Let's start with Rush. Maybe one of the most "oh wow" of the "oh wow bands," they represent the best of what Canada has to offer in prog-rock. Which is a surprisingly long list. It's a little like the list of funny people who hail from the Great White North, not the least of which would be Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas who hosted as show of that title within the show SCTV. Bob Doug, or Rich and Dave, were just part of an ensemble that eventually found their way across the border to tickle our American funny bones for years after that: Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, John Candy. Legends, right? When you stack on top of that names like Dan Aykroyd and Jim Carrey, you might get the impression that the late twentieth century was all about the comedy genius coming out of the frozen tundra of Toronto and other such amusing spots up there.
I am suggesting that there are a lot of reasons to pay attention to our neighbors to the north. Neil Young came from up there. So did the first captain of the starship Enterprise, William Shatner. Some of the sexiest men alive began their being sexy and alive in Canada: Ryans Reynolds and Gosling. I am continuing the assertion that we might want to keep an eye on how they're doing things yonder up there so we might all lead better, sexier lives.
Take for example Canada's current Prime Minister, Justin "sigh" Trudeau. Let's not get stuck on those looks, just yet, but rather let's focus instead on his age, forty-five, and his resume which includes a masters degree in environmental geography, a stint as a teacher, and oh yeah the leadership of his country's Liberal Party. And there's the part where he responded to a reporter's smart aleck question about quantum computing, which Mister Trudeau responded to abruptly and accurately before moving on to the reporter's actual concern. Schooled, but in a way that it would be hard to imagine any of our current crop of presidential candidates managing. Calm, assertive, polite. Canadian.
It reminds me of a time when my wife and I were out watching our favorite Canadian band, Barenaked Ladies, and the crowd cried out for an encore. As happens in many such situations, some in the crowd shouted out a tongue-in-cheek request for "Freebird." To which the band responded in a very Trudeau-esque way, by launching into a very faithful and earnest version of the Skynnrd war horse. About three minutes in, Ed the guitarist, paused and asked if that was what we all really had in mind. Funny guys, those Canadians. And wicked smart, eh?