Blame Canada is satire – not an attack on Canada

By Lisa Genaille
Hope Secondary School
Hope, British Columbia

This is regarding the article entitled "Is ‘Blame Canada' Oscar worthy." I'm not sure what disturbs me more – the lack of research done for a published article or the inability of some people (think majority) to pick up on a satire...no...it's the satire one that's the most troubling.

On the outside, I can see why the song is entitled ‘Blame Canada' would look like a harmful entity, an accusation that Canucks are the foe of everything decent. But then reasoning sinks in, and I'm able to see that this song is not about Canada brainwashing children but like the movie itself, it's a statement. American Arrogance is so great, so out of control, that they no longer have the ability to blame themselves for their trouble, they have to look elsewhere. On a lesser scale, it's also about parents being unable to take credit for their children's faults, so they blame other entity, television (think Columbine).


Then there's making it work as a satire - you need something to blame that you usually wouldn't blame. Considering Canada's reputation throughout the world as a polite society of peace keepers (Going to Europe? Think about wearing a Canadian flag), we are renowned for being stepped on and saying sorry. So blame Canada. That's unexpected...that's funny. That's also what the Academy of Motion Pictures picked up on. Of course they would. They make a living of being subtle when it comes to satire for fear of ignorant masses missing the point and grabbing onto the nearest bandwagon.

Worried about kids watching South Park, seeing bad things on television? Maybe you should reread the first paragraph here (think bad parenting).

Let's now look at the lack of research, shall we? In the article, Canadian television shows were compared to American television shows in the attempt to make Canada come out some winner. Tom Green is a Canadian entertainer who that started out in Ontario on public Access (think Wayne's World). He then moved up to the Comedy Channel on Canadian Cable before getting the attention of American MTV. Although now in America, he's still Canadian. His cohorts are Canadian and all of his writers are Canadian...not to mention it's still broadcast throughout his old airwaves...it is essentially a Canadian show.

Compare swearing: American television doesn't allow swearing (look at the large number of bleeps on "South Park") while Canadian television allows it. "North of Sixty" routinely allowed it as casual conversation, as opposed to stressing a point. As for "Smoke Signals", there's a reason the director the director Chris Eyre and the writer Sherman Alexia call themselves American-Indians as opposed to Aboriginal.

Bunited Strates of Bamerica...the difference between sarcasm and wit isn't just in the delivery.

Maybe we're a society now, though so politically correct that the satire is lost on us just by being out of practice. Maybe some people should go back and look around. There are still items left that have a hidden meaning - Dr. Strangelove, Life of Brian, Canadian Bacon, Disney's "Hercules". Anything that tries to serve you a hard truth and knows you can't take it, it's called sugar coating. Interesting fact: There are university courses on Satire, where one of the assignments is to watch, study and report on "The Simpsons"...imagine that. To end, in the words of Bart Simpson: "How can you judge something if you've never been there, that's what they do in Russia."