Last week while I was in Canada, Ann Coulter was touring the place, and stinking it up with her reptile farts.
One by one in cocktail party conversations, the Canadian communicators sincerely appealed to me and the other American speakers to explain where, in the name of all that is polite and nice, Coulter ("what's her first name again?") came from. We explained that Americans tired of her several years ago and she's trying to recapture the magic in a country whose citizenry she can still shock.
We told them not to fall for it.
Alas, the editorial pages in the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and Globe and Mail were brimming with editorials, op/eds, letters to the editor and columns about Coulter, whom Canadians rightly consider the ultimate test of free speech.
By Saturday, though, things were getting back to normal. Reading the Calgary Herald at the airport, I noted a prominent column headlined, "Why I always try to be nice to store clerks."
Judy Gombita says
Have you ever read Michael Adam’s book, “Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values?”
It claims that Canada’s most conservative province (Alberta) is more liberal than the United States’ most liberal state (Massachusetts).
Perhaps that explains why an American conservative can raise such a stink, even in the most conservative Canadian province. I just shake my head that people *pay* to see someone like Ann Coulter. Why not just watch a reality show, to see the dregs of humanity speak. 🙂
More about the prize-winning book here:
David Murray says
You got that right, Judy. But I’m apparently a radical in the U.S., because I found an Albertan to the right of me. Sitting to directly to the right of me at the hotel bar, asking me how I can stand by and watch Obama “ruin your economy” with the health care reform bill.
The view is hardly uncommon here, but I was outraged to have to deal with it in Canada. It was like going to Florida and having dealing with a snowstorm. I told him we were tired of talking about health care in America and he left it at that. (That dose of politeness proving he was indeed a Canadian.)
I was pleased to return to the States with two pins given to me by Vancouver-ite Erica Wah. One says “Sorry,” the other shows a letter “A” next to an illustration of a boot.
Jenny Babich says
Thanks for that customer service link, David. 🙂
Judy Gombita says
I don’t doubt you for a moment, David. Sometimes the opinions of folks (or the provincial government) from Alberta feel like an entirely different nation. And it’s not *always* people from Ontario who say so. 🙂
Yesterday I was trying to find if the “Values” survey that Fire and Ice drew some of its data from remained online. I couldn’t yesterday, but I did find it today. (Why, I have no idea.)
Anyhow, if you take the survey I won’t be the least bit surprised if you end up in the same Values quadrant as me. Over the years I’ve found that almost all of my American (and other non-Canadian) colleagues and friends proved to land in the same quadrant. What does this say? Perhaps that I gravitate towards “people like me,” no matter what their nationality?
Tom Keefe says
Interesting survey. I landed into the Authenticity & Responsibility quadrant, which seems right to me.