Thursday, December 02, 2010

Batman and Robin diplomacy

A British cousin once asked me why "all the baddies in American movies are English."

I had never noticed; didn't know why. My cousin just shrugged.

As someone who went to school in the 1970s and '80's, I'm familiar with the musty old buzzword of that time, "stereotyping."

It was once a quasi-euphemism for "racism."

Now we have the poly-syllabic politically correct beaut: "cultural sensitivity."

From The New York Times:
A trove of diplomatic cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of publications, disclose a perception by American diplomats that Canadians "always carry a chip on their shoulder" in part because of a feeling that their country "is condemned to always play 'Robin' to the U.S. 'Batman.'"
Whenever a competitive personality believes someone doesn't like them, they immediately accuse that person of being jealous of them.

It's an incredibly old ruse, one which doesn't work on anyone with an IQ north of 70.

As to Canadians' "inferiority complex" "chip on their shoulder" and being "condemned to always play 'Robin' to the U.S. 'Batman', I must . . . laugh.

Very sophisticated, mature and dynamic discourse here. Very nuanced and subtle socio-political analysis tangling out the tendrils of intricacy of the relationship between America and Canada.

Actually, it's more on par with Bazooka Joe.

America is like the guy sitting behind you at the movies, who's talking to his date, chewing his popcorn loudly, slurping his pop, spraying the back of your neck with flecks and drips of both every time he laughs.

You turn around and say, "Could you keep it down? I'm trying to watch the movie."

To which America replies, "You're just jealous of my brilliant insights into this movie!"

"Actually, no," you say, "you're distracting me."

Later, America's talking on his cell phone, telling a buddy about the movie.

You turn around and say, "Would it be too much to ask for you to be quiet?"

To which America replies, "You're just jealous of my cell phone and my huge address book filled with friends."

"No, actually," you say, "I'd just prefer to enjoy the movie and not listen to you."

No, America, I am not jealous of your Westboro Baptist Church, or your Eric Cantor, or your for profit health care system, or your two unfunded wars, or Blackwater/Xe, or Wackenhut, or your Federal Reserve, or your 20,000 gun deaths per year, or your percolating second civil war, or Sarah Palin, or Glenn Beck, or your Halliburton, or your Transportation Security Administration, or the state of Mississippi, or the state of Lousiana, or the state of Arkansas, or your PATRIOT Act I, or PATRIOT Act II, or your Freedom Fries, or your Hollywood movies, or Dancing With the Stars . . .

No, you be Batman, America. Be Batman -- with my blessing.

I think Britain would make an outstanding Robin -- it always looked better in tights.

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