Friday, September 19, 2008

And they talk about AMERICAN arrogance?

Growing up in Canada, one of the constant themes that was beaten into my head was that "Americans are arrogant". There was a perception on the part of just about everyone in my homeland that all Americans had a superiority complex. A funny thing happened after I relocated south of the 49th parallel: I realized that the exact opposite was true. If you want a Canadian to show his or her true stripes, get them to talk about Canada vs. the United States. What you will get (in many--NOT ALL--cases) is a stream of generalizations about how much better Canada is than the U.S., about how stupid and ill-informed Americans are, about how wasteful they are, etc., etc., etc. Here's a case in point, the column on September 5 (sorry that I'm late to this party) from one Heather Mallick on the CBC (note, the CBC is the official, government-funded radio and television outlet) heaping abuse on Americans in general and Republicans in particular: Here are some of her pearls of wisdom:

1) "She [Sarah Palin] added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn't already have sewn up, the white trash vote........"
2) "It's possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she's a woman."
3) "Palin was not a sure choice, not even for the stolidly Republican ladies branch of Citizens for a Tackier America. No, she isn't even female really. She's a type, and she comes in male form too."
4) "John Doyle, the cleverest critic in Canada, comes right out and calls Palin an Alaska hillbilly. Damn his eyes, I wish I'd had the wit to come up with it first. It's safer than "white trash" but I'll pluck safety out of the nettle danger. Or something."
5) "White trash — not trailer trash, that's something different — is rural, loud, proudly unlettered (like Bush himself), suspicious of the urban, frankly disbelieving of the foreign, and a fan of the American cliché of authenticity."
6) "Palin has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favoured by this decade's woman, the overtreated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression. Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the "pramface." Husband Todd looks like a roughneck; Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified. They claim to be family obsessed while being studiously terrible at parenting. What normal father would want Levi "I'm a fuckin' redneck" Johnson prodding his daughter?"
7) "The conventioneers are nothing like the rich men who run the party, and that's the mystery of the hick vote. They'd be much better served by the Democrats. I know Thomas Frank answered this in What's the Matter with Kansas?; I know that red states vote Republican on social issues to give themselves the only self-esteem available to their broken, economically abused existence."

It goes on and on. Read it only if you have the stomach. And if that's not enough, she spewed her venom overseas as well, in an article in the Guardian (a case of preaching to the anti-American choir, I guess): After reading this puerile drivel, I don't want to hear from any Canadian about how "condescending and arrogant" Americans are, because I don't know of any creature on the planet who fits that definition more than a Canadian elite.

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