Judging by emails from readers in America, Britain, India, Australia, Europe, Africa and beyond, Vancouver’s Olympic ceremony was a gold medal snoozeroo of politically correct braggadocio impressive even by Canadian standards. A Florida correspondent suggested that Beijing’s decision in 2008 to downplay discreetly its official state ideology might have been usefully emulated by Canadian organizers unable to go a minute and a half without reflexive invocations of their own state ideology of “diversity.” A reader in Sydney said he had no idea until the ceremony that the majority of Canada’s population were Aboriginal. Actually, if they were, you’d be hearing a lot less talk about “diversity,” for reasons we’ll come to later.
But don’t take the word of doubtless untypical Steyn readers. Out on the Internet, the Tweeting Twitterers pronounced it a bust, and even in the Toronto Star Richard Ouzounian declared that “the eyes of the world were upon us and we put them to sleep.” On the other hand, the Vancouver Sun’s reporter cooed that this was “the Canada we want the world to see, magical and beautiful, and talented.” This just after she’d written: “Maple leaves fell from the sky. And then, the divine poetess Joni Mitchell and her haunting Clouds fills the air while a young boy floats and soars above the audience, undulating fields of wheat below.” I was pleasantly relieved to discover that a story about “the world’s most lethal cocktail” concerned some enterprising dealers who’ve been lacing heroin with anthrax, and not whichever malevolent genius came up with the idea of having airborne ballet dancers doing interpretative choreography over the Prairies to a mélange of Both Sides Now and W. O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen The Wind. As is traditional, most of the creativity went into the audience estimates: apparently, this tribute to the only G7 nation comprised solely of high priests of the Great Tree Spirit, armies of Inuit sculptors, and Cape Breton chorus lines of federal grant worshippers was watched by three billion people “worldwide.” As if the Royal Canadian Mint could afford to commission that many commemorative authentic pewter maple-encrusted manacles.
Canada’s message to the world: every cliché you’ve heard about our plonkingly insecure self-flattering PC earnestness has been triumphantly confirmed. You need pay us no further heed until the 2068 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Half the countries, twice as long!
But, as it happens, if you chanced to be holed up in Vancouver for the duration, Canada is well worth paying attention to. The gulf between the self-mythologizing of the Olympics ceremony and its application on the ground was rarely more visible. For example, an overseas visitor to the Games, wearying of all the First Nations types prancing around the stadium and picking up a newspaper, would have surely been bewildered to have found reports of the self-same First Nations types giving 10-day eviction orders from the Kahnawake reserve to residents deemed to have insufficient “blood quantum” to pass the Mohawk racial-purity test. Apparently, most of the deportees are spouses or “partners” of full Mohawks.
To be honest, I was impressed to discover that there are actually people willing to move to native reserves. Truly, love conquers all. At least until the blood quantum theorists show up, and you find you’re living in some dystopian Nuremberg rewrite of Abie’s Irish Rose in which a sovereign jurisdiction of the Canadian state can break up your marriage on racial grounds.
And it’s perfectly legal!
Did I doze off and miss that at Vancouver? “And now dancing racists funded by Canadian tax dollars present an interpretative ballet symbolizing the great Canadian mosaic by performing racial purity tests on Donald Sutherland and k. d. lang, at the end of which they will be ceremonially cast out of the stadium while Michael Bublé and Nelly Furtado sing ‘Tell me when will you be mine/Tell me Quantum, Quantum, Quantum.’ ”
Whenever I write about immigration or Islam or multiculturalism or some such, there’s a little flurry of comments that I’m obsessed with racial purity. Hardly. My own “blood quantum” is hopelessly impure, so I’m in no position to start casting aspersions. Yet, if someone were to muse on the importance of, say, maintaining Anglo-Celtic blood quantum in the Maritimes, they’d be on a fast track to “human rights” hell—just for writing it. Because it’s incompatible with “Canadian values.” But if you don’t write it, if you just get on and do it, that’s entirely compatible with Canadian values—as long as you’re a First Nations guy.
And the Diversity Pansies haven’t a word to say about it.
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