Whack A Canadian


A weekly treat is reading through each new issue of The New Yorker, one of my all-time favorite magazines because it is so consistently excellent.  Its cartoons are an indispensable hallmark of the magazine’s style and, over the years, its cartoonists occasionally have focused their good-natured humor at Canadians or Americans’ general (mis)perception of Canada.

In keeping with that tradition, the most recent issue of The New Yorker includes the above cartoon by P.C. Vey playing on the notion of Canadian politeness.  It’s funny but probably goes a bit too far — yes, Canadians are generally polite but certainly not pushovers.  Of course, it’s all in good fun and not to be taken too seriously.  As previous commenters about such cartoons have noted, if you have to have a reputation, that of being overly polite isn’t a bad one to have.

Image Credit: P.C. Vey, The New Yorker

Related posts on O’ Canada:

More American Cartoons on Canada

Another Amusing Take on Canadian Politeness

“You First. I Insist”:  A Canadian Standoff

33 responses

  1. hehehehehehehe guffaw snort..gosh now I am listing all of the Canadians that I know and testing this out, my favorite Canadian has been americanized–never ever says he is sorry EVER now. He is ruined! hehehe

  2. Here’s another good one, relayed to me by an American friend. He was in an airport check-in line in the southern US, and he overheard two couples in front of him. The woman closest to him, just being friendly, ask the woman in front of her where they were from. The woman turned and said: Saskatoon Saskatchewan. The first woman’s husband leaned in and said: What did she say? To which his wife replied: I don’t know, they don’t speak English!
    I love this story.

  3. There are worse characteristics to be made fun of….just another reason to be a proud Canadian. I find it interesting from our perspective here, that people would think it odd to say “sorry” if they bumped into someone (just the typical scenario that seems to be used to make fun of us).

    Thanks for acknowledging our lack of meekness. As a whole ( if that’s possible ), I think we can be a little mellow, but meek…no way. 😉

  4. I did not know about this trait. I wish people here were more like Canadians then. Two days ago I was waiting in my car in the Cumberland Mall parking lot, my turn signal on, for a car to come out of its parking place and just before I went into it a small car went into the place and then the guy laughed at me …..

  5. As one of your polite northern neighbours (note the Canadian spelling), I’d like to say “thank you” for liking my blog, and “I’m sorry” if it was too much trouble! 🙂

  6. One of the traits I loved about Canada when I visited (Vancouver in the late 1980’s, and last year’s visit to Bromont) was the exceptional graciousness. When I have the money to do it again, I’m going back for a visit (during the late spring. I love the people but this Floridian won’t last a week around snow).

  7. I am proud of the Canadian reputation for over politeness… unless, of course it is in the arena of sports. We need a little more swagger a la 2010 Winter Olympics.

  8. I love this cartoon. We had an American choreographer come up to work with my daughter’s group and his big take away was how polite we are and how often we apologize. The kids even apologized for apologizing!

    Nothing wrong with being polite but over apologizing dilutes the value of real and necessary apologies. Something many Canadians could work on and this cartoon captures just that…

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