Canadian Bacon

After I launched this blog, I asked my friends to take a look at it. One of them, went to the HUMOUR section on my main website and became upset with the very first joke he read on the site. He refused to read the rest of the page and sent me a mail asking why I would make fun of my own country.

A spacecraft that was orbiting the earth developed a major snag and lost all connections with ground control. It was then going around the earth in a slow spiral. The crew consisted of an American, a Russian and an Indian. The Russian put his hand out of the window and after a few hours said that they were flying over Russia. When asked how he knew that, he said, “One of our rockets went by and singed my hand. We send so many of them.” The American then put his hand out and an hour later he said that they were flying over the USA. The Russian asked him how he knew that. “The buildings in New York scraped my hand. As they are the tallest in the world, I knew we were flying over USA,” the American replied. The Indian for good manner’s sake put his hand out and after some time announced that they were flying over India. Surprised, the other two asked him how he could tell. The Indian told them that when he put his hand out, his watch disappeared.

Recently, I was browsing through the website of Michael Moore (better known to non-Americans as the guy who roasted George W. Bush during the Oscar Awards ceremony). I was pleasantly surprised to note that Moore was the director of Canadian Bacon. Canadian Bacon is my favorite political satire after Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I also found that many professional critics gave negative reviews for the film. The TV Guide says

Michael Moore once managed to make a really funny documentary (ROGER AND ME) about a dying auto town, but his fiction debut, a derivative political satire, is so rigorously unfunny you’d almost think it was deliberate. President Alan Alda, his popularity slipping, tries to rekindle the Cold War but has to settle for stirring up public sentiment against the sinister Canadians, “who walk among us undetected, passing as Americans.” We liked DR. STRANGELOVE, too, but we never thought we could pass off a puerile, thinly veiled remake of same as political wit.

I had however found the movie intensely funny when it was shown on Star Movies. It was full of laugh-out-loud moments. After the demise of the Soviet Union, American warmongers in the “military-industrial complex” find a new evil empire to keep their arms factories going. They decide on Canada. Canada was ruled by people who openly call themselves socialists. They get free education up to college. A majority of them live near the border with the USA. They are a threat!!! An arms manufacturer whose factories were getting closed puts a missile system inside a Canadian landmark. He threatens the system will go off and attack the US unless the military agrees to continue buying his company’s products. Meanwhile, media thinks that Canada is planning to attack the USA and spawns out viscious stories on that line. This enrages a groups of law enforcement types who plan to go to Toronto, which they mistake as Canada’s capitol (FYI: Ottawa). I can still remember some funny moments from the film:

  • The gang cross the border in to Canada in a truck painted with anti-Canadian graffitti like “Kanucks suck”, etc. A Canadian motorcycle cop pulls them up on the road. He asks them about the grafitti and the leader of the American gang tries to put the blame on somebody else. The cop then informs the Americans about the sensitive feelings of an integral part of Canadian society whose feelings have been hurt by the grafitti on their truck. He drops several hints as to who these people might be – Le Quebecois, wine drinkers, and pea soup eaters. All this rings no bells for the Americans. So, he finally says French
    Canadians!
    . The cop then gives the Americans a spray paint can. In the next scene, you see the truck leaving the stop covered with anti-Canadian graffitti fully translated in French.
  • A white member of the gang asks a black member why few blacks are seen to play ice hockey. The black replies, “Do you think it is easy for blacks to take over every professional sport ther is?”
  • At the Canadian border, a gang member wants to know if they are still in the US or in Canada. The deputy sheriff, (Rhea Perlmen, the sharp-tongued waitress in the Cheers sitcom), asks if he can smell anything. When he replies in the negative, Perlmann assures him that he is indeed in Canada, not America!
  • A member of a super-secret crack team called Omega Force trips over an obstacle and falls, but he is immediately shot by a comrade for the sake of secrecy.
  • One of the characters inside a Canadian lockup is that of a biker gang member. His crime? Putting ordinary gasoline instead of the unleaded kind!
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