I imagine anything I could say about Dean's significance for the race, his immense contribution (dispite what that idiot NY Times reporter Kai says) to the democratic process, has already been said. Let me, instead, direct our attention Northwards to a (somewhat) amusing Canuck diversion.
Some of you will know (and maybe some of you will have blogged) that Conan O'Brien has been paying a visit to Toronto of late. From what I understand, his presence was something of a booster for Toronto tourism in the wake of the (overblown) American perception of the SARS epidemic.
Mike Myers' appearence on this show was kind of annoying to me -- his "Canadian" accent might not be out of place in an isolated logging outpost on the Hudson Bay, but hardly recognizable to Torontonians. However, the truly explosive element, the one that has had mondo coverage in the Canadian media, is the scorched earth campaign of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
Now there are a couple of reasons why this puppy is an outrage on Canadian TV. First, as everyone knows by now, Triumph's "jokes" were largely at the expense of Quebecois Franco-Canadians, and largely delivered in front of a solidly Anglophone audience. (It didn't help that the Toronto studio audience guffawed uproariously for these jokes.)
There's no question that these comments (ie., "learn English: you live in North America," etc. etc.) were racist. Moreover, separatism is the third rail of Canadian politics. It would be kind of like swaggering into a Harlem cafe and proceeding to give an impromptu minstrel show.
What adds insult to. . . well, insult, though, is that Triumph himself is a shameless ripoff of OUR misanthropic sock-puppet, Ed the Sock. Ed, I'm sure, is completely unknown outside the Toronto area, but he consists of a crusty, caustic anthropomorphic stocking with a permanently angy facial expression and a cigar sticking out of his mouth. Ed's own repertory is quite tasteless, and not for the PC at heart. Nevertheless, there's something to be said for features such as Fromage 2003, Ed the Sock's critical review of the worst pop videos of the year. (Justin Timberlake has his own category!)
So not only should Conan apologize to French Canadians on Triumph's behalf, he should also acknowledge his SHAMELESS RIPOFF (and amateurish imitation) of our own outrageous Canadian institution.
I've said my piece. Flame at will.