Monday, October 3, 2005

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I haven't slept in days

1990 McDonald's Canada opened Moscow-McDonald's, the first McDonald's restaurant in the Soviet Union, serviced by 27 cash registers and seating 700. This restaurant in Pushkin Square is still the largest McDonald's in the world.
Yes, comrades, I too was there on Pushkin Square (and at the Pizza Hut too, wherever that was) back in 1991, when the American rot was just beginning to sink in to Soviet culture, unimpeded by Russian cultural guidelines. However, during my cadre's brief visit to Moscow, I had developed a taste for borshch. Betraying my heritage, I saw no need to wait in a long line for junk food I could get back home in London, Ontario. I just ate an extra bowl of that amazing soup.

With each spoonful, my innocent Canadian culture was twisted and diluted by the Russians, just as the Americans were stomping all over Soviet heritage across Pushkin Square. In retrospect I feel a bit like a plague carrier returned home, as if I had played an objective role in diluting Canadian heritage with my new preference.

But pace the skull of Pierre Trudeau: by the time I stepped off the plane in Toronto, the future was no longer being built in Soviet Russia. Look at what I have wrought.

The federal government is reviewing a proposal by coffee titan Starbucks Corp. to establish a retail music business in Toronto to make sure it's a net benefit to the country.

With no regard for the people who would choose to buy CDs from Starbucks? Why shouldn't they be allowed to help shape Canadian culture? And who cares which country Starbucks is from? If people here are into what they are selling, then isn't that their culture?

"Imagine there's no countries/It isn't hard to do"... remember?

Also remember that it was Mussolini who said that "all socialism is national socialism". Prove that fascist wrong, and let Starbucks sell their CDs. Surely international goodwill must never be subordinated to the needs of mere articulate patronage pressure groups with command of the media...
The Department of Canadian Heritage wants to know whether the new enterprise will offer acceptable levels of Canadian content and employ enough Canadian workers.
I wonder if Starbucks has to stock this stuff at their Iranian franchises:
In recent days, Iran's airwaves have been buzzing with two new tunes apparently designed to rally public support for the clerical regime's increasingly tense stand-off with the West over its nuclear ambitions.

The first song is entitled "Oriental Sun, Nuclear Science", and sung to a backdrop of military-style marching music by Ali Tafreshi. The second similarly catchy tune is "Nuclear Know-How" by Reza Shirazi.

Both extol the wonders of a "great and powerful Iran" which has destroyed "the arrogance of the oppressors" and "defends its independence by using science".
This Actual Real Canadian Heritage Moment Brought To You By The London Fog