Hockey Was Good To Them, Which Is Nice

It’s no secret that I’ve run out of the iconic Canadian Heritage Movements to review. They still make some, but they weren’t burned into my head the way the old ones were. And with broadcast television having been supplanted by space-age interstreams and downloadable content pills and whatnot, so there’s no way the new the current generation is being inundated with Canadian propaganda. I’m pretty sure that the only people who actually watch the new ones are people who actively seek them out.

So, while I may not have any sentimental attachment to today’s piece of propaganda, I have to admit I like it. It’s set in Antwerp for a start, and that’s one of my favourite place names. It’s about Icelandic-Canadians and I’ve always liked that Canada and Iceland are decently close and wish we were closer. It’s about winning the first gold medal in Olympic hockey, which definitely feels like something Canada should have done, so I’m glad they did. And it mentions a World War but isn’t one of those nationalist tracts that makes victory in war the big selling point.

And honestly, if this one aired during my childhood, I bet I could would have had bits of the dialogue seared into my brain. I could envision a world where I could walk up to a fellow and say “It wasn’t easy growing up on Sargent Avenue” for no good reason. And really, that’s what these things are actually for. With that in mind, I’ll give this one Four and a Half Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.

You Can’t Spell Canadian Without Acadian (Almost)

Geez, this is a dry one, isn’t it? I mean, I get that what happened to the Acadians was crappy and we should learn about it and all that, but I don’t go to Canadian Historical Moment things for a simple history lesson. I want lines that will be burned into my head until the day I die.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe if this one had aired every hour when I was a child watching unlimited television I would pepper conversations with “The men were called to a meeting” but I sure don’t think so.

The production values in this one are good. That’s more than I can say for plenty of other ones. They could have done a movie with these sets and costumes and such and maybe that woulda been great. But as one of these Heritage Minutes, it doesn’t impress. I can’t go above One and a Half Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake and that’s almost all for how it looks.

Canadian Doctors Can Die

The Heritage Commercial about Lucille Teasdale is definitely not one that I remember from my childhood,which makes sense given that it was made after Teasdale’s death in 1996. It definitely falls outside the range of these things that were lodged into my brain by repeated viewings. It’s kind of a shame. Seeing Canadians go out into the world and doing good deeds even if it kills them is the best kind of propaganda, way more appealing to me than the militaristic stuff.

But to review it properly, I have to wonder if this would have been a great Minute if I had seen it as a kid. It’s definitely got to be one of the goriest of them, given that surgery scene at the end, but the real test of these things is quotability. We love to use quotes from these in everyday life. Anything here? Well, I could see “I’ll take antibiotics later” being used as a catchall dismissal of concerns. But that’s it. That’s all we’ve got for decent quotes here. Kind of a shame, but that’s how it is.

I can go as high as Three out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.

A Canadian Boat Went Fast This One Time

Today’s Canada Heritage Thing is about the Bluenose, a boat that was as fast as the speed at which this Heritage Minutes leaves my brain. I am sure that I’ve seen it a lot of times, but apart from the music, I would have believed you if you told me it was one of those new ones that I didn’t grow up with. And even the music I probably know from somewhere else. Maybe if the phrase “Angus should never have agreed to this last race, she’s too old” could be used more often in everyday life I’d have remembered it.

And maybe this is sacrilege for a Nova Scotian to say, but I don’t actually care that there was a fast boat? Is that just me?

Two out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.

Canadian Is Poet, Doesn’t Know It

Today’s Heritage Monument is about the creation of the poem In Flander’s Field. A WWI doctor, John McCrae, is bummed about that whole war thing and people dying and such, so he writes a poem. He then hands it to some guy and claims he doesn’t know what it is. It’s weird. The poem’s Wikipedia page does say that “[a]ccording to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it” but in this commercial McCrae doesn’t discard it, he hands it to this one guy. If he was discarding it, he’d surely rip it out of the book or something. Is this guy McCrae’s personal whole book discarder? Did they have those yet, or were they invented in WWII?

There is something to be said for the idea that McCrae was overcome by some muse, created his poem, and barely realized what he’d done. I dunno. That’s the best I can manage in explaining this. I have nothing else to add.

This one gets only Two and a Half Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake. The only quotable thing about it is the thing it is quoting.