Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Lady in the Muumuu

I was watching a really great comedian on the comedy channel a while back... wish I could remember his name, he was an absolute riot.

I love watching comedians... and the best ones always use universal truths as the basis of their routines and jokes - that's what makes them so funny I guess: What they're joking about resonates with the audience because, underneath, you know it's true. We laugh because we recognize it.

He was doing a bit on Tornadoes... commenting on the fact that they always seem to hit trailer parks - or at least, when you see reports on the devastation left behind, a trailer park always seems to be the hardest hit. It wasn't a trailer park getting blown away that he was making fun of, but the fact that the TV news reporters always seemed to find the most backwards, hill-billy-ish person to interview for the report: most likely a woman in a muumuu, missing a tooth or two, to exclaim about how it all went down - and which red-neck activity of hers was interrupted in the process... or how many of their "yard" cars were tossed.

It was hilarious... because everyone's seen a report like that, no?

Probably not so funny to anyone actually IN the community being reported on though... the ones staring at the television screen thinking "seriously? you picked THEM to represent us all? Oh my God... the whole world is going to think we're all like that!"

(And we know they're not, right? We must know that not everyone who lives in a trailer park is a redneck... or wears muumuus and has multiple broken-down vehicles littering their yard... but there's still an impression out there when THAT lady gets interviewed)

Unfortunately, every community has one of THOSE folks... and invariably, they end up in front of the camera - leaving their impression of how all of us must be. And when it's YOUR community, you sit there staring at your screen thinking "NO - don't listen! It's the lady in the muumuu!"

But too late... the impression is there.

Here, in Canada, we have our very own "lady in the muumuu" ... it's Quebec. My saying that will probably piss off a bunch of people... but I don't care - my blog, my opinion. Quebec is NOT representative of the "rest of us". They have their own rules, their own laws, their own taxes, their own daycare, school and health care systems. They march to the beat of their own drum. Whenever we have rules for something, it's always "this is how it is in Canada... with the exception of Quebec who will do it their way".

Every few years, Quebec has another referendum - a mass vote on whether or not to remain a part of Canada or to separate and become their own country. And it's always close: 51% chose to stay part of Canada last time? The vote has nothing to do with the rest of the country... we just sit back and watch the proceedings - and argue amongst ourselves about what the best outcome would be. There are huge numbers in the "just let them go!" camp... butting heads with the "OMG, NO... we can't let our country be split" camp. But it's really up to Quebec.

I've been on the fence. I don't want to see my country broken apart... and there's a bit of pride that would be lost if they left too: Canada would no longer be the biggest country in the world (since the fall of the soviet union), Canada would no longer share the longest undefended border in the world with the United States, Canada would no longer stretch "from sea to shining sea" (we might have to change our national anthem!).

But it's kind of insulting to have one member of the group constantly saying "we don't want to play with you any more" And it's kind of frustrating to have that one dissenting member be the one constantly caught on camera... with their thick accents and broken English, representing the rest of us to the world. They've been individual, "unique" (their battle cry) and doing their own thing forever... they've been talking about leaving for decades already.

So I think, the next time they want to leave, we should stop bending over backwards and kissing ass to keep them part of Canada. Let them go already... North America is big enough to handle 4 countries - and if we could come up with a new theme song to Hockey Night In Canada after all these years, coming up with a new national anthem should be a piece of cake.

At least when Quebec officially becomes their own country, the lady in the muumuu will no longer be placed front and centre, representing all that's out-of-wack in "this" country.

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