Maxed Out 

News from a galaxy far, far away

By G.D. Maxwell

Where’s Canada?

No, that’s not a question people in the southwest USofA ask me very often, though at least one person has inquired what the drive from Columbia was like and what arrangements had to be made to get a car across the Panama Canal.

It is, however, a question I find myself asking whenever I remember to think about it.

The answer is simple. Canada’s off the mental radar screen. It’s somewhere up north, a large, amorphous landmass populated by, not surprisingly, Canadians, themselves some variant of Eskimo if memory serves.

In an ironic twist, virtually the only easily accessible international news ‘round these parts is news of the Middle East, a large, amorphous landmass populated by insane Arabs, Islamic extremists – a pairing as automatic and inviolable as Columbian drug lord to newsreaders – puppet heads of state and Israelis. Ironic because prior to the Oil Wars, the only time the Middle East made the U.S. news was when a bomb went off in a Tel Aviv pizzeria or OPEC jacked up the price of oil.

But Canada? While my news-watching has been just slightly more frequent than snowflakes in Phoenix, the only mention I’ve heard of shivering Canucks was a 15 second piece on the loony left PBS Newshour informing me Little Pauly Martin’s government has survived a non-confidence budget vote. This was read with a combination of wonder – imagine that, Canadians have budgets? – and disbelief, the latter being attributed to the fact any government would care whether its opposition had confidence in it.

Not to worry though, living in the Age of Information, curiosity is just a fleeting state of mind, a minor itch the Internet will scratch until it bleeds buckets. All things Canadian are surely just a few clicks away.

So the day after the day after the B.C. election, having finally remembered there was an election, I logged onto the Globe and Mail’s website. No mention of a B.C. election but an editorial whose headline suggested the obvious, that Slash Gordon’s Illiberals won. Click on the editorial… oops, you have to subscribe to read that. And here I am with no Canadian dollars to plug into the computer.

It wasn’t much better at Canada.com, home of all the other papers in Canada. Even the Province and Sun – which online appear to be the same paper – want payment for information. Besides, I thought they were having me on with a story about Belittle Stronach getting pissed off at Stephen Hapless, walking over to the federal Liberals, cutting a deal with Little Pauly to become an instant Liberal, breaking Peter the Weasel’s heart and winding up Minister of Manicures or something like that. C’mon. Where do rumours like that get started? Guess I’ll just have to wait until I get back to find out what’s really going on north of the border.

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