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"Oh look over there! Canadian values!"

“Oh look over there! Canadian values!”

Oh, Kellie Leitch, you strange, unique, visionary xenophobe. I’ve been watching your video today. You know the one; everyone’s talking about it, and they’re not saying anything nice. In my favourite riff on this thing that you’ve unleashed on the world and that you no doubt believe is true and moving, someone has slowed it down by 40%, making you appear to talk like someone’s drunk aunt. And maybe that’s exactly what you are–no judgements here, because that would be mean and a barbaric cultural practice.

Kellie, you’ve been around for quite a while now, beating your drum about how Canada needs to have face-to-face interviews with every immigrant, refugee–and now you’re apparently adding visitors to that list?!–to screen for Canadian values. Do you have any other policies that the mainstream media isn’t reporting on because it’s fixated on this one batshit crazy one? I understand that you’re trying to carve out a space for yourself amongst too many candidates for the Conservative Party leadership, but won’t you need other ideas when you become Prime Minister? (By the way, it’s totally adorable that you think you’ll ever be Prime Minister, and please keep on saying you will be at every opportunity… I hope it’s the first thing you say when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you say before you drift off to sleep, perchance to dream about being Prime Minister, which as I said, is never going to happen.)

But Kellie, I notice you never really say–beyond meaningless buzz words and platitudes–what the Canadian values you hold so dear are. And so I’m here to help. Please feel free to use any or all of the following as examples of Canadian values.

  • Rolling up the rim
  • Knowing which parts of Alberta where it’s safe to cheer for the Oilers
  • How to correctly pronounce “about”
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes used to be funnier
  • Feeling inferior to Americans while using humour to pretend we’re not
  • Margaret Atwood is a goddamn national treasure
  • Knowing that Windsor, ON is at the same latitude as Northern California
  • Canada has the real Niagara Falls
  • “50 Mission Cap” is the ultimate Tragically Hip song; “Wheat Kings” is also acceptable
  • Our beer is better than American beer
  • Knowing whether to vote for Kellie Leitch

Those are the values all real Canadians possess. Oh, and the last one? Real Canadians know the answer to that, too.

Gary SiniseIn Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto there’s a video billboard that often plays advertisements for upcoming concerts at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, which is apparently the last refuge of musicians that I didn’t realize were still performing and/or alive, as well as a haven for musicians I had no idea were musicians.  In the former category are acts like Tony Orlando & Dawn, The Doobie Brothers, and Colin Hay of Men at Work (critically, without the band), while the latter tends to include celebrities like Billy Bob Thornton, The Bacon Brothers (How many degrees from a musician I’d actually pay money to see is Kevin Bacon? Four.), and the spiritual blues-rock stylings of Steven Seagal.  I can understand having some kind of morbid curiosity about what kind of musician/singer these actors make, and I can even envision paying the ticket price to satisfy that curiosity, if I happened to be in the Fallsview Casino, having already spent $180 of a slot machine jackpot on getting drunk or high.  After all, how many people can say they’ve seen Steven Seagal warble “Hoochie-Koochie Man”?

But now Fallsview has taken the joke too far.  On July 24, 2009, please welcome to the stage Gary Sinise and The Lt. Dan Band!  Tickets $20, call to order in advance. Gary Sinise?  Gary Sinise?!  Billy Bob and Seagal are freaks and egomaniacs and have got to be worth the price of admission because they’re either going to be surprisingly good or such a train wreck that you’ll never forget the experience, and Kevin Bacon just seems like a decent guy and what harm could it do?  But Gary Sinise has no discernible personality (even when the roles he’s playing actually call for personality, Sinise stubbornly refuses to offer it up).  I’m trying to imagine someone thinking: “I like him on CSI or Law & Order or whichever one he’s on, I bet he’s also entertaining on stage!  Playing bass, apparently.  I would imagine that he can keep a steady beat–he’s such a professional and I’m sure he practises very hard.”  I can’t do it.  And The Lt. Dan Band?  Really?  “Hey, remember the only movie you actually remember me in, Forrest Gump?  The band’s name is a reference to my character!  Nice, huh?  No, I actually do have legs… it was all done with special effects.  I know!  Incredible, huh? Anyway, please come see my show.” You’ve hit a new low, Fallsview.  Although I see that next week, you’ve paired up Cyndi Lauper with Rosie O’Donnell.  I’ll bet those two sparkplugs really light up the stage!  How much are tickets again?

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