Angle on Canada: We’re on TV! But, why do we want to be?

There’s nothing quite so exciting as to find out you might be on television.

I remember in my first week on Parliament Hill, covering a committee meeting and texting my dad that I might be on television, and he should turn on CPAC*. For the next week or so I’d wonder, as I wandered around the foyer of the House of Commons, whether one of the cameras was going to feature me, prancing by in the background.

Thankfully, I wasn’t a noodle brain for long. Within a week or two I’d figured out being on TV like that was, well dumb. I avoided spaces where cameras were pointed like a sailor might avoid a brothel well known for its crabs.

I get it. Being on TV seems awesome. Until you end up on it, a slack-jawed narf, idly putzing about the background. Which is why I can’t quite square why here in Canada we’re so happy to find ourselves on American television as a bizarre sideshow.

Take the MLB all-star game on Tuesday. (I’m sorry for this, really.) An obvious half-wit with an affinity new-age aphorisms decided a verse from O Canada** was a good spot to go on record that he thought All Lives Matter. And so Remigio Pereira made the transformation from a guy in a suit with a decent set of pipes to the “Rogue Tenor.”

You could practically hear the country’s web infrastructure straining under the volume of content—news stories, hot takes, slow takes, radio segments, panel discussions, fart compliations—as finally, the summer news machine had something thrown into its maw that didn’t involve some sort of senseless slaughter.

And every time this sort of thing happens and we freak right out, I can’t help but wonder why? Why did this nitwit warrant days of coverage? A feverish swamp of takes and counter takes that was only quelled when a military coup—a fucking coup—was launched and then failed in Turkey.

Remember, this happened at the opening anthems for a game played for the benefit of children. It’s a terrible game, and probably only garners the attention it does because it is played in a notoriously barren stretch of the sports schedule. It’s bad baseball played for dumb stakes.

At best, Canada is a weird footnote to the story, but more often we’re the wry punchline. The butt of the joke. Because [snicker] Canada. See how cute they are in the background, jumping around, getting all that attention on the margins?

Someday, we’ll tire of being the jackass in the back. Until then, we’ll have to settle for being rogue tenors.

Elsewhere in Canadiananana:

• Canada’s electro-spies were “very excited” about being part of a plot on The Good Wife. Or at least, one of them was. Hooooooray.

• Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth May was at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, according to a Canadian Press report. Things went famously poorly. She still remembers the smell of tear gas. And so, an interesting tale of a troubled time in America is seen through the eyes of a teenaged Canadian, and much was learned. 

• What’s keeping a sniper from killing police in Canada’s most world-class city? The Toronto Star is glad you asked(C/o @stephen_taylor)

• Meanwhile, the Western Producer wonders what the attempted coup in Turkey might mean for lentil prices. (C/o @NBSAlbert)

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.

*Sorry, pops. Advising someone to watch CPAC, for any reason, is cruel. Especially when you don’t actually end up on TV.

**(Lucky for him he didn’t change the words to the Star-Spangled Banner. The poor bastard wouldn’t have made it halfway through a political statement—any political statement—before being run though with a bayonet by the Marine honour guard.)