Dudley Do Right
September 13, 2011

Newsflash: Canada is Uncool

Dudley Do Right

Dudley Do-Right (image: Jay Ward Productions)

A new poll by the social media site Badoo.com just voted America the coolest country in the world. 30,000 people across 15 countries voted and unsurprisingly, Uncle Sam came up on top, followed by Brazil, Spain, Italy, and France.

How did Canada fare? Not so well. We’re not the most uncool (that unfortunate honour goes to Belgium). We’re the fourth least cool, straddled between Germany and Turkey. What does this mean? Picture this: at the international high school prom, Canada is the friendly, ruddy-faced kid tapping people on the shoulder to announce, “Hi, I’m here!” We’re so well-meaning but we have no rhythm and we dance with our fingers pointing. We laugh too loudly and blush in the presence of the hunky quarterback, America, all the while resenting his charm and dreaming up revenge fantasies. We’re Michael Cera with a guitar. That’s us.

In light of the announcement that we’re uncool, Canadian news outlets have made a grave, grave error in rushing to Canada’s defence. They list off Canada’s crème de la crème as proof of our coolness. “We’ve got Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Keifer Sutherland,” they screech. “Don’t forget Lorne Michaels, Wayne Gretzky, Jim Carey and Mike Meyers, Justin Bieber and Drake. By golly, we’ve got Drake!” This kind of sputtering justification will not do at all.

Have we learned nothing from James Dean, the father of cool, the original rebel without a cause? Inherent in being cool is not caring a drop about being cool. Being cool is about confidence, and there’s no better confidence than quiet confidence. So, let’s not publicly fret about our lack of coolness. Let’s not drag out the usual suspects as specimen As and Bs. Let’s keep being the friendly, ruddy-faced, well-meaning, guitar-toting Canada we know and love, and with no apologies, by golly!

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. A very cool blog post! Whenever we visit the US, Americans we meet tell us that they love Canada, think its beautiful, and think Canadians are great. That seems to be pretty cool to me.

    Reply
  2. Well, I’d rather be HOT than cool, any day!

    Reply
    • Davina Choy

      I hear ya, Stubblejumpin’ Gal! Most people do seem to love Canada. We get a lot of (somewhat good-natured) flak from South Park and Stephen Colbert, but no one disputes that Canada is a lovely place to visit and live. Cool, however, is not the same as “lovely” or “important” or “worthwhile.” Cool is ineffable; it’s subjective; it’s a “quality.” It has to do with perception. In my experience, the general perception of Canada is that it’s beautiful, “nature-y”, and peaceful, but without swagger and confidence. Hence, Michael Cera with a guitar. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  3. I know that to be cool should mean that I ignore this poll; nonetheless, I just googled Badoo.com, the source of this opinion poll. According to Wikipedia, “Although available in most of the world, the site is most active in Latin America, Spain, Italy and France.” I would surmise that the site is pandering to its audience.

    I also note that four out of five of the countries lifted are in economic turmoil. This is cool?

    Reply
    • Davina Choy

      Wow! Thanks for the update, Tom. It makes sense that the audience would vote for their own country. At the end of the day, it’s just a silly poll, but it’s fun seeing everyone’s reactions to it.

      As to your second point, cool is completely impractical and irrational. Huck Finn is pretty cool, but he made some questionable decisions and was dirt poor. Still, he’s cool. It’s the attitude that counts. That’s cool for you!

      Reply

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