Canada’s ‘adorable’ race for gold.

Canadian Dahlia Lithwick has an enjoyable piece at Slate defending “Own the Podium,” her nation’s $118 billion dollar effort to dominate the medal race in Vancouver.

Someday, someone is going to explain to me why it is that journalists so frequently speak about Canadians as though we are all about 2 feet tall and 7 years old. See, for instance, this exceedingly strange New York Times piece about how those tiny little Canadians are building a “giant laser” or some such thing, in order to bring home more Olympic medals than ever before. Look! Look at all those funny little Canadians in their funny little hats, trying to be good at sports! Look at them spending their whole allowance on a top-secret program to create a human slingshot for speed skaters and “super-low-friction bases for snowboards and [to find out] whether curling brooms really melt the ice”….

Even odder is the relentless media focus on the inexplicable nature of Canada’s quest for medals — as though every host nation doesn’t do the same exact thing. China had Project 119 for the Beijing Olympics, and nobody accused the Chinese of trying to win because they lacked self-esteem. UK Sports, too, has launched Mission 2012 to kick butt in two years at the London Games. Canada deciding to shovel a bit of green toward its quest for gold is only bizarre to the extent one expects Canada to be uniquely — and as a matter of immutable national character — desirous of losing.

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In related news: Plucky Canadians do not appreciate being described as “plucky.”

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Comedian Bill Maher was on Larry King Live Tuesday night talking healthcare, terrorist trials in New York, and the American intellect.

On that last point:

[W]hat the Democrats never understand is that Americans don’t really care what position you take, just stick with one,” Maher said. “Just be strong. They’re not bright enough to really understand the issues. But like an animal, they can sort of sense strength or weakness. They can smell it on you.”

Maher is an ass — let’s be clear on that — but is he entirely wrong? We seem to have made ‘resolve’ a national virtue. 

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Hard to believe, but this is an actual campaign ad in the race for Orleans Parish Coroner in Louisiana, airing right now. Dwight McKenna is challenging the longtime incumbent, Frank Minyard, and decided to… uh… dramatize one of his opponent’s past scandals.



  • Brian Saint-Paul

    Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

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