Monday, May 08, 2006

Tim Horton's and Mark Steyn

So good.
The other week, the Toronto Star assigned Kenneth Kidd to do a big story on Tim Hortons as an icon of Canadian identity. This was a couple of days before that odd incident with the fellow going into the men's room and blowing himself into a big bunch of Timbits, so nothing tricky was required, just the usual maple boosterism. And naturally the first thing Kidd did was call up the Canadian media's Mister Rent-A-Quote, Michael Adams, the author of Fire And Ice and American Backlash, and a man who can be relied upon to provide some sociological context to the lamest premise...

...Mr. Adams evidently thought about the old doughnut-chain thing for a nanosecond and then slotted it effortlessly into his grand universal theory about the difference in American and Canadian "values."...

...This turned out to be just the sort of thing Kenneth Kidd needed for the piece and he ran with it: "Canadians, by contrast, are far less fearful," he decides. "Americans now increasingly use churches as their replacement for a sense of community lost to long working hours and lengthy commutes."

I don't know if, in the course of their research, Messrs. Kidd and Adams ever visited any "communities" -- in, say, New England, or old England, or Belgium, or Slovenia, or even Canada. But, if they did, they might have noticed that you drive through the outskirts of the "community," past the various "dwelling units," and arrive at the centre of the "community" -- often called a "village green" or a "town square" -- and smack dab at the centre of the centre you'll see a big building with a cross on it, and perhaps a sign saying "St. George's Parish Church. Consecrated 1352." Nonetheless, undaunted, two grown men are willing to argue in the Toronto Star that Americans have to make do with going to church because they've lost all sense of community.

But not in Canada. "We don't go to church as much on Sundays," says Adams. "We go shopping and we go to Tim's." Gotcha. Americans are forced to worship Christ, whereas Canadians are free to worship crullers.
The entire article is a well-written riot. A sort of depressing, well-written riot, but a riot.

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