What is worse - the English football team or Canada as a country?
Just as England’s football team is praised by those who don’t know any better, the same can be said about those in Canada who seem to think their country have anything going for it. It’s a persuasive comparison. Those who believe that England deserve any kind of respect seem to be just as wrong headed as those who believe that Canada has anything of cultural value. Well they don’t, and they certainly don’t do anything as well as their American superiors.
The second international weekend. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s the worst thing to happen to anyone, ever, in this history of human suffering. It’s worse than Kids In The Hall or Jim Carrey’s bits on In Living Color. That might sound like hyperbole, but spending 90 minutes with any of them must be as tedious as spending attending a game at Wembley. The England squad and living in Canada have certain things in common with them: the lack of imagination, sensation that time has slowed perceptibly and immensely, and the damage done to relationships between different nationalities and races. Especially if Jim Carrey and John Terry are present.
Terrible Canadians - and there are an incredible amount of them, such as the film crew on The L Word (not, I repreat not, the American cast) - as a means of comparison is useful. For England and Canada, something needs to be done to stop the rot. There is nothing that engenders a sense of ennui more than watching a group of players so set against each other in their day job come together to fight poorly for a common cause. It’s like watching Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto be proud of the simple fact that they’re not American. It’s an enormous expression of falsely felt pride. While they’re not having protracted intercourse with moose, Canadians still have time to elect fundamentally right-wing conservative governments who wouldn’t be out of place in Texas. Compare that with: while England football teams aren’t racially abusing anyone for a few seconds and taking apart San Marino, they’re still nevertheless lazily underperforming.
There’s no point in going over the top about Canada - but remember, they’re responsible for Degrassi, for God’s sake - in the same way there’s no point in excorating England’s football side. But let’s do it anyway. Canada’s loathsome cultural output: ResFest (all the bad bits, anyway), Vice and Matt Masters, for example, are grim symptoms rather than the cause of the rot. Similarly, Frank Lampard is a symptom of English Toryism, arrogance and xenophobia that is destroying the country. For all that it isn’t his fault, it’s still thoroughly depressing to see on the football pitch.
The similarities don’t end there. Toronto’s streets remain a poorly organised mash of dug-up cement and corruption, but look good compared to Mogadishu’s thoroughfares. England’s midfield looks good against San Marino, but the same can’t be said when they come up against anything competent from the continent. It’s impossible to get from one side of Toronto to the other without encountering some unecessary disruption based in the grotesque indulgence of socialism. Similarly, it’s impossible for the ball to get from the left to the right wing without some grotesque indulgence of egotism and misguided self-belief.
Just as Calgary thought it was being amusing when it renamed Eleventh Avenue after momentarily successful Eddie Grant’s hit Electric Avenue, so Roy Hodgson seems to believe just as mistakenly that he is making any kind of progress. The defence has lost John Terry to racism, Rio Ferdinand to racism, and might ultimately lose Ashley Cole to racism. That leaves Joe Hart and a prayer. In midfield, old age has claimed Scholes, Gerrard and Lampard, and has in their place a collection of missed opportunities. The potential replacement midfield doesn’t flatter to deceive, it simply disappoints. Michael Carrick has no guts, and Scott Parker has no brains. Gareth Barry and James Milner simply are. That Hodgson believes he is making progress with this squad, deteriorating quicker than the script quality of Due South, is incomprehensible.
Having an English manager is all well and good, and probably the moral choice, it still makes no rational sense. Just as when you’re on the Canadian-US border you’d go straight to a cop rather than a Mountie, if you wanted reliability rather than PR success you’d go straight to a foreign manager. There are more uncanny similarities. England can’t retain possession, Canadians can’t cook bacon properly. England prefers Andy Carroll up front, everyone else has a false nine. Canada has maple syrup as seasoning, everyone else has salt instead. English football is boring, Canada is boring. England has Jordan Henderson instead of the superior Juan Mata, Canada has Tim Horton’s instead of the superior Starbucks. England has politicians, Canada has Drake’s mum in charge.
There’s more. England’s football team is terrible, so is Canada. England’s national anthem is about an unelected head of state, Canada’s is the recording of a beaver gnawing. England has Bryan Adams, Canada had Bryan Adams. England doesn’t trust anyone who speaks French. Half of Canada doesn’t trust anyone who speaks French. They’re both utterly rudderless. When it comes down to it, you just have to ask: what’s it all aboot (sic), eh?
N.B. Before the accusations that Avril Lavigne convincingly represents all of the XX-chromosoned Canada and is actually a success, remember that the majority of Canada cannot afford radios or television, and where they can are intellectually unable to operate them, and all are actually unaware of her and thus cannot reasonably claim any credit.