#20 – Mere Canada

Caker humblebragging is the absolute goddamn worst. Because modesty is a presumed part of the caker identity open idiotic nationalism eventually gets to be too much even for caker-doublethink. But what to do when the caker facade falls apart? Acknowledge problems? Fuck no! More nationalism! But-quieter more nationalism. This human centipede of an idea is self-enforcing: humility creats something to brag about creates a need to appear humble so as to shovel the shit into the next gearning mouth.

The tee-hee-we’re-so-humble meme makes its way deep into the caker mythos. And so does humblebragging, which is quite probably the most passive-aggressive and cowardly method of self-aggrandizement possible. The two can live side-by-side in the caker consciousness because feels. Feels are what happen when you challenge Canada’s claims to humility – irrational, defensive screeching like a car alarm instead of wondering why it is that two seemingly mutually-exclusive ideas are able to live side-by-each within the caker’s cultural frame of reference.

What’s even worse is that these contradictory impulses abet some of the worst parts of Canadian revisionism. The concept of AmeriKKKa is to some degree predicated on this capability to brag about being humble. Canadians in their predictable way typify Americans as brash and boorish by comparison at every possible turn, going to the point of humblebragging about it and thus using it to puff their own chests. This shit is incredibly pernicious because of that neat little feedback loop – like rats seeking food pellets the logic of caker humblebragging is sustained by small bursts of reward until the poor animal is reduced to desperately performing a rote action in hopes of scoring another hit of that sweet dopamine. Pressing levers, barking bullshit and holding completely unchallenged mututally-contradictory moves – both are learned and drilled until they become normalized.

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(s) The caker-level dispenses Kraft Dinner and farts but only if you press like you mean it

An extension of the concept of doublethink elucidated by how cakers claim values they don’t have is how we get to Canada’s weird relationship with international sporting too. Sport is easy for Canada to brag about because Canada often has little to do with them – the individuals frequently end up in financial hot water as a result of their training. Canadians love to claim that they are just so shucks-golly proud to have “the boys” on the world stage; the reality is that caker atheletes are paid by the number of medals they bring in for the Canadian medal standings. Rather than having funding that doesn’t leave top atheletes poor and broken Canada would rather cycle through the hard work of others for cheap nationalism than have a meaningful support system that recognizes a reciprocal relationship between country and individual. You know, like a country that had genuine affection for the athletes they claim to love would have.

Thus we get a weird disconnect that cakers don’t mind. We love you! You do us proud! Now back to the Starbucks mines with you! And when Canada underperforms against its own quota you get navel-gazing shitposts that portray the Olympics as relevant to Canada’s global prestige. In the same breath as we’re told that we love and adore Canadian athletes we’re prepared to basically mine them for prestige and chuck the remains off to the side after the Olympics are through.

And for those with the thought in the back of their minds – yes, this is the logic the Soviet Union had towards its athletes. But heaven forbid we notice that or reflect on how profound the gap between what we say about ourselves and what we enact as policy! I don’t care about the Olympics or specifically about athletes outside of their ability to illustrate the caker doublethink – proclamations of love and affection for the individual atheletes coupled with a system that effectively says “medal or nothing” to them. Canadians loudly yelp when someone wins a medal in their usual nationalist zeal and proclaim it as a Canadian triumph, but the failure and the difficulty – nah, that can stay on the individual. Even though cakers are supposed to pride themselves on not doing shit like that.

 

#18 – The All-Knowing Caker

Cakers have a big problem when some of their own go somewhere that isn’t Florida, Arizona, or the Caribbean and discover that the rest of the world is leaving Canada in its dust. Easily-used transit, delicious culinary attitudes, reasonably-priced product, and genuine displays of culture are all the sorts of things that could crack a caker and could even force a modicum of critical thought. Why is it legal for Canadian cheese to be artifically colored when other cultures take pride in producing product with superior techniques and still sell the product at a reasonable price? Why does Canada have obtuse regulations on poultry that prevent access to other kinds of chicken while the rest of the world uses what’s on hand to make delicious dishes?

Presented with these glaring realities, the caker will fidget his little mental tumblers about until he retorts with an answer: but it has problems too! Of course, no system is perfect, but that’s not where the caker is going. Any imperfection real or imagined about a system instantly disqualifies it from consideration; where imperfections aren’t obvious mysterious intangibles appear to make the obviously-superior efforts of others the equal of Canada’s half-assed approach. The caker needs no evidence or even really a coherent complaint to make this claim. The French have a superior rail system? Oh yeah, well they pay higher taxes you guys! They can’t even afford lifted pickups and snowmobiles because they’re just drowning in taxes!

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(s) Give me truck balls or give me death, evil gubmint mans!

These false equivalences allow cakers to pretend that their systems are acceptable. The result of this is an argumentative tennis game with an intellectual brick wall. The caker doesn’t care about your claims or stats or articles you’ve read on the subject, because the caker honestly believes that if an idea is of any merit Canada has already adopted it and that the adoption is flawless. There’s got to be an excuse for Canada! In the same way as Canadians love their antiquated, shitty healthcare system they have no mercy for anything that could suggest cakers are still living in the wrong century. There is infinite leniency for caker-projects but when evaluating other places cakers suddenly become authoritative tongue-cluckers shaking their heads and decrying problems they can’t be assed to actually verify even exist.

Words like “balance” sneak into the caker’s pleas for Canada. Sure, Canada’s prisons are garbage – but those Norwegians so unbalanced by focusing on success rather than cost or feels! The caker way is the balanced way, where idiotic feels and obvious need are balanced to produce half-assed infrastrucure at half-assed prices. When you use a steaming piece of gorilla shit as a counterweight all you’ve done is shit on your scale. The balance non-argument is just another way for half-baked caker logic to put its thumb on the scale and make Canada’s second-world disasters look acceptable.

This is different than the other form of denial cakers love, the “it’ll never work here”, because the goal isn’t to merely shoot down an idea but rather to equate Canada’s lumpy attempts at half-assed progress as equal to the actual accomplishments of more accomplished countries. Switzerland has superior roads despite being in the fucking Alps?  Ah, they probably pay more taxes or something so Canada’s just as good! France has a better healthcare system? Yeah, but they’re rude meaniepants because one of them chastised Timmy the Hockey Squire for being a shit while we were in Paris so it’s the same! Doesn’t have to be related, doesn’t have to be true, and it certainly doesn’t need to be researched. Cakers know that CANADA IS BEST, therefore strawmen and make-believe are totally acceptable forms of defense!

This is breathily delivered in its laziest form by the phrase, “it’s the same everywhere”. Except that it fucking isn’t, you silt-brained ass clown. This is probably the ultimate manifestation of the caker’s ahistoricical outlook; it globalizes the caker’s lack of awareness about things that happened before they were born and deals with events that cannot be reduced to  WHOO CANADA by pretending that they were of no consequence. Perhaps the Swiss experience of not being a colonial power and living in the fucking mountains caused them to develop different cultural norms and ideas than the former colonial superpower France? Dare I suggest that Estonians and Finns have different needs than Spaniards and Italians?

But ah, fuck it. Sand off the stuff that makes places interesting and informative because Canada has none of that and if Canada can’t be interesting and liveable than nowhere can!

 

#13: The Cult(ure) of Hockey, Part Two – Don Cherry is a Soggy Dickhole

Cakers adore a degenerate turd of a man and take cues about their national identity from him entirely because he once coached a hockeymans team. This is despite him costing the Boston Bruins a chance at the Hockeymans Trophy of Smacky Boom-Plop because he accidentally sent too many players on the ice at once and gave Montreal a chance to come back and kick the Bruins out of the playoffs, which would generally suggest that he’s not the greatest at hockeymans either. Far worse, he currently sits in a chair being a rancid shit and wearing hideous costumes on national television, which is okay because reasons and hockeymans.

Coaches’ Corner is a caker tradition. Two elderly folks who couldn’t lace skates up without their feet crumbling to dust run the show – a rude, abrasive, racist, sexist, mealy-mouthed caker apologist named Don Cherry, and a ghost named Ron MacLean who exists to look sad when Cherry invariably says something inane and stupid, which is always. I’m not kidding – just look at Ron in the picture below (Ron, for the record, is a rather polite guy who once rescued a suicidal dude in Philadelphia). I don’t have a whole lot of reason to hate Ron – once upon a time he was apparently biased because he defended a ref from accusations of fraud or something, but that’s within the hockey-bubble and I don’t care about the hockey-bubble.

And then there’s Don. Don is a fucking idiot. His nickname is “Grapes” and it would be wiser to have them talk about hockey instead of this prolapsed rectum of a man because fruit at least stays clear of declaring entire cultures and peoples weak.

 

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“Maybe if I shit myself he’ll stop” – Ron

 

Like when Don said “never mind the concussions” in response to concerns that maybe having meatheads punching each other to prove that they haven’t roided their balls into nothingness is a bad idea. Or when he called bike riders “pinkos” while supporting Rob Ford’s run for office. Don Cherry is a singular cystic disgrace upon mankind, a garish douchebag who exists exclusively for banal Anglo-Canadians to get their dose of Bill O’ Reilly-esque reactionary blather while couching it in the comfortable terminology of hockey. Yeah – Bryan Fischer and Glenn Beck only suck because they don’t talk about The Game. All Glenn needs to do is shout that the guys on a baseball diamond lack “Grit and Heart” before he pulls out the chalkboard and he’s good, right?

It’s okay for this ancient fossilized suitrack to get wheeled in front of the television camera and spread screed because he has been doing it for a while and he both played and coached hockey. Playing hockey, as we all know, is a qualification for anything. His political power devolves into a play at defining Canada entirely in consumptive ways – beer swilling English-speaking hockey-bro-friends watching the CBC (now Rogers, which is somehow even shittier) while sitting in a suburban garage. He allows sadsacks cakers the fictive chance to pound their own chests and pretend that the misfortune of their birthplace (let’s be real here – Don’s is a white, distinctly suburban world where nonwhites may be novel but are little more than window-dressing) give them secret insights into the fine act of trying to turn a guy in made-in-China body armor to paste. In defining the caker Don helps to create the fiction that guides cakers to a deluded make-believe version of Canada.

Somehow, cakers still think that theirs is a tolerant and welcoming culture, and that’s the real treat. AmeriKKKa and its evil right-wing newscasters are cast as evidence that AmeriKKKa is Literally Hitler, but Don Cherry and his screed are fine because hockey. The narrative Don peddles – the sort of violent, meatheaded, hoo-rah machismo manifesto that would make an eighties action hero feel uncomfortable – that’s totally different. Sure, we had an asshole telling people with injuries to stop whining and calling Russians cowards on our national broadcaster – but it’s hockey you guys and that means a senile suitrack can spew bile with impunity.

 

#10 – #NotAllCanadians

Cakers proclaim loudly their commitment to national unity only to renege in favor of blaming others for widespread problems.

This textbook form of Canadian apologism tries to nullify problems by assigning blame or pointing to exceptions found in other elements of the Canadian federation. Upon hearing that Canada is concrete hellscape the caker will respond with something to the ends of “well, move to Vancouver”, as if skyrocketing costs of living there aren’t a bit of a problem for that plan. Even if Vancouver does have a functional design why does that preclude the rest of Canada from working halfway decently? And the answer to that is to assign blame to someone else.

Usually the blame is assigned to whatever side of English Canada is in federal office. Harper “only” represents westerners despite having a sizeable majority of his MPs coming from outside of that province. Quebec is being whiny about language rights. Alberta has to subsidize the Maritimes. The west is killing the environment and wholly occupied by fat-cat losers who want to destroy Canada. The more ridiculous the pantomime of an area in Canada the better – the goal is to preserve the sanctity of Canada by faulting one region for the country’s shortcomings, not to make honest account of the country. Doing that would be far too frightening and could scare up ways that we could improve ourselves. Can’t have that when we can whine and whinge and wheeze about how mean the other guy is!

At higher levels this system of blaming others allows for some truly astonishing make-believe. Are you foolishly blowing through your oil money? No problem – it’s Ottawa’s fault because Quebec did something! Is the budget not giving you those greenwashing vibes you so crave? Never mind the viciously-polluting Chemical Valley or nasty foresting operations – blame Alberta! Want to demand better unemployment insurance benefits but unwilling to pay into the program? Just blame the Maritimes for taking too much and not “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps” and you too can join the fray! It’s so easy to avoid doing anything to improve within your own when the other guys in a totally different area are holding you back because reasons. The provinces are notorious for not agreeing to anything, causing a neverending babbling shouting match whenever initiatives are started, and caker culture is emblematic of the pass-the-buck mentality exhibited through the provinces and their conversations.

Trying to assign blame for the failings of a mediocre system on a specific group using that system is a shitty way to think. Is it the fault of people on one side of town that your bus is constantly late on the other side, or is that a sign that the system needs improvement? The obvious and most desirable answer is clear, but caker laziness means that empty bitching is the tactic du jour. Oh, and no matter what part of English Canada you’re from, there’s one guaranteed inferiority complex that you and any erstwhile English Canadian friend can hate hand-in-hand: the French.

A country built on slagging the guys next door is a powerful and bold statement of Canadian unity.

#5 – The Macdonald-Cartier Parking Lot is Awesome (if you like waiting)

Ontario’s Highway 401, formally known at the Macdonald-Cartier Expressway, is an absolute shitshow from end to end. The 401 is Ontario’s, if not Canada’s, single most important roadway. It’s prone to closure as endless streams of 18-wheelers motor on despite drivers being exhausted or road conditions being terrible and terribly-addressed. Construction, confusion, and traffic snarls define this infamous roadway, but what few think about is the sheer mass of its largest segment, the part that balloons to become one of the largest freeways on Earth.

Spanning a disgusting 18 lanes at its greatest girth, this space-ruining clusterfuck turns into a parking lot basically whenever anything happens anywhere. One of the more substantial problems with the 401 is that it’s a crucial road for all traffic going from southwest to northeast in the province, meaning that it draws an absolutely astonishing number of cars – nearly 500,000 on its busiest segments drive it daily. Incumbent to a totally-unbalanced transit system are the inefficiencies – the legendary traffic snarls, the stress, the crashes, and the pollution are all the result of Toronto sprawling every possible direction into a suburban morass.

This of course doesn’t stop cakers from considering the consequences of mindlessly expanding sprawl and highways. Unfortunately they get the whole thing ass-wrong. To ask cakers the problem is that the 401 just isn’t wide enough yet. The whole thing is nigh-constantly being expanded, inducing more and more road traffic and thus more and more of the same problems as before. Normal people would step back and reconsider that just maybe crushing hundreds of millions of dollars of property value under an expensive-to-maintain highway system that doesn’t bring everyone into town very well wasn’t such a good idea. In fact, there are plenty of normal thinking people in AmeriKKKa, which is home to many cities trying different and innovative techniques to handle the growing problem associated with unbalanced transportation networks.

Not so in Toronto, which is more concerned about incredibly-expensive subways to nowhere because suburban English Canadians want it that way. Canadians don’t build the kinds of environments that encourage people to not drive and they don’t get the idea that the car should not perhaps be the automatic default commuting tool. As an example of this, Toronto finally hooked its airport up to its downtown by a method that isn’t tempting death with poor driving skills and obscene traffic problems, and they demostrated a keen lack of comprehension as to the purpose of mass transit while doing it. They did this by initially charging $50 for the privilege of using the new train. To the airport. In 2015. They have since lowered the price because shockingly charging a fortune to use a basic service when the alternative is a cheaper driving trip turned out not to work.

A bad idea’s a bad idea – anyone can get them and their consequences can be hard to deal with. Like the brutal cost of plowing the 401, maintaining it (which creates further traffic snarls), policing it, and supporting it where it’s falling over, sometimes a bad idea can have lasting and costly repercussions. But one expects that putting one’s hand on a stove would quickly encourage the person to try another form of amusement. Upon discovering that something doesn’t work effectively the attitude should probably be less “oh well” and more “oh shit”. But of course that means thinking and planning, so fuck that!