T he alternate title that I briefly considered for this column was “Canuck … more like Ca-suck!” However, I quickly decided against that delicious bit of wordplay on the grounds that it was both childish and counterproductive, for the point of this column is not to add to the already raging inferno of anti-Canadian sentiment that burns in the hearts and minds of so many Americans. Instead, I want to figure out what inspires this rabid xenophobia.
First of all, if you have any doubts about the extent of the Canada-bashing that goes on in this country, I suggest you check out the web. There are many sites solely dedicated to the discussion of how much Canada sucks, most of which are dominated by the rantings of people who would have to study hard and apply themselves to become ignorant asses. The creators of these sites use pet names for Canadians that range from the standard “Canuck” to the less erudite “Snowbacks” or “dirty whores,” and it is difficult to surf these pages without encountering astute observations like, “They have too many Eskimos.”
If you go to mail.canadasucks.com (I swear I am not making this up), you can set up an email account bearing the name of the site, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. And while www.canadasucks.com does not actually have anything to do with Canada or sucking (I know many of you were keeping your fingers crossed for a porno site featuring girls who say “aboot”), it is interesting to note that the owners of this completely random site chose to use a declaration of hatred for Canada as a slogan.
Right now, many of you open-minded types are probably reassuring yourselves, “Well, I’m sure that all of those rednecks out in the middle of nowhere irrationally hate Canada, but I’m in Ann Arbor, a college town and one of the most liberal cities in existence. I’m sure people are more reasonable here.” I think you’d be surprised to see what the local feelings are. Want to test it out?
Try this little experiment this weekend: Go outside at about 1:45 a.m. Friday night when everyone is stumbling home from bars or house parties, wait until you see a gaggle of leather-jacket-and-Structure-clad frat boys walking down the street and yell “CANADA SUCKS!” at the top of your lungs.
You have just become an instant hero. You will be answered with calls of “YEAAAHH” and “CANADA DOES SUCK,” or if one of them has consumed too many Red Bull and vodkas and is feeling particularly witty, “CANADA SUCKS ASS!” The level of camaraderie that can be gleaned from these two little words is astounding.
So now that we have established that there is, in fact, raging anti-Canadianism even in this bastion of liberal thought, we must try to figure out exactly why so many Americans privately and publicly curse our neighbors to the north. After all, this is the country that produced talents like Neil Young, Mike Myers and Jim Carrey. (OK, OK, they also produced Celine Dion and Bryan Adams, but let’s not start slinging mud.)
The best explanation that I can come up with is that Americans think of Canada the same way that a kid thinks of his annoying, disapproving elder brother, who slowly shakes his head at the younger brother’s antics and quietly judges him. While the mild-mannered and well-behaved older brother earns the praise of the parents for his conduct and good manners, the younger sibling is constantly messing up his room, getting in trouble with teachers and picking fights and brawling with other kids. By the same token, while America ravages its environment, pisses off the international community and threatens to start wars, Canada sits there looking innocent while the U.N. scolds us:
“You don’t see Canada backing out of environmental treaties because they want to keep driving SUVs, do you? You don’t see Canada selling weapons to other countries and then turning around and getting mad when the country still has them a few years later, do you? You don’t see Canada getting caught smoking dope with its friends while its supposed to be in school, do you?” They’re too nice and too courteous and too concerned about their own citizens’ health care, and it just pisses the younger brother off.
(Note: Although many would argue a more apt analogy would be that Canada, a.k.a. America Jr., is the younger brother since they are seen as imitators, the superior attitude taken by Canadians is older brother territory.)
But before you go thinking that all Canadians are nice, you should know that there are actually many Canadian anti-U.S. sites that take equally malevolent and asinine cheap-shots at the U.S. and explain why it is, in fact, Americans, not Canadians, who are the “ball-lickers.” (See the aforementioned Internet sites.)
I would have gone to those Canadian sites to research this topic, but I was nervous about being tracked by our slightly overzealous gover … (sound of struggle) BENEVOLENT GOVERNMENT THAT HAS ONLY OUR NATIONAL SECURITY IN MIND. SADDAM IS A MENACE AND MUST BE STOPPED. TERROR SUCKS. THANK YOU. (More sounds of struggle). Anyway, the overall point is we actually have a lot in common with Canada. Both countries have a lot of jerks.
– Andy Taylor-Fabe can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.