding applause.

Granted, our military is fair fodder for American humorists, especially when the American military is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world -- Some are in combat zones, some are on peace keeping missions, and some are military attaches in embassy and consulate fashion.

But for an American to poke fun at Canadians is idiosyncratic; whereas, it is a normative habit for Canadians to make fun of Americans. We, especially, loved to make fun of American presidents, George W for a recent example. (For whatever reason, to date we’ve spared Barack.)

And why is this so? Could it be that our own state of affairs is so very vanilla when compared to the many-flavored and complex issues present in America? Are we just that quaint?

I believe the answer is yes, and since I am a Canadian, I’d like to ramble on a bit about some of our issues, tongue-cheek, of course.

On the Canadian national level our big issues are: Quebec versus the rest of Canada (Parlez-vous francais for beaucoup bucks anyone?), East versus West (Toronto is, but Vancouver ought to be, the center of the universe), and Health Care (a federal or provincial responsibility-the debate is sickening).

At the provincial level in Saskatchewan, we’ve a few concerns: resource management (someone, please, buy our dirty oil), and workers’ rights (unions are a fundamental right, at least from the left), and the added value of Crown/ing Corporations.

At the civic level here in Regina, the main issues are: to build or not build a spanking brand new-domed stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, to allow or not allow vehicular traffic on the 350,000 precious paving stones set on the new downtown plaza, and last, available & affordable housing for the resident poor.

Now, I know these are seemingly serious issues, but anyone regularly reading news articles of current and world events, knows that our concerns are really more colloquial than critical, just a pettifog when compared to places elsewhere on the planet (Syria and Sudan being just two of a 195 other examples).

Lighter readings, or just watching the American GOP live televised debates, does allow for some Canadian delight, and though momentary, some Schadenfraude-like experiences. One does not have to be Jay Leno to find a certain where-is-the- love humor lost in all four of the remaining Republican candidates.

In response to Jay Leno, here are some Canadian comedic observations:

Mitt Romney: This former Governor of Massachusetts is very rich and very handsome (the joke is he just looks like the President of the United States; the truth is he is Batman's real identity, Bruce Wayne). Mitt is spending considerable effort, time, and money in his campaign, and he could certainly cash in with the endorsement of the Tea Party. And Mitt is a Mormon.

Newt Gingrich: And this former House Speaker and academic staple has a secret wish – that he was a Mormon, but in the yesteryear of Mormon polygamy.

Rick Santorum: Could it be that this former Pennsylvania Senator sees his closet doppelganger self in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran (Projective Psychology at its finest). Ahmadinejad is on record, speaking to the students at Columbia University, that homosexuality does not exist in his country. Santorum is on record with the suggestion that an imprisoned father is preferable to one that is a same-sex parent. A significant piece of Santorum’s war-hawk ideology, is to execute a pre-emptive military strike against Iran, perhaps just to rid the world of his trash-talking evil twin.

Ron Paul: Ol’ Doc Paul, the Texas Libertarian and the former Doc Adams of Gunsmoke, is attempting to recreate the hippy and free thinking spirit of the sixties, by attracting the rebellious emerging adulthood of the present. And it’s working! According to CNN, the survey says that the majority of university students are giving Doc Paul the vote. Ride 'em, Doc, all the way to Florida (though the white line's getting longer and the saddle's getting cold)!

And so sayeth this blogger who hails from the crisp winter country of back bacon and a mounted police force, a country where hockey is a religion, and a country of polite and respectful citizenry.

And I remind the reader … that I am but a busker with a bit of bluster … EH!

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