Monday, November 1, 2010

Hoser Schadenfreude

Greetings Friends,

Here we are again on the eve of another "MidTerm Midtacular", as Jon Stewart referred to the US midterm elections 4 years ago when the Democrats wrested control of Congress away from the Republicans. Funny how it's the exact same scenario 4 years later, with the exception of the Democrats being the party about to lose all their power. Why, oh why are we so incapable of learning from our mistakes?

All kidding aside, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about the impending doom being predicted for tomorrow. Things have gotten even uglier than they were back in the "good 'ol boy" days of the George W. Bush administration. Sarah Palin is now on the scene, whipping the mama grizzlies into an ignorant frenzy, Fox News has become even more powerful, and I moved to Canada. God, the world really is off its axis.

Speaking of Canada, the Canadian identity crisis has never been more evident to me now that I'm living here; much as Canadians believe they want to be more American, they will run for the hills faster than the Road Runner from Wyle E. Coyote when the shit hits the fan - like now. I was surprised when I turned on CBC's The National last night to see the entire program devoted to tomorrow's elections. Weekend anchor Wendy Mesley seemed to have a bright schadenfreude-y gleam in her eye, as she introduced herself in a segment filmed on the streets of Manhattan, and in the CNN studios, the offices of the Daily News and The New York Times. Her angle was the involvement of the American media in the political fray, and to my shame and embarrassment, she did manage to expose these vultures for what they are: willing participants in the dissemination of misinformation and fear mongering. The only shred of credibility her segment contained was a short talk with the always-credible Times editorialist Frank Rich. Instead of cloning sheep, we should clone him, form battalions, and let armies of Frank Riches clean up America. It's a pipe dream, I know, but one I would rather have than waking up to the nightmare that would be "President Palin". Perish that thought about a jillion times.

All Wendy Mesley's little stroll around Manhattan accomplished (curiously, she was not allowed access to the Fox News evil empire), was to prove that Canadians are loving life just above the fray, and are never too busy clubbing baby seals or huffing Lysol on Aboriginal lands to indulge in a little America-bashing when it suits them. Yes, we have an imperialist dope as a Prime Minister, but he's our prime minister. The leader of the opposition is nothing more than an even uglier caricature of Senator John Kerry, and Parliament is a bigger dog-and-pony show than Congress. But, it's our dog-and-pony show, and when it comes down to it, we know no one gives a toss when we go to the polls. But when America votes, the world watches, and Canada is no exception. They're all just waiting to see what happens next, so they can gossip like wash-women while the US decides the latest version of its fate. It all makes for a great news story; like waiting times for hip replacement surgery.

As far as I am concerned, Americans have no one to blame but themselves. That's one thing Canadians and the rest of the world have every right to call us on. We screwed up big time; our consumerism, our debt, our narcissism, our ignorance, our patriotism, our fear... all got us to where we are now. The rest of the world really is laughing at us, indulging in the guilty pleasure of enjoying our vast misfortune. What is the solution? A parka, a toque, and lots of beer. Bob and Doug McKenzie know the score. Cheers from the Great White North.


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