Their food, their clothing, even the way they cry, the United States is — how can I put this tactfully? — childish, with all the charm and menace that entails.
So according to your rules I should judge the Canadian people by Ricky, Julian and Bubbles.
Take off, eh?
That reminds me of director Michael Radford’s attempt to make Orwell’s 1984 in Hollywood. He was asked by MGM – one of the potential distributors – "if we could change the ending and make it more happy.”
Yeh, they all lived in a nightmare dystopia happily ever after.
the primary purpose of our mass media is to keep us childish, to keep us behaving as children so that we want to be taken care of by our leaders
I really can’t disagree with anything Ms Mallick is saying - especially the sorry puerile state of US-made movies and popular culture.
But keep in mind that Ms Mallick and the Toronto Star in general, speak for the city’s condescending affluent and snobbish yuppie class who have driven the cost of living in the city through the roof for the city’s poor - and yes, Canada and Toronto in particular has poor and homeless people. Consequently, her critique, while correct, is chattering-class-shallow and does not get to the root of the matter - capitalist neoliberal economics. And no wonder - Canada is neoliberal capitalist too - even if a bit of a kinder and gentler version of it.
I have to assume this is mainly meant to be humorous rather than serious. The Canadians elected Stephen Harper to run their government so not too much to brag about there. Trump is following Harper’s lead on climate change and removing relevant information as quickly as possible.
Yes, this was the type of editorial that one would see in the Sunday “style” section - but it was actually in the Star’s editorial section.
a lecture from a Canadian situated in a second-string neoliberal wonderland?
Yeah, we’re like raging infants. Newsflash: so are Canadians. At least when hockey’s involved.
When Canucks go left seriously, wake me. Until then, stfu.
While it’s true that the United States has a great deal of growing up to do, I disagree somewhat with the notion that lots of American movies are aimed at childish audiences. Unfortunately, however, the notion that lots of American movies are aimed at childish audiences is considerably truer today than it once was, due to their longevity on style (if one can call it that with a straight face!), and woefully short on substance. Yet, when one looks hard enough, there are still some good American films to be found, even though most of them are much older.
Many Americans vote for who they think is appealing, and there’s a lot of shortsightedness in that respect, which has a great deal to do with why we’ve never had a good President, and why we ultimately ended up with Donald Trump in the White House.
When I think of art, music, theater, and dance I can think of great things that came from America. I really can’t think of anything from Canada although there must be some good stuff. Canada gave us Neil Young so that is one thing. Although he had to come to the US to get known as a musician.
Much of what the author says is obviously debatable, but one thing that is clearcut and indisputable as to a difference between the two countries is the issue of war and military spending. Of course, just about any other country would look more sane and civilized compared to the U.S. in this regard.
Um, I’d go one better than Harper, who we could more accurately compare to Dubyah.
No, I’d give you Rob Ford, former mayor of Toronto (now deceased). But even he would be closer to a Marion Barry type.
I had the distinct pleasure of living through Ford’s time in office, while residing in the lovely GTA (Greater Toronto Area), a real Blade Runner sort of shot into an ugly future metro scene for sure.
During that time it wasn’t long before I realized making fun of America and Americans is one of the top national pastimes, or, put another way, their fixated obsessions with their largest trading partner, upon whom their economy is so dependent.
Oh, Canada . . . (sigh). . . British lite.
Americans love to smile. Don’t do it overseas.
This may be true in Europe but it is not so everywhere. Many countries in Asia and Africa view a smile as a social grace and a show of non-aggression. Hell, Thailand is called the Land of Smiles. The author might want to spend a few more years abroad before making sweeping generalization about cultures. Besides, given the spread of American fast food, TV culture, capitalism and militarism; smiling might be one of the country’s better exports.
I would suggest an interesting book, The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar, by Janice Gross Stein and J. Eugene Lang.
In some ways it is a telling example of how Canadians copy the very Americans they like to think they’re better than.
Thank you. I live in Central America, and one reason I was attracted to this country is that the people are (sincerely) so friendly and helpful. A smile and a greeting is the norm here when encountering someone on the street or in a business. If one needs help with something, it is offered without hesitation. Whenever I return to the US, I am struck by how unfriendly and distant the people seem in comparison. The thought always hits me that they must be really unhappy in their lives, to look at others as if they are inconsequential.
This is a very good piece of writing. There is so very much for us to reflect upon. She is right, of course. I find nothing to refute in her observations. It is enlightening and beneficial to see ourselves as others see us.
There are so many quotable lines in her article, that I had a hard time picking one to highlight, so I chose her summarizing statement. In my opinion at this point in time, it could go either way, and that matters, a lot!
Well, there are differences.
In Toronto recently, low-wage renters in Toronto’s Parkdale neighborhood engaged in a renters strike over attempts to not renew leases of renters so they could renovate and gentrify the neighborhood. The strike got widespread local media coverage and the landlord very quickly acceded to their demands quickly. Such a thing would never happened in a US city where the rent strikers would have been reviled by the comfortable classes, the police would have been called in to evict them, and that would have been that.
Then just two weeks ago, a smaller landlord was set to kick out three more low-wage renters for the same reason- one of them a disabled person. The renters and others acting in solidarity occupied and barricaded a Dominoes pizza that the landlord is a franchisee. No police came, nobody was arrested, the manager welcomed them, and the landlord acceded to their demands a couple days later. I’m afraid to think of how they would have bene treated had they tried something like this in the US.
Most “Cajun” (Acadian) culture came from Canada.
And didn’t most art, music, theater and dance over here originate in Europe?