Angle on Canada: [long sigh]

Some people on the internet seem to have very strong opinions on whether or not the prime minister’s wife should have staff for her public activities.

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau mentioned in an interview with the French-language Le Soleil that she has trouble keeping up with all the public things she’s invited to and would like a staffer to help. Some people think that’s a waste of resources, other people do not.

Canada doesn’t have a first lady, and semantics are really important in cases like this, some say, as I briefly nod off. She already has two nannies, why does she need more help, some say, making me wonder whether those two things are actually related. Public money shouldn’t be used for unofficial whatevers, the party should pay, some say, forcing me to shrug my shoulders. You’re cutting down her down because she’s a special flower, a tall poppy, some say, while I casually slip under the bathwater. 

I could go on, but I’d rather not.

Suffice to say, the country’s twitter fart got caught not just of several rounds of national coverage—people said a thing on the thing they say things!—but has exited our little provincial backwater and made it’s way to such august content farms as The Washington Post and The Guardian. A columnist for the Independent went so far as to opine, at length, on how mean conservatives are for being upset about the whole thing.

And a solid five drafts into whatever this is, I still don’t care. One way or another. Pay for the person, don’t pay for the person. Do whatever. 

We did it! The world noticed us. We won. Now let’s move on.

Anyhow, the rest:

• CBS Sports ran an online poll asking readers who they thought would win the NBA title this year: The Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, and "Other." In this case, the only "other" team remaining in the playoffs are the Toronto Raptors. Proving it is totally cool and world-class, Toronto mayor John Tory drafted a letter on behalf of the city chiding CBS for forgetting about them. (C/o @moebuis_strip)

• Vox dot com helpfully explained that Canada is a desolate, unliveable hellscape, with the help of a long-dead historian and a photo from reddit. It seems half of our population settled south of a line that includes Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Halifax. According to this voxsplanation, half of us live there because the land was good for growing. Not mentioned: whether these cities’ suspicious proximity to major waterways might also have something to do with it. (C/o @tylerdawson)

• This happened: 

@JJ_McCullough/Twitter

@JJ_McCullough/Twitter

@JJ_McCullough/Twitter

@JJ_McCullough/Twitter

• The government’s joke-by-committee twitter account might be trolling me(C/o @keithjs)

• NDP MP Don Davies does not appreciate the Canadian angle either.

• Horrific reverberations are still being felt from the G20 protests in Toronto all those years ago. This time, it’s a burning Toronto police cruiser being used in a Saturday Night Live skit. The horror. (C/o someone, but I can’t remember who, I didn’t save the link. Let me know if it’s you.)

• It’s been a while since we last met, but in the interim, U.S. President Barack Obama made a Justin Trudeau joke at the White House Correspondents Dinner. It was an okay joke. It also highlighted one of my favourite journalism tropes: explaining how jokes work. To wit, via The Canadian Press (emphasis mine): 

“Somebody recently said to me, ‘Mr. President, you are so yesterday. Justin Trudeau has completely replaced you. He’s so handsome, he’s so charming. He’s the future,’” Obama said. Obama then delivered the presidential punch-line, waving dismissively: “I said, ‘Justin, just give it a rest.“’ The annual correspondents’ dinner features a brief monologue where presidents get to try their hand at stand-up comedy. 

If that wasn’t explanatory enough, there is plenty of analysis to be found(C/o @moebuis_strip and @mikelondoncan)

Angle on Canada is a semi-irregular feature of news stories made more about Canada than they should be. Particularly strained news examples can be sent via email or twitter.