Welcome to Already Heard it, where we talk about useless apologism that English Canada will throw down to try and justify its shittiness. I have seen each and every one of these in the wild and I intend to post pictures of this crud as it rolls down onto this blog. You’ll notice that most of these boil down to feels, which I define as feelings without logic save for feigned, easy-bake umbrage. Canada’s nationalism takes the form of passive-aggressive bullshit; this is just us watching the spray patterns.
The ad-hominem is perhaps the most common form of Canadian apologism. To this wonderful soul, Canada exudes a sort of magical feel-good wavelength and your failure to pick it up is wholly on you. You mean that you don’t get into the “spirit of Canada”? Most times, this will take a passive-aggressive hue to it, because English Canadians are cowards.
1a) “Move to Africa/Iraq (because I don’t want to acknowledge my own mess)”
This is the most common Canadian apologism that I’ve ever seen. Don’t like something about Canada? Fuck you, move to poor-ass country and you’ll see how amazing Canada really is! Your skills in finding problems that the apologist can’t see ought to be squandered and Canada ought to suck so as to maintain the inbred, gullbrained apologist’s feels! I wonder what happens if you tell caker nincompoops that parts of Canada looks like those third-world hellholes they would so like to consign critics to. At least if they said “move to Attawapiskat” or something it would at least be honest. But honesty isn’t a Canadian virtue.
1b) “Think of how much Canada did for you”
Yeah, a half-assed education and long waits to see the doctor! I owe Canada so much for-oh, those are provincial. Right. Canada just cut the check to give to the province, which in turn provided services that are incumbent to state legitimacy in the Western world. Congrats, Canada! You did the bare minimum for a bare-minimum existential effort! Why not turn simple functions into feels, right? I didn’t take a shit this morning; I supported public sewage efforts! Go me!
1c) “Yeah, well that’s your opinion”
It’s also the opinion of the law-books and the history of this country. I’m afraid that, while Canada runs largely on feels and expects your feels to run sympatico to justify anything under the sun that Parliament farts into existence, your feels do not override the real, actual history of Canada. This is an error of assuming that an uninformed opinion built on Canadiana is the same thing as a researched opinion. It isn’t.
1d) “Why do you hate Canada so much?”
“Damn you, scary man and your knowledge of Canadian history! How can I delegitimize what you’re-ah, I got it! You’re a meanie poopiehead who just hates Canada for some reason. You’re not fit to complain!” This is a real prolapsed sphincter of an argument – you have emotions? Clearly you cannot study Canada with emotion! Never mind that 100% of the people living in Canada have feelings – yours are invalid and clouding your judgement! But when I talk about how proud I am of Canada based on what Rick Mercer told me, that’s okay. That’s feels, not emotions. Only unsupported emotions are valid in Canada.
1e) “You just need to come to [INSERT PLACE HERE]”
That’s it! I’ve been Canada’ing wrong this whole time! If I go to British Columbia, I’ll see the real Canada! Except for the money laundering, but that’s okay. Even then, going to another part of Canada under the assumption that the part I’m in just sucks unduly and everywhere else is magical doesn’t make where I started from any less Canadian. The Emirates have all the fanciest shit in the world – they’re also backwards slave drivers and have people living in tents. The conditions of the worst reflect on everything else.
2) Not That Bad
Not that bad is another common Canadian duck-and-cover arrangement. No trains? That’s not that bad – there’s a highway right there! That requires ~$10,000+ as a starting investment in insurance, testing, buying the bloody machine, fuelling the thing, and maintaining it. Oh, you don’t have a spare $10,000? Hmm…well, it isn’t that bad! This is also hyper passive-aggressive and loaded with feels, of course.
2a) “Well, it works for me…usually”
I get this loser of a line when I take the train and it inevitably ends up late as shit. The fact that this one time you got in on time is immaterial to the fact that VIA has less than a 75% on time rate. You won what is fundamentally a game of probability and chance? It must mean that everything is good! Those people screwed by mass transit being unreliable must not have really wanted to go anywhere
2b) “It’s worse [anywhere you expressed an interest in]”
This is another favorite feels-laden argument. What matters to me is both the state of a thing and what’s being done about it if it isn’t working. The American transit system is a joke – which is why states and the American federal government are issuing documents and plans and actually trying to make things better. A bad system that is slated for renovation isn’t the worst thing in the world; I’d take that over the Canadian middling-plus-no-effort-to-improve method. Problems happen – honest reporting on them and a clear plan to improve the thing matters more than the existence of the thing.
2c) “You’ll miss Canada when you realize what you’re missing”
I get this one too. I’ll miss people here, sure. I’ll miss some places. But I already know what I’m missing because I live in Canada – access to work, proactive government, lively civic culture, well-designed space – and that stuff obviously means more to me than whatever Canada offers given my strong interest in getting the fuck out of here. But yes – after so many years of living here I’m sure Don Cherry himself will part the heavens to show me what magical Canadiana means so much to me that I can’t get elsewhere.
2d) “Things will get better here”
Yeah. The no-action, no-interest, who-gives-a-fuck attitude towards cities and livable space will just magically whirl up paradise. Never mind that there is no base for it. No cultural force, no political activism, no popular upset, no culture of betterment, a constant nope-can’t-do attitude coupled with accepting whatever’s in front you: clearly the stuff from whence greatness spawns. If there was a culture for it I’d be okay with this assertion, but I see nothing of the sort in Canada save for professionalized whinge-on-command groups whose existential point would collapse if the thing they “lobby” for ever came to fruition.
3) Tautological Nonsense
3a) “This is Canada”
That’s it. This is Canada, therefore your argument is invalid. This is so habitual to English Canadians that they don’t even bother finishing the sentence. Of course, this is absurd. Of course this is Canada; the problem is that Canada is a shitheap, not that events aren’t conveniently following Canada’s make-believe Mary-Sue plot that it wrote for itself in the eighth grade. The word Canada is not a magical talisman. The very fact that people believe that Canada automatically a positive is itself a big problem, because it suggests a closed-mindedness towards reform. Totemization is not known for having positive results.
3b) “This isn’t America”
The flipped-over nightmare world of Canada, America represents all that is unholy and wretched to English Canada. Whenever the crock of shit that is English Canada boils over and the rancid sulfuric farts of Canadian uselessness escape, Canadians feel the need to barf this line out. Racism? “What, guys? What is this, America?” No, Skeezix – it’s your fucking mess, caused by your own fucking laziness and inability to see problems.
4) Scale-Based Bullshit
4a) “We’re too big a country”
This is a common line used against any sort of improvements to our Cold War-era infrastructure. Canada is just too big for improvements, like how China was too big to build high-speed across itself and thus has no train from Beijing to Lhasa. Geography is a great excuse, but it’s also a stupid one – the vast majority of Canada’s population lives between Windsor and Quebec City in what is known as the Corridor. Containing Canada’s largest, second-largest, and fourth-largest cities as well the attendant sprawl as well as the busiest hookup to the United States and potential access to its largest and third-largest cities (New York and Chicago), the Corridor clearly can’t suppo-
Oh, the federal government was planning to build rail there anyways? Well, it must be because
4b) “We’re too small a country”
Yup. That must be it. 33 million people can’t do a thing to improve their lots in life and their horrid transit system. Not like Belgium, population 10 million, which built its own highly-developed and skillfully-executed rail system. This loops back – “but Belgium is smaller than Canada” in a dishonest feedback loop. Apparently there is a sweet-spot for development and Canada is just too big…er…small…er…whatever to move forward.
5) Fiscal Bullshit
5a) “That’s going to cost billions!”
Yeah. And continuing to maintain an antiquated system also costs billions. English Canadians seem to expect that anything worth doing is worth doing for a case of beer and a pizza. Spending real money to get things done is anathema, because money is for putting in a pile and not for using to improve public quality of life. Whether it’s fixing the GTA, putting in tolerable transit, building bridges rather than watching old ones collapse, redesigning the national power grid, or a host of other projects that needed doing yesterday, never doubt Canada’s ability to not do anything because it costs money
5b) “Can’t build a population on handouts”
Except our business classes, who depend on federal protection and support in order to exist. Hey, ever notice that English Canadian businesses can’t survive outside of Canada? Ever see Bell Slovakia? Or Rogers’ Chinese operations? No? Well, that’s because they suck and can’t survive outside of the cocoon of protection that the fed and the Canadian public give them. So when businesses or the amazingly rich need hundreds of millions the money is of course there – trying to provide for Canadians in crisis, though, clearly foments a culture of dependency. Canada’s businesses: they lean on handouts so the Canadian public can’t.
6) The World in Make-Believe
6a) “It’s the same everywhere”
You mean that the rest of the world has bad food, massive traffic snarls, poor transit, overinflated housing costs, and poor work prospects too? How does that explain France’s highly-evolved transit and divine culinary culture? Or Germany’s incredible urban planning? Or Danish regulations preventing price gouging in the housing market? Or the general European and American having a cultural value placed on education that Canada totally lacks?
Clearly those are exactly the same as in Canada. No need to go look or research or even name examples – just saying that “rent is bad everywhere” or “so-and-so’s niece can’t find work in X place” is obviously proof that Canada is doing the best it possibly can! Now stop asking about doing any better, Rube!
Apologism in Real Life!
Yeah, champ. Criticism isn’t just a waste of time – it’s twisted. Everyone knows that to turn from Canada’s angelic majesty is to fall to the demons. Good try, Captain Canuck.
The generic header of identity politics is totally the right place to mash Canada’s Apartheid system and random acts of racism! This one is special to me because it’s obviously from the heart of someone who thinks that they’re “fighting the power” – the only problem is that broad stroke generalizations aren’t the stuff on which meaningful plans are made.
Good try, though!
What’s this? A contest between two countries that aren’t known for football isn’t the end of the world for this person? Better suggest they move elsewhere! After all, if you don’t care about the sportswomans you’re a bad person and un-Canadian. Good try, honey.
We got a caps-locker!! Holy hell this is priceless. Conservative = COUNTRY FALLING APART. Nothing was wrong with Canada before – Steve just ruined the whole thing. Either he’s telling me that Canada was so weak that one guy ruined it in 10 years or he honestly thinks that “love” is the same thing as “concrete”.
Caker literacy, ladies and gents. Totally a sign that your population is educated and intellectually more adept than wet cardboard!
Here’s a pretty typical caker response to even the vaguest prodding – the complete, illogical meltdown. I like how this one, who we’ll call “Beluga-Frypan”, decided that living in an apartment and owning textbooks is something to sneer at. Yeah, how dare people…want to live in denser public space and read things about the world they live in? Fun fact – 52% of Maltese live in apartments. How…dare they? Seriously – the caker illiteracy doesn’t help to parse this shit, but I think the gist is “those whizz-bang people who know things are just meanie poopieheads”.
Apparently knowing things is fucking kryptonite in the world of Beluga-Frypan, because having the mental discipline to read and retain information apparently makes people weak. Like Myron Rolle, a weak-ass Rhodes Scholar pansy who is going for his Masters after graduating with a Bachelors degree.
Or perhaps you meant mental weakness, a vague caker concept that amounts to nothing? It’s hard to tell what this kind of shit means. Sometimes it means that the person was born without troubles, in which case the ‘black Leonardo’ George Washington Carver must have had it easy as a kid…while he was fucking enslaved and sickly. And what’s even funnier is that she assumed that Facebook information, which I frankly don’t curate because I don’t care, is the sum total of my life experience. These are not the arguments of sharp people.
And you know what else isn’t sharp? The fucking keyboard warrior bit at the end. That’s precious. Keep on cakin’ on, Beluga-Frypan.
Canada is a dam site better than most! Given that Canada’s current dam site controversy got a bunch of people arrested for daring to protest it I’m gonna go ahead and say that dam sites aren’t helping the caker cause any. Good try though!
We’re always taking submissions! Got examples of moronic drooling caker-speak? Send ’em over for a slamming!