Hello and Happy Canada Day. But, may I ask, are we happy?
Well, we're not Greece. There's that. Canada isn't like that cradle of democracy today. A lot of use it is being the cradle of democracy when the banks and stock market are shut down, everybody is calling you a basket case and the bosses of the European Union are shouting at you to get your act together.
What are we the "the cradle of," anyway? Okay, let's see. Give me a minute here. Hockey! That's it, we're the cradle of hockey. And Tims. There's that.
But are we happy? Not really. Cranky is more like it. Perhaps because it's an election year or perhaps it's because we're the cradle of hockey and there isn't a hope of a Canadian team winning the Stanley Cup in the foreseeable future for you, your kids and your grandchildren, we're a bit bad-tempered and cheerless.
There isn't any hockey on TV today, far as I know. That's a surprise really. There was hockey on TV about two weeks ago. What there is, in terms of Canada Day programming, falls to CBC. Of course it does. You can't expect the Rogers-owned City channels to postpone the airing of America's Got Talent (City 8 p.m.) on Canada Day. No you can't. That way lies a Greek-style mess of economic collapse.
Today, CBC is airing two concerts from Parliament Hill, as it usually does. One at noon and an evening concert at 9 p.m., during which "some of the country's top musical acts perform in celebration of Canada Day" the TV listings say, somewhat mysteriously.
Actually, the acts performing are Magic!, Francesco Yates, Gord Bamford, Marc Dupré, Jonas & the Massive Attraction, Andee, The Jerry Cans and The Bishop Grandin Marching Ghosts, and Cassidy Mann will sing the national and royal anthems. The headliner will be Shad, who needs the publicity and promotion from CBC, obviously.
When the lineup was announced – by Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, no less – the CBC website conducted an online poll. The question was: "After looking at the lineup, are you planning to attend Canada Day 2015 on Parliament Hill?" The poll result, which I looked at the other day, indicates one cranky Canada. "No, I'm not a fan" had 78.6 per cent of the votes, while, "Yes, it's a fun lineup of artists" had 21.4 per cent.
See, there you go. Extrapolate from the poll and even people in the Ottawa region or those who might take a day trip there for the Canada Day festivities are emphatically not interested. Too cranky to care. Search for Canadian content on other Canadian channels tonight and you'll be hard-pressed to find much of anything. In fairness though, the W Network is running a marathon of Say Yes To The Dress Canada episodes, starting at 7 p.m. That might, just might, make some Canadian brides-to-be less cranky.
Oddly, our saviour is Netflix. On Monday, Netflix Canada told me: "This week we're celebrating Canada by honouring some of the funniest, foxiest and most foul-mouthed people to ever grace the big and small screen. Whether they were filmed in Canada or feature some of our favourite Canadian talent, these movies and shows are just a few of the reasons to love Canada."
That means, yes, some movies or shows that have peripheral Canadian connections. Such as the movies Brokeback Mountain, made near Calgary, and the movie Mean Girls, made in Toronto. Or the series The Killing, made in Vancouver. Or an emphasis on "Canadian Babes," which means the movie Adventureland starring Ryan Reynolds and Drive starring Ryan Gosling. However, it also means making available pretty much every Trailer Park Boys episode, movie and TV special ever made – including Trailer Park Boys Live in F***kin Dublin, which features the Boys, having won a trip to Ireland to see the band Rush, getting arrested by custom agents and made to perform a show for community service.
Now this I gotta see. There's bound to be swearing, which fits our collective crankiness, and the smoking of weed and drinking of rum. Perfect. That's something to watch while remembering that we're not Greece. There's that.