Assertion, unsupported by fact, is nugatory. Surmise and general abuse, in however elegant language, ought not to pass for truth. Junius


Beavertails and Prairie Oysters for December 2004

The Upper Canadian is pleased to present for your perusal the first edition of Beavertails and Prairie Oysters, where your humble and ob't servant either presents a Beavertail to the deserving and worthy or a Prairie Oyster to the venal and stupid. For a number of reasons I won't bother to rehearse, the list of recipients is shorter than I expect it will be in the future. Please feel free to add your own in the Comments below.

First, His Imperial Majesty's, um, excuse me, President George Bush's visit to Ottawa. First, buckets of Prairie Oysters to all the conservative pundits who fell down to worship the guy's footfalls as he trod on Canadian soil. More Prairie Oysters to the man himself. First, for ducking a speech to Parliament on the grounds he might be heckled. George, I have to tell you, in a democracy, Parliament and free speech are two sides of the same coin. And besides, Svend Robinson is nowhere to be found. Then there was the sheer cheek of Mr Bush quoting Prime Minister Mackenzie King on Canada's overseas responsibilities. This would be Mackenzie King speaking during the Second World War, the war which Canada, Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth faced alone the mightiest military colossus the world had ever seen, the war the U.S. sat out for the first two years because it was politically inexpedient. The Upper Canadian suggests respectfully Canadians don't need lectures on that count.

The sideshow to the American president's visit was, of course, the circus that calls itself the American media. A steaming plateful of Beavertails each to Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson for proving once again the right-wing U.S. media can't open its mouth without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge. Witness Ms Coulter's insights on U.S. Canada relations:
I suppose it's always, I might add, the worst Americans who end up going there. The Tories [Loyalists --- ed.] after the Revolutionary War, the Vietnam draft dodgers after Vietnam. And now after this election, you have the blue-state people moving up there.

[. . .]

They better hope the United States doesn't roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.

Mr Carlson was as equally profound:
Doesn't that tell you something about the sort of limpid, flaccid nature of Canadian society, that people with ambition come here? What does that tell you about Canada?

Mr Carlson obviously was wearing his testosterone patch that day. But note that limpid means "clear" or "transparent" or "calm", and flaccid is a revealing choice of words for a man who wears a bow tie.

Leaving quickly any thoughts of Tucker Carlson's penis, The Upper Canadian hands out a Beavertail to each of the nine Supreme Court Justices for their admirable decision on same-sex marriage. And yes, reluctant a Beavertail to Prime Minister Paul Martin for announcing the government --- for once --- will act decisively in bringing the appropriate legislation before Parliament. There is the inevitable Prairie Oyster for Stephen Harper, not for his opposition to same sex marriage, but for inconsistency. As Glen Murray pointed out in The Globe and Mail on the 28th, Harper approves of the Supreme Court when it strikes down laws he doesn't like --- in this case, parts of the new campaign finance law. So much for parliamentary supremacy.

A big whopping Beavertail for Premier Danny Wiiliams for attempting an amazing feat of prestidigitation --- trying to make Newfoundland and Labrador both a have and a have-not province at the same time. If he succeeds, it will be the most fabulous piece of political bravado since Macdonald's Double Shuffle in 1858. Sadly, though, his Beavertail will have to be topped with a juicy Prairie Oyster for the offence of using the flag for political shenanigans. How do we know it's shenanigans? Because the good Premier has already claimed their is a vast conspiracy out to embarrass Newfoundlanders and Labradorians over the incident. Hey, we didn't lower the flag. . .

Lastly, The Upper Canadian has Beavertails for the bloggers over at the Western Standard, whose flame war --- "full of sound and fury/Signifying nothing" --- provided much entertaining reading during that blah period around the Winter Solstice. Thanks, guys.


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