Fine fine fine...
Last edited by zircona1; 07-08-2013 at 07:00 PM.
We're here to play some Mississippi Delta Blues. We're in a horrible depression, and I gotta admit - we're starting to like it.
An Essay Addressing the Cultural Significance of “Take Off (to the Great White North)” by Bob and Doug McKenzie – featuring Geddy Lee
The words Canada and Culture are rarely paired. Despite our maintaining our own national borders for more approximately 150 years, many argue that Canada lacks its own identity and cultural references, and that, as a country, our culture is a mere carbon copy of pop culture emulated from examples by our neighbors to the south (USA) or our British parentage as part of the Sovereignty. There are some exceptions that are readily identified. Some of these examples are in media references that are seldom viewed outside of Canada, but occasionally appreciated by individuals without prior exposure to life in the Great White North.
SCTV, Second City Television, was born in 1976. It was a comedy skit show that ran on CBC Television, originally developed by a group of improvisational actors based in Edmonton, Alberta. SCTV presented variety comedy where a given episode could contain everything from SCTV news broadcasts to sitcoms, dramas, talk shows, kids’ shows, and/or game shows. It had everything from a mock soap opera called "The Days of the Week" ("Monday... Tuesday... Wednesday... these are... the days of the week"), to game shows like "Shoot At The Stars" in which celebrities are literally shot at like targets in a shooting gallery, to full blown movie spoofs like "Play it Again, Bob" in which Woody Allen (played by Rick Moranis) tries to get Bob Hope (played by Dave Thomas) to star in his next film.
Speaking of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas - Enter the characters Bob and Doug McKenzie. When SCTV began developing a larger viewership, the networks demanded that a certain percentage of the show had to contain strictly Canadian content. This was a legal requirement for the broadcast and media watchdogs of the day that were moderating Canadian broadcasting. The result was a parody of Canadian characters which were featured in a comedy skit known as “Great White North”. Bob and Doug McKenzie are introduced as typical Canadian blue collar types. Their characters and the topics they discussed were a nod to Canadian culture – ice fishing, flat tires, flannel, touques, and amusing commentary. Catch phrases from the skit included, “How’s it goin’ eh?” “Beauty eh?” “What a hoser.” While using “eh” at the end of a sentence that was posed as a question was already commonplace in Canadian conversation, the widespread attention to these phrases created a cultural interest around Canadian phraseology and language. Although it was initially intended for the Canadian viewers “Great White North” segments began sneaking into US broadcasts of SCTV, and a cultural phenomenon was born. Discussion on the show usually focused on things that were considered traditionally “Canadian” – like Canadian back bacon, Canadian beer, beer related snacks, and hockey. A song, to be released on radio, was developed around some of these phrases. "Take Off - to the Great White North" was a song that captured these and other phrases, and in having Geddy Lee from Rush assist on vocals, with the character phrases in the background, gave it the push it needed to enter the Canadian pop charts.
In 1982 /83 – the opportunity arose for a movie to be filmed centred around the Great White North Characters. I remember my dad playing this movie “Strange Brew” at the movie theatre he managed when I was about 10 years old. The plot was focused on the two brothers (Bob and Doug ) trying to dupe a company by making them believe they found a dead mouse in their bottle of beer. In their attempts to extort the manufacturer, they end up getting jobs at the beer factory and get cheap beer as a result – seemingly a dream come true. What they learn is that a mysterious drug is being put in the beer to induce mind control upon the masses, and Bob and Doug consequently try to stop the brewery from taking over the world.
The movie was laughable and contained every possible reference to Canadian stereotype. What was interesting is that stereotypes were being cultivated and continually developed as a result of these characters and of this movie. But amazingly – as simple and as silly as these stereotypes seemed - these characters embraced our language, ideals, our uniqueness, language and traits in attempt to exhibit them in full view to the rest of the world.
References – Wikipedia
102. In the twilight’s last gleaming this is open season.
103. Break these chains that bind you.
105. I’ll see you when your clothes are on.
112. My lips are moving and the sound is coming out
113. I hear the wolf howl honey sniffin’ around your door
114. Her picture graced the grime on the door
116. She says that I’m her all-time favorite
117. Checked your number twice don’t understand it
120. And we can sing just like our fathers
121. Spread your ear pollution both far and wide
123. Coulda sworn it was judgment day
125. So what is wrong with another sin?
128. Get into a car and drive to the other side
130. A double-crossed messenger all alone
131. City life sure is cool but it cuts like a knife
134. Lights going out and a kick in the balls
135. We’d been living together for a million years
139. Can’t get food for the king
140. When one little bump leads to shock miss a beat
144. And I’ve given up hope on the afternoon soaps
145. I don't know where I am but I know I don't like it.
150. C'mon, you little fighter.
47. Don't need a whore, I don't need no booze.
55. You got problems in your life of love, you got a broken heart. (U.S release 1981)
66. There is no turning back – no. There is no turning back.
68. There'll be spandex jackets - one for everyone.
72. They stack the odds still we take to the street.
73. But on a midnight watch I realized why twice you ran away.
82. Give me little time, help me clear up me mind.
105. I’ll see you when your clothes are on.