What’s in a name? That’s the sort of question that arises when you watch the Canadian Propaganda Piece I am reviewing this time around.
So this one starts out with some people (Europeans) walking until they are next to some other people (North American Natives, I would assume in Canada what with that being the point). So the Natives speak in some weird gibberish code* and the Head European asks his friendly neighborhood priest to translate. The priest informs the Head European that the Natives have invited them to the nation and it is called “Canada” and, yes, that’s right, this commercial is about the secret origin of Canada’s name. Anyway, everyone is happy to know the name of the nation except one guy: He’s not the priest and he’s not the Head European, so basically we don’t know who he is. We just have to imagine. Probably he’s the ship’s carpeter.
* I am 1/256 Wampanoag, so I am allowed to make this joke. (It’s my only race card, let me play it!)
Anyway this guy is so sick of putting down carpet on the ship that when a chance to show off comes up he is All Over It. Basically he’s like “I know that word! That’s not the name of the nation! The old man is just talking about the village down there!” but the priest stands by his translation and Canada is called Canada forever after.
Once again I’m sure that what we are seeing here is not an actual event that played out. Yes the name Canada likely comes from the word for village in some language (and I feel somewhat ashamed that I don’t know which), but it is a safe bet that the Pedant vs. Priest argument we see unfold here was made up solely for our benefit. And I am totally okay with that! This one has several lines I like to quote and would be easily recognized by others who grew up in the right era. Job well done!
I also like the music throughout this piece. It ramps up the drama of the whole affair, which is good considering this is a commercial where one group of people invite some other people in to talk and the closest thing we have to a conflict is a disagreement over what a word means. Not exactly a drama-explosion no matter how many . So the music plays throughout to keep emotions from dying. In a way it reminds me of the Irish Kids moment and my mind will try to tack on the upbeat jig from that one. Really, if they ended all of these with a jig there’d be a lot more happy endings.
Anyway, as I said, I do like this one. I’m going to give it Four and a Half out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.
In other news, the comments section of YouTube is, as always, filled with idiotic arguments, in this case about how evil Whitey is for conquering the natives. Now I didn’t stray too far into the comments (I am a human being and we can only take so many YouTube comments), but I didn’t see any discussion of the real scandal in here: Note that the religious man is proven wrong and just flat out denies it. This commercial is CLEARLY trying A) to depict religious persons as stubborn and foolish, or B) Show that God intervened to make sure that Canada got the right name. That is obviously what people on the Internet need to be arguing about. (Edit: I’ve linked to an official video since the original post, so I don’t know/care if that argument is still in the comments)