Things I Like About Canada

Since you guys are determined to take mortal offense at anything poking fun at you, I thought I’d mention some of the things I like about Canada or Canadian migrants to the US.

  1. My great-grandmother. From Nova Scotia. She moved to Boston. From all accounts she was the better half of the relationship that produced my grandfather.
  2. Gay marriage. Hope Harper doesn’t screw that up. One of the places your civil liberties drastically exceed ours.
  3. Mike Meyers. OK sometimes he goes into lame territory, but Wayne and Garth are classic.
  4. Kids in the Hall and their diaspora.
  5. Dan Ackroyd (I’m sensing a theme).
  6. Rush. Where would American high school geeks be without them?
  7. Tolerant attitude towards certain drugs in some places.
  8. I happen to like moose and beaver.

Hope that keeps you happy for a bit, or at least dries the sniffles from my last post.

Busted! I Just Don’t Know Who Was Busted.

So at lunch today, we didn’t realize that the meeting in the conference room next to us left the door open. A coworker asked me why I “hate Canada.” I replied that I didn’t, but since they were so deliciously hypersensitive about their nationality, I had to tweak them anyway. I added a few witty bon mots aboot how a bunch that clubs baby seals shouldn’t brag about their nonviolence, and how there’s no way to tell a Canadian from an American unless they show their passport–or get offended over any less-than-glowing remark about Canada.

Sure enough, somebody in the meeting was Canadian.


Except that she was upset, and so since the main thrust of my comment was how easily Canadians get upset over comments that aren’t even that critical (OK, the baby seal thing wasn’t glowing, but c’mon, I’m called a warmonger three times a day, lighten up), she pretty much embodied my point.

Canadian hypersensitivity Busted!

You guys up north really need to toughen your hides. It might help with the cold, too.

Liberal Arts Conceit Proves Expensive

One of the things that annoyed me while doing my sojourn in the “Arts” part of liberal arts was the competition among grad students and professors to affect an otherworldly mien. Knowing nothing about the rest of the world was considered a badge of pride and proof of one’s commitment to your craft. It has long been this way, and C. P. Snow famously lamented the Two Worlds of academia, in which scientists had a basic understanding of the arts (they know who Shakespeare and Faulkner were, they know the difference between a novel and a short story) but liberal arts types would wear their ignorance of other matters on their sleeves (they may know who Einstein was, but are pretty fuzzy on Heisenberg–ha–and couldn’t tell an atom from a molecule if their life depended on it). They would look down on me for my interest in things outside music.

Another affectation was for mundane tasks to be beneath them. Much like dandied country gentlemen of 19th century England, skill at business was a lowering of social status while ruinous debt was a regrettable but understandable part of life. So, too, could professors not be bothered to learn to use a computer or know anything mechanical not directly connected to their art.

So it gives me a bit of shadenfreude to see three officials in the English Language Institute of the University of South Florida lose their steady paychecks because donation checks were carelessly stashed around the office. Checks dating back ten years. The ones that fund their salaries.

Or did, before they were fired.