Caribou. Unnecessary apologies. Kevin Bacon. Actual bacon. What do these things have in common? That’s right, they’re all CANADIAN!
I should preface this article by stating that I am a proud Austradian. My father is Canadian and my mother is Australian (but Canastralian sounded too much like that thrush treatment). I was born on Vancouver Island, BC, and moved to Melbourne when I was 10. I was quickly mocked for having an accent, calling tiggee ‘tag’ and not knowing about Neighbours. Children are tiny beast creatures, but that’s a story for another day.
The glorious land oft known as ‘North America’ (because it isn’t noteworthy unless it’s somehow connected to the land of the
mass shootings free) has been on the headlines for all the right reasons lately. In years gone by, I felt myself having to apologise for Justin Bieber, or for Stephen Harper, the uber-conservative and good friend to our former PM Tony Abbott. Following this week’s events, I can finally hold my head high during conversations about Canada and its fine people, instead of scurrying under the nearest table like a crab.
But not today. No longer will my travel-sized maple syrup remain hidden, no longer will my triple denim outfits cause embarrassment to my imaginary boyfriend, no longer will my fondness of mooses remain a confusing secret. I hold my head up high – a proud Canuck!
Drake (minimalist meme)
Drake is officially Canada’s national treasure and his face will soon be on every form of currency (TBC). Degrassi is mandatory viewing for Canadian teens and we have all enjoyed seeing little Jimmy blossom into everyone’s favourite sad crooner. The turtleneck-loving Aubrey Drake Graham released his video for Hotline Bling this week, sending fans and generally everyone into a pastel-coloured frenzy.
“You used to call me on my cell phone,” he wails, confirming rumoured reports that I am not his former Bae, as I find phone calls terrifying and unnecessary.
The video itself is a masterpiece and exceptionally entertaining to watch. Drake does his usual Sad Nice Guy™ routine while showing off his amazingly uncool dancing. His movement is hypnotic, must like the perpetual drinking bird, except more erratic and perhaps not containing as much fluid? I’m bad at similes.
But did you know that a male duck is called a Drake?
It is wonderful, and even more joyous than that time your colleague Stephan drunk too much wine at the Christmas party and showed everyone he knows what ‘twerking’ is. I feel like being a bad dancer is very Canadian, or at least it is something that I have in common with the former Degrassi star.
In my view though, the stars of the video are the amazingly beautiful women and their magnificent powerful poses. They’re out there drinking champagne on the dance floor not giving a h*ck about sad men. They take up space and own it in such a way that makes Drake’s crying about his phone make him look like a big baby.
The song itself has undertones of slut-shaming; lyrics such as “you’ve been wearing less and going out more” presumably meant to make us side with the protagonist who has forgotten what his ringtone sounds like. BUT: given the juxtaposition of his mopey shuffling with these self-assured women, what if it is the reverse? I like to think this is a comment on slut-shaming culture, and that Drake wants us to call him a sad baby and cheer whenever we see those colourful flashes of women. I also like to think dogs can understand when I talk to them, so that may be slightly idealistic.
What happens when you democracy
From time to time I’ll meet someone who says “I’m just not really into politics.” How sweet but misguided, like a hopeful baby sparrow making a leap, but falling out of a nest. You cannot exist in a political structure, conform to political norms, pay taxes and then act as though you are somehow above a system that guides almost everything you do. People who scoff “I don’t read the news” or brag about not voting tend to have a high level of privilege. It’s easy to say you aren’t political when you don’t have to fight for your right to marry the person you love. Or be denied a passport with your true gender listed. Or be living in a prison on Nauru.
This week Canada’s people voted in a new Prime Minister, a younger and more progressive leader and everyone is pretty chuffed about it.
Much Ado Aboot Daddy
Canadians said au revoir to Stephen Harper and bonjour (or konichiwa, if they are multilingual) to Justin Trudeau. This change in government also led to a significant increase in thirst levels. Trudeau is handsome, witty and boxes for charity. I’ve also read he keeps tiny tins of tuna in his magnificent hair, should he run into any stray cats.“Liberal”…wait a MINUTE this is a trap[/caption]
While not as progressive as other members of his party, Trudeau and his team will make for a refreshing contrast from the conservative power Canada has had since 2005. I really hope Canadians refrain from using the term ‘Daddy’ to describe their new leader, because surely that nonsense has gone on long enough, but as far as prime ministers go his policies are progressive compared to their former conservative leaders. There’s even talk of legalising cannabis, which will make us all have to learn what ‘420 Blaze It’ sounds like in French.
I encourage us all to shun stereotypes and embrace the power you have as an individual to engage in politics, to critically analyse pop culture and to enjoy pancakes with bacon. I’m not sorry.
Take some action
Enough about politics, here watch this compilation of Drake memes insteadGet Draked