It Pays to Be Boring…. Sometimes


Jean : Welcome to Canada bro.
Obama : Wazzup sis ?
Jean : Nothing much but I’m damn cold and my ass is freezing.
Obama : Yo, wazzup with the Raptors? They got their butts whipped all over the place. You think I can play for them?
Jean : You bet your purple butt. They need a bail out too 🙂  

Okay, those are my concocted words but it certainly looked like U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean enjoyed each other’s company. Obama and Jean sort of epitomize the changing face of leadership in North America, the difference being that while Obama was elected, Jean , an immigrant from Haiti, was selected by the Canadian Prime Minister and subsequently appointed by the Queen of England. While the presidential job wields tremendous power, the governor general’s role although defined as de facto head of state, is ceremonial more than anything.

Barack’s visit to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada last Feb 19 was brief, about 7 hours, but it cost the country some $2M in security related expenses. Manholes were bolted down, choppers were hovering in the air, plainclothes officers checked in at nearby hotels in droves to provide the president added protection. The tight security did not dispel Obama’s plan to visit the nearby Bayward Market to sample Obamatail, a donut named in his honor. He also bought simple gifts to his family – a key chain for his daughter and scarf for his wife. And yes, he paid in Canadian dollar currency. In the end, Obama showed is truly one of us – an ordinary guy who loves to play street basketball and that’s what endears him with ordinary folks like myself. He doesn’t exude moronic qualities like George W.Bush and consistent with tradition, he chose to visit his boring neighbors in the north first. Bush visited Mexico first and that was because he wasn’t keen to meet a Liberal prime minister.


I always tell my wife that if she wants a dose of boring news casting, to try the BBC (British Broadcasting Corp) first , then a Canadian news channel next 🙂  If Canadians are a boring bunch I am mystified at how funny men Jim Carey, Mike Myers, Dan Akroyd, Howie Mandel, Martin Short can be in fact Canadians. Prior to Obama’s visit to Canada, the country was once again on the US media’s radar, and it matters not if Americans think that moose roam the backyards of its motels and people ride dogsleds to watch a hockey game, something had to be written about the country. This Newsweek article talked about what Barack would likely find in his northern neighbor’s domain. He will certainly find that people are still polite and boring, and nothing has changed much – not a single bank needed to be bailed out, homes aren’t foreclosed by the thousands. Some of the comments by Americans were hilarious, like Canada is just like a colder Honduras and Canadians are no more than Mexicans on ice. Comedian Jon Stewart compared Obama’s visit as a diplomatic equivalent of a “pre-season tune up game ” 🙂 At the end of the day though, our banks are still profitable and many of us still own our homes and that’s what counts. I guess it pays to be boring… sometimes.


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