Canadians urge Ukrainians to seek Peace through Dullness

Dateline: OTTAWA—Backed by a majority of Canadians, the Canadian government has passed a resolution urging Ukrainians to stop fighting and to handle their internal conflict by being more boring, like Canadians.

Ukraine is split between ethnic Russians in the eastern part of the country and pro-European, ethnic Ukrainians in the west. Likewise, Canada is split between Catholic, French-speaking Quebecers, left-wingers in Ontario and British Columbia, and conservatives in the prairies. But Canadians have learned to settle their disagreements peacefully, by not caring much about them or about anything at all.

“The key to world peace is to be boring,” said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “I mean, dreadfully dull. You want to have a reputation for being so boring that you literally put people to sleep wherever you go.

“Take one of our Parliamentary debates, for example. Right in the middle of it, the ministers stopped talking and we all just fell asleep in our chairs. For the life of me I can’t remember the issues we were debating because they were so tedious and minor league. That’s a sign that Canadians are on the right track, you see. If the microtargeting of our constituents bores even the politicians to tears, if there are no big, interesting issues on our horizon, you can be sure there will be no significant conflict between Canadians.

“Or take my Lego hairstyle, for example. Have you ever seen something blander? I’m signaling to the world how dull and inoffensive I am. My hair looks like it was made in a mold for mass-produced, oversized plastic toys. I’m not going to rock the boat or say anything interesting to get people’s attention. See? Not one hair out of place, not one wayward tuft hanging over my forehead.

“My hair is symbolic of how boring Canadians are. But that’s how we get the job done, by golly! There’s hardly any violence in our country. Do you know how that happens? It’s because in the last several decades, we haven’t cared enough about anything to fight for it.

“And that’s what we’re telling the people of Ukraine: stop caring so much about Europe or Russia. Be more boring and you’ll get along just fine.”

Asked whether they plan to take Canada’s advice, a representative sample of both pro-European and pro-Russian Ukrainians said they have no idea what that advice is, because they never pay any attention to Canada—what with Canada being so uninteresting.

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10 comments on “Canadians urge Ukrainians to seek Peace through Dullness

  1. As an FOT (Friend of Canada) I am shocked and insulted by this post. Doesn’t comedy and satire have boundaries?

    ; )

  2. Deeptrout, are you asking for an actual summary or are you just making fun of the fact that the article gets into some philosophy? I’ll assume the former, because I like to pontificate.

    There are several reasons why Canada is known for being so boring, but the one that most interests me is the big picture, historical and political one having to do with the effects of postmodernism on liberal societies. Canada’s lack of much in the way of independent traditions, due to its relative youth as a country, means that postmodernism’s corrosive effects on liberal values are displayed more in Canada than in Europe.

    You see this in the “centrism” of Bill Clinton and Obama, too: there are several reasons why Clinton didn’t and Obama doesn’t stand up for liberal values, but the one that doesn’t get enough attention is the fact that those values depend on modern myths that Westerners no longer believe in, because we live, in short, in a postmodern era of decline. Thus, Clinton and Obama have to walk away from those values in practice, caving in to the plutocrats and the zealous conservatives, while paying lip service to liberalism to preserve the illusion that Americans have a functioning democracy with more than one political option.

    Anyway, this loss of faith is worse in Canada, because Canadians lack the American gall to make up myths out of whole cloth, such as the myths about their “founding fathers,” their “manifest destiny,” or even the Mormon one about Jesus’s visit to America. Canadians are too rational and realistic for their good, so they’re stuck with the negative destiny of modernity, which is that science-centered societies produce cultures of angst, skepticism, cynicism, and apathy, because reason destroys the ability to fall for the sorts of myths that sustain more lively cultures. Thus, Canada has an anti-culture. European countries delay this effect of postmodernism, because they can reach back into their long histories to come up with distractions. Americans are distracted by the shameless, monstrous conservative backlash to modernism. But Canadians are left out in the cold.

  3. Hmm, I’m not sure how you got “dullness is a virtue” from that summary. According to that analysis, dullness might be a virtue only in that it alerts liberal postmodernists to the fact that they’re incapable of sustaining an interesting culture.

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