While Americans tend to talk up their country — “We’re Number One!” etc. — Canadians are all too willing to throw Canada under the bus and assert their personal superiority to both. “Yeah, it’s really lame around here, eh, but the neighbourhood [Canadian spelling!] where my cousin lives in T-O[ronto], it’s really happening!”
In Crossing the Border, American ex-pat Joyce Carol Oates writes of her colleagues at the pseudonymous “Hilberry College” in southwestern Ontario as feeling “superior to the college, to the nation, even. To Canada itself!”
One of those “Hilberry” professors, back in the 40s, Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan, though born on the Canadian prairie, developed, after attending Oxford, a loathing for the Puritan provinciality he saw all around him, even — or especially — in Canada’s grand metropolis, Toronto — then a bastion of Presbyterian righteousness known semi-ironically as “Toronto the Good.”
To deal with this cultural atrophy, McLuhan proposed a simple, sweeping remedy: the immediate importation of a couple million Jews. In an unpublished article titled “Canada Needs More Jews,” he put forth a notion he had picked up from another “Hilberry” professor, Wyndham Lewis, that the importation of two million Jews might liven the place up.
Canada used to think of itself as “Two Solitudes,” referring to the silent but snippy standoff between its French and British heritage, but around the time of Trudeau it began to try to present a “just as hip and in fact really much hipper, if you really think about it” image, not unlike the Sheldon Cooperish beta males who are convinced that the girls are just scared off by their superiority. A nation of Napoleon Dynamites!
The new, hipper Canada Mark II (with its new corporate logo, the red maple leaf flag) would not be a boring confrontation between two Olde Worlde enemies, nor a “melting pot” like the boring land to the south. Correctly realizing that the “melting pot” metaphor (itself a bit a Judaic impudence) implied the creation of some monolithic “American” entity, bland the way ethnic cuisine becomes bland not by the imposition of Anglo fear of spice so much as by an attempt to create that can be sold anywhere, offensive to none and therefore appealing to none, Canada — despite its reputation of world class blandness, dammit! — would be a thrilling “cultural mosaic“ in which each “visible minority“ would be, well, visible.
“Cultural mosaic” (French: ”la mosaïque culturelle”) is the mix of ethnic groups, languages, and cultures that coexist within society. The idea of a cultural mosaic is intended to suggest a form of multiculturalism, different from other systems such as the melting pot, which is often used to describe the United States‘ supposed ideal of assimilation.
Although it sounds like Political Correctness gone all metastasized and crazy — e.g., Toronto today, or Vancouver — it’s actually rooted in an older alternative to America’s assimilationism and corresponding, superficially contradictory obsession with Unity: namely, Confederation.
While the US was, significantly, battling it out between The Union and The Confederacy (and don’t forget those “unworkable” Articles of Confederation), Canada was being cobbled together (a process that wouldn’t be completed until Newfoundland joined up in the late 1940s) as a loose network of implicit ethnostates, a laughably small population scattered across a country misleadingly vast vertically (most live within 600 miles of the American border) but continent-wide. Meanwhile, vast areas of social concern, like education and healthcare, were handed over to the provincial governments to handle as they saw fit.
The combination of small scale, the superior British system of parliamentary democracy (unlike the ramshackle American system rejected the world over) and Whiteness means that, like Vermont or Finland, socialism works here — the misleadingly named “national” healthcare system is run provincially, making it Romneycare not Obamacare — but I don’t want to argue that here and now. And it must be said that Trudeau himself was responsible for imposing an American-style Constitution in his mad pursuit of making Canada a “real” — i.e., globalist — nation, though that piece of the puzzle will fall in place soon.
No, I want to talk about the liquor laws.
Lacking a Constitution to amend and thus imposing a uniform law throughout the land, Canada, despite it Presbyterian Goodness, avoided the excesses of Prohibition — and Quebequois Jews like Joseph Seagram were happy to sell whisky to Irish gangsters like Joe Kennedy. Rather, Canada, like England, enjoyed the restriction of drinking through a network of arcane rules and regulations (government-run stores, separate rooms for men without women, curtains on all windows to prevent ladies fainting after catching a sight of the debauchery, etc.). Let a thousand flowers bloom!
Of course, people reacted even to these restrictions by clever means of stultification. Thus, since Ontario required beer to be purchased in special “beer stores,” essentially Wal-Marts located in the outskirts of town, we simply bought more than we would at a local store — thus the huge “suitcases” of beer found littering the kitchens and porches of the average Ontarian.
Thus did Federalism, and the cultural mosaic, place a big rock athwart which the tide of puritanism and conformity would break, again and again.
Just as one can switch from “child molester” to “respectable married man” by moving from Vermont to New Hampshire (or is it vice versa?), I could travel from the supposedly sophisticated as well as violently depraved city of Detroit, where the drinking age was 21, to the supposedly Puritanical and literally provincial city of Windsor, where the age was 18; and, since no one bothered to card a group of students, I was in practice able to drink at 17. I mean, as long as the curtains were drawn.
Things were even wilder, appropriately enough, out West. In Manitoba, for example, if you ran out of beer while out driving, you could pull up to a drive-through window at your local tavern and top up. Texas, phooey.
And so, by this circuitous route — past Eve and Adam’s as it were — we arrive — drive up, perhaps — to the main topic here.
Where there’s drink, there’s the ladies, and here too Canada’s mosaic deflected its Puritan traits. Catholic Quebec and Protestant Ontario have long been known for their wide-open strip club scenes. On a visit to a friend in Winnipeg, however, I learned that things had now gone further; some judge (local?) had determined that the “public indecency” law did not apply to women, since “their genitalia are internal, thus not visible when naked.” Or something. Anyhow, there was now what Hunter Thompson, making a similar contrast, would call “Total Naked Public Humping” on tap in Manitoba.
Well, that was some decades ago, and who knows what’s going on now. But apparently Canada’s perverse spirit of confederated puritanism, strait-laced anything goes, continues even under its Constitution. Turns out, bestiality is now, and always has been, legal.
There’s no way you missed their latest decision, because it made international headlines: “Canada legalizes bestiality.” The media being the media, that’s not exactly what happened, but still: Some guy appealed his bestiality conviction by pointing out that, hey, he didn’t get the family dog to screw his stepdaughters, just lick peanut butter off their genitals! Sheesh. And the court sided with him; to paraphrase their ruling, “no penetration, no problem.”
Although Shaidle insists that “former Canadian Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour” was wrong when she “mocked Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage’s ‘weird obsession with sex’” since
It’s Canada’s highest court that’s got its tiny collective mind in the gutter. From what I can make out, they only take cases that are actually just old Penthouse letters typed out and left on their chairs. Our ruling class has based practically its entire worldview on one sentence uttered by Trudeau the Elder in (when else?) 1967 — “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation” — yet one branch of government has apparently sprung for a circular California queen with satin sheets and runs the whole country from there like Hugh Hefner.
Nevertheless, the neocon-, cuck-, and for all I know alt-Right predictably exploded. Here’s some comments from an intertube article amusingly titled “Making sense of the Canadian Supreme Court Bestiality Ruling,” errors and all:
Who would have thought that sanctifying weddings of men and men would lead to the right of men to use women’s locker rooms and bathrooms and then . . . to bestiality? Only those kooks who have some understanding of human nature.
The judges ruling that bestiality is okay must reflect their own degenerate personal lifestyles. Why should the rest of the country be subjected to their perversions? Throw these goat-legged, cloven-hooved bastards out onto the curb with all the rest of the garbage. Totally insane and sounding more and more like communism where the ideal is to totally crush and destroy morality and anything resembling religious values. Liberalism = communism.
“gay marriage . . . now interspecies marriage? The left will never stop.”
Not until they are forced to stop by one means or another . . . fall of the society . . . judgment . . . whatever.
sick minded old men and women called “judges”, they need to be replaced by people with morals and common reason, oh yes and some intelligence.
That’s the problem. Even if we throw out the Liberals, the court is in the grips of liberals.
If these Liberal judges keep this up? Sharia Law will look like a darn good alternative.
I have zero respect for the supreme court, their rulings do not reflect the view of the majority of NORMAL Canadians and their rulings are not even made on point of law, they are a bunch of liberals catering to the criminal element and they’re all about social engineering, they have gone away beyond their job description and they took great delight in over turning harpers bills which which the average normal citizen was in favor off, harper should of refused to except their decisions and found away around them using parliamentary procedures
This is why the lefties like to go on about “nuanced” issues. It allows them go through all manner of mental gymnastics to always find a way to support every perversion and evil known throughout history and to cake it “Progressive”, Change does not necessarily = progress.
So, we’ve seen this before, right? Over-reaching liberal judges thwarting the legislature, imposing their own — no doubt subversive if not downright sexually perverse — views, using guff about “nuance” and “subtlety” as an elite-generated smoke screen.
Actually, not so much. Consider:
DLW’s attorneys argued that bestiality [had been] linked to “buggery” — or sodomy — with animals beginning with an 1892 criminal code. Bestiality was first used in a 1955 code, but still was not defined to encompass every sex act with animals.
“Although bestiality was often subsumed in terms such as sodomy or buggery, penetration was the essence – ‘the defining act’ – of the offence,” the court said.
Thus, the court ruled by a 7–1 majority that bestiality required penetration.
“There is no hint in any of the parliamentary record that any substantive change to the elements of the offence of bestiality was intended,” the ruling reads.
So it looks like the judges were doing just what the conservatives are always demanding: examining the actual text of the law, and the intentions of the legislators. Thus, indeed, the court ruled.
And what’s that thing that they always say, when the liberals whine about how unfair the law is? “Well, why don’t you change it?”
Representatives for Animal Justice, who brought the case to the Supreme Court, said the ruling should encourage Parliament to act on changing “outdated” laws that fail to protect the country’s animals.
Animal Justice implored Parliament to pass the Modernizing Animal Protections Act.
“This much-needed bill updates the animal offences in the Criminal Code,” Ms Labchuk added, “and closes this dangerous loophole to make it crystal clear that all forms of sexual activity between a person and an animal are unacceptable.”
Why, it almost seems like the conservatives are just exploiting this decision so as to “signal” their virtuous opposition to the usual suspects: gay marriage and Communism.
Speaking of “exploiting,” get this response from the other side:
Justice Rosalie Abella was the lone dissenter, and had suggested that the court deny the appeal. “Acts with animals that have a sexual purpose are inherently exploitative whether or not penetration occurs,” she wrote.
Ah, I see; you don’t just read the words, you have to consider what’s “inherent” in the law. Where have I heard this piece of “conservative” jurisprudence before?
On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren, in a unanimous decision from the court, declared that, “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
Yes, it’s Oliver L. Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka et al., magna carta of the Warren Court and judicial activism itself. Next step, the “penumbras and emanations” of the Fourth Amendment, which Justice “Whizzer” White would find the inalienable right to abortion on demand.
Conservatives used to know these things; in fact, there was a cartoonist for National Review, one John D. Kreuttner, who seemed to be obsessed with Warren and, in particular, his “separate but equal is inherently unequal” dictum, the image and words turning up over and over in his work.
I don’t get it. I thought “conservatives” believed in “strict constructionism.” This law doesn’t specify the act in question, so the judges ruled it didn’t apply. Oh, did the legislators “intend” to cover it? Does it lie in the “penumbras and emanations of the law”? So what about “The role of the judge is apply the law as written, not legislate”? Get your stories straight.
If the conservatives don’t seriously believe in “strict construction” then what’s the real purpose of all this pious guff? Gregory Hood gives us a clue:
American conservatives have turned on [Trump] with savage fury. Their incoherent critique against him largely hinges on Trump’s supposed refusal to mouth the usual pieties about “the Constitution” and “freedom” which the Beltway Right doesn’t even believe.
The whole point of the conservative movement is to take this force and funnel it into pointless and defeatist causes. Meanwhile, the concrete interests of the donor class (and the Jewish lobby) are protected. At this point, the Beltway Right is barely bothering to conceal the fact that conservatism is just a scam. The people involved know it is a scam, and the well-meaning lower middle-class goobers babbling about the Constitution are simply functioning as useful idiots.”
The icing on the cake, as it were, of all this kerfuffle about federalism and bestiality is that it comes up in the context of defining a crime that, as the Canuck Justice says, is linked to sodomy, a link that arose because it’s a crime that has itself defied categorization.
Contrary to the fact-free imaginings of Christians and conservatives, “sodomy” is unmentioned in the Bible, or indeed anywhere, until the 9th century, when Peter Damian coined the word (based by analogy to “simony’) to denominate a variable class of sins that no one had wanted to talk about, partly out of delicacy, partly to avoid alerting the peasants to anew sin they could try out, and partly to hide their prevalence among the clergy.
Jordan points out that our concept of Sodomy is “the result of a long process of thinning and condensing” (p. 29). Drawn from the events in Genesis 19 in which angelic emissaries of Yahweh travel to Sodom to remove Lot and his family before God metes out destruction for Sodom’s preexisting and undescribed wickedness, the term has been reduced to an uncertain sexual crime that encompasses many different physical acts depending on the text in which the term is used.
In Peter Damian’s Book of Gomorrah the specific acts defined as Sodomy divide into four types: solo masturbation, mutual masturbation, frottage and anal sex (Jordan p. 46). Paul of Hungary will refer to the sin against nature as the spilling of semen “‘outside the place specified for this,’“ widening the category to include nonvaginal heterosexual intercourse (Jordan p.97). For Albert the Great there appears to be no concept of a sexual sin, but same-sex relations are recast in the term luxuria that is redefined as a misuse of procreative power or, as Jordan states, as a reproductive sin (pp. 127- 129). The line-up is filled out by Thomas Aquinas and his “Sin against Nature,” which, as Jordan points out, Aquinas is reticent to actually describe in any detail (p. 151).
Sodomy, in short, is a rather fascinating sin. Not only does its meaning vary from text to text, but it cannot, in fact, be defined at all; “cannot” in a moral, pastoral sense. For — though supposedly revolting and “unnatural” — it is so alluring that to describe it would risk tempting both confessor and penitent into committing it! Whatever “it” is.
Whatever it is, sodomy — while perhaps not necessarily “the love that dare not speak its name” — is the crime that cannot be defined. So like alcohol, it’s suitable for revealing the hypocritical nature of the conservatives’ “strict construction” doctrine. Rich even makes the connection himself:
One modern example of how unstable the category is can be found in how Sodomy has been used as a term in U.S. state laws. Until all sodomy laws were stricken down by the U.S. Supreme Court, each jurisdiction was compelled to explicitly define the term for themselves. Following a similar pattern to the one that appears in our texts, the acts described in sodomy statues varied from state to state, as did the definitions of the parties involved. While in some cases the scope of the law was limited to same-sex conduct, in others even non-vaginal intercourse between a husband and wife might qualify.
Pity the poor conservative! The filthy crime he so wants to smash, is so abhorrent it cannot be properly defined enough to meet his demand for strict judicial construction, and even imposes a forced reliance on local standards. Good God, it’s worse than Brexit!
1. See Crossing the Border (New York: Vanguard Press, 1976) and The Hungry Ghosts: Seven Allusive Comedies (San Francisco: Black Sparrow, 1974). One Hilberry story published in Playboy Magazine and never collected by Oates, despite award-winning acclaim, was “Gay” (Playboy, Dec. 1976, reprinted only in The Best American Short Stories 1977) which details the self-destructive career arc of an English who seems to be the only person who “doesn’t realized he’s gay,” despite a scandal-plagued career that has wound up in Southwestern Ontario. “Harvard, Oxford . . . somewhere in Canada? Impossible!” Being in Canada is too much, on top of his closeted life, and he goes nuts.
2. See Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger: A Biography by Philip Marchand (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1998), p. 82.
3. Not to be confused with “The Vertical Mosaic”: “(TVM) is the title of an iconic book by Canadian sociologist John Porter (1921‒79). Published in 1965, TVM is Porter’s most famous and influential book, and established him as one of the major figures in Canadian social science in the 20th century. . . . Porter’s book immediately captured the attention of Canada’s social scientists, historians, and journalists. The catchy, powerful image of Canada as a vertical mosaic crystallized in two words the complex reality of Canada as a hierarchical patchwork of classes and ethnic groups, and the term gained wide and long-lasting currency. Indeed, like the notions of Canada as a nation of two solitudes and the image of Canada as a “British fragment,” the vertical mosaic became part of the country’s imagery heritage. It was conceived as a direct contrast to American society as a melting pot. The Canadian Encyclopedia, here.
5. I understand that when Edgar Bronfman, the Seagram’s heir who “always wanted to own a movie studio,” if I may paraphrase Kane, put together the Seagram’s/Universal/Vivendi deal, he was easily outsmarted by his French counterparts since, though a native of Quebec, he understood French not at all, having, like the rest of the Jewish elite, spent his life entirely among the Anglophonic; French was for the peasants. Two Solitudes!
6. Everyone knows The Godfather is actually about the Kennedys, right? Who else lives in a compound?
7. The stack of which in the corner of the set being one of the iconic and authentic touches on the set of Bob and Doug McKenzie’s Great White North set.
8. I’ve wondered at the fascination Joyce’s work seems to have up north — McLuhan, Hugh Kenner, Northrop Frye. Is it the cultural mosaic?
9. Only Canada could have bred sleazy cable tycoon Max in Videodrome (hello, again, Prof. McLuhan!) or indeed a David Cronenberg.
10. In grad school, our Heidegger seminar would break for lunch, and we’d head over to the nearby strip club, for the free buffet. This little trick was taught us by a colleague who would latter move to Southern California and parlay his Toronto Ph.D. as his intellectual bona fides while crafting the beginnings of the zero-down mortgage boom and bust. “Not far away there is, or was, a roadside lunch counter and over it a sign proclaiming in three words that a Roman emperor’s orgy is now a democratic institution: ‘Topless Pizza Lunch,’” Alistair Cooke, America (1973).
11. “Sign on Paradise Boulevard-’Stopless and Topless’ . . . bush-league sex compared to L.A.; pasties here-total naked public humping in L.A. . . . Las Vegas is a society of armed masturbator/gambling is the kicker here/sex is extra/weird trip for high rollers . . . house-whores for winners, hand jobs for the bad luck crowd.” Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), Part I ,Chapter 6 (1971).
12. “OH CANADA! Ah, Merde, Canada Again” by Kathy Shaidle, TakiMag, June 14, 2016, here.
13. Note for Americans: he means, throw out the Liberal Party, but the judges are still liberals.
15. As Paul Kersey has argued, the Stalingrad of White America was not Obama, or affirmative action, or “civil rights,” or even Brown v. Board of Education. It was another, earlier Supreme Court decision, little noticed at the time and largely forgotten decision. Kersey writes that: “The NAACP and their wealthy and influential allies won a landmark victory in the summer of 1948. The unanimous Supreme Court ruling Shelley v. Kraemer stated that restrictive covenants violated both the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Who cares? Here’s why: When America was free, communities enforced so-called “restrictive covenants.” These allowed white neighborhoods to maintain the population balance of their communities — in the same way that immigration enforcement once maintained the existing national population.”
16. See his collection The Boggle (foreword by William F. Buckley, Jr.; Arlington House, 1977). I recall one image, Warren’s huge disembodied head floating over some scene, the ominous words repeated over and over across the sky behind him.
17. See “The Harmless Rackett” by Gregory Hood, Radix Journal, January 25, 2016, here.
18. See Jordan, Mark D. The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1997).
19. The Roman category of luxuria, which includes a wide variety of acts associated with over-indulgence and decadence (and often later associated with genital acts), is also worked into the new category (Jordan p. 29).
20. Bryce Rich, “Reflections in the Invention of Sodomy,” November 24, 2007, here.
21. Alan Watts describes a clergyman who asks two schoolboys, who have announced that they are atheist, why they don’t go out and commit lots of sins. “I know I would!”
22. Or whatever “is” is. “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the — if he — if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not — that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. . . . Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.” Bill Clinton, Grand Jury Deposition, here.
23. “Yes! Whenever bicycles are broken, or menaced by International Communism, Bicycle Repair Man is ready! Ready to smash the communists, wipe them up, and shove them off the face of the earth . . . Mash that dirty red scum, kick ‘em in the teeth where it hurts. Kill! Kill! Kill! The filthy bastard commies, I hate ‘em! I hate ‘em! Aaargh! Aaargh! See John Cleese flip out here.