I am...an asshole?
April 16, 2000
Once again, someone is outraged over a commercial for Canada's national beverage. It seem that our Consumer Minister Bob Runciman doesn't feel too patriotic about a new Molson beer commercial that pokes fun at Americans' supposed stereotypical view of Canadians.
The nasty ad in question is none other than the newest "I AM" installment from Molson Canadian. Although not a personal brew favourite here at Paperless, it cannot be denied that Molson truly does know what the lifeblood of Canadians actually is, considering the fact that they pump endless amounts of money into such Canadian culture as hockey telecasts, CART and Formula One auto racing events, and concerts in Canada.
The 60-second version of the ad features an "average" Canadian on a tirade about American stereotypes of Canadians. He begins, "I'm not a trapper or a lumberjack, I don't live in an igloo, I don't eat blubber...", continuing until he's screaming over the track of "Pomp and Circumstance" playing in the background, to an increasingly vocal audience.
"I speak English and French, not American, I have a Prime Minister, not a President..."
Runciman feels the ad bashes Americans so that Canadians can feel good about themselves, and he thinks Canadians should be "beyond that".
"I'm as much of a pro-Canadian as anybody and I don't think we have to demean people of another country to feel good about our own country," he said. "I think that this is essentially an anti-American rant which taps into a national lack of confidence when it comes to dealing with the United States."
But is it an Anti-American rant or just and Anti-Americn-stereotying rant? The Paperless One doesn't think that it's the former. We realize that Canada has always valued quality over quantity - that one Wayne Gretzky is better than 100 Joe Sacco's, that one film like "The Red Violin" makes 100 films like "Waterworld" nothing more than an example of futile spending, that one Tragically Hip makes 100 bands like Live sound that much more pathetic.
Sure, we have our problems coming to grips with this. Canadian Content regulations allowed shitty bands like Loverboy and Honeymoon Suite to exist in the 1980's, and we tend to worry when it comes to the state of hockey in Canada, even though 400 out the league's 600 players hail from the Great White North. We also tend to flog the flag towards any successful Canadians living in the U.S. who ever called Canada home, even for a few years as a youngster (Phil Hartman?).
Maybe we are guilty of sticking our collective tongue out at Americans every now and then, but they usually bring it on themselves. When was the last time one of our leaders shot a load of cum on an intern's dress or used a cigar from a country that we don't associate with as a sexual tool? When was the last time we had to "liberate" a country for the sake of the petroleum industry? When was the last time any Canadian government felt the need to bomb the fuck out of a defenseless nation like Grenada to "prove that it was tough enough" to get re-elected? When was the last time the CBC abandoned a hockey broadcast because the score was 7 to 1 so they could show something "more interesting"?
Americans aren't all that bad. They do have strength in numbers to be proud of. Their 200 million adult citizens have over 240 million registered guns to be proud of, way more than we do! They use these guns to kill 35,000 of themselves off every year, yet still remain over 100 times bigger than Canada, year after year. That is quite an accomplishment, perhaps something that Americans should start boasting in Budweiser commercials, instead of focusing on four guys who do nothing more than "chill, watch the game, and have a Bud".
Even American satirists use Canada as a tool for satirizing themselves. Trey Parker and Matt Stone didn't create the flip-top headed Canadian characters in South Park to offend Canadians - they did so to take a jab at Americans' stereotyping of Canadians. They chose to "Blame Canada, before somebody thinks of blaming us" for the sole reason that the American mentality in Buttfuck, Colorado IS THAT WAY. Michael Moore, perhaps the most brilliant man in America, even wrote a movie about invading Canada that focused on America's "requirement" to have an enemy (it might as well be Canada, they've got good beer!).
Canada and the U.S.A. live harmoniously next door to each other, along the longest unprotected border in the world. Just remember that the next time you get asked things like, "Where are the drugs and alcohol?" and "You're from Canada, you must have done at least one B&E (break & enter)!" when you try crossing this border. Americans will never REALLY nuke Canada as long as we keep providing them with a steady stream of our hockey players, our Celine Dions, our TV news anchors, and our actors. It all evens out when they return the favour by sending back their "must-see TV", their fast-food franchises, their Microsoft operating systems, and their NHL expansion teams.
So just remember, Bob. It's only beer. It's the least of our worries. Perhaps you should start cracking down on those dancing army guys in the Swiffer ads and the terrible jingle artists that McCain employs - they're much more offensive than any beer ad ever could be.
I am...the Paperless One.
P.S.: Don't make fun of Molson, or THIS might happen to you. It is a copy of a nice letter sent to someone who didn't realize that Molson OWNS the phrase "I AM".
They also didn't realize that Molson owns us all...