The Nice Kind of Human Smuggling

It may seem hard to believe, but once upon a time there was something called black people. For a while black people were having a pretty rough time in America. White people there were pretty rude to them. It was so bad that some of them thought “Hey, we oughtta go to Canada! Things might be a bit better off there.” But some white people in America decided they’d rather the black people didn’t leave, so the black people had to do it secretively.

This particular “Canada Sure Is Great” Commercial plays up how some black people actually preferred Canada over a country where they were slaves! Wow! If that’s not impressive, what is? Okay, sure, if you want to be technical (and I never do), it isn’t about how they liked Canada better, it’s about how Canada offered them their freedom and some Canadians actually worked to help them get there, and even I have to admit, that is the sort of thing that should be celebrated, I guess.

As for the actual plot, this one is about Liza, a recent smugglee into Canada, who is worried that her father is running late and she pessimistically assumes he has been captured even as her brother offers hard scientific rebuttals like “He’s our Pa, he’ll be here!” Anyway, just as Liza gets so fed up that she apparently plans to run into America and kick Every Ass until she finds her Pa, he turns up, hidden in a church pew or something, none the worse for wear and everybody is happy! A pretty simplistic story, meant more to show the emotional turmoil of the fleeing slaves, rather than give any specific historic details.

A few minor things: I love how Liza is out the door before the White Lady even seems to realize she’s run off. It’s like “No more prayin’!” *Liza runs away* *Three Full Seconds Pass* “Liza!” and I love it. Liza’s brother and the way he nervously plays with his hat for basically the whole commercial, meanwhile, is really endearing to me. Finally (and most inanely), there’s something about the way Pa crawls out of his hiding place that seems awkward to me. I can’t really explain it, I don’t think. It just looks uncomfortable the way he’s using his lower arm to pull himself out instead of exiting upper arm first, coming almost face down, and then he can push himself into a standing position. I mean, I’ve never spent a long period of time in a hollowed out pew that I can remember, so I don’t know how I’d actually behave in the situation (and I guess he needs to be in that position to see Liza first), but it just doesn’t look right to me. Clearly this is such a bizarre and trivial comment, I’ve not let it affect my final scoring at all.

This one isn’t great for fun quotes. Shouting “Pa ain’t gonna make it!” could, with some effort, be used for fun, but there’s nothing that sticks in the brain and begs to be spouted incessantly. I can only give out Three And A Half out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake for this one, I think. In related news, I will probably never be able to hear the term “Underground Railroad” without my mind first visualizing a literal railway system hidden in tunnels from the States to Canada. Little Me made his mind up that that is what it was, and my mind just won’t let it go.

  1. This one is beautifully emotionally manipulative, which I mean in the best way possible.

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