Canadian Propaganda

I’m sure that I’m not the only Canadian film-goer who has noticed, in recent months, a certain obnoxious trend towards the broadcast of bits of what can only be described as jingoistic, flag-waving, conservative propaganda. While none of these spots appear to trace directly back to the PMO, they seem to be very much in keeping with the Glorious Leader’s vision of the country.

For example, this unintentionally hilarious ad originates with the tar sands developer Cenovus, and appears to be part of a deliberate rebranding effort* to recast extracting oil from Northern Alberta as a triumph of Canadian innovation** (rather than, for example, turning pristine wilderness into a hellscape rivalling Mordor).

I am especially fond of 0:48; nothing like a steaming cup of crude in the morning.

The other video I saw (which I can’t seem to find on YouTube) was a spot commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 (an anniversary which Stephen Harper, ever keen on recasting Canada as a martial nation, has thrown his full force behind). I must say watching this one with Nominatissima (who, in spite of her many other virtues, afterall remains a barbarous yankee invader swine) was quite amusing. Nevertheless, I find state-sponsored attempts to appeal to a sort of empty-headed, flag-waving, glorious past to be both sinister and wholly alien to the Canada in which I grew up.

My guess would be that these efforts will not meet their marks, in the end. Canadians, in my experience, are far too cynical.


*Yes, I wrote this article. Yes, I’m citing it.

**Which, of course, gleefully ignores the fact that these Canadian innovators are overwhelmingly owned by foreigners.


About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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8 Responses to Canadian Propaganda

  1. E A M Harris says:

    I haven’t seen the items you mention, but I agree they don’t seem very Canadian.

  2. Isaac says:

    I can’t seem to go a day without seeing some sort of feel good ad about the oil sands nowadays. And now that you mention it, those 1812 ads do seem a little strange….

  3. Leah Jane says:

    The militarization of the Canadian national identity marches on…

  4. Lindsay says:

    Fucking tar sands*. Hate them. (One of the bigger environmental threats we southron barbarians are having to fend off now is the stupid Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport the sludge from those sands down to the Gulf of Mexico, where we have refineries to turn it into something resembling crude oil. Why, if you guys are so intent on having it out of the ground in the first place, we can’t refine it closer to the northern border is beyond me).

    *I think, but I’m not sure, that the number of times I have dropped an f-bomb on the Internet is still in the single digits. I have kept a blog since 2007, so you know my feelings are strong about this.

    • The ecological damage is by no means limited to the potential for spills, I assure you. This is not the traditional sort of oil where you can just drill a hole in the ground and have it come gushing out; the landscape literally needs to be torn to shreds and processed fro every bit of oil that can be extracted.
      It is also a significant source of greenhouse gases even before the oil that is extracted gets burned for fuel.

      • Lindsay says:

        I know. I also know that the energy return-on-investment profile for tar sands is … not the greatest. Like, you have to do a whole lot of stuff to it — including, I believe, heating it and keeping it hot so it stays in a more liquid state than it would normally be in — to get it to resemble oil sufficiently to be used as such.

        Add to that the fact that they’re planning to transport it across the entire north-to-south expanse of the United States for refining, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we were sinking more energy into it than we will ever get out of it.

        But then, it’s not really about energy, is it? It’s about making money.

        *is very, very angry*

  5. I believe what you published was very reasonable. But, what about this? suppose you were to create a killer title? I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your website, but suppose you added something to maybe grab folk’s attention? I mean Canadian Propaganda | voxcorvegis is a little vanilla. You should peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create article headlines to grab people interested. You might add a related video or a picture or two to grab people interested about what you’ve got to say. Just my opinion, it might make your posts a little bit more interesting.

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