Well, it doesn’t get much hipper than that
As with many Canadian success stories, validation came from the outside first. There were stories in the New York Times referring to us as “hip….” Some of the most significant evidence of our newfound status can be found at the margins of water cooler conversations and social media: the kind of appreciation you can’t manipulate. Pinterest boards on both sides of the border shared a panel from a 1991 Archie comics strip in which Veronica, her hand lifted in a classic primping motion, poses against the skylines of cities from Halifax to Vancouver: “I thought I was the coolest thing in North America . . . until I visited Canada!”
—Jessica Johnson, The Walrus, Nov. 14, 2016.
On the bright side, it’ll be hard to tone that one down
At the moment I am as amused as a tombstone looking for its corpse. I am granite. I haven’t laughed since July.
But now I have The Beaverton, a show that mocks Canada relentlessly because it knows us to our core…. The Beaverton announces Canada’s latest Heritage Minute, a Kitchener food research scientist eating his lunch at work. He has chips. He has ketchup. “The Invention of the Ketchup Chip, a part of our heritage since 1974….” And so on…. I’m not going to describe more TV gags in print—as you can see, they don’t read funny…. I’m worried The Beaverton will tone itself down to avoid offending the easily offended….
—Heather Mallick, Toronto Star, Nov. 9, 2016.
But the biggest difference is…this…
The difference between Canada and the United States is…: The definition of masculinity is much broader. Hockey and the arts are not mutually exclusive…. We’re dang funny…. The cold is the great equalizer…. Holy h-e-double hockey sticks…! Diversity, yes please…! We’re music snobs. That’s why Americans just don’t get The Tragically Hip…. Hearing “Canadians are so nice” never gets old to Canadians.
—Allison Young, Globe and Mail, Nov. 12, 2016.
And all the lousy little poets…
Cohen never really tore up the charts. He was too busy tearing up the truth. His success was always more existential than commercial…. The spare lyrics felt like sand falling on a catacomb of hopeful despair…. He lunged at boulders and then chipped away, grinding and buffing the detritus until his fingers bled and only a diamond of truth twinkled in the dark.
—Vinay Menon, Toronto Star, Nov. 11, 2016.
He was not one to turn from the s-t, after all, but to poke through it…. But he knew that in our lonesomeness we are not alone. That from a cold, empty street in the dead of night it is still possible to see, across years and mortalities, into the window of a farmhouse, some song echoing in remembrance and repentance.
—David Berry, National Post, Nov. 12, 2016.
Now there is
Penis severed, man shot and yet there’s silence
—Headline on a Joe Wormington column, Toronto Sun, Nov. 8, 2016.