“This Ridiculous Country”

I opened up a bit of a political discourse a few months ago when none of the Canadian students in my American Lit. class would raise their hands for me.  A lot of my American {and some Canadian} readers were surprised that the overall opinion of Canadian college students was a bit…hostile…toward the United States.  I received a lot of baffled comments on that post, like…

…To think that no one will raise their hand for us bothers me….

…Why such hatred for America? I don’t really get into politics, it sorta confuses me. Do Americans have a hatred for Canada?…

…Wow, I being a dual Canadian/US citizen find that a little offensive that only one person in an American Lit class would have positive feelings towards the US…

…Why the hate…

…So much for our “friends” to the north…

…I don’t know why people hate us so much…it seems like we are the good guys…

…We’ve always heard that our country is the “greatest on earth.” Maybe it really isn’t…

After publishing the post, and reading the subsequent comments, I wanted to explain the issue more clearly.  People seemed confused about the negative opinion toward America, and I thought some clarification was in order.  However, I realised it would be difficult to do without offending either country’s citizens, and basically put it on hold until further notice.

Well, further notice is here:  Thanks to the Fox television show, Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, I don’t have to worry about explaining it anymore.  Mr. Gutfeld covered it for me, when he attempted to satirize Canada’s military in a recent episode of his 3 a.m. “news” show:

It’s an atrocious attempt at hilarity, and a failed attempt at that.  Why?  Because it makes fun of military and makes light of the soldiers’ daily sacrifices.  This is such an ignorant attempt to garner laughs—I felt sick the first time I watched it, and every time since.

Why do Canadians feel hostility toward the United States? I should think it’s becoming obvious.

I frequent a Canadian blog called SmartCanucks.ca, and when this segment was published on the blog, I knew it was going to cause a stir.  In case you don’t have time to read the post and its comments, here are just a few of the reactions:

…Americans are so brainwashed and stupid it is not funny…

…Is it any wonder the world really doesn’t like Americans…

…Americans like this are the reason people all over the world think they are loud, obnoxious boors…

…It is no wonder the rest of the world is now cringing and reaching for the nausea pills when the US crows about how great it is…

Now, I’m not a sentimental girl by any stretch of the imagination, but in reading these comments, I literally cried—as in, tears were shed.  Tears were shed on behalf of so many Americans who are good, educated souls, but nevertheless are stigmatized as arrogant and rude.  Tears were shed for the soldiers who were made a mockery—is there any shame in admitting that times have been hard on a country; that they simply don’t have the resources to continue down the war path?  I cried for the fact that I am living in the midst of this turmoil; I am proud of my country, but not necessarily proud of certain fellow Americans.  I cried for the fact that I cannot change any of it—not the ignorance of a small percentage of Americans, nor the hurt they cause the rest of the world.

Evidently, such a fuss was raised about the segment that Mr. Gutfeld issued a public apology, saying it was “in no way an attempt to make light of troop efforts.”  I don’t know what else it could have been, Mr. Gutfeld, except perhaps a public display of ignorance and idiocy, and a poor reflection of American sympathies.

Canadians can take a joke—don’t think they’re a bunch of stuffed-shirts.  {Have you seen Strange Brew?}  Just for the record, here’s a better—no, brilliant—way to make fun of Canada {the fact that Jeremy Hotz is Canadian certainly helps}:

If you’re in a hurry, just watch the last minute of this and the first minute of the next one…

But if you can spare 20 minutes, I highly recommend the entire show.

He’s joking about the Canadian army’s relative neutrality on the national scene, which is not necessarily a bad position to take.  Greg Gutfeld, on the other hand, mocks the country’s lack of resources to maintain their military strategy, which is a low blow.

Anyway, all I’m saying it that it’s been done before, and to a much cleverer degree.  If Mr. Gutfeld was really struggling to think of something funny (as he surely is [if he even has a job anymore]), he could try any of these 10 jokes about Canada—they’re all better than the senseless garbage he’s come up with thus far.

And, just for the record, I’m pretty sure the blonde in the first movie is chomping gum, like a cow chewing cud, on national television.

Paltry ratings and 3 a.m. air time are no excuses…that’s just tacky.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in ask me anything, Canada, fiascos, mediocrity. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to “This Ridiculous Country”

  1. jethro says:

    LOVED the comments on smartcanucks. Even made #81.


    (Sorry, i don’t get FOX, so i can’t be indignant. The newscomedies i do watch seem to satirize them alot. I say, be nice to the dumb kids, they need jobs too.)

  2. Granmama says:

    I am always proud that you remember your roots that go back to the American Revolution. You are an American, and although there are tough and hard political times, it IS still the best thing the world has going. I AM proud to be an AMERICAN and thank you for this timely post.

  3. HeatherPride says:

    Well, I think the whole thing is kind of humorously ironic. I mean, of course Americans think America is the best country. Just like I’m sure Canadians think theirs is the best and the French love la France, etc., etc. What school child is ever taught to believe their country is #2? You never see people waving and clapping in the streets, declaring “Yay for us, the second best country in the world!!” “Woo-hoo, Number Two!”

    But, it’s a shame that in order to feel superior they have to bash someone else. That is a low blow.

  4. Jessica Abbott says:

    I will not be made to feel bad about any type of “country bashing”. Like HeatherPride said- everyone thinks their country is the best. And do you think Americans are the only ones spewing insults? Really? Go turn on the news in another country. Even *gasp* Canada. The United States is CONSTANTLY under scrutiny in every other country. I lived in Brasil for four years and the mockery and insults of the U.S. was astounding. So bring it on Greg Gutfeld- to each his own.

  5. Kevin says:

    Really Jessica? So you think people were making fun of the US in September of 2001?
    Does this seem funny to you: http://www.thestar.com/Article/607185
    Have a look at Greg Gutfeld’s tasteless attempt at humour and let us know what you think. And Granmama, since only 30% of you have passports, how is it exactly that you know it IS the best thing going?

  6. Camille says:

    jethro– I thought they were interesting, too.

    Granmama– Thanks. I don’t know if I agree that it is the best thing the world has going, but I appreciate the patriotism.

    HeatherPride– I agree.

    Jessica Abbott– Who’s asking you to feel bad about anything?

  7. Camille says:

    Kevin– Heart-wrenching photograph. That’s what bothered me about Greg Gutfeld—not the fact that he was mocking Canada, but the fact that he so blatantly disregarded the military’s sacrifices.

  8. Jessica Abbott says:

    Oh good, a cultured Canadian joined in the discussion. Thank you, Kevin. I’ll go update that passport right away. (You let go of any valid points you may have made when you said that line. Too bad. I almost clicked on the link.)

    And what does September 11th have to do with it? One instance where maybe a few extra people stood by our side? And yes, I do know of plenty of people who thought America had it coming, and were certainly not saddened by the events. As I said, I was in Brasil for 4 years- indeed, I was there during the attack on the World Trade Center. I know firsthand what another country thought about the attacks. But thank you for your opinion.

  9. Chloe says:

    I love US and Canada. I don’t think US is better than Canada or vice versa. They are different.
    In Spain, we aren’t very proud of our country… We know that Spain is not the best country on earth. But still we love it. :)

  10. jethro says:

    WELL, what a kerfuffle…the story made it into both daily papers here in Edmonton, 6 hours north of the 49th parallel.
    I am SO over this cross border rivalry thing….but it is fun to watch the kids fight amonsgt themselves. Nice muckraking, Camille!!
    (Check ‘blog’ for a very nice comment addressed to you from your GMIL).

  11. jethro says:

    Oh, that picture Kevin linked was the front page of both papers.
    You’re right, it’s no laughing matter.

  12. What a clever, relative, heartfelt post.
    Fantastic Camille, Fantastic.

  13. anna says:

    Woah, lots of tension. Until you mentioned this, I was completely oblivious that Canadians weren’t too fond of Americans. I guess I’m not a big fan of stereotyping, so when I hear Canadians hate Americans, I conclude some do, but not all. Just like when people say Americans are idiots. Some are, but not the majority, so why lump all us idiots together? :)

  14. Shesten says:

    Woah. I have friends in Canada, and we’ve had discussions at length about the differences in our countries, and we always come to the same conclusion: if someone likes the Canadian system best, they should move to Canada.. If you believe in the American way, go to America. If you believe the same as China, go live there. If you believe the same as Australia, go live there. As Americans, we all have the freedom to do that… even if only 30% of us have passports.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’m not giving my two bits on this one. Just wanted you to know I’m still reading…

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