10.21.2005

fame

If crime is disproportionately low in Canada, fame is disproportionately high. It seems every day I learn some famous person is Canadian.

Through this blog, I learned that William Shatner is Canadian! Amazing that I didn't know that, as I really like the original Star Trek series. (Although I'm not a Sci Fi or Star Trek aficionado by any means, so I've never read a word about the show.) I recently learned that Bruce McCall, whose work I enjoy so much in The New Yorker, is Canadian. Diana Krall, Jane Siberry and Marshall McLuhan are others I recently found out about.

Usually Allan can't believe I didn't know that the person is from Canada. Jane Siberry, for example, inspired "Where were you in college radio during the mid-80s?" Funny, since Allan was a college radio DJ in the mid-80s and introduced me to a ton of music. Well, I still didn't know. And even Allan was surprised about William Shatner.

Everyone knows that Canadians collect famous Canadians. There are websites galore listing them, and if some names stretch the limits of the word "famous," well, at least their hearts are in the right place.

For some wmtc readers' Famous Canadians Lists, see comments in yesterday's non-post.

Two questions.

Anyone know Canadian Paul Shaffer's original name? Look it up!

Is Canuck a derogatory term? Or is it a friendly or neutral nickname, like Kiwi or Brit?

I won't be around in comments today, I'm going exploring with Marnie! Looks like we have a gorgeous autumn day for it. Talk to you all later.

17 comments:

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Is Canuck a derogatory term? Or is it a friendly or neutral nickname, like Kiwi or Brit?

It's not a derogatory term. We call ourselves Canuks, and if it were a derogatory term we certainly wouldn't have an NHL team called the Vancouver Canuks.

RobfromAlberta said...

I think "Canuck" was originally intended to be derogatory, much like "Yankee". But now we have the New York Yankees and the Vancouver Canucks, so I guess both terms have been neutered.

L-girl said...

I'm glad to hear it. I wasn't sure, and I'd always rather ask than offend.

But this --

and if it were a derogatory term we certainly wouldn't have an NHL team called the Vancouver Canuks.

-- isn't necessarily so, since language and symbols change over time.

Of course, the Cleveland Indians' racist logo (and other US teams' racist names and logos) may be different since the population is not mainly Native American. But those old expressions do die hard.

RobfromAlberta said...

Everyone knows that Canadians collect famous Canadians.

It's definitely our national pastime.

Expat Traveler said...

In Vancouver they are taking extra measures to curb gang violence before it gets out of control. The police will now be knocking on doors of known teenage gang members and get their parents involved in the Issue. I know it's getting out of control but it is still nothing like it is in the states.

James said...

I meant to mention in my comments on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex on '77 Track 7 that one of the stories features a Marshall McLuhan reference: the "villain" of the episode is a Canadian hacker named "Marshall McLachlan" who falls in love with an android.

One reviewer described Stand Alone Complex as "What if Tom Clancy, Marshall McLuhan, and William Gibson collaborated on an episode of NYPD Blue?"

Note: William Gibson (the creator of the term "cyberpunk" and a major influence on late 20th century science fiction) is also Canadian.

SF author Spider Robinson, creator of Callahan's Cross-Time Saloon, is a New York City ex-pat now living in Canada.

Liam J said...

I should point out in deference to the late Great James "Scotty" Doohan, that he to is Canadian. Since we were discussing Star Trek Icons.

Also, fot those who like heavy metal (my personal little vice), Mick Mars of Motley Crue is from Newfoundland. :)

RobfromAlberta said...

Also, fot those who like heavy metal (my personal little vice), Mick Mars of Motley Crue is from Newfoundland. :)

And Melissa Auf der Mar of Hole is from Montreal. Her father, Nick Auf der Mar was a city councillor and colourful local celebrity, although he passed away a few years back, I believe.

freewriter said...

Everyone knows that Canadians collect famous Canadians.

I got me a garageful.

L-girl said...

I should point out in deference to the late Great James "Scotty" Doohan, that he to is Canadian.

I thought I included Doohan in this post! I guess I deleted the reference, since I already knew he was Canadian.

Mick Mars of Motley Crue is from Newfoundland. :)

That's cool.

And Melissa Auf der Mar of Hole is from Montreal.

But this is cooler!

I got me a garageful.

I'm not surprised. :)

Nice to see freewriter, it's been a while.

Wrye said...

Metal, eh? Can't have a discussion of Canadian Metal without Lee Aaron.

Oh, for those of you who don't know,

Quoth Furnaceface (w/Lee Aaron), The Ballad of Richard Iommi:

(spoken)
This is the ballad of Richard Iommi. Richard was a typical suburban teenager. He lived with his parents and spent most of his time hanging out with his friends, listening to records and smoking dope in his room in the basement.
There was only one difference between Richard and a typical suburban teenager:
He was totally obsessed with Tony Iommi.

For those of you who don't know:
Tony Iommi is the guitarist in the rock 'n' roll group Black Sabbath.
Richard idolized him!

He believed, he believed, he believed he was the son of Tony...
He changed his name, he changed his name, he changed his name, to Iommi...


(spoken)
But Richard's devotion to Tony Iommi didn't end there. Not only did he change his last name but he began buying vintage musical equipment circa 1969. His goal was to obtain the same make and model guitars and amplifiers that his idol had used. He even got a 72-piece drum kit just like Bill Ward's. Richard and his best friend would go down to the basement get really wasted and set up all the equipment like a shrine--They talked about the day that they would form their band. Richard of course would be the guitarist!

He believed, he believed, he believed he was the son of Tony...He changed his name, he changed his name, he changed his name, to Iommi....

(spoken)
One day Richard and his best friend were down in the basement. Richard was cutting pictures of Tony Iommi out of old Creem magazines and pasting them in a huge collage on his wall.
His friend was playing with the tuner on Richard's stereo when suddenly they both heard something that would change their lives:

Lee Aaron was coming to their town.

For those of you who don't know:
Lee Aaron is the very talented and lovely Canadian rock singer who's also known as the Metal Queen.
Richard and his friend loved Lee Aaron second only to Tony Iommi.
Richard knew he had to somehow meet Lee Aaron and tell her the secret of his lineage!

He believed, he believed, he believed he was the son of Tony...He went to see, he went to see, he went to see, the Metal Queen...

(spoken)
On the day of the show Richard was so excited he could barely move. In the afternoon he went down to the Concert Hall early in hopes of catching a glimpse of her--suddenly there she was!
Everything in the world faded away and before he knew it he was telling her about the double-necked guitar, the 72-piece drum kit an' why he changed his name.
The Metal Queen listened, and in a single sentence brought his entire world crashing down:

(Lee Aaron): Like, why don't ya sell that shit an' get a life?

He believed, he believed, he believed he was the son of Tony...The Metal Queen, the Metal Queen, the Metal Queen, smashed his dream...

He believed, he believed, he believed he was the son of Tony...
He changed his name, he changed his name, he changed his name, to Iommi...

Mr X said...

I hate William Shitner, ever since he bastardised Pulp's Common People. he took the best song ever, and then...and then...

Oh it doen't bear thinking about!

Lone Primate said...

William Shatner did a hilarious version of the "I am Canadian" rant, and I found it on Wikipedia. Here it is. It can also be found on the net as an MP3 and it's worth a listen; it's a hoot...)

"I'm not a Starfleet commander, or T.J. Hooker. I don't live on Starship NCC-170... (some audience members say "1"), or own a phaser. I don't know anybody named Bones, Sulu, or Spock (picture of Dr. Benjamin Spock is shown on screen behind him). And no, I've never had green alien sex, but I'm sure it'd be quite an evening. (Pomp and Circumstance begins playing.) I speak English and French, not Klingon! I drink Labatt's, not Romulan ale! And when someone says to me 'live long and prosper', I seriously mean it when I say, 'get a life'. My doctor's name is not McCoy, it's Ginsberg (nude picture of Dr. Ginsberg shown on screen). And tribbles were puppets, not real animals. PUPPETS! And when I speak, I never, ever talk like Every. Word. Is. Its. Own. Sentence. I live in California, but I was raised in Montreal. And I believe in priceline.com, where you never have to pay full price for airline tickets, hotels, and car rentals! I've appeared onstage at Stratford, at Carnegie Hall, Albert Hall, and the Monkland Theatre in NDG. And, yes, I've gone where no man has gone before, but... I was in Mexico and her father gave me permission! My name is William Shatner, and I am Canadian!"

—from a Just for Laughs appearance; a parody of the popular Molson Canadian Commercial entitled "I Am Canadian".

Lone Primate said...

As far as slurs go, I'm told Buffalonians who want to disparage Canadians refer to us as "Gordies", apparently because the name is supposedly more common here.

L-girl said...

William Shatner did a hilarious version of the "I am Canadian" rant, and I found it on Wikipedia.

This is great! I can just hear Shatner saying it, too, even without the audio file.

Gordies??? Aw come on!

L-girl said...

And when I speak, I never, ever talk like Every. Word. Is. Its. Own. Sentence.

LOL! Love that self-mock at his own silly acting style.

Beavernik said...

if you want to know what one american thinks download/find "oy Canada", sorry, i don't remember artists name.btw furnace face rules. the Beav.(proud to be a canuck).