Waaayyy back, in the good old days when the Canadian comic Rick Mercer was still in business, he did his most outrageous and successful show called ‘TALKING TO AMERICANS’. It showed him shoving a microphone into the faces of professors, students, housewives, little old ladies, and even George Bush, asking them the most asinine questions about Canada. Such as ‘did you know we finally got electricity this year’? Among the most memorable were the questions about visiting ‘our national igloo’ and noting the fact that we had a petition to no longer put ‘our elderly to die on ice floes’; all applauded by various sane looking Americans. The highlights can be seen here https://www.buzzfeed.com/cylapanin/best-moments-from-rick-mercer-talking-to-amercans?utm_term=.hd2pQg9vOR#.xi22837Wmb.
They are a melancholy reminder of a time when we could laugh at our foibles, theirs as well as our own.
Those days are long gone. Though some Americans, by way of celebrating July 4th, showed that not all is lost by apologizing to us on Twitter about the fascistic moron they have elected. One woman even begged some Canadian to please, please adopt her because ‘I gotta get out of here’. Humour is still alive, thriving even. I used to be among the people who could take it all lightly. After all, as Mencken once observed, angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. I have always wanted to fly with those angels, primarily because it’s more fun to live that way but also because one of the sure signs of fascism is lack of humour. Laughter in a fascist state is implicitly frowned upon, if not downright verboten. Trump is no laughing matter but that is all the more reason to laugh at him and his cultish followers.
So it came as a shock to me when, confronted by two bona fide, living Trumpists, I bailed. I took them seriously. Here is what happened: while shopping at the Bay in Victoria, there was an obviously well-heeled couple in their sixties holding up the line forming at the cash register because their credit card didn’t work. Refusing to give in, lengthy conversations with the card people ensued. Is this going to take some time, I asked. It might, answered the cashier. Since my arthritic knees and hips were protesting, I went and sat down somewhere while they continued to haggle. It turned out that they were from across the line in Washington State, building a home on one of the islands. Finally done, we were all waiting for the elevator together and I said, jokingly, well, you know we will all be one country under Trump soon, but we won’t like it. Oh, they said, we are very happy with him though we realize he sometimes says things that sound bad. Me: insulting our Prime Minister and ripping up international trade agreements really isn’t very friendly! They: Oh well, we really are very happy with Trump, but maybe we should take separate elevators? Me: yes, maybe that’s wise.