Canada Goes To Hell Legal pot? Legal gay marriage? Universal health care? What's next, free porn and candy?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Did you hear the screams? Did you feel the menacing chill? Did you see the black and ominous clouds, moving north?
Did you sense, in other words, the very presence of Satan himself as he laughed maniacally and tossed around bucketfuls of ultrathin condoms and little travel-size packets of Astroglide like confetti while riding his Harley Softail up to Toronto or maybe Edmonton to join the ghastly and sodomitic celebrations?
Because it's happened. Canada's high court just ruled that the government can, if it so desires, redefine marriage to include gay couples, which it has declared it will do almost immediately, thus solidifying Canada's place as the chilly yet mellow and gay friendly and hockey-riffic epicenter of all known hell.
It's true. It's rather amazing. Gay marriage will be completely legal in Canada very soon. It's been oddly ignored in much of the U.S. media and hasn't really been much discussed among those in the terrified red states except when, deep in the night, from their respective lumpy twin beds, they whisper to each other across the room as they pop their Ambien and stroke their portfolios and curse their very genitals: oh my God what's wrong with those freakin' Canadians?
I mean (they continue), I thought they loved red meat and brutish sports and manly hunting. Are they all just freaks and perverts now? Have they been sniffing too many elk pelts? Is it something in the clean and plentiful water up there? Something to do with those weird French-esque people in Quebec, maybe?
I knew we should've been paying more attention to that border! Didn't I say so, honey? Didn't I say we should keep an eye on those northern weirdos after they dissed the Iraq war and legalized pot and sort of went about their happy and calm Canadian business whilst we here in panicky red-blooded America chewed our own karmic legs off in a paranoid and jingoistic rage? Hippies and perverts, I said! Save a few bombs for Ontario, George, I say!
Let us now do the naughty math: Canada has roughly 32 million inhabitants, of whom about 75 percent are over 18, of whom it can be loosely estimated that anywhere from 2 to 8 percent are gay (depends, of course, on who you ask).
All of which translates into a ballpark figure of anywhere from 1 million to 2 million gay Canadians of legal marrying age who will now eagerly laugh and kiss in the streets and confound poor reactionary born-again George W. Bush, and they will flash their wedding rings at parties and annoy all the single people, all while proving for the umpteenth time that love knows no gender limitations or legal restrictions and will trump your whiny sanctimonious religious puling any given Sunday. Heathens!
It's getting more confusing by the minute, isn't it? I mean, Canada now has legal pot and legal gay marriage and universal health care and no known terrorist enemies and a relatively successful multiparty political system. They also have, according to U.N.'s Human Development Index, one of the highest qualities of life in the world. All coupled with a dramatically reduced rate of gun violence and far better gun-control legislation than the U.S., despite having the exact same per capita rate of gun ownership and gun-sport enthusiasm.
What the hell? How is this possible? Why aren't they scared to death like whiny red-state Americans? Why don't they want to kill each other along with anything that might threaten their access to televised hockey and cheap beer and yummy poutine?
Aren't they aware of what's happening in the world? Don't they know they are openly hated for their freedoms and their cafés and their vinegared french fries? Aren't they human, fer Chrissakes? Oh, red states. How confused and irritated you must be.
After all, unlike the U.S., Canada backed the Kyoto Treaty (along with 165 other heathen nations). They also spend more per capita on education and less on health-care overhead than the U.S. They have a $10 billion federal surplus, a new record. They are not, as of yet, abusing the hell out of their vast natural resources (freshwater, huge forests, oil and natural gas, mineral deposits, etc.) and embarrassing themselves on a global scale every single day and making a mockery of their constitution or their citizens' civil liberties. What the hell is wrong with them?
Yes yes, I know, Canada's universal health care is flawed and not always of the best quality, and a great many Canadians think their prime minister is a bit of a schmuck and they hate paying taxes and of course they can be all profitable and progressive when they don't have a massive bogus unwinnable war to pay for, one run by a ravenous and fiscally idiotic federal government, and they only have one-tenth of our population and one-fiftieth of our desperate consumeristic gluttony. They have it easy, right?
Remember, Canada is boring. Canada is rarely in the news. Canada has no massive belching socioeconomic engine like America does, what with our NASCAR and Hollywood and Fox News and bad porn and the absolute best medical care on the planet despite how only a tiny fraction of us have access to it while the rest languish in bloated abusive HMOs and poverty and disease and 40 percent of us have no access to health care whatsoever. Take that, Canada! Oh wait.
We hate gays and love guns and think pot is evil but hand out Prozac and Zoloft like Chiclets. Meanwhile (as "Bowling for Columbine" so beautifully illuminated), Canadians leave their doors unlocked and don't feature violence and death on every newscast and still value community and diversity and discussion over solipsism and protectionism and a general hatred of foreigners and the French. See? We rule! Oh wait.
All of which makes you wonder: how many more countries will it take? How many more nations will have to, for example, prove that gun licensing works, or that gay-marriage legislation is a moral imperative, or that health care for all is mandatory for a nation's well being, before America finally looks at itself and says, whoa, damn, we are so silly and small and wrong? Is there any number large enough? After the announcement that gay Chinese and gay Russians may legally marry and grow lovely gardens of marijuana as they all get free dental care, will America remain terrified of nipples and queers?
Canadians. So mellow. So laid back. So gay. So not producing any truly superlative modern-rock music or ultraviolent buddy-cop movies and not actively siccing Wal-Mart or Starbucks or Paris Hilton on the rest of the world like a goddamn cancer. They're just so ... nice. And boring. And calm. And solid. And friendly.
And they simply beat us senseless on the whole open-minded, progressive thing. Kicked our flag-wavin' butts. Trounced our egomaniacal self-righteous selves and made the red states look even more foolish and backward than the whole world already knows them to be.
They did it. Canada made the whole gay marriage issue look effortless and obvious and healthy, and a massive black rain of hellfire did not pour down upon them and the very idea of hetero marriage did not immediately explode and their economy did not unravel like all the sneering cardinals and right-wing nutballs screamed it would. We must ask, one last time: what the hell is wrong with them?
Oh wait. Maybe we should rephrase. What the hell, we should be asking, is wrong with us?