Home And Native Infested Land.
What does being Canadian entail? This question is often asked when the subject of Canadian cinema is addressed. Unless, of course, the question originates in the US, in which case the question is usually “what’s a Canada?”. Many Canadians like to answer that defining Canada is not a question of what a Canadian is, but rather what he isn’t. A Canadian isn’t an American, they’ll proudly say, then smile politely until you go away so they can curl up on the couch, watch The Red Green Show and fall asleep at nine. This is, of course, a crock of shit. Canadian identity is not defined by not being American, it’s defined by being toothless, illiterate, and French. Unless you’re from the Prairies, in which case you speak English through your bare gums.
Either way, they love hockey, with the same rabid loyalty Americans hold to freedom, baseball, and ignorance. Maurice Richard is about one of Canada’s finest hockey players, known as the Rocket, who tore through the National Hockey League when all the good players were at war in the 1940s, becoming the first player to score 50 goals in 50 games. If this interests you, then perhaps you’ll like this film. You might also like it if you enjoy eggplant, because that’s exactly what star Roy Dupuis’ head looks like. If, however, neither of these two subjects interests you, then I would recommend giving the film a pass. As with most bio-pics, like Walk The Line, the emphasis here is to re-create the time-period and to fill us in on the mundane details of Richard’s life. It’s well-shot, but that doesn’t help the film be anything other than mildly diverting. There are still some interesting moments, and the film has a subtext that deals with Quebec’s concerns about cultural marginalization, but other than that, there’s not much here to either entertain or to educate about Canada.
Since, however, you asked, I’m going to take the opportunity to teach you a thing or two about Canada, by going through the provinces, east to west, and filling in the blanks Maurice Richard missed.
Newfoundland – The stereotype in Canada is that Newfoundlanders are dumb. This is not true. Newfies are drunk, not dumb, because they live on a cold, cold rock in the North Atlantic where there’s nothing to do but fish and figure out how to turn tubers into alcohol.
Nova Scotia – Literally, New Scotland. Therefore, also drunk, but with a good measure of cheap and unintelligible thrown in for good measure.
Prince Edward Island – Approximately the size of a Ford F-1 Ranger, P.E.I. doesn’t have room for a spare tire, let alone public schools. So, the whole place has gone feral. Every once in while, the Canadian government throws a haunch of spoilt meat laced with poison onto the island to thin out the natives, with disease and rampant inbreeding taking care of the rest.
New Brunswick – What you drive through to get loaded in Nova Scotia
Quebec – Kind of like the Las Vegas of Canada, Quebec has more strip clubs than churches, and that’s not because there aren’t any churches. Sadly, the high demand for exotic dancers has led to a preponderance of ugly, ugly strippers. Less Showgirls, more My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Ontario - Like the US but with no black people.
Manitoba – Does not exist. Map misprint that got institutionalized in the education system, like the QWERTY keyboard.
Saskatchewan – There’s not a lot of electricity in Canada, but what little exists is used to watch Clint Eastwood westerns in Saskatchewan, so much so that they have to read their Bibles by candlelight.
Alberta – Like Saskatchewan, but more right-wing. For liberals heading for the socialist haven of British Columbia, Alberta is the last and hardest line of conservative defense. If the hippies can make it through the province without getting chained to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged to death, they’re rewarded with a utopia where the rivers flow with Labatt and bong-water.
BC – Everything US Republicans are afraid of. Gays, women with unshaven legs, and so much pot I’m getting a contact high just writing about it.
Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut – Technically, these are territories, not provinces. Since they’re full of Natives, the government considers them uninhabited, though occasionally a shipment of modeling glue or rubbing alcohol goes missing, and they have to send the RCMP up there to investigate.