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05 October 2002

Dang, what's in the water up in the Great White North?

Don't get me wrong, 'cause I'm not one of those U.S. jingoists who likes to piss all over the maple leaf. Canada's pretty cool, as a country; I'm half-sold on the national health care thing, and the Ontario-produced You Can't Do That On Television was an afterschool staple for me back in the day. And I wept in solidarity with our neighbors to the north when my 11-grade World History class covered Canada's tragic recent history -- the killing fields strewn with the grim, sunbleached mementos of Khmer Rouge purges; the evacuation of Phnom Penh. Plus, I totally dig Canadian guys with those butch flannel shirts, scrimshaw necklaces, and fratboy thirst for brewskis (Q. What's the difference between a straight man and a gay man? A. Oh, for gracious sake, Mary, you know the punchline...).

But, geez, some Canucks can be so touchy about political issues. For instance, the Canadian border police just seized a shipment of pro-Israel pamphlets from the Ayn Rand Institute in California, en route to the University of Toronto. Why? Because the newsletters were flagged as possible hate propaganda, the dissemination of which is unlawful up there.

Now, I did the College Objectivist Club thing back at the University of Virginia (class of '93 -- go 'Hoos!), and I know that Rand could get a bit strident in her polemics. And the newsletter in question sounds like it was dictated by Ms. Alissa R. Kapitalismova herself via Ouija board -- Christ, don't Objectivist pens have any setting but "high dudgeon"?


Nothing racist in the newsletter that this careful reader spotted, even assuming it were appropriate for any decent liberal democracy to censor racist content in the first place.

posted by Throbert | 10/05/2002 01:07:00 AM |
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