Sunday, July 30, 2017
Justin Trudeau and the Tall Poppy Syndrome
I've mentioned this before, but sometimes I feel like Gulliver must have felt in the land of the Lilliputians.
And can't help wondering why if Canada is so big, why are so many of its people so small.
And the latest example of that is the reaction of so many to this fluffy magazine story.
For if the way the Con clown Lisa Raitt reacted made her look ridiculous.
Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt said the Rolling Stone cover story on Mr. Trudeau – which asks “Why can’t he be our President?” – could have an adverse effect on trade dealings with the “mercurial” Mr. Trump, who has been known to act “on a whim.”
“This is a serious misstep by the Trudeau regime. They should have just taken a breath and not sought out this publicity this time because I don’t think it’s helpful to the overall goal of our country, which is a free-trade deal,” she said in an interview.
Or like an absolute idiot...
The reaction of others, including some so called "progressives" was equally idiotic.
Like this deranged rant from James Wilt in Canadian Dimension.
Immediately following the article’s publication on July 26, many of Canada’s leading pundits and journalists exploded with territorial incredulity, pedantically noting that it’s the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (not “Mountain” as originally suggested in the article), the Saint John River (not “St.” John River) and the Liberal Party (not the “Liberty” Party).
Such corrections were, of course, warranted. But there was a far more troubling aspect of the profile left untouched: that the article “Justin Trudeau: The North Star” was, without any exaggeration, unabashed propaganda.
Which being almost as long as the Rolling Stone article itself, was much ado about nothing.
As well as being an even better example of propaganda trumping journalism. One that didn't seem to recognize that fluff is fluff.
And that some people have it and some people don't...
And while Wilt accuses the article's author, Stephen Rodrick, of being a "godawful writer."
He's not exactly Shakespeare himself.
For example, in an introductory graph, Rodrick writes that Trudeau’s “dark hair is a color found in nature. At home, there is a glamorous wife and three photogenic children, still not old enough to warm his seat at next week’s G-20 summit or be involved in an espionage scandal.”
What colour is not found in nature? The human eye can incredibly perceive around 10 million distinct colours. A vast majority, if not all, could be found in “nature.” So what is Rodrick even suggesting? If Trudeau’s hair is the colour of delicious 85 per cent dark chocolate, then say as much!
And expecting a magazine aimed at young people in the United States to be as policy oriented, or as boring as Canadian Dimension, is totally absurd.
Barely anything in this piece actually addresses material policy issues. Instead, it moves steadily along the rails of Liberal communication strategies, up the rolled up sleeves of Trudeau’s shirt and down the rapids of stolen Indigenous waters that he paddled with his father.
And borders on insanity.
Which is why I'm glad to see the Toronto Star describe the kerfuffle over the Rolling Stone article as just another example of the tall poppy syndrome.
Somewhere in the Canadian psyche is a residual puritanism, a cast of mind H.L. Mencken defined as the haunting fear that somebody somewhere might be happy and doing well.
Even 150 years after Confederation, it remains a national pastime to scan the landscape for tall poppies, ensuring none of us get above ourselves.
We admire success. But too much flamboyance in the achieving of it, any straying from a sort of Sidney Crosby “aw-shucks-another-trophy” in response, elicits a chorus of school-marmish clucking.
The kind of school-marmish clucking one might expect to hear from these silly old Trudeau haters...
Who can't seem to tell the difference between Trudeau and Stephen Harper, love to portray the decent Justin as a monster, and our country as a hellhole where hope goes to die.
And like Wilt can't seem to understand that everything is relative, and that those who can't remember the past are condemned to repeat it...
How quickly we take the favours of fortune and elections for granted. Until recently it was the United States that had the cool, progressive president, while Canada was led by a chap of surpassing gloom and resolute unhipness.
In the last two years, that’s reversed, utterly. Canada is led by a feminist in flashy socks. America is presided over by an erratic tweet freak. As the good Dr. Hook sang, “it’s all designed to blow our minds . . .”
You know, I'm not sure where this tall poppy syndrome came from, but it's probably the legacy of colonialism.
Where Canadians were told over and over again that being Canadian could NEVER be as good as being British.
And all I can say is they can shove that one where the sun don't shine eh?
Deliver us from those ghastly gloom birds, and Harper lovers, who would take us back to the past, and wish us to be as miserable as they are.
And give thanks that at a time like this one, in a time of Trump.
Justin Trudeau is our prime minister...