'The Rant' Is Canada's Hottest Chant

By Ruth Walker, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 2000 | Go to article overview

'The Rant' Is Canada's Hottest Chant


Ruth Walker, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Canada is the second-largest land mass, the first nation of hockey, and the best part of North America. My name is Joe, and I am Canadian."

That's the impassioned climax of the hottest thing in Canada now: a 60-second beer commercial that has captured the hearts, souls, and minds of Canadians - French and English-speaking alike.

For the usually mild-mannered Canadians, Joe may be getting them in touch with their inner patriots, as he pokes fun at the typical misconceptions about his country by Americans.

"I'm not a lumberjack or a fur trader," he says. "I don't live in an igloo, eat blubber or own a dogsled."

The ad has received standing ovations in bars and cinemas. It was performed at a Stanley Cup game last month in Toronto. And audiences are so familiar with it, that they recite it along with "Joe." Joe, a 20-something average guy in a plaid shirt, standing alone on a stage before a vast unseen audience, begins rather softly, in a polite earnest tone. "I speak English and French, not American." His voice rises as he touches on politics: "I believe in peacekeeping, not policing; diversity, not assimilation."

All this is delivered in a tone that is a mix of self- assertiveness and self-mocking that only the chronically understated can pull off.

"The Rant," as it is now dubbed, has been endlessly spoofed and parodied. Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps played it at a conference of the International Press Institute in Boston earlier this week to demonstrate how Canadians feel about living in the long shadow of the United States.

Rudyard Griffiths, director of the Dominion Institute in Toronto, sees The Rant as an example of "tearing a page out of the book of American cultural imperialism." The Rant represents "a change in the habits of cultural expression in Canada," which he adds - "might not be a bad thing."

"Rah-rah jingoism," is an American habit, Canadians are quick to say. Americans are more willing to engage in mythmaking and celebrating their heroes, Mr. Griffiths says - whereas Canadians can be so disconnected from their own history that they don't appreciate what they've got. In January, for instance, instead of commemorating the birthday of their first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, Canadian schoolchildren observe Martin Luther King Day.

Others are not so sure that The Rant is a good thing. Historian Michael Bliss calls The Rant "pathetic, depressing, and an embarrassment - nationalism without content." He sees the beer commercial as a further sign of "the Americanization of Canada," and a sign of "deep anxiety that is going on because of the brain drain" of this country's brightest to the US and "concern that we are a kind of northern suburb. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

'The Rant' Is Canada's Hottest Chant
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.