If someone like Karl Rove had wanted to neutralize the most creative, intelligent, and passionate members of his opposition, he'd have a hard time coming up with a better tool than Burning Man. Exile them to the wilderness, give them a culture in which alpha status requires months of focus and resource-consumptive preparation, provide them with metric tons of psychotropic confusicants, and then... ignore them. It's a pretty safe bet that they won't be out registering voters, or doing anything that might actually threaten electoral change, when they have an art car to build. -- John Perry Barlow
About a month ago I received some SPAM from a "friend"
which contained an "inspiring message." The message was a
tract titled America, the Good Neighbor and it was
written and broadcast by a Canadian radio journalist. The
tract went on at length about how great Americans are and
how Americans get bashed far too often by nasty foreigners,
especially Canadians. I immediately suspected that it was
some sort of sneaky Canadian trickery, and after a small
amount of research I found out that's exactly what it was.
According to Google,
there are thousands of web sites quoting the same story almost verbatim. All
seem to think that this is a RECENT news story. All heap praise upon the
author, and all mention that the broadcast has been read into The Congressional
Here's the text of the SPAM I received:
America, The Good Neighbor Gordon Sinclair Sunday, Jan. 21, 2001
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable
editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television
commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed
in the Congressional Record:
This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most
generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the Earth.
Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of
the debris of war by the Americans, who poured in billions of dollars and
forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even
the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who
propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets
of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to
help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody
The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into
discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the
decadent, warmongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion
of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in
the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or
the Douglas DC-10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the international
lines except Russia fly American planes?
Why does no other land on Earth even consider putting a man or woman on the
moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about
German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American
technocracy, and you find men on the moon – not once, but several times – and
safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window
for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.
They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking
Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age,
it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the
New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still
I can name you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people
in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the
Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of
hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their
flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands
that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of
Stand proud, America!
Now that's all true enough. Americans are the kindest, nicest, most
generous, and incredibly modest people in the world.
But what's this nonsense about "Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and
Many young American men dodged the draft during the Viet Nam war and fled to
Canada, but that war ended over 25 years ago. Besides, in the late 70's, when
President Jimmy Carter wasn't busy fucking up the economy or acting helpless
while Americans were being held hostage overseas, he managed to issue a blanket
pardon to all draft-dodgers and military deserters. He let them off the hook
and allowed them back into the country, free from the fear of imprisonment.
THERE ARE NO AMERICAN DRAFT-DODGERS HIDING IN CANADA TODAY BECAUSE THEY WERE
ALL PARDONED IN 1977.
And why all the fawning over our moon missions? Sure, this was big news in the
early 70's, BUT WE HAVEN'T PUT A MAN ON THE MOON SINCE 1972. There are no plans
to put anyone on the moon anytime soon.
The article contains MANY references to WW2 and other events that happened over
30 years ago. Why all the interest in ancient history? Well, it turns out that
this article was originally written and broadcast by Gordon
Sinclair on CFRB, Toronto, Ontario, on JUNE 5, 1973!
So here we have thousands of web sites and who knows how many hundreds of
thousands of e-mail copies of this SPAM, all circulating around, all purporting
to be from some "recent" broadcast, when in fact the broadcast was made almost
30 years ago.
You want to know why America?
BECAUSE IT'S A BIG CANADIAN JOKE ON AMERICA YOU IDIOTS.
Canadians are RUBBING OUR NOSES in the fact that THEY HAVEN'T SAID ONE NICE
THING ABOUT AMERICANS OR AMERICA IN ALMOST 30 YEARS. Every time some American
quotes this article, CANADIANS ARE LAUGHING AT US.
Listen up Canadians, don't think we're going to take this affront lightly.
You'd better come up with some compliments PRONTO, and sound SINCERE, or
there's going to be hell to pay.