Wednesday, July 05, 2006

At what point does a falling Star stop falling?

The Toronto Star excels itself. This has got to be the stupidest piece of junk it's printed in--well, not that long actually. Would that I could actually take issue with what's being said here. Alas, I have no idea what's being said here; Vezi Tayyeb has all the wit, sophistication, and stylistic merit of an irritatingly self-confident 14 year old with attention deficit disorder. For which, I should say, he has all my sympathy. But what on earth compelled the Star to print his little screed? It contains no insight, no coherent argument, no entertainment value, no evidence that Vezi has ever undertaken a serious peice of writing beyond the composition of a grocery list.

What kindergarten teacher couldn't be embarrassed reading this?
I wasn't born here, but I thank my father every day for raising me to be, first and foremost, a proud and patriotic Canadian. And even though I confess to playing ice hockey, shovelling snow, downing Tim Horton doughnuts and hoarding Canadian Tire coupons, I would like to state, for the record, that I have still not managed to lose my heritage.
Like most Canadians these days, Vezi is also, apparently, a Sucker and a Simpleton. I mean: hockey, shoveling snow, Tim Horton's, Canadian Tire? How much time does this guy spend watching television? Indeed, it seems to me that there's a very serious risk that the few Canadians existent that aren't either suckers or simpletons might actually be insulted by this unfortunate attempt at a folksy joke. (For my part, I can say quite honestly that I'd sooner watch someone pee on the Cenotaph.)

Next blistering line:
I don't believe this is even possible; my birthplace has left an indelible stamp on my personality and my perspective. My roots are in the blood. [What?! -ed.]

As an example, some years ago, the Pakistani international cricket team played a "friendly" match against Canada. Even though my uncle was involved as a coach with the Pakistan side, it never occurred to me to root for any other team other than Canada.
(A trifling point, but: am I wrong in thinking that the second paragraph doesn't actually follow from the first? How is your loyalty to the Canadian cricket team an example that your, ahem, roots are in your blood?)

Poor Vezi! It's not your fault that the Star has very good reason to believe that the bulk of its readers will actually enjoy your piece; will imbue it with a substance (any substance) that it can never, on its own merits, ever have. Canadian idiots, you see, are legion. They too spout the nostrum of Trudeaumania; come up with elaborately brainless chains of cause and effect to explain the degradation of a phenomenon that was, they fail to notice, premised on mutability itself.

KMG lamented to me by long-distance yesterday that, in spite of its literature, Canada really has no literature. I agree. But he hopes (I think, beyond hope) that there remains to be the potential for a Canadian identity. Canada did, after all, exist prior to The Year of the Revisionist: 1967 ... Until hell freezes over, then, the most cogent expression of the Canadian cultural synthesis appears thus in 'Canada's largest daily newspaper' (to the distant slashing of urine upon granite): "the colourful and festive display of flags from so many different nationalities is a charming and a vivid demonstration of how wonderful multiculturalism can be in its best moments."