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!