Skip to comments.Conanís Triumph
Posted on 02/15/2004 9:15:19 PM PST by quidnunc
Edmonton The Spectatorians have asked me to comment on the outcry against Conan O'Brien here in Canada, and while I wouldn't dream of defending the phony indignation of a handful of socialists, kleptocrats, and race-baiters, there is a genuine cultural issue here. The people who are stamping their feet over the antics of a hand puppet are, I think, genuinely confused as well as politically opportunistic.
There is no cultural referent here, you see, for the thing Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is actually parodying, which is the tradition of the insult comic. Canada lived in a British universe, culturally, until quite recently and that cultural heritage includes the British comic mainstream rather than the U.S.'s. British comedy, to risk a very broad generalization, is zany, intellectual, and playful, a product of the music hall rather than the strip club.
It is no coincidence that so many of the major Canadian comic figures on the Canadian scene are essentially sweet-natured, "cute" figures. This is the country of Mike Myers, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, and Jim Carrey (who admittedly has great reserves of anger, but mostly self-directed anger). None of these people made their names by going over the top.
So, to many Canadians, Robert Smigel the voice of Triumph must have just seemed like a guy walking around bellowing abuse in the street. They're not in on the meta-joke which is the essence of the thing. It's a foreign country, despite appearances to the contrary. Still: We've heard of Don Rickles. We're not complete idiots.
Now, of course, it's all gone pear-shaped. The halfwits who denounced a plastic dog-shaped glove have put a brand-new weld in the sealed American conviction that the gay-marrying, pot-legalizing, military-hating, gun-registering, socialized-everything Canadians are completely bughouse a freakish bastard admixture of Yippie and commissar. Even the Kucinich voters with braided beards and BUSH KNEW tattoos are looking north and going "Dude it's a puppet. Chill." Given the uproar, who wants to visit Toronto and possibly touch off some kind of international incident by saying the wrong thing? Aren't there dank, fungal Turkish-style prisons up there for people who make ethnic jokes? (Answer: not yet, but check back in ten years.)
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
If you plow money into health prevention, it works only if nothing bad happens; and it's hard for a politician to take credit for an absence of catastrophe. Much easier, really, to bribe a famous American television show to move north for a week and let people see their compatriots on U.S. teevee. We must be important -- we're on after Leno!
Has Mark Steyn weighed in on this yet?
"Calm down, everyone, please, calm down! Canada is a great country. The greatest country in the world.......... for me to poop on."
(by the way, isn't it homophobic of the Canadians to get all angry about the implication that they might be homosexuals?)
Lousy analysis. Should be "We're not complete hockey pucks."
Gotta give US readers (old enough for the commercial, heck, old enough to remember who Don is, besides the guy in the
war movie with Dirty Harry) something other than idiots.
Of course, that just brings back memories of Cretin, er, Chretien, and his lackey that called Bush an idiot.
Taking offense at it requires a level of cultural retardation only the Quebecois could muster.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.