Saturday, February 14, 2004

Unintended Consequences Alert!

(Via Drudge) It's too early in the morning for stuff like Canada Condemns 'Racist' Conan O'Brien TV Show:
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's government on Friday condemned a show by U.S. late-night television host Conan O'Brien that insulted people in French-speaking Quebec and seemed to suggest everyone in the province was homosexual.

Ottawa and the province of Ontario paid $760,000 to help O'Brien -- who appears on the NBC television network -- bring his show to Toronto for a week to boost the city's profile after a deadly SARS outbreak last year.

But the federal government said O'Brien had gone far too far with the show broadcast on Thursday in which he went to Quebec, a province which has had separatist governments for much of the last 20 years and is a delicate political topic in Canada.
Hey, that's OK - it was Ontario that was subsidizing it!
At one point in the show, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog -- a hand puppet that is a regular on the show -- said to a Quebecer: "You're French, you're obnoxious and you no speekay English." It told another: "I can smell your crotch from here."
There's a photo of the repartee here. Triumph is apparently wearing a beret.
O'Brien's team were also shown replacing street signs in the province with those that read "Quebecqueer Street" and "Rue des Pussies."
Well, it's certainly not a comedy classic.

But the Toronto Sun editorializes Conan sketch a Triumph:
Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog, we love you!

You took Don Cherry off the language hotseat and planted the politically correct butts of all our politicians in Ottawa on it.

You taught us the humbling lesson that while we love to mock Americans, Americans know how to mock back.

And you sent the whole country into an uproar - at least those of us who aren't killing ourselves laughing - by drilling through, as the Sun's Bill Brioux rightly put it yesterday, our most painful scab. That is, the rest of Canada's love-hate relationship with Quebec.

All that via a few minutes of vulgar, on-air ranting by a politically incorrect, cigar-chomping dog puppet - performed by Robert Smigel - a writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

His rude, crude, mocking, over-the-top ragging of unsuspecting Quebecers, separatism and the province's language laws - was brilliant, vicious satire. It produced exactly what the best satire does - guilty, gutt-busting laughter, huge controversy and buried underneath it all, a better understanding of what makes us tick.

About how, for all our polite talk and politically correct denials, we continue to be so utterly defined as Canadians by the delicate relationship between Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Spare us the self-righteous sanctimony from all the usual suspects in Ottawa yesterday - on all sides of the Commons - screaming like stuck pigs about the allegedly racist rantings of a puppet. Get a life. No one has done more to divide Canadians against each other than the lot of you, so don't go lecturing us about a sock puppet - especially not one on a show you helped bring to Toronto with $1 million of our tax money.
Indeed. And if you aren't familiar with the Don Cherry story, here's a summary. They thought Don's comments were really controversial. Bwahaha!

And about the cash:
Well, here's the perfect end to a perfect week of revelations about Ottawa wasting our money. Turns out Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson's state visit to Russia, Iceland and Finland last year with what seemed like half of Canada's chattering classes, did not cost $1 million of taxpayers' money as first reported. It cost $5.3 million. Oink.
Maybe vodka was scarce and they had to pay a premium!