Sunday, March 06, 2005

THE WIT AND WISDOM OF NORM 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE' MACDONALD

I was in my peak physical condition when I was about, like, uh...one. Oh God, I looked good, young and fresh! You wouldn't know me now if you'd seen when I was one, you know? I even looked good for my age. People would come up to me and go, "What are you, zero?" And I'd go, "no, I'm one over here!"

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INTERVIEWER: You're Canadian. What do you think is the biggest difference between you guys and Americans?

NORM MACDONALD: I guess Canadians are without opinions. Normally, Americans always have these opinions, and I always find that funny because I don't have any. Like, you can tell me two sides of an issue, and I'll just think they're both right. I don't know how people come up with opinions.

2 comments:

Muktuk said...

Do you agree? Are Canadians without opinions?

Scott said...

Jenn, this is just me as a Canadian talking, but the reason I found Macdonald's point so funny is that it's somewhat true, but I'd never heard it voiced that way before. (And it helps if you can picture Macdonald saying that. His speaking voice is funnier than my prose.) Canadians have lots of opinions, yes, but we're never encouraged to voice them as strongly as Americans do, or we don't have the kinds of passionate debates that Americans are always engaging in. (Compare Canadian talk show guests and audiences to Americans; a certain excitement level is missing.) I don't know if it's a reaction to Americans' outspokenness; I think it is, to a degree, but I think Canadians are worried, too, about being perceived as arrogant, or loudmouth, so we tend to keep our opinions to ourselves -- at least for awhile. I'm always surprised when I meet Americans abroad, because they're never afraid about voicing their opinions right away, even before they know my own nationality or political persuasion. Example, if someone hates Bush, they have no qualms about mentioning that -- without asking first if I'm an American, or a Republican. Canadians, I think, would wait a bit, try to feel out the other person's thoughts and ideas. I'm not sure which approach is better.